KfW IPEX-Bank, NordLB and CEFC finance 190-MWp solar farm in Australia

26 January

KfW IPEX-Bank, NordLB and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Australia's promotional bank for renewable energy, are supporting the Coleambally photovoltaic project in Australia with a long-term loan. The solar power station is being sponsored by the French project developer and long-term investor Neoen which has commissioned Bouygues Construction S.A. to build the plant. A key role will be played by another European company, Schneider, also a French manufacturer, which will supply the project with inverters. The total investment volume for Coleambally will be more than AUD 200 million (above EUR 130 million). All three banks act as mandated lead arrangers in the complex financing structure.

The Coleambally project involves the construction of a new 190-MWp photovoltaic farm in the state of New South Wales in southeastern Australia. The general contractor (EPC) Bouygues Construction S.A. is providing all services needed for the project – supplying and installing the components, construction and start-up of operation – through its Australian office. In addition, the French construction company will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the photovoltaic farm for the next 20 years. EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd. signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy a major share of the green energy. TransGrid, the transmission grid operator, will provide the grid connection for Coleambally. The plant is scheduled for completion at the end of September 2018.

Coleambally is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than typical 50,000 homes, while abating about 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road.

Source: KfW IPEX-Bank

 

NEW PROJECT

Name: Naring Solar Farm

Developer: Lightsource Renewable Energy

Capacity: 60 MW

Location: Naring, northern Victoria

Expected cost: $55mil

Description: More than 200,000 modules to be located on 122 ha site. Lightsource’s first Australian project.

Contact: Conor McGuigan

Business Development Director

Lightsource Renewable Energy

Email: info@lightsource-re.com

 

Jinergy supplies 6MW PERC solar panels for Whyalla Solar Farm

26 January

Jinneng Clean Energy Technology Ltd. ("Jinergy" or the "Company"), a China based global leader in PV industry, announced that the company provided 6MW solar panels for the SSE Australia solar farm, the first utility scale solar power plant in Whyalla, South Australia. The farm was officially opened by the Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill on January 23rd.

Located in Whyalla, the fourth largest city and traditional industrial town in South Australia, the solar power plant indicates that solar industry will be priority for the city. Lyn Breuer, mayor of Whyalla points out that it would be another sign Whyalla was motoring ahead as an industrial powerhouse while being driven by a renewable energy focus.

The solar power plant employs 6MW Jinergy PERC(Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) monocrystalline solar panels, which could generate more power than regular solar panels with solar cell efficiency over 21.6%. The project is estimated to generate 10GWh electricity each year after grid-connection and will be on service for at least twenty-five years. The solar power plant provides stable clean energy for at least 1,400 homes and reduces carbon emission by 7,500 tons each year.

Source: Jinergy

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

ESCO Pacific’s 170 MW Finley Solar Farm in NSW has been approved by the state government. The project site is located ~6km west of Finley within the Berrigan Shire and encompasses the holdings of three existing farming properties, of which the land comprises flat-lying open paddocks crossed by a network of irrigation and drainage channels. The total project area covers 500 ha, while the development foot-print for the solar farm will utilise up to 385 ha. A 132 kV transmission line crosses the north of the Project area and connects with TransGrid’s nearby Finley 132 substation.

CWP Renewables’ Sapphire Solar Farm has been placed on exhibition by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. The proposal is for a solar farm with approximately 180 MW capacity, plus battery-based storage of 100 MWh, co-located with CWP Renewables’ planned Sapphire Wind Farm. The site is located ~28km east of Inverell and 35km west of Glen Innes, in the Northern Tablelands region of NSW. The public has until 28 February to make submissions in relation to the proposed development.

 

Sunshine Coast joins Australia’s biggest council climate partnership

29 January

Sunshine Coast Council has demonstrated its commitment to achieving its vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart and creative, by joining forces with the country’s largest local government climate partnership.

As part of the growing Cities Power Partnership, Sunshine Coast Council joins a network of 70 local councils who pledge to achieve five key actions across renewable energy, efficiency, transport and working together.

Progress is updated via a six-monthly online survey.

In return, the Cities Power Partnership provides incentives for councils to deliver on their selected targets and to work together to help each other.

Members of the partnership have access to a national knowledge hub and an online analytical tool to measure energy, cost and emissions savings of projects.

They are also buddied with other councils to share knowledge; receive visits from domestic and international experts; be connected to community energy groups; and be celebrated at events with other local leaders.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was proud of the leadership role it plays in transitioning to a more sustainable and resilient Sunshine Coast and was excited to both share knowledge and learn from other communities as part of the partnership program.

