What's involved in meeting the energy investment challenge?

 13 April

A new report released today outlines the likely investment required in large-scale generation to 2030 across Australia, to meet reliability and emissions requirements. It also underscores the importance of policy certainty to ensure the scale of investment required can be achieved, and that private investment cannot be taken for granted.

The report, by Newgrange Consulting, was commissioned by the Australian Energy Council and estimates that around $25 billion in investment will be needed to 2030. The largest proportion of investment is expected to go into new wind farms (51 per cent), followed by pumped hydro, large-scale solar and battery storage. The remainder of the investment is expected to be made in solar thermal and gas-fired power plants. These shares are predictions based on projections of relative technology costs assuming the market is allowed to choose the best way to meet customers’ need for reliable supply and the commonwealth’s emissions target for the sector. If the market is distorted or policy remains uncertain, costs will be higher.

Find the full report here.

Source: Energy Council

 

South Fremantle Solar Farm approved

13 April

The City of Fremantle has granted approval for the South Fremantle Solar Farm, enabling the reuse and renewal of one of the City’s largest landfill sites.

The proposed solar farm will cover approximately 8 hectares of the 19.4 hectare former South Fremantle landfill site and produce up to 4.9 Megawatts of power.

The project offers an excellent example of the careful reuse of a contaminated site which would otherwise not be available for development. A solar farm provides an ideal use of the site until longer-term remediation and development options can be delivered.

Epuron will lease the site from City of Fremantle, who will retain ongoing landfill management responsibilities.

Anthony Melov, Project Director, said “Epuron thanks the community for coming on board with this solar farm project. We particularly thank the City of Fremantle staff and officers, with whom we have worked over the last two years to progress the project to this point”.

Epuron’s Executive Director, Martin Poole, said “After almost 15 years working on wind and solar projects around Australia, Epuron continues to be committed to the clean, new energy system that Australians, and importantly our children, expect and demand”.

Epuron is now finalising the grid connection arrangements with Western Power, lease terms with the City and its designs in preparation for construction. Epuron looks forward to the South Fremantle Solar Farm progressing to construction to capture the full benefits it will bring to the community.

Source: Epuron

 

Allens advises Powerchina Resources Ltd on Cattle Hill Wind Farm investment

13 April

Allens has advised Powerchina Resources Ltd (PCR) on its purchase of an 80 per cent stake in Goldwind's Cattle Hill Wind Farm development project.

Located in Tasmania and due for completion in 2019, Cattle Hill Wind Farm will use 48 wind turbines to produce up to 150 megawatts of renewable energy. The wind farm will be one of the largest in Tasmania once completed.

Goldwind will retain the remaining 20 per cent stake in the project.

Allens collaborated with Linklaters to advise on all aspects of the deal in Australia and China, including legal due diligence and transaction documents.

PCR is the overseas investment arm of the Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd, one of China's biggest multinationals.

This acquisition marks PCR's entry into the Australian renewable energy market.

'We congratulate PCR on its first investment in the Australian renewable energy market,' said partner Kate Axup (view CV), who jointly led the Allens team with partner Wendy Rae.

This transaction builds on Allens' extensive experience in renewable energy, with the firm having recently advised on the sale of the 453MW Coopers Gap wind farm project to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund and currently advising on the sale of a number of First Solar's development assets.

Source: Allens

 

Market update – new substantial holder

16 April

Infigen Energy (ASX: IFN) met on 13 April 2018 with representatives of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (“Brookfield”) to discuss their interest in Infigen Energy following its recent purchase of 9% of Infigen securities.

Chairman Len Gill said that the discussions were constructive and Infigen Energy is pleased to have Brookfield join the register as a strategic investor with a long term interest in Infigen.

“Brookfield can clearly bring significant value to our business because of their global experience in the renewable energy sector. They indicated their support for Infigen Energy and its business strategy and a willingness to assist us to identify options to create value for all security holders through growth,” Mr Gill said.

Mr Gill also noted discussions between Brookfield and Infigen Energy were exploratory and preliminary and may not lead to any outcomes. Mr Gill said that these discussions were consistent with earlier, initiatory approaches that Infigen had received from Brookfield to discuss their interest in becoming a strategic security holder and a potential capital partner. Infigen notes market speculation around an M&A transaction but advises that Brookfield has stated that, while obviously reserving their rights to alter their views in the future, particularly if a third party proposal were made, they have no current intention of making a takeover offer for Infigen Energy.

