Lightsource BP to begin construction on first Australian solar project in 2019

12 August

Lightsource BP, a global industry leader in solar development, is pleased to announce that construction will begin on the company’s first Australian project in the coming months. The project was acquired fully permitted from First Solar.

The Wellington Solar Farm, at Goolma Road, Wuuluman, New South Wales, will have an installed capacity of 174MWac, producing 420,000MWh of clean, renewable electricity a year. The installation will generate enough energy to power approximately 70,000 homes, and will provide a carbon emissions saving of 336,000 tonnes, which is the equivalent of taking around 121,500 cars off the road.

A wide range of surveys and assessments were undertaken during the development of the solar farm, covering flooding, fire risk, biodiversity management, traffic planning, noise and visual impact, cultural heritage management and more.

Adam Pegg, Country Manager for Australia at Lightsource BP, commented: “Solar is one of the fastest growing sources of energy worldwide, and at Lightsource BP we’re proud to be accelerating the low-carbon transition across the globe. Installations like the Wellington Solar Farm are a crucial part of meeting the dual challenge – generating more electricity while reducing the amount of carbon emissions created.”

Source: Lightsource BP


First foundation concrete pour for Granville Harbour Wind Farm

16 August

Construction crews onsite at Granville Harbour Wind Farm have successfully completed the first concrete pour for one of the site’s 31 wind turbine foundations. Each excavated foundation – big enough to hold an entire MONA ferry – requires over 100 concrete truck loads to fill the 20-metre diameter base.

Remaining turbine foundations will be completed over the coming months in preparation for the installation of latest technology Vestas wind turbine generators on 137 metre-high towers.

Granville Harbour Wind Farm Project Director, Lyndon Frearson, said that the successful first foundation pour was a key achievement for the project:

“An enormous amount of preparatory work has been done to get the wind farm site to this point. We have started construction for 25km of access roads, built drainage and environmental controls, installed operations buildings and completed significant excavation works for our wind turbine foundations.

“Our 200-strong construction crews onsite have logged over 350,000 man-hours so far, and have done so with zero Lost Time Injuries, which is also a significant achievement.

“Over the coming months we expect to see more visible signs of progress, with the delivery of wind turbine blades and towers to site starting in mid September, and the first wind turbines to be installed shortly afterwards.”

Mr Frearson said the remote site had some unique challenges, but overall the wind farm construction was progressing well:

“This winter’s unrelenting weather conditions have slowed some activities down, but we are pushing on and are still on track for the wind farm to generate its first energy by the end of the year.”

“We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the local community and look forward to continuing to work closely with Council and local authorities throughout the project,” said Mr Frearson.

Other achievements at the site include:

  • Installation of the transmission line poles over 90% complete.
  • Construction of the wind farm’s switchyard.
  • Delivery of an 85-tonne transformer to ‘step up’ the clean energy generated onsite ready to be fed into the electricity grid.

The construction of Granville Harbour Wind Farm is set to deliver a significant economic boost to the region with approximately $3.8 million direct investment in the West Coast and around $16 million investment across Tasmania. The project will provide around 200 jobs during the construction period – including 125 jobs for Tasmanians – and around 10 permanent operational roles once the wind farm is complete.

Source: Granville Harbour Wind Farm


Landmark sustainable power purchase agreement

19 August

Molycop, incorporating Comsteel, has announced the signing of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with energy retailer, Flow Power.

This agreement runs until 31 December 2030 and is backed by offtake agreements with the Bomen Solar Farm and the Sapphire Wind Farm, both located in regional NSW.

The Bomen Solar Farm is currently under construction and is expected to be fully operational in the 2nd quarter 2020 while the Sapphire Wind Farm has been in full operation since November 2018.

Under the PPA, Molycop’s expected offtake of renewable energy is 100,000 MWh per year which covers more than half of its electricity consumption in NSW. This will make Molycop one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy in Australia.

