Emissions Reduction Fund auction timing announced

15 November

The Clean Energy Regulator has announced today that the next Emissions Reduction Fund auction will be held on 25–26 March 2020.

David Parker, Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator said, “We will continue to hold regular auctions at times that are more convenient for all participants—in March and September each year.”

“We know that the end of financial and calendar years are very busy times for many and moving to a March/September cycle will benefit many who want to participate in the auctions,” Mr Parker said.

The decision to shift the timing responds to feedback the Clean Energy Regulator received from industry. “It also means that more of the enhancements and new measures we are implementing under the Climate Solutions Fund will be available to those intending to participate in the next auction in March 2020.”

The shift in auction timing also allows time for the Government to consult with industry on changes to how abatement is estimated for some Emissions Reduction Fund projects, which use the FullCAM carbon accounting model.

FullCAM is the model used to construct Australia’s national greenhouse gas emissions account for the land sector. FullCAM is also used to generate abatement estimates for several types of vegetation projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The model has been updated using the latest CSIRO research and extensive new information about vegetation growth. This update supports the environmental integrity of the Emissions Reduction Fund, which is one of its great strengths.

The Clean Energy Regulator continues to encourage investment in emissions reduction projects and support participation in the scheme through extension and outreach, market development and market innovation activities.

The Clean Energy Regulator will also enhance some of the auction rules to allow for greater participation. A key development will be not setting a benchmark price for the auction, which means all eligible auction bids will be considered. This auction will retain all of the flexible contracting options previously offered, including partial contracts and contracts for immediate delivery.

The Clean Energy Regulator will continue to assess all eligible bids based on their merit.

“I again encourage interested participants to come forward at this auction and bid at the lowest price you can—the record shows there is a high probability of getting a contract if you bid competitively." Mr Parker said.

The auction guidelines and details about the auction process is available on Participating in an auction.

Source: Clean Energy Regulator

 

Addressing climate change and environmental sustainability

15 November

NAB has an important role to play in supporting our customers and the community in the orderly transition to a low carbon economy.

The actions we are announcing today as part of the 2019 NAB Sustainability Report are an extension of our existing climate change strategy, which has been in place for some time.

NAB has advised customers and a range of stakeholders on this decision to ensure transparency and clarity on our position.

We are adapting how we manage our portfolio, aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, striving for 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while supporting security of energy supply in Australia and New Zealand and working with customers, related suppliers and their employees and communities in which they operate.

NAB will review our targets each year against the latest global climate scenarios and relevant technology developments.

Our latest actions are:

- Increasing our environmental financing commitment from $55bn to $70bn by 2025. We are Australia’s largest arranger of renewable energy finance and 69% of our energy financing in FY19 was for renewables.

- Increasing our internal renewable energy objective from 50% to 100% by 2025 and becoming a member of RE100, bringing together businesses committed to using only renewable electricity.

- Supporting current coal-fired power generation customers implementing transition pathways aligned with Paris Agreement goals of 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. We will not finance new or material expansions of coal-fired power generation facilities unless there is technology in place to materially reduce emissions.

- Capping thermal coal mining exposures at current levels and reducing thermal coal mining financing by 50% by 2028 and intended to be effectively zero by 2035, apart from residual performance guarantees to rehabilitate existing coal assets. NAB will not take on new-to-bank thermal coal mining customers.

Source: National Australia Bank

 

NEW PROJECT

Petersons Solar Farm

Location: Armidale, NSW

Capacity: 6.05 MW DC/ 5 MW AC

Developer: ITP Developments Pty Ltd

Estimated cost: $6.6mil

LGA: Armidale Regional Council

Status: Being assessed by Northern Regional Planning Panel

Description: The proposed development comprises a solar farm and ancillary facilities on approximately 13.7 hectares of the total site and would be capable of generating 12.98GWh annually. There are to be ~16,000 solar modules installed on ~200 mounting structures running north to south. The solar farm will also include two 2.5 MW inverter stations. During construction there is expected to be 50 personnel on site for ~3 months. Once operational the site will be unmanned, with maintenance expected to be carried out quarterly by a crew of 2 – 3 people.

Contact: Mishka Talent

Portfolio Manager

ITP Development

Tel: (02) 6257 3511

Email: info@itpau.com.au

 

Transmission assets energised for 530MW Stockyard Hill Wind Farm

15 November

The latest chapter in the story of Victorian renewables was written this week with the official energisation of the 132kV transmission line for Goldwind Australia’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.

The line will connect electricity generated from 149 turbines to the grid – enough power for 390,000 homes – via the newly constructed Haunted Gully Terminal Station (HGTS). The HGTS also officially energised earlier in the month.

Designed, built and owned by Mondo, the energisation of these transmission assets represents the culmination of 18 months’ work for the delivery team, and 14 months of prior planning and design work for the development team. Mondo recognises the contributions of its numerous delivery partners, particularly Zinfra and Jacobs, who supported Mondo in delivering this key piece of Victorian infrastructure.

Kristofer Amato, Senior Project Manager, Mondo, said, “To complete a project of this size is a huge achievement. There are a lot of moving parts in a project like this and the outcome is a testament to the dedication and teamwork between Mondo and our delivery partners. I am particularly proud of our excellent safety record and our successful approach to planning and risk management. Many thanks to all stakeholders involved including the Mondo team, Goldwind Australia, Zinfra, Jacobs and the local community.”

Attention now turns to reinstatement works along the line and the demobilisation of HGTS. Testing will continue on-site until both assets go into official operation when, after nearly 10 years in the making, Goldwind’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will start generating electricity for consumers in early 2020.

