SunPower partners with innogy and BELECTRIC on Australia's largest solar power plant

29 October

SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) announced today that it is supplying 349 megawatts of SunPower high efficiency solar panels for the Limondale solar power plant, Australia's largest solar project to date.

"We commend innogy and BELECTRIC for this milestone project, and for using high-performance SunPower® technology to ensure long-term value," said SunPower Executive Vice President Peter Aschenbrenner. "Customers worldwide rely on SunPower solar panels for proven performance and reliability."

SunPower is supplying its Performance Series (P-Series) solar panels for the project, which is expected to be fully operational in mid-2020.

The company's 19 percent efficient P-Series solar panels deliver value as a result of a unique shingled design that improves reliability and efficiency, and outperforms conventional panel yield in real-world conditions such as partial shading and elevated temperatures. It is part of a comprehensive high-efficiency product portfolio that includes SunPower's X- and E-Series panels, and, beginning in 2019, will include its newly developed next generation technology.

innogy is constructing the solar power plant. The company's subsidiary, BELECTRIC, is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, as well as the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) service provider. BELECTRIC is an experienced company in the global solar market with nearly 2 gigawatts of executed projects globally, including projects in Australia.

Source: SunPower Corp.



Illabo Solar Farm

Location: About 6km south east of Illabo, in the Riverina district of NSW

Capacity: 80 MW

Developer: Tilt Renewables

LGA: Junee

Expected cost: $150mil

Employment: 100 construction jobs & 2 operational jobs

Description: The proposed solar farm would incorporate the following infrastructure: Fixed or single axis tracking solar panels, inverter stations, underground cabling to connect inverter stations to substation, internal access tracks, overhead transmission line up to 132kV for grid connection, 132 kV substation, security and fencing, operations and maintenance facility, control room and site office with amenities, maintenance, spare parts and storage building, car parking, laydown/compound area, future battery storage area, ancillary infrastructure, intersection treatment, upgrades and construction of access track off Allawah Road.

Contact: Marita Giles




Crudine Ridge Wind Farm

Construction starts on Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, with completion planned for late 2019.

The project consists of constructing 37 wind turbines which will reach a maximum height of 160m from foundation to the uppermost blade tip. The project will build 50km of new internal access roads, internal electrical reticulation, temporary construction compounds, rock crushing facilities, a concrete batching plant, a substation, an operations and maintenance facility and approximately 15 km of overhead transmission line. There will also be upgrades to public roads, including a 20km stretch along Aarons Pass Road. To minimise impacts to the community and environment materials are being sourced on site, reducing the number of truck movements on public roads.

Delivery of turbine components is scheduled for early 2019, along the approved routes. A more detailed update on delivery of these components will be shared with the community closer to the time to ensure minimal traffic disruption.

The project is already delivering economic benefits to the local community. $3M of contracts have been awarded to local businesses and further procurement is planned over the coming months. The project is aiming to engage as many of the 240 people for the delivery of the project with a focus on engaging from the local community as much as possible.

The project team is recruiting for a number of positions both for CWP Renewables and our delivery partners. These positions include, senior HSE positions, project administrators, communications and engagement roles, civil project engineers, civil supervisors and graduate engineers. People interested in being a part of the project are encouraged to visit job sites such as Seek for currently advertised roles, as well as register their interest through the contractors page.

Source: CWP Renewables


Examining expansion of Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Scheme

29 October

The Australian Government is supporting Origin Energy to examine the feasibility of expanding its existing Shoalhaven pumped hydro scheme.

Pumped hydro energy storage involves pumping water up to a storage reservoir and releasing it through a turbine to provide additional energy into the electricity grid when it is needed.

Pumped hydro helps to make renewables more reliable by acting as a battery which can be dispatched at times of peak demand.

The current 240MW Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Scheme could be expanded by an additional 235MW in storage generation and capacity if found to be feasible.

Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Australian Government is providing funding of $2 million to Origin Energy for the feasibility study.

A full feasibility study will cost $6.8 million and is expected to be completed in 2019.

The study will examine pumping water from Lake Yarrunga to Fitzroy Falls Reservoir, by passing the Kangaroo Valley Power Station, and making use of a new underground pumped power station.