During its 100 years of operation Molycop has played an important role in economic and social development in many of the countries in which it operates. In Australia, Molycop manufactures and supplies high quality products and services to the mining and rail transport industries. Molycop’s entry into this PPA represents a new chapter in this tradition, reflecting its support for the renewable energy investment that has been made in regional NSW.

Michael Parker, President Molycop Australasia, said “This agreement is an important milestone for Molycop. It not only provides strong support to Australia’s pipeline of renewable energy infrastructure projects that will also benefit the wider community.”

Many of Molycop’s customers have a strong focus on building sustainable and responsible operations. This focus and expectation also extend into their supply chains to their suppliers. By entering this long-term agreement Molycop is supporting the transition to renewable energy which will also substantially reduce the carbon emissions associated with the generation of electricity.

“From a sustainability standpoint, Molycop is not only supporting two important renewable energy projects, but we are further enhancing our credentials as a responsible and sustainable organisation. We already utilise 95% recycled feed for our steelmaking process, material that would otherwise be exported, and we are offering customers an expanding range of recycling services” said Mr Parker.

Molycop chose to partner with Flow Power due to their offer of both wind and solar offtakes and access to the ARENA Demand Response program, as well as their energy sourcing and forecasting expertise.

Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director Flow Power, said “Flow Power is proud to be working with Molycop to unlock value from their energy sourcing. It’s fantastic to see Molycop take the next step on their energy journey. By combining renewable offtake and demand response, our unique model will future-proof energy needs while supporting the changing energy system”.

Source: Molycop Australia



Mannum Solar Farm

On behalf of project owner Canadian Solar, Tetris Energy has applied for state government development approvals for the proposed 25 MW Mannum Solar Farm Stage 2, adding to 4.95 MW already under construction, plus option for 4 MW battery in South Australia. The project, on land in the vicinity of the Mannum Substation, is proposed to be developed in two stages, firstly 4.95 MW AC and then a second stage of 25 MW AC. The first 4.95 MW received Development Consent from the Mid-Murray Council and an Offer to Connect from SAPN. It is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by Q3 2019.


AER approves ElectraNet spending on South Australia system strength

20 August

South Australia will enjoy a more stable electricity system after the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) approved ElectraNet’s proposal to install four synchronous condensers.

The AER estimates ElectraNet will incur $166 million in efficient capital costs to deliver the project, slightly lower than ElectraNet initially proposed.

The decision comes after the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) declared a system strength gap in South Australia in October 2017, and identified the installation of synchronous condensers in South Australia as a priority project in its 2018 Integrated System Plan. Currently, AEMO directs synchronous generators to be online when required in order to maintain system stability, costing South Australian consumers more than a million dollars per month through compensation payments to these generators.

“Consumers pay for network investments for years to come and it is our job to ensure they pay no more than they need. But investment is required to maintain safe and secure supply.

“This investment will help strengthen the electricity system in South Australia, and reduce the amount South Australian consumers are required to pay as a result of market directions,” said AER chair Paula Conboy.

The AER’s decision allows ElectraNet to recover an additional $32 million from its transmission customers over the next three years. The AER estimates this decision on transmission charges will increase average annual bills for residential customers by up to $8 per year by 2022-23, or up to $36 per year for small business customers.

However, ElectraNet has estimated that the four synchronous condensers will help to reduce the annual cost of market directions, more than offsetting these increased transmission charges.

This decision is the final step of the AER’s regulatory approval process that allows ElectraNet to proceed with this priority investment. Other related transmission investments identified by AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, such as the proposed interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, remain subject to separate assessment and approval processes in accordance with the National Electricity Rules.

ElectraNet expects to install the four synchronous condenser units by the end of 2020.

Source: AER


Work begins at Roseworthy Campus solar panel farm

20 August

Site works began today at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus for a new solar panel farm that will supply over 40% of the campus’ energy requirements.