John Titchen, Managing Director, Goldwind Australia said, “Goldwind Australia and the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm team extend congratulations to Mondo and all those involved with the construction and energisation of the new Transmission Assets for Stockyard Hill Wind Farm. The scope of the work completed is impressive including 78 km of Transmission Line and a 500kV Terminal Station. Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will provide power for the equivalent of 390,000 average Victorian houses per year, and the completion of the Transmission Assets is a key milestone achieved for the project.”

Mondo is proud to support Australia’s renewable energy future and looks forward to continuing the journey with Goldwind Australia.

Key facts (connection assets)

- 132kV transmission line energised on 14 November, 2019

- Haunted Gully Terminal Station energised on 30 October, 2019

- Transmission line approximately 74km in length

- Consists of 279 poles

Key facts (Stockyard Hill Wind Farm)

- Total installed capacity of approximately 530 MW

- Approximately 390,000 average Victorian houses powered per year

- Approximately 2.0 million tonnes of CO2 savings per year

Source: Mondo

 

Palmer Wind Farm Supreme Court judgement 

18 November

Tilt Renewables is pleased to have been delivered the judgment of the Supreme Court upholding the decision of the Environment, Resources and Development Court (ERD) to approve the Palmer Wind Farm project.

The Palmer Wind Farm was approved by the Mid Murray Council’s Development Assessment Panel in December 2015. However, the approval decision was subsequently appealed to the Environment, Resources and Development Court (ERD Court). The ERD Court proceedings finished in April 2017 and on 9 March 2018 made judgment to uphold the approval, subject to additional conditions. Following the ERD Court judgment, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court and a hearing held in February 2019.

Tilt Renewables is very pleased to have finally obtained Development Approval for the Palmer Wind Farm project and the certainty that this brings with respect to the approval status. Tilt Renewables will continue to assess the project against other options in its portfolio and further progress development activities at an appropriate time to meet market opportunities.

Tilt Renewables thanks the project landowners and other key stakeholders for their patience and support in getting to this point.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

Green award recognises UQ’s sustainability leadership

19 November

The University of Queensland has won a coveted Australasian Green Gown Award for its commitment to sustainability through the Warwick Solar Farm project in the inaugural 2030 Climate Action category.

UQ is on track to become the first major university in the world to produce 100 per cent of its power needs from its own renewable energy asset next year.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Aidan Byrne said UQ was proud to be recognised as a leader in the sector via the awards, which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives.

“We’re at a moment in history when the decisions we make, in my view, will determine the future well-being of humanity, and we must stop saying that individual action will not make a difference,” Professor Byrne said.

“Society is largely built on the cumulative effect of small acts.

“When it comes to climate change, we all share the responsibility and the consequences, and so we all need to make sure that we are doing our bit.”

UQ Energy & Sustainability Manager Andrew Wilson said the installation of panels at the solar farm project had recently been completed.

“The University now has about 200,000 solar panels with 64 megawatts of capacity, and we remain on track to commence power generation in the first quarter of 2020.

"Work on site is now focused on connecting everything together, to be followed by testing and commissioning of all parts of the system.

“We will soon be producing more clean electricity than we use.”

Professor Byrne said that for UQ, the solar farm wasn’t just an economic choice.

“We’re doing it to improve our research capabilities in renewables,” Professor Byrne said.

“We’re thinking deeply about how to overcome the barriers that might slow the switch from a fossil fuel dominated energy system, including in developing countries such as China and India.

“We must all start acting, with collaboration in mind, informed by research, with an international spirit of generosity.”

Source: University of Queensland

 

Neoen and Tesla to deliver Australia’s most innovative battery with the expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia

19 November

  • A 50 per cent expansion of the world’s largest battery, Hornsdale Power Reserve, also known as the Tesla Big Battery, will provide additional grid stability while continuing to reduce the cost of electricity to consumers.
  • The site will be the first grid-scale battery in Australia to provide inertia benefits to the National Electricity Market facilitating the transition towards a high-penetration renewable grid.
  • The delivery of additional Tesla Powerpacks strengthens Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve’s position as the largest battery in the world.

Neoen, (ISIN Code: FR0011675362, ticker: NEOEN), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent producers of exclusively renewable energy, today announces a 50 per cent expansion of its Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia. The 50 MW/64.5 MWh expansion, supported by Tesla, will further showcase the complete benefits that grid-scale batteries can provide to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and Australian consumers.

In its first year of operation, the battery has saved consumers more than $50 million AUD, and the expansion which will be completed in the first half of 2020, will see these savings continue to grow.

Alongside additional power system reliability and continued cost savings to consumers, the expansion will provide an Australian-first large-scale demonstration of the potential for battery storage to provide inertia to the network which is critical to grid stability and the future integration of renewable energy. This will ensure South Australia can continue to harvest its world class wind and solar resources and support the transition to net 100% renewable energy generation in the 2030s, and further drive down electricity prices for all consumers.

The South Australian Government is playing an instrumental role in this project by committing $3 million AUD per year for 5 years in grant funding toward the expansion through its Grid Scale Storage Fund, to secure the delivery of the inertia benefits highly needed by the grid. The Hornsdale Power Reserve expansion is the first project to receive support from the fund; established in November last year to accelerate the deployment of new storage projects capable of addressing some of the key challenges that are having cost and security impacts on the South Australian power system.

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed $8 million AUD in grant funding through its Advancing Renewables Program.