It is hoped that this study can provide insights which will be beneficial to other pumped hydro projects around Australia.

This project is a great example of the Government's commitment to delivering reliable and more affordable electricity.

Source: Federal Government


New technology to be trialled to protect eagles at Cattle Hill Wind Farm

30 October

Goldwind Australia announced today that it will be installing the innovative IdentiFlight® aerial monitoring and detection technology system as one of the key initiatives to mitigate Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle impacts at Cattle Hill Wind Farm in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.

IdentiFlight’s tower-mounted optical units are designed to detect flying objects and then use algorithms to identify them as eagles within seconds. If an eagle’s speed and flight path indicate a risk of collision with a wind turbine, an alert is generated to shut down the specific wind turbine.

Sixteen IdentiFlight units are to be installed at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm. The location of the towers is designed so they will be able to detect eagles and shut down any of the 48 turbines as necessary.

John Titchen, Goldwind Managing Director, said Cattle Hill Wind Farm will be the first wind farm in Australia to trial this newly available innovative aerial monitoring and detection technology.

‘Goldwind Australia understands the importance of balancing the need for clean, renewable energy whilst protecting Tasmania’s unique wildlife, particularly the endangered Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Goldwind is very pleased to have partnered with Identiflight to apply this recently developed innovative technology to reduce impacts on the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle.

We look forward to sharing the results of this first Australian trial following installation.’ said John.

President of Identiflight, Tom Hiester, said IdentiFlight is pleased to be partnering with Goldwind.

‘We developed IdentiFlight to promote the successful coexistence of avian wildlife and wind energy. Results from IdentiFlight trials on wind farms in the US have demonstrated its effectiveness in mitigating impacts on the iconic bald and golden eagles.’ said Tom.

Construction of the Cattle Hill Wind Farm commenced earlier this year and is progressing well with the first wind turbine foundation expected to be poured shortly.

Once operational, the wind farm will power approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes. This increases Tasmania’s on-island renewable energy generation capacity by approximately 5 per cent and contributes to Tasmania’s ambitious target of becoming fully self-sufficient with renewable energy by 2022.

Source: Goldwind Australia



Snowy 2.0

Snowy Hydro Limited is seeking NSW state government planning approvals for Snowy 2.0 Main Works covering the major project elements including the underground power station, power waterways, access tunnels and access, power supply and communications infrastructure, as well as supporting infrastructure to enable construction. It also includes the operation of Snowy 2.0, which Snowy Hydro is proposing to build and operate to increase the pumped hydroelectric capacity within the existing Snowy Scheme by linking the Tantangara and Talbingo reservoirs with tunnels feeding a new underground power station. Snowy 2.0 Main Works has a capital investment value of $4,5bil and will create 1500 construction jobs.


Pumped hydro power station aims to double capacity

30 October

Nestled in the NSW Southern Highlands 150kms south of Sydney, Origin’s Shoalhaven pumped hydro scheme is a quiet achiever.

One of Australia’s few examples of pumped hydro in operation, the scheme has delivered clean, green electricity since it was commissioned in 1977. Today it plays a key role in managing water security for the people of New South Wales.

As well as moving drinking water across a nearby range, the scheme acts like a giant battery. It can pump water up to the elevated reservoirs when energy demand and prices are low, to be later released to create electricity when demand rises.

Unlike a traditional hydroelectric plant, the scheme can move water between the upper and lower reservoirs on-demand, and reuse water over and over again.

Cascading water through Kangaroo Valley and Bendeela hydroelectric plants, the Shoalhaven scheme today has a capacity of 240MW.

That could be set to grow, with ARENA today announcing $2 million in funding for Origin to assess the feasibility of increasing capacity to 475MW.

That would provide enough energy to power an additional 80,000 homes.

The ARENA funded study will build on pre-feasibility investigations undertaken earlier this year by Origin, which assessed three options to expand the scheme.

The full feasibility study will be based on their preferred option, which bypasses the Kangaroo Valley Power Station and pumps water from Lake Yarrunga to Fitzroy Falls Reservoir.

The project is aided by work to future proof the Shoalhaven scheme when it was originally constructed – meaning dams, pipeline easements and transmission connections are already in place.


