WestWind Energy selling its Lal Lal Wind Farm

24 May

Renewed confidence in Victoria’s renewable energy sector has led to WestWind Energy selling its Lal Lal Wind Farm project to Macquarie Capital. The Lal Lal Wind Farm is located on two sections of farmland in the Moorabool Shire: The Yendon Section (2km east of Yendon and 17km southeast of Ballarat) and the Elaine Section (2km north of Elaine and 17km south southeast of Ballarat).

The sale comes after Victorian Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, approved changes to the planning permit for the Lal Lal Wind Farm, following a panel hearing late last year.

WestWind Energy Managing Director, Tobias Geiger said the sale marked a significant step forward in the Lal Lal Wind Farm’s development. “The sale marks a major milestone for the Lal Lal Wind Farm and the local community, with ongoing preparations taking place to commence construction activities, which will bring economic benefits to the region,’’ Mr Geiger said. Mr Geiger also said it had been heartening to see the Victorian Government strengthen its renewable energy target.

“It has been very pleasing to see a renewed commitment toward renewable energy from the Victorian Government since the last state election and because of this we have received strong interest from investors looking for projects in Victoria,’’ Mr Geiger said.

“We are proud of the Lal Lal Wind Farm development and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition.

“It is the culmination of a decade’s hard work and we believe it will go a long way in helping Victoria reach its 25 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.

“We hope that as confidence returns to Australia’s renewable energy sector that we will continue to see more projects like the Lal Lal Wind Farm being built.”

Source: WestWind

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Lal Lal Wind Farm



Houghton Solar Farm

Pacific Hydro has applied to the Burdekin Shire Council for a Material Change of Use for a 500 MW capacity solar farm, including battery storage.

The Project will be connected to the Powerlink 275kV ETL along the eastern boundary of the development area.

The built form will consist of:

 Site office/ warehouse building

 Car parks and temporary laydown area

 Solar panels constructed in a grid pattern

 An area for future battery energy storage opportunities

 Power conversion units on skids (including inverters, transformers and ring main units)

 Electrical substation

The project’s development area is located approximately 17 kilometres (km) from the township of Clare in North Queensland and falls within the Burdekin Shire Council area. The selected development area for the Project is an area of approximately 1181ha of currently vacant / grazing rural land. The land has been previously prepared for irrigated sugar cane farming, which is consistent with the dominant land use in the surrounding area; however the property owner has been unable to secure water allocations to develop the land for irrigated sugar cane farming. A minor portion of the land adjacent to the development area is currently agisted for cattle.

The north-eastern corner of the development area directly adjoins the existing 275kV Ross to Strathmore ETL, which is managed by Powerlink.

The project has allowed for potential for battery storage capabilities to be installed on site. As technology improves, it is anticipated that grid energy storage will be utilised to store electrical energy during times when production exceeds consumption, and returned to the grid when production falls below consumption.

Current technology enables containerised or non-containerised systems to allow versatility with site placement.


Claire Driessen

Pacific Hydro Australia Developments Pty Ltd

Tel: 0408 084 900

Email: cdriessen@pacifichydro.com.au

Source: Pacific Hydro


Driving new solar investments, reining in energy costs

31 May

Energy efficiency and reliability are critical to building our network of the future. As a result, Telstra has underpinned a new 70MW solar farm in regional Queensland.

Given the rising costs of energy, one of our greatest inputs, we are implementing a strategy to be a more active participant in the energy market.

Today we have taken an important step forward in this strategy by signing a long-term power purchase agreement with RES Australia – part of the world’s largest independent renewable energy companies – which would see the development of a new 70 megawatt (MW) solar farm near Emerald in northern Queensland.

Similar to arrangements in the USA with the likes of Microsoft and Google, the electricity from this plant won’t directly flow into Telstra facilities. But it is an important investment that helps protect us from movement in the costs of supplying energy to our facilities.

This renewable energy purchase arrangement will help create local jobs, provide investment in regional Australia and generate energy equivalent to the consumption of 35,000 homes.