Source: Infigen Energy

 

Identifying Australia’s best sites for pumped hydro development

16 April

There are many thousands of potential sites for pumped hydro energy storage developments across Australia, but how can a developer filter these down to the best few?

As Australia’s energy market progressively transitions from ageing thermal generation to increasing amounts of wind and solar, there are ample chances to explore and develop the energy storage solutions needed to mitigate the challenges that may come with the introduction of more renewables into the energy market.

With increased intermittent renewables, we will require more storage to smooth out the variability of weather-dependent generation so that energy is available on demand. As well, we will need storage that provides the inertia, voltage and frequency control required for a stable, reliable grid.

The key to successfully embracing these energy storage opportunities will lie in identifying the right mix of technology, capacity and site; however, pinpointing potentially viable projects is complex. A theoretical or academic approach won’t be enough to ensure a future project’s success in the real world.

Pumped hydro is a highly efficient, longer-duration solution with a proven track record, and its future is bright as Australia seeks cost-effective, reliable options to make intermittent renewables ‘dispatchable’.

There are thousands of potential pumped hydro sites across Australia. This means that developers and investors need smart methods of filtering to reduce the many possibilities to just a few ideal sites.

A pumped hydro project is a major capital investment. Getting site selection right is the foundation for success, as it will determine the likelihood of achieving a design that is both technically and commercially feasible with the right mix of capacity and costs.

Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia offers a head start in site selection

Entura has produced a practical atlas of pumped hydro energy storage opportunities to support development of dispatchable renewable energy generation across Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM).

Through an exhaustive process, the atlas filtered many thousands of potential sites down to the best 20 around Australia. It is already being used by leading renewable energy company Hydro Tasmania to shortlist potential pumped hydro sites for the ‘Battery of the Nation’ initiative (a major Tasmanian initiative looking at how Tasmania could deliver more clean, reliable and cost competitive energy to Australia’s NEM). Identification of promising pumped hydro sites through the atlas also offers opportunities for developers in states such as South Australia and Queensland, which have set ambitious renewables targets and must maintain energy security.

Entura’s Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia takes into account far more than the basics of identifying ideal topography and a source of water. It also accounts for other practical factors that can make or break a project: such as proximity to and location within the transmission network, land-use constraints and environmental risks, and the practicalities and costs of construction and ongoing operation. This makes it a real-world, relevant resource identifying the best sites for pumped storage projects across the NEM.

Developing the Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia

Originally commissioned by Hydro Tasmania, the Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia was completed in October 2017. The journey began with a literature review, appraising previous studies. This informed the development of a set of rules, assumptions and algorithms for a GIS-based study of different reservoir types and pairing mechanisms, which were tested on pilot sites.

Using these algorithms, more than 200 000 pairing reservoirs were identified across the NEM states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory). State-based heat maps of potential sites for pumped hydro development were prepared, along with a summary of all key characteristics for each pairing reservoir set, such as installed capacity, energy storage, distance from the nearest substation, gross head, approximate headloss in the waterways, and active reservoir volume.

A subsequent stage of refinement prioritised high-potential sites in some states. This process took into account greater practical detail, such as costings, practical engineering aspects, environmental approvals and risks, realistic high-level arrangements, proximity to other generators, and characteristics of hydrology and energy storage. This stage identified more than 5000 unique potential sites, which were then further refined with a set of rules to select the best pairing reservoir at each site. The approximately 5000 sites were reduced to approximately 500 of the most attractive options: those with an average head of more than 300 m with relatively short distances between the reservoirs.

This exhaustive refining process ultimately resulted in a shortlist of twenty promising sites across different states, with a desktop review of geology, high-level engineering arrangements, and approvals requirements. For each site a map was prepared including locality, land use, planning zones, and key characteristics of the potential pumped hydro project.

The Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia is an example of how applied hydropower engineering can be used to create practical outputs, which are ready to be applied in the real world. Overlaying the outputs of this atlas with any new wind and solar development across the NEM could result in opportunities to invest in dispatchable renewable energy generation hubs capable of replacing thermal generation assets as they retire.

Pumped hydro energy storage will no doubt play a major role in the development and expansion of networks powered by renewable energy – in Australia and around the world. As Australia’s electricity mix evolves, so will the economics of storage. While forecasting revenue for storage projects in the Australian electricity market is still somewhat uncertain, there are many opportunities in both the existing and emerging markets to guarantee project revenues to a level sufficient to satisfy a lender’s requirements. The opportunity for investors seeking a head start in this emerging market is now.