“The Climate Council initiative supports local councils to take practical and effective steps to bring on clean energy technology, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other climate solutions to the local area,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“As well as aligning perfectly with our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region, the partnership program complements many priority actions under our recently endorsed Environment and Liveability Strategy 2017 – an integrated approach to achieving a healthy, sustainable and liveable community.

“We are the first local government in Australia to offset 100% of our electricity consumption with energy from a renewable source, thanks to our Sunshine Coast Solar Farm.

“Since its commission in July last year, the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm has generated more than 12,000 megawatts and it will conservatively deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years.

“This is an impressive pioneering project and is yet another example of our council being a national leader.

“In fact, it’s so impressive, 15 councils around Australia have already inquired about how they can follow in our footsteps and we are keen to share our learnings to benefit the environment.”

Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes said that Queensland’s local governments were emerging as the frontline for tackling climate change in Australia.

“We are pleased to welcome the Sunshine Coast to the Cities Power Partnership, and congratulate Mayor Mark Jamieson and his councillor colleagues on their commitment to tackling climate change,” Professor Hughes said.

“Queensland has enormous potential to be part of the climate change solution and we are excited to see so many local governments jumping on board the Cities Power Partnership.

“Today, there are more than 70 councils, representing over 7.5 million Australians already rolling up their sleeves to get on with the job.

“Council-backed renewable projects are springing up across the state, bringing with them jobs, investment and infrastructure powered by cheap, reliable clean energy.”

Source: Sunshine Coast Council

 

Canadian Solar to partner with Photon Energy for co-development of 1.14 GWp solar projects in Australia

29 January

Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Photon Energy NV ("Photon Energy") to co-develop five utility-scale solar power projects, with a total capacity of 1.14 GWp in New South Wales, Australia.

Canadian Solar will acquire a 51% shareholding in each of Photon Energy's five project companies in Australia that carry a total of 1.14 GWp of projects. The portfolio of projects includes the 316 MWp project in Gunning which is fully owned by Photon Energy, as well as four projects co-developed by Photon Energy with Polpo Investment, namely the 178 MWp project in Mumbil, the 165 MWp project in Gunnedah, the 286 MWp project in Suntop and the 196 MWp project in Maryvale.

"This transaction represents an exciting moment for the Photon Energy Group with our long-term commitment to the Australian market bearing fruit. This cooperation marks a tangible achievement of the entire team in Australia who have gained the trust of a leading global player in the solar industry such as Canadian Solar," commented Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy NV.

"Canadian Solar is delighted to partner with Photon Energy and bring 1.14 GWp into the Australian market," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, "As a very active developer for solar power plants in Australia, we will continue to strengthen our leading position in the market by partnering with Photon Energy."

Source: Canadian Solar

 

Solar launch shines light on renewable energy partnerships

30 January

Lismore Community Solar – a project that includes the construction of Australia’s largest floating solar farm – was launched today by Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW, Benjamin Franklin MLC.

Mr Franklin was joined by Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith, stakeholders and local solar farm investors, as well as Professors Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council.

The Lismore Community Solar initiative is a partnership between Lismore City Council and community solar energy facilitator Farming the Sun, to break new ground in working with communities to fund renewable energy projects that power Council facilities.

As part of the Lismore Community Solar initiative, Council has built two 100kW solar farms – a rooftop solar farm at Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre that has been operating since March and a floating solar farm at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant.

The rooftop solar farm is now providing 15% of the aquatic centre’s power while the floating solar farm’s 280 solar panels generate 12% of the treatment plant’s energy needs.

The innovative floating design provides capacity for the solar farm to expand across the overflow ponds and Council’s aim is to eventually power the treatment plant from 100% solar energy.

“This is an historic occasion for Lismore. We have demonstrated that you can collaborate with your community and provide renewable energy solutions for a regional city,” Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said.

“I am so excited our local investors were here to celebrate this milestone. It is their conviction and passion to see a renewable energy future that has made this project a reality.”

Both solar farms were funded by companies made up of 20 local investors, with the funds loaned to Council under a financial model that is the first of its kind in Australia.

“It has already generated interest both nationally and internationally as a model for government and community cooperation, with investors receiving a return better than that of a bank,” Lismore City Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Sharyn Hunnisett explained.

“The project has not been without its challenges to establish and get operational, but now that we have done the hard work we have a model others can emulate. We hope to see renewable energy projects like this taken up between councils and communities right across Australia, whether that’s using sun, wind or wave technology.”

The two solar farms are one of many measures in Council’s Renewable Energy Master Plan to achieve Council’s goal of self-generating all its electricity from renewable sources by 2023.