Whether delivered by big batteries, solar, hydrogen or other technologies, there is no question that energy storage will be an integral part of the future energy network.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said Origin’s Shoalhaven pumped hydro power station is leading the way for other pumped hydro developments.

“For more than forty years, Shoalhaven’s pumped hydro scheme has delivered reliable renewable power to the NSW grid,” Darren Miller said.

Compared with other options on the table, pumped hydro makes a strong case. Limited only by the volume of the upper reservoir, pumped hydro can supply more energy for longer than the other available technologies.

“Expanding this scheme would provide more electricity over a shorter period. This would allow Origin to deliver capacity when it needed – when demand is high or renewable output is low,” Mr Miller said.

With solar and wind impacted by cloud cover, low winds, and the daily disruption of nighttime, this supply will be vital to bolster renewables as they do more of the heavy lifting.

Origin’s preferred option for the expansion

“The findings from the Shoalhaven study will help to plan the other hydro energy projects in the pipeline. There is so much potential in this technology, which can be seen in the work underway on Snowy 2.0, Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiatives, Kidston in Queensland, EnergyAustralia’s seawater pumped hydro project in Cultana and the Iron Duchess in South Australia,” he said.

“We know that storage, from both pumped hydro and batteries, will be key to transitioning to renewable energy in Australia,” Mr Miller said.

While the electricity system can cope with a lot more variable renewable energy in the system before storage is needed in significant quantities, pumped hydro is shaping up as an important storage technology – particularly for longer durations.

Origin executive general manager energy supply and operations Greg Jarvis welcomed ARENA’s support for the feasibility study into the proposed project.

“Shoalhaven is in the unique position of having much of the required infrastructure needed for expansion already in place,” Greg Jarvis said.

“This means it can be developed with less community and environmental impacts and in a shorter timeframe compared to developing the same amount of additional capacity as a greenfields project,” he said.

Unlike other storage projects being considered, Shoalhaven has been supplying electricity to the grid for more than 40 years, so it’s potential is well understood.

“This is a strong prospect for future expansion, because Shoalhaven can feed electricity into the grid in as little as three minutes, therefore improving reliability and complementing growing intermittent renewables in the system.

“We will now get on with important assessments and the necessary regulatory approvals that may allow us to double Shoalhaven’s generating capacity in the future,” Mr Jarvis said.

Source: ARENA


JinkoSolar to supply 255MWp solar panels to one of the year’s largest solar farms in Australia

31 October

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (“JinkoSolar” or “Company”), (NYSE code:JKS)one of the world's largest solar module manufacturers, announced today that it has entered into the Contract for the Supply of PV Modules with Decmil Australia Pty Ltd on September 27, 2018, for supply 255MWp of its high efficient solar panels for the Sunraysia Solar Farm (“Project”) developed by Maoneng Group.

The Sunraysia Solar Farm is expected to be the largest solar farm to have commenced construction in Australia this year and will also be one of the largest solar farms in the world upon construction completion. The Project will also include a large scale battery storage array.

The Project is being developed by Maoneng Group (“Maoneng”), an Australian-Chinese developer, owner and operator of renewable power generation assets. Maoneng has a development pipeline of 500MW of solar farms within Australia and sells energy and large-scale generation certificates (“LGCs”) to Australian businesses and governments through a combination of medium and long-term contracts. Maoneng commissioned a 13MW solar farm under the ACT Government’s Reverse Solar Auction scheme in November 2016. Maoneng reached Financial Close for the 255MWp Sunraysia Solar Farm in October 2018.

The Sunraysia project forms a key step of AGL Energy (“AGL”)’s plan to replace the aging and increasingly decrepit Liddell coal-fired generator. This Project is underpinned by two world class Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) under which UNSW Sydney and AGL purchase energy over 15 years. The Project is expected to generate around 400 construction jobs in Balranald, leading to significant local economic growth and creating opportunities among local community as to participate in the renewable energy sector.

JinkoSolar has been chosen to supply all 255MWp panels, including its latest HC Cheetah series products, for the Project attributable to the high efficiency and reliability of its solar panels, its plentiful experiences in global utility-scale projects, and good records of duly delivery.