If you would like to discuss how Entura can help you with your pumped hydro or renewable energy project, please contact Mohsen Moeini on +61 421 461 545 or Alan Barrett on +61 437 102 756.

Source: Entura

 

Rural communities receive windfalls from wind farms

16 April

Wind farm construction has delivered an economic boost of almost $4 billion to regional Australia, according to a new report by the Australian Wind Alliance (AWA).

The report details the direct and indirect financial and social benefits to Australia’s regional communities from wind power, and shows the complete list of wind farm Community Enhancement Funds across Australia for the first time.

The Australian Wind Alliance estimates $10.5 billion could be delivered to host communities across the 25-year life span of Australia’s existing wind farms and wind farms under construction.

“Australia’s 82 operational wind farms are delivering significant financial and social benefits to their host communities,” said Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the AWA.

“Wind power is making a long-lasting, positive contribution to rural Australia’s social fabric.

“With COAG due to consider the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) later this week, it’s crucial States insist on the right policy settings to make sure this boom continues and delivers even greater benefits for rural communities.”

As Australia builds enough new wind power to meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target and the cost of wind energy continues to fall rapidly driving further installations, regional Australia will continue to benefit.

Charlie Prell is the NSW organiser for the AWA and a sheep farmer from Crookwell, NSW. Part of the Crookwell II Wind Farm is currently being constructed on his farm.

“I decided to construct wind turbines on my own property all the way back in 2001. This helped me stave off bankruptcy when increasing droughts caused by climate change threatened to make my farm financially unsustainable,” said Mr Prell.

“The wind turbines mean my family now has a future but it also means a better future for my local community too because the money I make from hosting them on my land is spent at local businesses. It has enabled me to make repairs to my farm and hire local workers to carry them out.

“Sharing benefits equitably and effectively with local communities ensures these projects generate not just much-needed clean energy, but also strengthen the social and economic health of regional Australia.”

The report, Building Stronger Communities: wind's growing role in regional Australia, can be found here.

A fact-sheet about the report can be found here.

Source: Australian Wind Alliance

 

ReNu Energy executes Head of Terms with international investment fund to develop $100m bioenergy business

17 April

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to announce that it has agreed Heads of Terms with Resonance Asset Management Limited (“Resonance”) for the sale for cash of a 70% majority equity stake in ReNu Energy’s existing bioenergy assets (the “Proposed Transaction”). Resonance advises the specialised international infrastructure investment fund, Resonance Industrial Water Infrastructure Fund Limited (“RIWIF”), which intends to make the investment.

Under the terms of the Proposed Transaction, Resonance will also have a First Right of Refusal to make further investments to support the development and growth of a combined bioenergy business portfolio with ReNu Energy of up to A$100m in Australia and New Zealand.

The completion of the Proposed Transaction, and further investments are subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence and the subsequent approval by both ReNu Energy and RIWIF Boards.

Highlights of the Proposed Transaction

  • RIWIF to have First Right of Refusal to fund 70% of the capital investment in each new bioenergy project initiated by ReNu Energy up to an aggregate portfolio value of A$100 million.
  • RIWIF’s initial investment under the Proposed Transaction is anticipated to be up to A$6.0 million to:

o acquire a 70% interest from ReNu Energy of its existing bioenergy assets; and

o fund 70% of the proposed AJ Bush bioenergy “G4” expansion project.

  • ReNu Energy to:

o retain a 30% interest in the existing and future bioenergy assets developed with RIWIF; and

o provide construction, asset management and operation and maintenance services under commercial agreements for all existing and future bioenergy assets jointly owned by RIWIF and ReNu Energy.

In the Proposed Transaction, RIWIF intends to invest up to A$6.0 million to acquire a 70% equity interest in ReNu Energy’s existing bioenergy assets and fund its 70% share of the development of the AJ Bush bioenergy “G4” expansion project.

ReNu Energy’s two existing operational bioenergy projects are the Goulburn Bioenergy Project located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir and the AJ Bush Bioenergy Project located at the A.J. Bush and Sons (Manufacturers) Pty Ltd rendering plant. The proposed AJ Bush bioenergy “G4” expansion project was previously announced on 5 March 2018.