Moreover, the project will also be the first battery project in Australia to benefit from debt financing support from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director Neoen Australia said, “I would like to thank the South Australian Government, ARENA and the CEFC in supporting the expansion of the Hornsdale battery. The support of the South Australian Government has been central to the project, alongside its vision of making the state an exporter of renewable energy.

The expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve is demonstrating the critical and multiple roles that batteries will play in the grid of the future. I would also like to acknowledge the great support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to bring forward the critical innovations and regulatory changes that the network requires, and of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for this first financing support for a battery project.”

Xavier Barbaro, Chairman and CEO of Neoen said, “We are extremely proud of this expansion and the innovations it brings. It illustrates Neoen’s ability to build on an existing asset and make it smarter while providing its counterparts with savings and new services. This new investment also demonstrates Neoen’s capacity to act as a long-term partner for South Australia Government, towards a common goal: delivering sustainable, reliable and competitive energy.”

Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining said, “With this expansion, the Hornsdale Power Reserve will continue to break new ground in providing and proving the benefits of inertial response from inverter technologies. As South Australia continues to increase its share of renewable energy generation, largescale storage solutions such as grid-scale batteries will help address some of the key challenges impacting South Australia’s power system, such as energy reliability and inertia. By providing an additional 50 MW of fast ramping market capacity it is designed to reduce spot price volatility and protect the grid from network disturbances, resulting in more affordable, reliable, and secure power for all South Australians.”

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO said, “Large scale batteries are playing an important role in providing short term, large scale energy storage to help firm and balance the grid. The Hornsdale battery is a ground-breaking project that has proven what batteries can do for our electricity system, and this expansion will now show that it is capable of much more by demonstrating inertia, expanded FCAS functionality and extended support for the Heywood interconnector. Along with providing essential services to the South Australian grid, this will help to inform the regulatory changes required to value these services and create additional revenue markets for other batteries to enter the market on a commercial basis. We hope this project will not only demonstrate the versatility of batteries in providing a range of grid services but also help pave the way for market reform.”

Ian Learmonth, CEFC CEO said, “We see grid-scale batteries as a critical part of the next wave of investment that will support the rapid and unprecedented changes we are seeing across Australia’s electricity system. The Hornsdale Power Reserve has already delivered substantial benefits to South Australia, providing grid reliability, reducing energy costs and integrating the State’s substantial renewable energy resources into the grid. It is an exciting model that can be extended across the grid to strengthen reliability and maximise the benefits of renewable energy. By delivering the first project financing of a stand-alone NEM-connected battery in the Australian market, our goal is to demonstrate the market potential of grid technologies for other investors and developers. We are delighted to work with an industry leader such as Neoen in this project.”

Source: Neoen

 

PROJECT NEWS

Chances Plain Solar Farm

Juwi Renewables’ 100 MW Chances Plain Solar Farm opened for public comment by federal Department of the Environment and Energy. The project site is located approximately 10km north-east of Chinchilla in Queensland and covers an area of up to 240 hectares of cleared agricultural land, which is currently used for cropping. The solar farm will utilise photovoltaic (PV) solar panels mounted on single axis trackers and approximately 20 inverter stations connected to an existing 132kV transmission line which crosses the site. An area for future solar battery storage is designated next to the Project’s substation and switchyard.

 

Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan

20 November

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the release by the Tasmanian Government of the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan.

Chief Executive Officer of Energy Networks Australia, Andrew Dillon, said hydrogen would play an important role in the sustainable energy future. “Hydrogen can be produced from excess renewable power, providing clean energy that can be stored for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind isn’t blowing,” Mr Dillon said.

“As the energy sector continues to decarbonise and intermittent renewable generation increases, this storage capacity means hydrogen can play an important role in stabilising our energy system.

“Hydrogen technology is already being embraced around the world for domestic and commercial use in gas networks and to fuel passenger and freight trains.”

Mr Dillon said trials of hydrogen production, hydrogen blending into existing networks or exports were underway in every Australian state, with Tasmania’s strategy the latest addition.

“Energy networks are using renewable gases such as hydrogen made from solar and wind power to decarbonise our gas networks,” Mr Dillon said.

A recent update to Gas Vision 2050, released by Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association, showed that more than $180 million of funding had been committed nationally for hydrogen infrastructure projects.

Energy Networks Australia has previously released research confirming that the injection of hydrogen into Australian gas distribution networks can be done under current gas legislation.

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

LONGi supplied 128MW high-efficiency monocrystalline panels to Numurkah Solar Farm

19 November

The Numurkah Solar Farm, developed by French renewable energy producer Neoen and constructed by Australian EPC Downer, has begun sending power to the grid. LONGi supplied all the 128MW high-efficiency monocrystalline panels.

Located in northern Victoria, the plant features 373,839 solar panels spanning 515 hectares. It will generate 255 GWh/year of clean energy that powers key infrastructure such as the Melbourne tram and Laverton Steelworks. The project has created almost 300 jobs in the Numurkah region during the construction phase and will offer more employment opportunities during its service life in Victoria.

“The Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy system towards clean, renewable energy and reaching our renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.” Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said at the opening ceremony of this project.

With a total investment of $198 million by French renewable energy producer Neoen, the project was also significant for marking the achievement of their first Gigawatt project in Australia. The Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) described the Numurkah project as a “path-breaking example of how solar energy can deliver a cost-effective solution for Victoria’s energy-intensive manufacturers.”

Australia is one of the most developed photovoltaic regions in the world. The country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) committed to at least 20% of Australia's electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“LONGi has established its Australia subsidiary company in 2019 to expand the solar market and provide local support and services in Australia.” said Dennis She, Senior Vice President, LONGi Solar, “We are working towards the goal of delivering sustainable, reliable and clean energy to all Australians.”