Both solar farm projects have been assisted by funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Growing Community Energy grants program plus donations from private philanthropists.

As well as the launch of Lismore Community Solar, the Climate Council also welcomed 35 new councils to the Cities Power Partnership, a network of local councils working to tackle climate change, of which Lismore was a founding member.

The Climate Council also presented Lismore City Council with a petition of 23,000 signatures congratulating Lismore on its achievements.

Source: Lismore Council

 

Tilt Renewables agreement for Salt Creek Wind Farm to supply Meridian Energy Australia

1 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables has announced an agreement to sell electricity produced from its Salt Creek Wind Farm in Western Victoria to Meridian Energy Australia, to support the growth of its retail business Powershop.

The Salt Creek Wind Farm near Warndoo, 250 km west of Melbourne, is targeted to be commissioned by July 2018 and will have an installed capacity of 54 megawatts.

The agreement with Meridian Energy Australia will deliver 50 per cent of the electricity production to Meridian from commissioning of the wind farm until the end of 2018, and 100 per cent from then, until the end of the contract in 2030.

Tilt Renewables Chief Executive Officer Deion Campbell, says “We are very pleased to be partnering with Meridian Energy Australia and the long term off-take agreement for energy from the Salt Creek Wind Farm further improves the long term offtake contract profile of the Tilt Renewables business.”

The wind farm will be connected to the national electricity grid via a 49 km power line, ending at the Terang Terminal Station. The project utilises 15 Vestas V126 - 3.6MW turbines.

Further information on the Salt Creek Wind Farm can be found on the Tilt Renewables Project page https://www.tiltrenewables.com/assets-and-projects/Salt-Creek-Wind-Farm/

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

CWP Renewables to construct Crudine Wind Farm

1 February

CWP Renewables has successfully secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) for its Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, and is set to commence construction in April 2018.

The 135 MW project, located near Pyramul, 45 km south of Mudgee in the Central West, NSW, has agreed an energy offtake with Meridian Energy Australia, owners of retailer Powershop.

Comprising 37 wind turbine generators, the project will generate enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes and offset over 325,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year once constructed.

“We first identified the area in 2007 and through consistent and genuine engagement with the local community, Councils and a wide array of stakeholders the project will now reach its potential”, said Mr Ed Mounsey, Head of Development of CWP Renewables.

Mr. Mounsey commented that “the project is set to provide regional benefits by contributing over $160,000 per annum to Community Enhancement Funds established with Mid-western and Bathurst Regional Councils, as well as upgrades to over 20 km of local Council roads.” 19 host landowners will benefit from rental income throughout the life of the Project and Neighbour Agreements will help distribute funds to others in the local community. 75 full time equivalent jobs are expected to be created during construction which will stimulate further investment in local businesses and services.

ANZ have been selected as financial advisor on the deal with Norton Rose Fulbright performing the legal advisor role. Construction consortium details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Source: CWP Renewables

 

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (BJCE) launch Australia’s first co-located wind and solar farm

1 February

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (BJCE) officially launched Australia’s first co-located wind and solar farm today in Bannister, 10km south of Crookwell, in the Southern Tablelands.

The 28-hectare solar farm was jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is jointly owned by BJCE and Goldwind (Capital) Australia. It consists of 42,000 solar panels and generates enough electricity to power over 3,100 homes on an average day of sunshine. Gullen Solar Farm will offset more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the New South Wales grid every year, which equates to the average annual emissions of approximately 7000 passenger vehicles.

Weiwei Shi, General Manager of BJCE Australia said, “This is an historic moment for clean energy in Australia. Gullen Solar Farm is an important demonstration project – right at the forefront of renewable energy integration technology. It proves the advantages of co-locating energy infrastructure, which effectively minimizes costs and environmental impacts. Together with our 73-turbine wind farm, the combined facility can power more than 70,000 average homes.”

NSW Energy and Utilities Minister, the Hon Don Harwin said, “The 10 megawatt Gullen Solar Farm, is the first of seven large-scale solar projects expected to start operating this year. I welcome the investment in NSW, this is playing an important role in our energy security and regional development.”

Special guests at the launch included Ms Hongbo Wang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Consulate General of People’s Republic of China in Sydney, the Mayors of both the Upper Lachlan and Goulburn Mulwarree Shire Councils and leaders from Decmil Group and Balance Services Group, who constructed the solar farm in a joint venture.

BJCE, in collaboration with South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) also frequently hosts wind and solar farm tours to inform and educate students, community members and visitors to the region about renewable energy.