The investment in the Proposed Transaction by RIWIF will be staged as the conditions precedent for acquisition of each of the existing bioenergy assets are met. ReNu Energy will retain a 30% equity interest in the bioenergy asset portfolio and will operate the bioenergy business under a long term operation and maintenance agreement and will enter an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the AJ Bush bioenergy “G4” expansion project and subsequent projects.

Under the terms of the Proposed Transaction, ReNu Energy will continue business development activities to grow the portfolio of bioenergy assets, with RIWIF retaining the first right of refusal to fund 70% of the capital investment in bioenergy projects initiated by ReNu Energy up to an aggregate portfolio value of $100 million.

Execution of binding agreements is subject to completion of due diligence by both parties, the approval of both ReNu Energy and RIWIF’s Boards and necessary regulatory and third-party approvals.

ReNu Energy’s CEO Mr Craig Ricato said: “This proposed investment by Resonance Industrial Water Infrastructure Fund in our existing bioenergy assets and their ongoing commitment to significantly grow the portfolio with us is an outstanding result for ReNu Energy. It validates the strong potential and value which we see in the Australian and New Zealand bioenergy market. The proposed transaction enables ReNu Energy to retain and capitalise on our expertise to further develop, construct, manage, operate and maintain bioenergy projects, whilst freeing up capital for investment in our growing portfolio of renewable energy projects. We believe that the net result will be a more resilient business.

“The installed capacity of bioenergy facilities in Australia and New Zealand trails that of Europe and the USA, and we believe that there is opportunity for over 100 new bioenergy projects in Australia alone using these established technologies. RIWIF’s financial backing will enable ReNu Energy to more vigorously pursue opportunities to provide clean, affordable energy to the agricultural and food-processing industries”, said Mr Ricato.

Nick Wood, CEO of Resonance Asset Management said: “RIWIF invest in long term income generating Industrial Water Assets, providing sustainable improvements to the environment. We are delighted to be partnering with ReNu Energy as they build out their Bioenergy portfolio across Australia and New Zealand and we look forward to a long-term relationship with them.”

Source: ReNu Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Yarwun Solar Farm

Located: Yarwun, Queensland

Capacity: 32 MW

Developer: Renew Estate

LGA: Gladstone

Description: Located approximately 7km west of Gladstone on 67 hectares of land that is currently used for grazing. The project is expected to produce over 65 GWh of renewable energy each year, enough to power approximately 10,000 Australian homes. Based on the current project timeline Yarwun Solar Farm would commence construction in mid-2018 and be operational by early 2019.

Contact: Toby Roxburgh

Director

Renew Estate

Tel: (02) 8459 9704

 

Wodonga Community Solar

17 April

Moreland Energy Foundation, with our partners the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and Akin Consulting, have developed a feasibility and business case for of the City of Wodonga (Council) and Renewable Albury Wodonga (RAW). It investigates the potential for a two-megawatt community solar project to be developed within the municipality, with the community benefit of the project directed to low income households and community education within the Wodonga region.

Partnership model

The Wodonga community, through local community energy group RAW Energy and Council, appointed MEFL to test the conditions in which a community-developer partnership (a type of community energy model) can be successful to demonstrate that a partnership model can work locally. The project was funded through a Victorian Government New Energy Jobs grant.

The feasibility stage of the project engaged local stakeholders and presented a number of potential models for them to consider. The ‘community-developer partnership’ model was chosen as a best fit for the local context and a business case process, involving three potential scenarios, was applied to determine whether this approach to community energy is viable in Wodonga.

Background

The transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources has gathered significant momentum and increasing diversity in Australia in recent years. Strong Victorian government support for community-based organisations pioneering new energy delivery models, is further stimulating a strong ‘community energy’ sector that is seeking to help shape our energy system by creating fairer, locally beneficial models for renewable energy generation.

Recent testing for community investment in renewable energy projects in Australia suggests there is a large and diverse range of community members ready to become ‘ethical investors’ for modest return, low risk opportunities, which have a demonstrated community benefit. This continues to encourage communities like Wodonga to innovate new community investment models and conduct feasibility studies in their local areas as the clean energy transition continues to build momentum.