As a global leading solar technology company, LONGi will continue to provide high-efficiency monocrystalline products to meet the worldwide demand and lead the energy transformation to achieve 100% renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2050.

Source: LONGI Solar

 

Review of Queensland's energy legislation

The energy sector is undergoing significant transformation. In light of these changes and in response to suggestions from stakeholders, the Queensland Government is reviewing its state energy laws to ensure they are relevant.

The laws being reviewed are the Electricity Act 1994, the Gas Supply Act 2003, the Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006 and the Liquid Fuel Supply Act 1984.

Following consultation on an issues paper in 2018, the government is now seeking feedback on an options paper.

The options paper contains proposals to modernise Queensland’s state energy laws and is supported by detailed regulatory impact statements. Stakeholder feedback to this options paper will inform the next stage of the review, which will conclude with the release of a decision paper. Legislative amendments and implementation will commence after stage three.

Have your say

Industry, community organisations and individuals are invited to provide feedback on the proposals set out in the options papers:

You can provide feedback by completing an online questionnaire.

Consultation closes on 31 January 2020.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Murdoch plans for District Energy Project

20 November

Murdoch University has revealed plans to develop a major renewable energy project at its main campus, with plans to pilot a peer to peer energy trading system, utilising blockchain technologies.

The university has called for Expressions of Interest to develop a District Energy Project, which includes solar panels across roof space at the South Street campus, and a solar car park.

Murdoch University’s Chief Operating Officer Darren McKee said the project was not just about providing for sustainable campus-wide energy generation, but also to create a Research Centre of Excellence in energy distribution and storage, incorporating blockchain technologies.

“This is a four stage project, the first of which will see the installation of 5.7 megawatt direct current of solar photovoltaic system on existing buildings and a new 1,000 bay carpark,” Mr McKee said.

“However, the vision is to develop a research led and commercially sustainable District Energy Project.

Our vision is to create a living lab of various renewable technologies including different types of energy storage (electrical and thermal) and incorporate studies related to the optimisation of a behind-the-meter microgrid.

“We are looking to partner with industry that will provide, in addition to the infrastructure requirements, research, learning and teaching and industry opportunities which are the backbone of this vision,” said Mr McKee.

Embedded energy generation, smart grids and peer to peer trading are critical issues in response to increasing costs and community demand.

“In the longer term, we see this project as being able to provide energy solutions for local communities via blockchain technologies.

“Ultimately, our project is not just aimed at delivering these, but being a leader in providing research, teaching and education in this industry.”

Mr McKee said the ‘living Lab’ would play a key role in research and development of renewable energy technologies, while incorporating blockchain technologies which would evolve during the life span of the project.

“We have the resources to make Western Australia a global leader in clean, reliable, secure and affordable energy solutions, but we need to also make sure we develop and keep the research and expertise here in Western Australia,” Mr McKee said.

“Our vision is for the Murdoch University District Energy Project to be an exemplar for Australia,” said Mr McKee.

Source: Murdoch University

 

Dramatic slow-down in clean energy investment requires urgent COAG Energy Council action

20 November

Addressing the dramatic slow-down in investment in large-scale renewable energy should be the highest priority for COAG Energy Council when it meets this Friday for the first time in almost a year.

New clean energy investment has slowed significantly in 2019, with average quarterly investment in new generation capacity this year just over 500 MW per quarter compared to over 1600 MW per quarter in 2018. This reflects a reduction of over 60% from 2018 levels.

A prolonged slow-down in new investment presents a major risk to Australia. A sustained slow-down in the level of new large-scale generation will have a dramatic impact on Australia’s energy prices and reliability, at a time when existing coal-fired generation is becoming less reliable and is increasingly exiting the system.

This slow down in new investment is the result of a range of increased risks and barriers relating to challenging grid connection processes, underinvestment in electricity transmission, lack of long-term energy policy and an energy market no longer fit-for-purpose.

COAG Energy Council must recognise the importance of new investment in delivering affordable, reliable and clean energy system and to take immediate action to reduce the growing risks and barriers to new investment.

The CEC has written to every energy minister ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting with recommendations:

- The COAG Energy Council should not endorse the AEMC’s approach to progressing its proposed access model (COGATI). Instead, it should task the AEMC to undertake quantitative analysis and further detailed design development to demonstrate the proposal delivers a net market benefit and ensure its practical implications are well understood and tested.

- task the AEMC and AEMO with pursuing reforms of the grid connection process and the MLF regime as a priority.

- The COAG Energy Council should reaffirm its commitment to effectively actioning AEMO’s Integrated System Plan

- task AEMO and the AEMC to develop clear ancillary services markets that recognise and monetise the value of services such as inertia, fast frequency response and voltage support.

- support long term energy policy certainty, through a combination of harmonisation of state targets and schemes, refinement to existing policy measures (such as the Emissions Reduction Fund) to support new clean energy investment or progress new coordinated policy measures such as the National Energy Guarantee.

- The COAG Energy Council should endorse the National Hydrogen Strategy.

Download our full briefing paper.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

First stage of landmark Agnew hybrid renewable project powers up

20 November

Global distributed energy producer EDL has switched on its 23MW power station that integrates photovoltaic solar with gas and diesel generation to power Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine, completing the first stage of one of Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid projects.

EDL CEO James Harman and Gold Fields Executive Vice President: Australasia, Stuart Mathews, welcomed Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy and Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston, to the site today to officially open Stage 1 of the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project.