“JinkoSolar has demonstrated professionalism as a tier one global manufacturer. We look forward to the cooperation with JinkoSolar not only on this Sunraysia Solar Farm over the next 14 months, but also on future pipeline projects in Australia and the greater South East Asia region." said Morris Zhou, Group Executive Director of Maoneng.

“JinkoSolar’s panels deliver cost-competitive power with proven long-term reliability, and we are proud to play a significant role in serving AGL's goals for generating clean and renewable solar power," said Gener Miao, Sales & Marketing VP of JinkoSolar.

Source: JinkoSolar



Cohuna Solar Farm

Federal Department of Environment has declared Leeson Group’s 34.2 MW Cohuna Solar Farm, near Horfield in northern Victoria, is not a controlled action and so its approval is not required. The 34.2 MW project already has council approval and was announced in October as a successful applicant for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target tender. Grid connection negotiations are in a late stage, with construction expected to start in April next year.


Prairie Solar Farm

Pacific Hydro’s 240 MW Prairie Solar Farm in Mitiamo, 65 km from Bendigo in Victoria, declared not a controlled action by the federal government. Development application submitted to Loddon Council in June this year.


Emerging Energy Program

This program will encourage private sector investment to support the next generation of large-scale energy and storage projects in NSW. 

The Emerging Energy Program will be technology neutral. Eligible projects must demonstrate that they can provide dispatchable or on-demand energy to help meet the state’s energy needs. 

Funding will be provided to commercialise these projects, as well as support pre-investment studies to help get new projects off the ground. The program is expected to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in additional private sector investment and a significant number of jobs for regional NSW. 

The Emerging Energy Program Factsheet and Overview provide further information ahead of the Program opening for registration and a call for an Expression of Interest, expected in the first quarter of 2019. The full Program Guidelines will be released at this time.

An Industry Briefing was held on 31 October 2018 at NSW Parliament House with almost 400 people attending in person and over 120 people watching on line.

To receive further information and updates about this program, please register your interest by emailing 

Source: NSW Government


Tilt Renewables announces Dundonnell Final Investment Decision and Interim Results

31 October

Dundonnell Wind Farm

The Board of Tilt Renewables Limited (“Tilt Renewables”) today approved the $560 million Dundonnell Wind Farm project to proceed to financial close. This is expected to occur before the end of 2018, with construction planned to start in early 2019 in order to achieve full commercial operations by September 2020.

Also, Tilt Renewables has today executed another 15-year offtake contract with an investment grade counterparty for a further 50% of the capacity of the wind farm which in addition to the VRET Support Agreement at approximately 37% of the output, brings the total contracting level to 87%. Deion Campbell, CEO of Tilt Renewables commented “these contracts substantially de-risk this project and demonstrate our ability to execute our strategy”.

Interim Results for the period ended 30 September 2018 (“1H FY19”)

Tilt Renewables Limited consolidated EBITDAF1 was $66.9 million for 1H FY19, up 36% on the corresponding period from the previous year (“1H FY18”). The strong financial performance was driven by wind conditions above long-term expectations across the New Zealand and Australian portfolio, and the first contribution of electricity production from Salt Creek Wind Farm commissioned in July 2018. Tilt Renewables’ wind assets produced 1,070 GWh in 1H FY19, 23% higher than 1H FY18 and 58 GWh above long-term expectations.

Underlying Net Profit After Tax for 1H FY19 was $3.8 million and as at 30 September 2018, Tilt Renewables had a net debt position of $591 million.

The Directors also approved an interim unfranked and unimputed dividend of AUD 1.60 cents per share, with a record date of 16 November 2018 and payment date of 30 November 2018. As previously announced Tilt Renewables guidance for Underlying EBITDAF for the year ending 31 March 2019 has now been revised up from a range of $120 – $127 million to a new range of $134 – $138 million.

Source: Tilt Renewables


Our commitment to renewables gets a big boost

31 October

Our goal to source 25 per cent of energy for our customers from renewables by 2020 has taken a significant step forward with the commencement of commissioning for Bungala 2 Solar Farm in South Australia this week.

Ramp up of Bungala 2 follows commissioning of its sister farm Bungala 1 in September. The two Enel Green Power plants, covering 600 hectares of land and consisting of about 800,000 solar panels, bring the Bungala project to an operating capacity of 220 MW, making it Australia’s largest solar farm completed to date with the potential to power more than 95,000 homes.