The deal is a win-win for all involved.

RES gets a confirmed long-term customer and the confidence to invest around $100m in the solar energy plant, which will be one of the largest renewable energy sources in northern Australia, while we get to reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions and help stabilise our energy consumption costs.

Construction of the Emerald solar project will begin later this year and electricity generation is expected to commence in 2018. The project will also collaborate with local businesses and indigenous communities to create the opportunity for local supply arrangements to support the construction and operation of the plant.

The project is an important step in our strategy to more actively manage our energy consumption and costs, while also contributing to reducing Australia’s emissions.

We already have initiatives underway to install solar power systems at our Exchanges (including at Deer Park, Lyndhurst, Petrie, and Mount Gravatt), which saw our emissions intensity per unit of data fall by 56 per cent over three years.

On top of this, over the coming years we will work to enhance our ability to dynamically manage our energy generation capability throughout our network around Australia.

We are looking at opportunities to utilise the back-up electricity generation and battery storage capacity we have in our network to proactively generate energy in times of peak demand to help reduce back out risks and offset high wholesale prices.

This will help improve our ability to manage our energy costs, continue to drive down our own emissions and improve the reliability of our own back-up supplies.

Source: Telstra


New Gladstone plant a boost for biofuel industry in Queensland

1 June

Queensland is now home to the first commercial-scale advanced biofuels pilot plant and on the cusp of a new biofuel production-based industry for the State, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Speaking from Gladstone where the Premier officially opened the $18 million Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Yarwun, Ms Palaszczuk said she welcomed the investment by New South Wales company Southern Oil to establish the plant in Queensland.

“This plant is the start of a whole new industry for Queensland. It will take agricultural waste such as bagasse from sugar production and turn it into biofuels,” she said.

“It offers to create sustainable jobs and deliver a new source of power that would have a minimum impact on our precious environment.

“We still have a long way to go to establish an internationally-competitive biofuels industry, but today is a significant milestone on that journey.”

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the pilot plant was an investment boon for Gladstone and would be in addition to the $70 million Southern Oil Refining currently operates a waste lube oil re-refining plant. The company employs 45 full-time equivalent.

“Significantly, Gladstone is once again at the forefront of a new industry for Queensland just as we have been at forefront for the LNG industry,” he said.

The Premier said that the Queensland Government had a vision for a $1 billion sustainable, export-oriented biofuels sector.

“Since coming to office, my Government has formulated a 10-year Action Plan and Roadmap to grow the industry and committed nearly $20 million to develop the biotechnology sector,” she said.

Energy and Biofuels Minister Mark Bailey said data from the first three months of the mandate show that sales of ethanol have increased by nearly 38% since this time last year.

“This is a strong indication that the mandate is achieving its policy objectives to boost the Queensland fuel industry and the jobs that come with it. In the last 12 months, over 150 additional fuel sites have been upgraded to sell E10, and more are on the way as fuel sellers continue with conversion programs,” he said.

“The Queensland biofuels mandate is playing a key role in Queensland’s move to a clean energy economy while also ensuring fuel retailers continue to offer a broad range of fuel grades to maintain choice at the bowser.

“By supporting the use of biofuels we have an opportunity to drive jobs growth in regional Queensland and add value to the State’s abundant agricultural resources such as sugar cane. By attracting investment to the State’s biofuels and bio-manufacturing industry, we’re creating jobs for regional Queenslanders.”

The Palaszczuk Government’s comprehensive biofuels education campaign encouraging Queenslanders to check their vehicles’ compatibility with E10 has supported this success. To date more than half a million Queenslanders have gone online to check their vehicle’s compatibility.

At the opening, a representative of the Burdekin Cane Growers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Southern Oil to take some of their bagasse to convert it into biofuels.

Source: Queensland Government


Carnegie completes factory acceptance testing of Australia’s largest battery system

1 June

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, has completed the factory build and testing of 1.6MW solar PV inverter and 2.6MWh Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for the CSIRO. The BESS and PV inverter passed factory acceptance testing at its 3,500m2 workshop in Belmont and have been successfully delivered to site at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO), approximately 800km northeast of Perth, Western Australia. Factory acceptance testing involved a full functionality test of all the key equipment and control systems, including a simulated integration with the existing diesel power station.