BJCE’s next clean energy project is the Biala Wind Farm, a 31-turbine wind farm located in Biala NSW. For more information about Biala Wind Farm visit www.bialawindfarm.com

Source: Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy

 

Meridian Energy Australia invests in renewable energy by adding hydro, solar and wind projects to meet on-going customer growth

1 February

Meridian Energy Australia has entered into an agreement to purchase three hydro power stations from Trustpower for A$168m and in addition has signed three Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewable projects in Victoria and New South Wales to support Powershop’s continued customer growth. The combination of these hydro, wind and solar projects will add 749 GWh, taking Meridian’s annual renewable generation to roughly 1,300 GWh in Australia.

Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia’s Chief Executive Ed McManus says, “Meridian is pleased to add hydro, wind and solar generation capacity to our existing wind generation. These agreements expand our portfolio of 100% renewable generation allowing us to support our growing customer base and drive further demand for large scale renewable energy in Australia.”

“Powershop, Meridian Australia’s retail arm, has been on a strong growth trajectory since its launch in 2014, with customer numbers now more than 100,000. Acquiring the three hydro power stations along with the three PPAs for wind and solar farms in New South Wales and Victoria allows Powershop to continue to cover its growing retail position.”

“Powershop’s steady growth is proof that Australians have a strong desire to support a green energy company. Our business model has always been based on having a balanced portfolio of generation and retail. Powershop’s growth has created the need for us to make this move in the market. As Powershop continues to grow, we will invest in more renewable energy generation.”

“Additionally, the opportunity to acquire hydro assets in Australia is extremely rare and having a balanced portfolio of wind, solar and hydro allows us to more effectively manage risk in the market. Meridian will continue to monitor new technology, such as pumped hydro, batteries and thermal solar, so that we can ensure we have a diverse range of technologies and generation,” McManus said.

Powershop Australia is the only electricity retailer to be certified 100% carbon neutral by the Australian Government and has been ranked by Greenpeace as the greenest power company in Australia for two years running.

About the agreements:

Trustpower Limited Hydro power stations, New South Wales

Meridian Energy Australia has entered into a conditional agreement with Trustpower Limited to purchase GSP Energy Pty Ltd, which operates three hydro power stations; Hume, Burrinjuck and the Keepit Power Stations (formally the Green State Power hydro assets), located in New South Wales, Australia. The agreement is for the purchase of 100% of the shares of GSP Energy Pty Ltd.

CWP Renewables – Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, NSW

The Crudine Ridge Wind Farm is an approved wind energy project near Pyramul, NSW, situated approximately 45 km south of Mudgee. The new project consists of 37 wind turbines, with a generation capacity of 135 MW and is due for completion in 2019.

Total Eren – Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm, Victoria

The proposed Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is located north of the Ouyen township in North-West Victoria and is developed by Total Eren, a leading French independent power producer. Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 200 MW and will be Total Eren’s first investment in Australia. The project is currently in advanced development and is due for completion in mid-2019 with part of its capacity contracted to Meridian Energy Australia.

TILT Renewables – Salt Creek Wind Farm

Salt Creek Wind Farm is currently under construction near Woorndoo, around 250 kilometres west of Melbourne, Victoria. The wind farm, due for completion in mid to late 2018 is located on a Merino Stud Farm and has a capacity of 54 MW.

Source: Meridian Energy

 

NEW PROJECTS

Name: Kiamal Solar Farm

Developer: Total Eren

Capacity: Up to 350 MW (first stage 200 MW)

Location: Ouyen in north-western Victoria.

Estimated cost: $90mil

Description: Planning approval granted for the project, including a 100MW/380MWh battery storage facility. The proposed project is made up of two sections which are bisected by the Calder Highway. Construction expected to begin in the second quarter 2018. A number of construction work packages are open for expressions of interest, including Civil Works, Electrical Works, Solar Farm Installation, Structural Steel, Temporary Construction Facilities and Transportation. More details are available from ICN Gateway at https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4060/total-eren-kiamal-solar-farm

 

Name: Wodonga SOL1 Solar Farm

Developer: Wodonga Solar Power Pty Ltd (JV between S-Energy and Heliades Pty Ltd)