Source: Moreland Energy Foundation

 

Gannawarra Solar Farm connects to Victorian grid

17 April

  • Gannawarra Solar Farm connected to the grid and is proceeding through the commissioning process
  • To provide renewable power to approximately 18,100 Victorian homes
  • Solar Farm to be integrated with Gannawarra Energy Storage System powered by a Tesla Powerpack battery storage system
  • Creates ability to provide solar power at night
  • Gannawarra Energy Storage System and the Gannawarra Solar Farm will be amongst the largest integrated solar and storage facilities in the world

Sydney, Australia: Australian renewable energy company, Wirsol Energy’s Gannawarra Solar Farm in North-West Victoria is connected to the grid and is energised and is proceeding through the commissioning process. The Solar Farm was developed by, and is owned in conjunction with Edify Energy who have also managed its construction.

The Gannawarra Solar Farm is a 60 Megawatt project and represents the first large-scale solar farm to be constructed and grid connected in Victoria. The commissioning process has commenced and will see the project ramp up over a period of time culminating in full production providing solar power to approximately 18,100 Victorian households. The solar farm is connected on site to Powercor’s 66kV distribution line between Swan Hill and Kerang, providing easy access to Victoria’s power grid.

As announced recently by Wirsol Energy, the solar farm, which is spread over 132 hectares, is to be integrated with the Gannawarra Energy Storage System – a 25MW / 50MWh Tesla Powerpack battery – developed by Edify Energy and owned jointly by Wirsol Energy and Edify Energy. Once completed, which is currently scheduled before Summer 2018, the combined solar and storage facility will be one of the largest in the world, enhancing the reliability of the grid in North-West Victoria, and helping underpin future economic growth.

Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL Energy said: “The Gannawarra solar farm is in every respect a world leading project and is testament to the future role of solar in enhancing energy supply across Australia.”

“We are now connected to the grid and once through commissioning and in full production 18,100 Victorian households will be drawing solar power. The next step is combining the Gannawarra Energy Storage System powered by a Tesla Powerpack battery to the solar farm, which will set a new benchmark for solar projects in this country. The benefits of these types of projects will resonate with Australian consumers and the broader economy for many years.”

 

Source: WIRSOL Energy

 

TECHNOLOGY

Archer to develop carbon-based battery technology with The University of New South Wales

Highlights

  • Collaboration Agreement and Research Service Agreement with The University of New South Wales to focus on carbon-based energy storage technology.
  • The research will seek to develop graphite and graphene-based materials for lithium-ion batteries, potentially generating technologies and patents that have commercial applications in reliable energy.
  • The global lithium-ion battery market is forecast to grow over the next 10 years to US$130 billion1 with major market segments including transportation and mobility.
  • Collaborative effort combines Archer’s graphite and graphene materials with the R&D capability of The University of New South Wales.

Archer Exploration Limited (ASX:AXE, Archer) is pleased to announce the signing of a Collaboration Agreement and a complementary Research Service Agreement with The University of New South Wales (UNSW) which seek to develop and implement Archer’s graphite and graphene materials for use in energy storage system applications targeting lithium-ion batteries.

The research will have the aim of producing technological advances utilising Archer’s graphite and graphene materials and the R&D capability of UNSW, with the University ranking in the top 3% globally in Engineering and Technology, according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings2, and housing world-class facilities for battery materials testing and development at the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The research directly aligns with Archer’s vision of developing and integrating advanced materials, specifically in the focus area of reliable energy for the betterment of society.

The global lithium-ion battery market is forecast to increase to US$130 billion by 20281 with growth concentrated in the Asia Pacific region. Lithium-ion battery devices service a number of growing market segments where high-power density and long life-times are required at ambient and near-ambient conditions:

  • Transportation and mobility (electric vehicles)
  • Mobile devices and computing
  • Intermittent renewable energy sources

The primary focus of the collaboration is on the rational design of high-performance electrodes for lithium-ion batteries using graphite and graphene sourced from Archer’s Campoona deposit. This work is expected to result in the development of electrodes for lithium-ion batteries and the implementation of these electrodes in a number of advanced application fullcell and half-cell configurations. The graphite and graphene-based materials developed would be tailored electronically, chemically and structurally for mobile and stationary device applications with specific performance requirements.

Commenting on the new agreements, Archer Exploration CEO, Dr Mohammad Choucair added, “Archer now enjoys a unique relationship with UNSW and facilities within the University including those in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. This Centre, unique in its diversity in Australia, comprises AUD$100 million of state-of-the-art characterization equipment, managed by over 80 instrument scientists ready to engage and drive research projects within Archer. The Centre has a broad range of capabilities that fulfil our aims to participate in the integration of advanced materials in battery technologies that will provide future opportunities and new markets to underpin the development of Archer’s substantial graphite resources”.