The batteries are now undergoing on site installation and integration with the previously installed 1.6MW Solar PV array. The BESS and PV array will be integrated and commissioned with the existing power station on site in the coming months.

These are the largest batteries ever design and assembled in Australia, which will be used to power one of the most sophisticated telescopes globally.


Palaszczuk Plan to power North Queensland jobs and drive down energy costs

2 June

The Palaszczuk Government has released a plan to unlock a wave of energy projects to power the North Queensland economy and support 5000 jobs.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Townsville today joined Energy Minister Mark Bailey, Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke, Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart to launch the Powering North Queensland plan.

The Premier said the State Budget, to be delivered on 13 June, would invest $386 million into the Powering North Queensland plan.

“Our plan will not only deliver investment and jobs to North Queensland but will also help to secure energy supply and drive down energy costs for consumers,” she said.

“Under the plan, we will deliver a transmission line for renewable energy projects across the region and contribute funding to the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam.”

“The $386 million committed in the State Budget is a down payment on future energy security and 5000 jobs for North Queensland.”

Actions under the Powering North Queensland plan include:

  • $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends for the development of strategic transmission infrastructure to support a clean energy hub, with up to 1000 jobs for Powerlink construction of infrastructure, in addition to the approximately 3600 jobs that will be created in the development of the three proposed renewable energy projects along the transmission line;
  • $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam. Subject to feasibility investigations and other dam construction works, project construction will be targeted to commence from 2020, and support up to 200 jobs;
  • $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends towards improvement works to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, which is estimated to support around 250 jobs, and will support the proposed hydro-electric power station; and
  • commissioning a hydro-electric study to assess options for deploying new hydro in the state, including North Queensland.

The Premier said the Government was making these vital, economy-growing investments on behalf of Queenslanders by reinvesting the SunWater dividend and part of Powerlink and Stanwell dividends.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, said these 2017-18 Budget initiatives underlined the government’s ongoing commitment to investing in regional communities, renewable energy, and jobs.

“We're ensuring our Government owned corporations are delivering new energy infrastructure and energy security to drive new investments in energy projects and new jobs in regional Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.

”This extensive pipeline of clean energy projects is also opening the door for the region to become a hub for the renewable manufacturing and services industry.

“This plan will power North Queensland’s communities and its industries with energy and jobs for the future and it will help further stabilise electricity prices.

“These far-reaching initiatives show how we are shaping the future of our state and creating jobs through our economic plan including the first two State Budgets I have delivered and continuing into the 2017-18 Budget on June 13.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the state’s North had a significant pipeline of committed and proposed energy projects which would bolster generation in the north.

“Since January 2016 North Queensland has seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity, with more than 830 megawatts of large-scale projects either commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements,” the Premier said.

“It is estimated these projects will deliver $1.6 billion of infrastructure spending and create more than 1400 jobs.”

The Premier said a new transmission line could help to unlock around 2000 megawatts of wind, pumped hydro and solar projects in North Queensland, which would create 3600 jobs.

“The clean energy hub would connect the 75MW wind farm at Forsayth being developed by Infigen, the 520MW Kidston Hydro and Solar project being developed by Genex and the Kennedy Energy Park, a combination of wind and solar generation with a capacity of 1200MW near Hughenden or other projects in the area.”

Minister Bailey said the Plan also involved investigating potential hydro sites in North Queensland and across the state that could be developed to provide baseload renewable power.

“This extensive pipeline of clean energy projects will open the door for the North to become a hub for the renewable manufacturing and services industry,” he said.

“This plan will power North Queensland’s communities and industries with the energy and jobs of the future.”

Minister O’Rourke said the Powering North Queensland Plan builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing efforts to stabilise electricity prices for regional Queensland.