Mr Harman said EDL was proud to partner with Gold Fields on the landmark project.

“With this project, EDL and Gold Fields are leading the way towards clean, renewable energy to power remote, off-grid mining operations without compromising reliability or power quality.

“The power station we are officially opening today integrates 4MW solar generation from our new solar farm and is underpinned by 19MW of gas and diesel generation. It will soon include other renewable energy technologies coming online in the next stage of the project.”

Mr Mathews referred to the importance of the AU$112 million project to both Gold Fields and the broader industry.

“This is a significant milestone for both the Agnew gold mine and the broader Gold Fields Group, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to strengthening our energy security, optimising energy costs and reducing our carbon footprint through the adoption of new technologies.

“We are hopeful that this will also enable other companies to consider the options for decarbonising their operations.”

Minister Johnston congratulated EDL and Gold Fields for their collaborative work in completing stage one of this innovative project.

“The McGowan Government is supportive of mining and resources companies that are embracing renewable energy solutions, particularly when it helps reduce their carbon emissions.

“This innovative, Australia-first project is setting the standard for mine sites throughout Western Australia.”

The second stage of the project, which includes 18MW wind generation, a 13MW battery and an advanced micro-grid control system, is currently under construction and due to be completed in mid-2020. It has the backing of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with a recoupable AU$13.5 million contribution to the construction cost of the project.

Once completed, the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project will be the first to utilise wind generation as part of a large hybrid microgrid in the Australian mining sector.

It will have a total installed generation capacity of 54MW, with renewables providing over 50% of the Agnew gold mine’s power requirements, with the potential to increase this further by adopting innovative operational practices such as the dynamic load shedding, renewables forecasting and load control management.

Source: EDL

 

Sun cable successfully concludes significant capital raise

20 November

Sun Cable is pleased to announce the completion of a significant capital raise led by Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy, which have taken positions as Co-lead Investors.

The over-subscribed capital raise will allow Sun Cable to undertake the development work for the Australia-Singapore Power Link and reach financial close on the ASPL by late 2023. This is a significant milestone in the life of this exciting project.

The ASPL will incorporate the world’s largest solar farm (10 GW) and battery storage facility (circa 22GWh) near Tennant Creek, in Australia’s Northern Territory. It will supply high capacity, competitive, stably priced and dispatchable renewable electricity to loads in the Darwin region and Singapore, via a high voltage direct current transmission network extending 4,500km from the solar farm to Singapore.

The successful development of the ASPL will herald the start of a new industry for the region, providing new skilled jobs and significant investment into the Northern Territory.

Grok Ventures is the family investment firm of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes. “In a carbon-constrained world, Australia should be a winner”, Mr Cannon-Brookes said.

“This is a massively exciting project with world-changing potential. We have the resources, the ingenuity and the drive to get it done - we just have to put it all together. If we nail this, we can build a new export industry for Australia, create jobs and set our economy up for the future."

Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Squadron Energy, said: “Australia has the potential to be at the centre of our region’s transition to clean energy, a serious priority for our country. This presents the Australian economy with enormous opportunities not just for reducing emissions but also for the economic march of our nation and global competitiveness.

Sun Cable’s Australia-Singapore Power Link project has the potential to be an important part of this nation building journey.”

David Griffin, CEO of Sun Cable expressed his gratitude for the support shown by all the investors in this capital raise and PwC Australia for their invaluable contribution through the process. “Sun Cable is thrilled to have secured this level of investment support from two important leaders in the international business community. Mike and Andrew have successfully endured the process of building very large-scale outcomes from scratch. I look forward to Sun Cable achieving a similar outcome and therefore hastening the global energy transition.”

Source: Sun Cable

 

SA Produce Market completes Australia’s first leading edge $10.5m energy microgrid

20 November

The South Australian Produce Market Limited (SAPML) has completed a ground-breaking energy microgrid project that not only supplies the site’s entire energy demand but also exports power to the National Electricity Market (NEM). A world-leading, first of its kind in Australia, environmentally friendly and cost-effective energy solution.

Minister for Energy and Mining, the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, in conjunction with representatives from Autonomous Energy and their major suppliers for the project AZZO, Schneider Electric, Tesla, Sunpower and CAT will officially launch the technology on Wednesday 20th November. 10am, at the Pooraka site.

Autonomous Energy was awarded the $10.5M contract to build a microgrid comprising 6,412 solar panels, 25 Tesla powerpack batteries, and the latest technologically advanced high voltage switch room and genset.

Autonomous Energy worked closely with energy controls specialists AZZO to design and implement the integrated control system for power quality monitoring, substation automation and leading edge spot market based control algorithms.

The microgrid will have significant community and environmental benefits by cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and reducing the maximum demand on the South Australian electricity grid by using the latest smart-grid technology. At full capacity, the system is capable of powering approximately 4,500 homes.

The microgrid positions the Market precinct to be completely self-sufficient in its energy supply with significant net savings, compared to the current retail energy offers available in South Australia, of some $4.32M projected over the next 10 years. The system provides operators within the market and warehousing precinct a sustainable and reliable energy source.

Chief Executive Officer of SAPML, Mr. Angelo Demasi, said the project would not have been possible without the $2.5M Energy Productivity Implementation Grant and support of the South Australian Government.

“We thank the South Australian Government for the funding and support that has allowed the implementation of a ground-breaking environmentally sustainable energy solution.”

“The collaboration from our principal contractors Autonomous Energy, AZZO and Schneider Electric attributed to the project’s success.”