Capacity: 54 MW

Location: Approximately 20km from Wodonga in north-east Victoria

Estimated cost: $80mil

Description: The solar farm will be connected to an AusNet 66Kv substation located south-west of the regional city of Wodonga. Construction is expected to take ~14 months with more than 80 jobs created in the Wodonga region. SNC Lavalin (Power) is EPC and O&M partner for the project, and Deloitte is financial adviser. Wodonga Solar Power Pty Ltd is a JV between South Korean solar company S-Energy, and Melbourne infrastructure project management consultancy Heliades Pty Ltd. A number of construction work packages are open for expressions of interest, including surveying & geotech, earth works and site clearing, piling, transport companies (moving containers from Melbourne to site), perimeter Fencing, CCTV security system and local onsite security during construction, unskilled labourers and skilled labour (electricians). More details are available from ICN Gateway at https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4058/wodonga-sol1-solar-farm?st=projects&psid=1517623373

 

$600M Moorabool Wind Farm project - Australian Tenders

1 February

Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd has today released 34 tenders for the construction and operation of the Moorabool Wind Farm south of Ballan in Victoria. Main Contractor will be appointed to engineer, procure and construct the $600 Moorabool Wind Farm.

The Moorabool Wind Farm project is located approximately 4km south of Ballan, 67km from Melbourne, 27km from Ballarat and 47km from Geelong. The wind farm will extend 14km north to south between Ballan and Mount Wallace to the west of the C141(Geelong-Ballan Rd).

The project is divided into two sections, the Bungeeltap Section towards the north of the project site and the Ballark Section to the south.

The project scope includes the construction and operation of 107 wind turbines and is expected to produce 1,100,000 MWh of electricity annually. This is enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 223,000 average Victorian homes every year, representing 11% of Victorian homes. It will contribute to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

The natural terrain and consistent wind speeds in the area are significant and the connection to the electricity network is also strong.                                                            

A Main Contractor will be appointed to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) the project.  

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought from suppliers and contractors for work packages including: Logistics include wind turbine erection and the design and construction of the civil and electrical balance of plant (onsite roads, foundations, buildings and electrical reticulation).

Further smaller work packages will become available following appointment of the Main Contractor.

More information: https://info.australiantenders.com.au/news

 

SA to Oz: Follow our clean energy lead

2 February

South Australian voters want to see the rest of Australia follow in the state’s clean energy footsteps, with new polling showing that 57.6% of respondents believe the rest of the country should switch to renewable energy and storage in the next 5 to 10 years.

The ReachTel poll, commissioned by the Climate Council, (conducted on the evening of Monday, January 29th) investigated South Australian attitudes towards the state’s leadership on renewable energy and storage, including the recent installation of the world’s largest lithium ion battery.

Energy expert of 40 years’ experience, South Australian and Climate Councillor, Andrew Stock, said the results show that South Australians are proud to be leading the nation’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.

“These results show that no matter what the age, around 60% of people polled are proud of the state’s clean energy leadership,” he said.

Stock explained that South Australia is home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in Australia, which is also among the highest in the world.

“This poll shows that most believe having the world’s most powerful battery has also boosted the state’s reputation. They also believe that by embracing solar power as homeowners and businesses, they are doing more to deal with power prices than the Federal Government,” he said.

KEY FINDINGS:

◦The clear majority of respondents (60.2%) felt proud of South Australia for being home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in the country, and among the highest in the world.

◦ 62.2% think Australia should switch to renewable energy (like solar and wind) plus storage technologies as the main source of the country’s electricity in the next 10 years.

◦44.7% of Liberal voters believe Australia should switch to renewable energy (like solar and wind) plus storage technologies in the next five to ten years. This is in contrast to using fossil fuels such as coal and gas (17.4% and 12.5% respectively).

◦28.2% of respondents believe the South Australian State Government is doing the most to deal with high power prices in the state, followed by homeowners and businesses with solar panels (25%).

◦55.1% of residents polled said South Australia’s leadership on renewable energy and storage has been important for cutting pollution and tackling climate change, with 25.9% saying it was important and 29.2% saying it was very important.

◦57.6% of people polled (33.5% Liberal, 83.3% Labor, 54.3% SA Best) said the rest of Australia should follow SA’s lead on renewable energy and storage within the next five to ten years.

◦The majority of people polled believe Tesla’s big battery has had a positive impact on the state’s reputation, with 28.6% rating it as ‘very positive’ and ‘24.6%’ rating it as ‘positive’ for South Australia.

◦Almost 44% of respondents think South Australia’s renewable energy and storage is boosting the state’s economy (23.3% Liberal and 67.6% Labor).

Stock said the poll confirms that South Australians are proud to be living in the state that’s leading Australia’s renewables race.

“South Australia is leading the charge, from the most powerful battery, wind and solar plants, to the upcoming solar thermal plant. The state is doing its bit to slash pollution levels and to tackle climate change, now we just need the Federal Government to do the same for the nation,” he said.

Source: Climate Council