“We know people in the North are really concerned about power prices. An important part in stabilising prices is making sure we invest in local, North Queensland infrastructure,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Excitingly, the transmission line will support an Energy Hub that will generate North Queensland energy for North Queensland businesses and families.

“Our long-term energy strategy for the North will also mean jobs for our regions”

Minister Bailey said a lack of Federal leadership on climate and energy policy under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull had created uncertainty for industry which had undermined investment, and prevented new supply coming online.

“The Palaszczuk Government is taking action and we have kick-started a renewable energy boom,” he said.

“With additional generation competition and supply - we can help put downward pressure on prices which is great news for all Queenslanders.”

For more information visit www.dews.qld.gov.au

Source: Queensland Government


Infigen welcomes powering North Queensland plan

2 June

Infigen Energy (Infigen) today welcomed the announcement by the Palaszczuk government in Queensland that it would invest $386 million into the Powering North Queensland plan. The plan is intended to unlock a wave of energy projects to power the North Queensland economy and support 5,000 jobs.

Infigen is developing the Forsayth wind farm project in the region where the investment in strategic transmission infrastructure is to be undertaken under the plan. Forsayth currently has a planned capacity of 75 MW, which was limited by the existing transmission infrastructure. This investment will allow Infigen to assess the opportunity to significantly increase the size of the project.

Infigen’s Managing Director, Ross Rolfe said, “It is pleasing to see the State of Queensland investing in infrastructure that can unlock its substantial renewable resources. There are many other renewable resources across the country that could benefit from similar strategic investments. I applaud the Palaszczuk government for its leadership in this area.”

Source: Infigen



Star of the South Energy Project

The Star of the South Energy Project is in the initial stages of development to further investigate and assess an area off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria to determine its suitability to eventually construct an offshore wind farm. The project is named after a passenger ship that operated in the nineteenth century bringing immigrants to Victoria.

The project, if determined feasible and constructed, will have a capacity of at least 2,000MW and be connected via 95km of undersea and underground high voltage transmission cables (4 cables each of 500MW capacity) directly to a strong connection point on the Victorian grid in the Latrobe Valley.

Detailed studies have already been undertaken over a number of years that indicate that the Project will provide a unique opportunity to develop a project of size, scale and quality.

The Project will involve:

  • Upgrade and expansion of existing nearby port facilities to enable construction and later operation and maintenance of the wind farm.
  • Construction of at least two offshore substations and a network of cables to connect the turbines.
  • Construction and assembly of up to 250 turbines located at depths ranging between 20 metres and 40 metres.
  • 95km route for each of the four x 500MW, underground and undersea transmission cables.
  • Utilisation, where possible, of existing transmission infrastructure and land rights.


Terry Kallis


Tel: 0419 810 153

Email: terry.kallis@offshorenergy.com.au

Source: Offshore Energy


Australia’s first offshore wind farm proposed For Gippsland

2 June

The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed plans for the establishment of Australia’s first offshore wind farm in Gippsland.

The proposal includes up to 250 wind turbines within a 574-square kilometre area, which would deliver around 8,000GWh of electricity per year. This is approximately 18% of Victoria’s power usage or enough to power 1.2 million homes.

Victorian based Offshore Energy has been working with the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments to progress the proposal to a formal feasibility assessment of the project called ‘Star of the South’.

If successful, the project would generate investment of around $8 billion, create 12,000 jobs during the construction phase and 300 ongoing operational and maintenance jobs.

The project would be located between 10 and 25 kilometres off the Gippsland coastline.

Preliminary analysis of the proposed site off the coast of Gippsland shows high-capacity for reliable power generation.

It’s anticipated the project will have a feasibility phase of at least three years and if progressed would connect to existing infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley via undersea and underground transmission cables.

Offshore Energy has a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments which, if the project receives the appropriate rights from the Commonwealth Government to commence exploration activities, will assist with progressing the permitting process for this project.

If the project goes ahead, it is hoped the windfarm could be generating power in time to contribute to the Labor Government’s Renewable Energy Target of 40% by 2025.

Source: Victorian Government

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