“This technology will enable SA Produce Market growers and wholesalers to continue to provide affordable fresh produce to local consumers who purchase through independent retailers. This innovative solution is a win-win for both consumers and the environment, leading the way for other South Australian businesses.” Mr Demasi said.

Matthew Linney, CEO of Autonomous Energy, said the microgrid works in both on and off-grid modes, able to intelligently and instantaneously respond to various scenarios in the National Electricity Market, ensuring reliability at the same time as reducing costs.

“From an energy security perspective, the entire site can be automatically isolated from the grid and the system will supply the site’s entire electrical load with no interruptions,” Mr Linney said.

James DiLiberto, Director of locally based Engineering company AZZO, said “This project represents best in class software, hardware and system integration in a future-ready microgrid engineered for agility as the energy market in Australia transforms over coming years.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Produce Market’s microgrid is another example of South Australia’s ongoing integration of reliable renewable technology into our energy system.

“The Marshall Government is committed to a modern energy system which delivers more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to all South Australian electricity consumers.”

The project commenced in December 2017 and is now in full operational capacity.

Source: SA Produce Market

 

North Queensland set to unlock hydrogen export potential

20 November

More than 150 local, national and international business and industry leaders attended Queensland’s first regionally based Hydrogen Industry Forum in Townsville today.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the private sector had identified Townsville as an optimal location to develop hydrogen projects with long-term potential for the export of renewable hydrogen.

“Today's forum has shown there is major interest and potential for jobs in Townsville in the new hydrogen industry," he said.

"That's why I've decided to establish a Townsville Hydrogen Industry Working Group, which will report to the Townsville Industrial Development Board, and will focus on attracting industrial development to Townsville's Southern Industrial Corridor."

Mr Dick said the global transition to a low-carbon future presents tremendous investment opportunities in solar and wind farms, and biomass.

“Today has once agains shown we also have an industry opportunity emerging in producing and exporting renewable hydrogen," he said.

“The Queensland Hydrogen Forum in Townsville is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to transition to a clean energy future and build stronger regional economies.

“We want to lead the race to provide a new source of clean energy to the world and our regions are the key to our success.

Speakers at today’s forum were the Queensland Government’s strategic hydrogen advisor Professor Ian Mackinnon, and senior representatives from Origin Energy and Sun Metals Corporation.

Both major companies are pursuing opportunities for renewable hydrogen, building on the significant investments they have made over recent years to decarbonise their businesses.

“We’re very pleased that companies of the calibre of Origin and Sun Metals are actively pursuing renewable hydrogen projects and we are looking forward to working with them to bring these projects to life,” Mr Dick said.

“A sustainable hydrogen industry has all the qualities to provide a new source of economic growth, open export markets and generate highly skilled jobs for Queenslanders.”

The Townsville Hydrogen Forum follows the release of the government’s five-year Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy and Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, a $15 million contestable funding program to support eligible hydrogen projects establish in Queensland

Expressions of Interest to the fund have been shortlisted and these applicants are currently preparing detailed applications for assessment. The successful projects will be announced in the near future.

“When it comes to growing this new sector, we are moving fast,” Mr Dick said.

“We will continue to build on this momentum as we work in partnership with researchers and industry, and we will continue to work closely with our trade and investment partners.”

For more on hydrogen industry development go to: www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/hydrogen

Source: Queensland Government

 

Genex receives lender credit approval for the financing of the 50MW Jemalong solar project & refinancing 50MW Kidston Solar One Project

21 November

Highlights:

  • Credit approval confirmed for JSP debt financing and KS1 debt refinancing;
  • Selection of JSP Project Delivery Team; and
  • First Generation and cash flow from JSP anticipated in Q4 CY 2020.

Credit Approval:

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that banks have received credit approval subject to final documentation for $175m of debt funding that will be utilised to finance the construction of the Company’s 50MW Jemalong Solar Project (JSP) in New South Wales and to refinance the existing debt facility for the 50MW Kidston Solar One Project (KS1), operating at the Company’s Clean Energy Hub in Kidston, North Queensland.

The facility, to be provided by a syndicate of three banks, compromises DZ BANK, NORD/LB and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac). NAB’s Financial & Equity Advisory team is acting as Financial Advisor to Genex.

With the ongoing operation of KS1, which achieved practical completion in late 2018, Genex now expects to be able to refinance the existing debt package for KS1 to secure more advantageous financing terms given the now lower risk profile. By combining the financing of JSP and refinancing of KS1, Genex has been able to structure the financing of JSP on a fully merchant basis. JSP is forecast to be operational in Q4 CY 2020, which will allow the Company to generate merchant revenues in New South Wales at attractive forecast prices over the coming years as a result of major generator closures, whilst also giving the Company flexibility to secure a power purchase agreement on competitive terms independent of the financing process if the opportunity presents itself.

Commenting on this achievement of another significant milestone for the Company, CEO of Genex, James Harding stated:

“As a result of banks confirming credit approvals, JSP is now ready to commence construction, subject to the finalisation of project and financing documentation, which is expected to occur over the coming weeks. We wish to thank the lenders and the Company’s advisors for their support to date and look forward to working together over the coming months and years.”

Source: Genex Power

 

PROJECT NEWS

Hornsdale BESS Stage 2

Tesla Motors Australia Pty Ltd have awarded the design and construct subcontract to CPP for Neoen’s Hornsdale BESS Stage 2 project!

This project consists of the installation of a further 50MW/64.5MWh battery energy storage system for the Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd increasing the capacity to 150MW/193.5MWh and it will be CPP’s fourth project with Tesla in the last 3 years.