All of the power generated by Bungala 1 and 2 will go to Origin customers through power purchase agreements with global renewables giant Enel Green Power.

Bungala is one of a number of Origin solar projects expected to be commissioned by the end of the year, including Clare, Daydream and Darling Downs solar farm in Queensland. Together, these developments will add 376 MW of emissions-free solar energy to Origin’s portfolio.

Next year, we will add a further 530 MW of wind to our renewables portfolio with the commissioning of the Stockyard Hill wind farm near Ballarat in Victoria. When commissioning of Stockyard Hill is complete, renewables will represent nearly 1,650 MW of Origin’s total capacity.

Origin was the first Australian company to announce a science-based emissions reduction target to halve our direct emissions by 2032. We will do this by exiting coal by 2032, increasing our reliance on gas and adding more renewable energy to our portfolio.

Source: Origin Energy


Rugby Run Solar Farm reached mechanical completion

1 November

Adani Renewables Australia’s Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah has reached mechanical completion, with more than 247,000 solar panels installed.

The facility will deliver up to 65MW and 185,000MWh of power each year, which is about how much energy it takes to power 23,000 homes each year, Adani Renewables Australia says.

Chief executive officer Dr Jennifer Purdie the project team was now preparing for final works so it could deliver energy to customers from early next year.

“We have forward sold 80 per cent of energy generated already, and we will sell the remaining 20 per cent on the spot market,” she said.

Final works at the 670ha site will include completing electrical connection works and energizing the solar farm.

Dr Purdie said Adani Renewables Australia had been able to use local contractors from Clermont, Chinchilla, Bowen and Townsville to ensure the benefits of this investment were focused in regional Queensland.

The Rugby Run solar farm is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2019, with the potential to expand to a 170MW farm at a later date.

Technical details:

- 3 million galvanized zip ties to be used in the stringing of electrical cables

- More than 247,000 solar panels installed

- 175 jobs at peak construction

- 18km of fence line installed

- 2km of road built to access site

- 6,500 holes pre-drilled

- The solar panels rotate to track the sun and maximize efficiency

- The solar panels are programmed to rest at an angle that withstands inclement wind and weather conditions.

- 65MW solar farm with the capacity to expand to 170MW.

Source: Adani



Pallamana Solar Farm

Plans for RES Australia’s $350mil Pallamana Solar Farm and Battery Storage Facility placed on public exhibition by SA Planning Commission until 30 November. The proposal comprises a 176 MW solar farm (approximately 690,000 solar photovoltaic panels mounted on single axis tracker structures) and ancillary structures (including inverters, transformers, underground cabling and security fencing); a 66 MW (140 MWh) Lithium Ion battery facility and ancillary structures (including inverters and transformers); control building; storage shed; switch yard; 132kV overhead transmission line connection to an existing substation and a temporary construction compound.


Lakeland Wind Farm

Windlab submits generation authority application to Queensland state government for its Lakeland Wind Farm, located 7km north-west of the township of Lakeland and 60km south-west of Cooktown in the Cook Shire in North Queensland. The 106.4 MW wind farm will connect to Ergon Energy’s distribution network at the Lakeland substation.


Wave Swell Energy to finalise fund raising for King Island Project via crowdfunding

Wave Swell Energy will finalise the capital raising required to fund its King Island wave energy project with a round of equity crowdfunding beginning October 25, 2018. The round will be conducted by Equitise, a major Australian crowdfunding platform. Wave Swell has already secured more than 80% of the funding required for the King Island project and crowdfunding is expected to provide the remaining portion.

Investors can purchase shares in Wave Swell via this crowdfunding opportunity, benefiting not only from any financial gains, but also participating in the development of a new renewable energy technology that is expected to eventually make a meaningful contribution to the world's energy mix. The minimum investment in this round is $480.

CoFounder of Equitise, Chris Gilbert, says Wave Swell Energy is not only an Australian company at the forefront of technology advancements, but one of the best investment opportunities he’s seen. You can find more information on the investment opportunity and the technology and King Island project by clicking here.