Source: Archer Exploration

 

Planning approval for George Town Solar Farm

18 April

George Town Council has today announced approval for the George Town Solar Farm, which will become Tasmania’s first utility-scale solar farm.

The development will cover approximately 12 hectares and supply up to 5 megawatts (a.c.) of renewable energy to the grid. The project will utilise tracking photovoltaic (PV) systems which will increase the supply output at the start and end of the day when energy demand is high.

Epuron is very excited to progress its first Tasmanian solar farm. This project will offer tangible benefits to the local community whilst diversifying and strengthening the state’s energy mix.

Epuron is now finalising the grid connection arrangements for this project and preparing for construction to commence in 2018. Epuron would like to thank the George Town Council and local community for their support and dedication.

Source: Epuron

 

Keep working on the National Energy Guarantee

18 April

With the COAG Energy Council meeting later this week to consider the National Energy Guarantee, our organisations call for further progress to be made towards designing a workable solution which addresses emissions reduction, reliability, and affordability across our energy system.

Australian industry and households alike require competitively priced energy. Reliable supply is critical to our economy and society. And we all have a stake in achieving Australia’s emissions goals to combat climate change. A durable policy settlement to resolve energy and climate policy uncertainty remains essential to delivering on all three aspects of ‘the energy trilemma’.

This Friday the COAG Energy Council should ask the Energy Security Board to develop and consult on a detailed National Energy Guarantee design for final Council consideration later in 2018.

While the broad framework of the Guarantee is a plausible basis for compromise by all sides, to earn our support the final design will need to preserve competition; harness existing market structures; operate efficiently and equitably; help deliver the electricity we need at the lowest sustainable cost; be scalable and investment-credible; and from the outset help deliver Australia’s long term Paris Agreement emissions reduction commitments. This should be achievable.

There is much more to securing Australia’s energy future than just the National Energy Guarantee. The comprehensive Finkel Review framework for reform remains essential. So is dealing fairly with the consequences of ongoing change in the energy sector for affected businesses, communities, households and workers. And beyond electricity, Australia needs an agreed national climate change policy framework for the whole economy.

Making peace in energy policy, however, can do much to unlock investment and deliver affordability, reliability and our emissions goals.

Endorsed by:

Australian Council of Social Service

Australian Energy Council

Australian Industry Group

Brotherhood of St Laurence

Business Council of Australia

Cement Industry Federation

Chemistry Australia

Clean Energy Council

Energy Efficiency Council

Energy Networks Australia

Energy Users' Association of Australia

Investor Group on Climate Change

National Farmers' Federation

St Vincent de Paul Society

 

NSW to harness power of water for energy

19 April

The NSW Government is inviting the private sector to make new energy investments in the state’s water infrastructure.

Minister for Energy and Utilities, Don Harwin, today announced the NSW Department of Planning and Environment is entering into a partnership with WaterNSW to help boost the state’s energy security.

“We will be engaging the private sector to look at opportunities in pumped hydro, hydro generation and floating solar which sees photovoltaic panels floated on lakes and ponds,” Mr Harwin said.

“We are seeking interest from private companies to look at both large and small-scale opportunities utilising our WaterNSW infrastructure.”

Mr Harwin said “pumped hydro is expected to play an important role in balancing a more diverse energy system, especially as more renewables come online in NSW.

“Over the past six years, the share of renewables in the NSW electricity generation mix has more than doubled.

As at March 2018, over 13,000 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy projects are either approved or progressing through the New South Wales planning system, which represents over $16 billion in investment.

“NSW is geographically blessed with water assets including around 40 dams across the state, some of which could create opportunities for hydroelectricity and floating solar for the community.

“Pumped hydro already plays an important part in NSW’s energy system. We want to see dynamic private sector proposals that use our water assets to create energy storage – giving NSW the power when we need it,” said Mr Harwin.

The government is supporting the sector by identifying the NSW regions with the highest pumped hydro potential and providing guidance on the regulatory framework for new projects.

Industry will be briefed on this significant opportunity in early May.

“The NSW Government believes in a broad mix of energy technologies. I look forward to COAG energy council this week where I will be strongly encouraging my state counterparts to progress the final design for the National Energy Guarantee,” said Mr Harwin.