Well done to all those involved in the tender process.  This fast track project is on track for completion in late March 2020!

Source: Consolidated Power Projects

 

Investigations start on Australia’s first offshore wind project

21 November

Site investigations have started on Australia’s first proposed offshore wind project off the south coast of Gippsland, as a new Chief Executive Officer is appointed to take the project into the next phase.

The Star of the South project this week started deploying wind and wave monitoring equipment from Port Welshpool to collect important data on the wind profile and conditions in Bass Strait.

Two wind measuring devices, known as floating LiDARs, and a wave buoy will be out at sea for several years along with other investigations, including seabed studies to confirm sea depths and conditions, as well as baseline environmental surveys for marine life and birds.

Local Gippsland workers are now amongst the first in Australia to be trained to service the wind and wave monitoring equipment while it’s out at sea. Specialist wind and wave contractor Akrocean shipped the equipment to Australia from Europe last month, with support from local supplier TEK-Ocean who is assisting with equipment installation and ongoing maintenance works.

Next year, the project will also start soil testing to understand ground conditions in the area. These investigations will help confirm the project’s feasibility and inform early planning.

In further news, Casper Frost Thorhauge joins the Star of the South as the project’s new CEO with extensive experience in developing and delivering offshore wind projects in Europe and Asia.

Most recently, Mr Thorhauge led the multi-billion-dollar 900-megawatt Greater Changhua 1 and 2a Offshore Wind Farms in Taiwan. He has also held senior management roles and board positions with one of Denmark’s biggest energy companies, where he successfully led a number of offshore wind projects through their development phase totalling more than $10 billion.

The Star of the South involves wind turbines out at sea generating electricity and connecting to the network in the Latrobe Valley.

The Star of the South would be the biggest offshore wind project in the southern hemisphere and could supply around 18% of the State’s electricity needs and help protect against blackouts in summer.

The project has the potential to create thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds in operation, injecting investment into Gippsland’s economy.

If the project is feasible and developed to its full potential, it could provide around 2,000 megawatts of power into the grid by 2027. For more information visit starofthesouth.com.au/getinvolved.

Quotes attributable to Star of the South CEO, Casper Frost Thorhauge:

“I’m excited to work on Australia’s first proposed offshore wind project – the Star of the South.”

“This project has the potential to power hundreds of thousands of Victorian homes, providing a reliable and consistent source of energy, while creating jobs and investment for Gippsland.”

“The Star of the South is ramping up with site investigations starting to collect valuable data to inform early project planning.”

“We’re pleased to be supporting local Gippsland workers during this early development phase and look forward to more opportunities to invest in the region as we continue our studies.”

Source: Star of the South

 

Affordable, reliable power for NSW

22 November

Households across NSW are expected to save $40 per year on their electricity bills and the State will have one of the highest reliability targets in the world under the NSW Electricity Strategy, released today.

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Strategy will ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply for the people of NSW, particularly in peak summer periods.

“We want to create a competitive, low-cost market that delivers resilient energy supply while putting downward pressure on electricity prices,” Mr Kean said.

“Not only does this Strategy help us achieve that, it will attract $8 billion in investment for emerging energy technologies in NSW, diversifying our energy supply and creating jobs for the future.”

The Strategy includes a new Energy Security Safeguard to drive the roll-out of energy efficiency technologies and smart appliances that use electricity when it is cheap and off-peak, and an Energy Security Target to ensure there is enough capacity in the electricity grid on the hottest days, even with the two largest generating units offline.

It will also include a plan to deliver Australia’s first coordinated Renewable Energy Zone in the Central-West to support the new generation needed to get energy bills down.

“As our existing power generators approach the end of their lives, we need to ensure low-cost alternatives are coming online,” Mr Kean said.

“By focusing on reliability, we can ensure that we can get the benefits of renewables without the reliability problems we have seen in other states.

“While there will always be extreme events which impact the grid’s reliability, our Electricity Security Target will mean that changes to the State’s energy mix do not come at the expense of our system’s reliability.”

The NSW Electricity Strategy is available here and is published ahead of today’s COAG Energy Council meeting in Perth.

Source: NSW Government

 

Genex executes new Memorandum of Understanding with J-Power for Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project

22 November

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Electric Power Development Co Ltd trading as JPOWER (J-POWER).

The MOU provides that the parties will work together using their best endeavours to negotiate a transaction for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro or Project) for J-POWER to acquire direct or indirect equity in the Project by way of:

  • A subscription for new ordinary shares in Genex on terms equivalent or similar to the Share Subscription Agreement (SSA) signed between the parties and announced to the ASX on 6 June 2019; and/or
  • A subscription for new equity securities directly in the Project Special Purpose Corporation (SPC);

It is a term of the MOU, that as part of J-POWER’s investment into Genex and/or the Project SPC (the J-POWER Equity Investment) J-POWER may:

  • enter into a Technical Services Agreement with Genex wherein J-POWER will provide certain professional technical advisory services to Genex in relation to the construction phase of K2- Hydro; and
  • subject to the approval of the Project financiers and Project EPC contractor, enter into an agreement to provide O&M Services to the Project SPC.

Genex will pursue the proposed new commercial arrangements in a timely manner, to facilitate the negotiation and structuring of the J-POWER Equity Investment in as short a timeframe as possible. Notwithstanding this, this MOU shall terminate on the earlier of:

  • Conclusion of negotiations concerning the J-POWER Equity Investment, culminating in the signing of long form documentation governing the J-POWER Equity Investment; or
  • 31 December 2020.