Source: Wave Swell Energy



Port Latta Wind Farm

Nekon Pty Ltd’s proposed Port Latta Wind Farm in Tasmania declared not a controlled action by the federal government. The project has also achieved Circular Head Council and state government approvals. The wind farm will have seven turbines with up to 25 MW capacity on a project site covering an area of approximately 656 hectares located across three lots. Nekon is planning to start construction of the project in early 2019.


Investing for impact and innovation: CEFC Annual Report 2017-18

1 November

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation Annual Report for 2017-18 has been tabled in the Australian Senate, fulfilling an important part of the CEFC’s transparency, information sharing and regulatory obligations. The digital version of the report is available on the CEFC website.

2017-18 Highlights:

The CEFC set new records in the number and value of investment commitments in 2017-18, delivering a heightened focus on some of the nation’s toughest emissions challenges through our support for innovative projects, technologies and investment partnerships across Australia.

− In five years of investing, CEFC commitments have contributed to clean energy projects Australia-wide, with a total project value of around $19 billion. We have directly invested in more than 110 individual transactions and financed more than 5,500 smaller-scale clean energy projects through our partners.

− In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, the CEFC directly committed to 39 transactions, up from 36 direct investments in 2016-17. Total new CEFC commitments in 2017-18 were $2.3 billion, up from $2.1 billion in the previous year.

− New commitments in 2017-18 included $1.1 billion in renewable energy, $944 million in energy efficiency, $100 million in transport and $127 million in waste-related projects, demonstrating the diversity of our approach to finance and investment.

− Taking into account our full portfolio of investment commitments since 2013, lifetime cuts to greenhouse gas emissions of more than 190 million tonnes of CO2-e are forecast (once funds are deployed and projects are fully operational).

In his Chair’s Report, Chair Steven Skala AO commented: “The CEFC has a clear charter to be a catalyst for investment in and financing of clean energy to achieve the long-term goal of decarbonising the Australian economy. We are a global leader amongst institutions of our type. Our methodology is to seek to crowd in private sector investment and engage capital markets to operate effectively in the private energy sector.

“A record $2.3 billion in new investment commitments were made during the year. These investments include marquee projects and highlight that decarbonisation can be achieved profitably and effectively right across the clean energy sector – in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and waste-related projects. The types of underlying assets that attract CEFC investment commitments are broad and touch all aspects of our national economy.

“This year has seen industry seizing the challenges and opportunities offered by decarbonisation and accelerating its consideration of emerging duties associated with carbon disclosure. The financial markets have also moved in this regard. The question now is not one of direction, but of pace. This means the CEFC will continue to have a significant number of opportunities available in its investment pipeline.”

In his report CEO Ian Learmonth said: “Much has changed since the CEFC began investing in 2013. From our early days largely focusing on renewable energy opportunities, we now see our capital working right across the economy, in an increasingly diverse range of projects.

“We see clean energy technologies embraced by home owners and small businesses; essential infrastructure projects and landmark property developments; innovative start-ups and institutional investors with an eye to a sustainable future.

“In 2017-18, our most active year of investment, we see a common thread in this activity: a focus on embracing technological innovation to cut energy costs and lower emissions.”

The 2017-18 Annual Report provides insights into the CEFC’s economy-wide investment focus, as well as emerging trends in the clean energy sector. Details on the performance of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, Sustainable Cities Investment Program and Reef Funding Program are also included.

Mr Learmonth added: “In the year ahead, we will sharpen our focus on the emissions impact of our investments – from the direct carbon reductions of projects we finance, to the indirect demonstration benefits of the projects and companies we invest in, and our increasing focus on biocarbon. While the pace of the clean energy transition varies from year to year, our investment pipeline is robust. We look forward to expanding our work alongside market leading businesses, entrepreneurs and developers for the benefit of the Australian community.”

Source: CEFC



Northam Solar Farm

The 10 MW Northam Solar Farm is being constructed approximately 100kms east of Perth. Construction works are now well advanced and the project remains on track to commence commercial operations in the last quarter of the 2018 calendar year as previously communicated. All of the solar modules and tracking systems are now installed, all four medium voltage substations and inverters are installed and grid connections works is complete. Site acceptance testing is also well progressed ahead of project commissioning.


Snowy Hydro signs game-changing deals

1 November

Snowy Hydro announced the signing of eight wind and solar contracts today to provide cheaper energy to 500,000 households.