Source: NSW Government

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Darling Downs Solar Farm

Construction of APA Group’s 110 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm and transmission line, west of Dalby in Queensland declared not a controlled action by the federal Department of Energy and the Environment.

 

NEW PROJECT

Yarrabee Solar Project

Location: Yarrabee

Developer: Reach Solar

Capacity: 900 MW

Estimated cost: $1.2bil

Description: Located approximately 23km southwest of Narrandera in Western NSW, the project is proposed to connect to the 330kV Wagga to Darlington Point Transmission Line. The solar park would occupy 2600 hectares within the 3000 ha project site. The project is expected to include solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and single axis tracking system, inverter stations, a new substation, energy storage, grid connection, security perimeter fencing, underground cabling, internal access roads and ancillary services.

Contact: Andy Biffen

Reach Solar

Tel: 0473 438 623

Email: andy@reachsolarenergy.com.au

 

NEW PROJECT

Wollar Solar Farm

Location: Wollar, NSW

Developer: Solar Megawatt Holding

Capacity: 400 MW

LGA: Mid‐Western Regional

Description: The proposal area is approximately 800 ha and of which around half will be developed on. It will consist of around 1,000,000 solar panels mounted on either a fixed or single axis tracking system and contain an energy storage facility consisting of lithium ion batteries of a capacity up to around 30MWH. These would be housed in a purpose built structure or within dedicated containers located in a secure compound close to the substation. The proposed solar farm would connect to an existing TransGrid substation approximately 900m east of the proposal area via a loop in to a nearby transmission line.

 

NEW PROJECT

New England Solar Farm

Location: Uralla, NSW

Developer: UPC Renewables

Capacity: Up to 800 MW

Estimated cost: $0.6 – $1 billion.

LGA: Uralla Shire

Description: Grid‐connected solar farm along with associated infrastructure, approximately 6km east of the township of Uralla, which lies approximately 19km south of Armidale. The project is likely to be developed across three separate arrays of photovoltaic (PV) modules incorporating transmission infrastructure between each of the three arrays and a centralised grid‐interfacing substation to enable connection into the existing electricity transmission network.

Contact: David Pollington

Chief Operations Officer

UPC Renewables Australia

Email: david.pollington@upcrenewables.com

 

NEW PROJECT

Tamworth Solar Farm

Location: Somerton, a village between Tamworth and Gunnedah in northern NSW

Capacity: 80 MW

Developer: Oriens Energy

LGA: Tamworth Shire

Description: Development application submitted to NSW Department of Planning and Environment for the Tamworth Solar Farm and ancillary infrastructure. The project is placed within the NSW and Queensland transmission networks.

Contact: Christian Bindel

Director

Oriens Energy

Tel: (02) 8096 1890

Email: contact@oriensenergy.com.au

 

Big step forward for the National Energy Guarantee

20 April

A decision by the COAG Energy Council to progress to the final design stage for the National Energy Guarantee is a big step forward in delivering a more affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Backed by an unprecedented cross-section of business, industry and community groups, the Guarantee is a technology neutral energy policy that will drive the right investment in the right place and at the right time to secure Australia’s energy future.

Modelling undertaken by the Energy Security Board (ESB) shows that wholesale electricity prices will decrease by 23 per cent under the Guarantee, flowing through to households and businesses.

The Turnbull Government will continue to work constructively with the states and territories and the ESB to finalise the design of the Guarantee in the lead up to the next COAG Energy Council meeting in August 2018. There was a lot of good will in the room, and while there is still much work to do, there was a commitment to getting an outcome in August.

The Guarantee is only one element of the Turnbull Government’s comprehensive plan for a more affordable and reliable energy system. It complements practical actions such as our agreement with energy retailers to offer millions of customers a better deal on their power bill, new laws to stop the networks gaming the system and the work we have done to ensure more gas for the domestic market before it is shipped offshore.

The Turnbull Government’s actions across the board, including the National Energy Guarantee, will deliver a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power for all Australians.

Source: Federal Government

 

Further comment on the NEG…

Investor Group on Climate Change:

https://igcc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/20042018-MR-IGCC-COAG-Decision-on-NEG.pdf

 

Climate Energy Council:

https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/2018/april/welcome-progress-states-territories-bipartisan-coag-neg.html

 

Australian Energy Council:

https://www.energycouncil.com.au/news/national-energy-guarantee-agreement-starts-to-return-energy-to-bipartisan-policy/

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