Genex and J-Power have terminated the SSA announced to the ASX on 6 June 2019 which contained a sunset date of 31 December 2019 for Genex to fulfil certain preconditions thereunder which it is no longer able to do in light of the delay to the transaction announced on 1 November 2019.

In commenting on the execution of the MOU with J-POWER, James Harding, CEO of Genex said:

“We are delighted that J-Power has shown faith in Genex and our K2-Hydro project with the execution of this MOU and to continue discussions along the lines of those originally announced in June this year. Genex strongly values the relationship that it has developed with the J-POWER team over the course of 2019 and we are excited that this will continue.

We will work as quickly as we can to conclude arrangements with J-POWER as part of the restructuring of the K2-Hydro transaction with a view to reaching financial close for the project as soon as possible in 2020. Along with the decision by the NAIF Board to extend the offer of funding for K2-Hydro announced last week, we are maintaining the momentum we had previously established into the new year.”

Source: Genex Power

 

Milestone for renewable energy in MelbourneSHARE

22 November

A group of Melbourne’s most prominent universities and businesses is joining together to support renewable energy and take action on climate change.

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said seven large energy users will combine their purchasing power to source their electricity from a large scale renewable energy project in Victoria.

"Leading by example, we're building on the success of the first Melbourne Renewable Energy Project to facilitate renewable power purchase agreements for businesses across the city," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"The first project led to the construction of an 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands, near Ararat."

"This group aims to purchase approximately 113GWh of energy, which is enough to power more than 25,000 households in Melbourne for a year."

A tender for the second Melbourne Renewable Energy Project will be released today.

The purchasing group facilitated by the City of Melbourne includes RMIT University, Deakin University, Cbus Property, ISPT Property, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt, and Mondelez International.

"This project would lead to university campuses, manufacturing facilities, shopping centres, retail stores and office buildings across Melbourne being powered using renewable energy," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"It will support industry in a rural area and provide a tangible example of climate change leadership. The first Melbourne Renewable Energy Project resulted in 140 construction jobs.

"We're showing how large energy users from diverse organisations can support the transition to a secure, low-carbon electricity system.

"All these organisations have an organisational commitment to emissions reduction, carbon neutrality or renewable energy purchasing.

"To avoid the catastrophic impacts from climate change, we need more organisations to commit to renewable energy."

Four of the organisations are involved in TAKE2 – Sustainability Victoria's climate change pledge program. Fulton Hogan, Deakin University, RMIT University and Mondelez International have all pledged their support to achieving net-zero emissions for Victoria by 2050, while the City of Melbourne is a TAKE2 Founding Partner.

Source: City of Melbourne

 

Australia to be a world leader in hydrogen

23 November

Australia will become a world leader in hydrogen production and exports thanks to a new fund set up by the Government.

Following the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the Government is launching a funding package focused on growing an innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.

Along with the $13.4 million already provided to implement and coordinate the Strategy, the Government will reserve $370 million from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects. These funds will come from within the existing allocations to the CEFC and to ARENA.

The CEFC will commit $300 million of concessional finance through a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and ARENA will provide $70 million to kick-start electrolyser projects.

This package takes the Government’s commitments to the hydrogen industry to over $500 million since 2015.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor said with the National Hydrogen Strategy released it was important to give the sector a boost to help Australia realise its high potential for hydrogen production.

“The National Hydrogen Strategy maps out the steps we can take to develop a sustainable and commercial hydrogen industry,” said Minister Taylor.

“The Government is backing that in through project investment to promote our outstanding potential as a hydrogen supplier to the world.

“Importantly, hydrogen can play a role in the future energy mix to bring down energy prices, keep the lights on and reduce emissions.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said Australia was positioned to become a major global player by 2030, having the resources and experience to take advantage of increasing global momentum for clean hydrogen.

“There is potential for thousands of new jobs, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050, with key energy export markets such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan taking action to diversify their energy sources,” Minister Canavan said.

“We can help them do just that. Australia is already one of the world’s largest and most reliable and trusted energy suppliers and hydrogen will be one more energy export we can supply to existing and new markets.

“All levels of government, private industry and the research community will now have the opportunity to help us realise our hydrogen potential and reap rewards for the economy, the community and the environment.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that while the CEFC is already able to invest in hydrogen technologies, the creation of the Advancing Hydrogen Fund sends a clear signal to the market that the Government is committed to investments in hydrogen projects.

“Significant levels of new investment will be needed to successfully commercialise and scale a global hydrogen industry. We believe Australia is well placed to help contribute to the growth of this emerging industry.

“In establishing the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, we are creating the appropriate policy and regulatory settings to drive increased investment in hydrogen.”

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council yesterday released the National Hydrogen Strategy in Perth. The Strategy sets a path for Australia to become a major global player in the hydrogen industry by 2030 through removing market barriers, ensuring regulatory consistency and building international trade partnerships. The Strategy looks to encourage the creation of ’hydrogen hubs’ – clusters of large-scale domestic demand that will help to establish the skills and investment needed for Australia to develop a globally competitive hydrogen export industry.

The Government has already announced $13.4 million dollars to support the Strategy. This includes working with all jurisdictions on reviewing regulatory barriers, addressing safety matters through our membership with the US Center for Hydrogen Safety and coordinating a National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment. The Government will also work with other countries to develop the international hydrogen standards and establish trade partnerships.

This national coordination is essential to ensure hydrogen development has a positive influence on energy prices and energy security.

The National Hydrogen Strategy is available at: industry.gov.au/hydrogen.

Source: Federal Government

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