The eight projects, totalling 888 megawatts (MW), are located across New South Wales and Victoria and are expected to generate about 2.8 terawatt hours of energy annually.

The new renewable energy generation, ‘firmed’ by existing Snowy Hydro assets, is a game-changer and will push down future energy prices. This will bring on significant new energy supply and therefore much-needed competition to the market, and will enable Snowy Hydro to pass on lower wholesale prices to our customers.

The renewable energy we have contracted will enable Snowy Hydro to offer very competitive, firm wholesale prices (ie. the cost of the raw renewable energy plus the cost of ‘firming’) - for below $70/MWh for a flat load, for up to 15 years.

Snowy Hydro is a key provider of fast-start, “capacity”-type products, and we keep the lights on at times of high demand. However, we are ‘energy short’ (meaning that we do not generate enough energy from own power stations to cover all of our customers) so we have to purchase energy from the wholesale market. We are one of the largest energy buyers in the NEM and, just like households, we are exposed to high wholesale prices.

Over the last 12 months, there have been rapid changes in the NEM and competitive pricing across all generation technologies has seen the cost of renewables fall.

Snowy Hydro was overwhelmed with the level of interest in our Renewable Energy Procurement Program, which saw more than 17,600MW of projects submitted through the procurement process. All eight winning projects are expected to come online within the next two years.

Snowy Hydro’s existing hydro, gas and diesel assets give us the ability to ‘firm’ up vast amounts of intermittent renewable generation today to ensure energy is available when needed.

In simple terms, ‘firming’ works by transforming intermittent energy into reliable energy so it’s available on-demand when a customer needs it. While the energy output of individual projects varies, Snowy Hydro’s power stations can work in combination with wind and solar, creating ‘firm’ reliable energy.

Snowy Hydro owns Red Energy and Lumo Energy, which together have more than one million customers.

Source: Snowy Hydro


Lightsource BP wins Snowy Hydro tender

1 November

105 MWp of solar power to be supplied via Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Lightsource BP, a global developer, owner and operator of solar energy projects announced today that they have been successful in a bid to provide renewable energy to Snowy Hydro in New South Wales via a solar PPA.

Snowy Hydro, a government owned entity which owns, operates and maintains the 4.1GW Snowy Mountains hydro scheme, is the fourth largest energy retailer in the National Electricity Market.

The Lightsource BP bid was one of eight projects to win across this tender and will take the form of a ground-mounted solar installation that is fully funded, constructed and maintained by Lightsource BP, providing power to Snowy Hydro via a 15-year PPA.

Adam Pegg, Lightsource BP Country Manager for Australia, says: “At Lightsource BP, we pride ourselves in offering global solar energy solutions that are competitively priced to our customers. Our success in this bid, reaffirms that capability. This project will further establish ourselves as a key solar developer, owner and operator across the Australian energy market.”

Snowy Hydro’s CEO, Paul Broad, said it was great to sign a solar offtake agreement with Lightsource BP. “Snowy Hydro’s Renewable Energy Procurement Program was massively oversubscribed. More than 17,600 megawatts of projects were submitted through the competitive process and 888 megawatts across eight contracts were signed. Snowy Hydro selected those projects that offered competitive pricing and had credible pathways to commissioning in the next few years.”

David Windle, President for Solar Energy globally at BP said, “Next year marks 100 years of BP operations in Australia. Solar is one of the fastest growing sources of energy worldwide. We are excited that Lightsource BP is part of this growth and that, through Lightsource BP, we are extending our portfolio in the country to include renewable energy”.

Source: Lightsource BP


Metz Solar Farm

Clenergy’s 143 MW (dc) Metz Solar Farm, 18km east of Armidale in northern NSW, gains full development approvals with the federal government declaring the proposal not a controlled action under the EPBC Act. Metz Solar Farm will use Tier-1 solar panels and SMA inverters. Clenergy has an RFP process underway to select the main EPC contractor.

The Metz Solar Farm received state planning approval in July 2017, AEMO and Transgrid grid-connection approval was secured in July 2018, and it’s anticipated the project will start construction in early 2019. It’s understood Metz Solar Farm was a successful applicant in utility Snowy Hydro’s renewable energy tender announced this week.