The 1.2 MW solar panel farm will be integrated with a 420kw/1200kWh battery and microgrid.

The Solar and Energy Storage Project was one of 20 to receive funding through the State Government’s $150m Renewable Technology Fund, designed to encourage the deployment of next generation renewable energy technology in South Australia.

The University received a $778,500 grant for a hybrid battery storage solution, as part of the Roseworthy campus’ overall $7 million solar farm project.

University of Adelaide Chief Operating Officer, Mr Bruce Lines, said the solar farm is part of the University’s Sustainability Plan which outlines the University’s commitment to decreasing the environmental impact of its operations.

“Under our new strategic plan the University is tackling sustainable energy and environmental sustainability as a priority,” Mr Lines said.

“The solar farm will be a ‘living laboratory’ for students and researchers, with access to time-lapse recording of the construction, building plans and data systems for remote-energy management, energy storage and load flex.

“Our researchers will utilise the solar farm and battery storage systems for projects including energy management strategies, grid segregation, low-cost fault detection systems, system resilience, and cybersecurity.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said: “The Marshall Liberal Government congratulates University of Adelaide on reaching this milestone and its commitment to improving renewable energy technology.”

“Put simply, this project will reduce the University’s peak electricity demand, reduce energy costs and increase the resilience of supply to the campus.”

The $1.5 million hybrid battery storage system will demonstrate the hybrid battery’s support to the South Australian electricity grid and assist the university to incorporate topics such as remote-energy management, energy storage and demand management into its teaching.

The Solar and Energy Storage Project is expected to be operational by May 2020.

Source: University of Adelaide


Coles agreement secures three new solar power plants

20 August

- Projects to provide 10% of Coles’ national power needs

Solar power plants capable of generating sufficient electricity for 39,000 homes1 will be built in regional New South Wales following a landmark 10-year agreement between Coles and global renewable power generation company Metka EGN.

In the first deal of its kind to be made by a major Australian retailer, Coles will purchase more than 70% of the electricity generated by three solar power plants to be built and operated by Metka EGN outside the regional centres of Wagga Wagga, Corowa and Junee – the equivalent of 10% of Coles’ national electricity usage.

The photovoltaic solar plants will supply more than 220 gigawatt hours of electricity into the national electricity grid. Producing the same amount of power from non-renewable sources would result in more than 180,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions2 every year, or the equivalent of the annual emissions of 83,000 cars3.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the increased use of renewable energy was a major part of the company’s commitment to be the most sustainable supermarket in Australia.

“Coles has been a cornerstone of Australian retail for more than 100 years, and ensuring the sustainability of our business is essential to success in our second century,” he said.

“We are thrilled that with this agreement, Coles can make a significant contribution to the growth of renewable energy supply in Australia, as well as to the communities we serve.

“We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 4 per cent over the past financial year and more than 30 per cent since 2009, despite growing our store network.

“Over the past two financial years alone we have invested more than $40 million in energy efficiency measures including upgrading all store lighting to LED by the end of 2019 and the installation of solar panels on 30 stores.”

Coles Chief Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said Coles was the first major Australian retailer to commit to buying renewable energy through a Power Purchase Agreement.

“Agreements like this are crucial to growing renewable generation capacity in Australia because they give the developers the certainty they need to invest,” he said.

As well as supporting large-scale generation projects, Coles is working with property partners to increase on-site generation of renewable power at stores and distribution centres.

“We plan to install solar panels on another 38 stores this financial year and we will be working with our landlords and property developers to identify further locations suitable for on-site solar power generation,” Mr Keeve said.

The projects announced today were developed by Australian renewable energy developer Terrain Solar, with the support of advisory firm PwC, as part of a portfolio of renewable generation plants. Metka EGN acquired the portfolio earlier this year and will build, operate and own the plants.

“Terrain Solar is incredibly proud of this landmark agreement that will underpin the construction of three new renewable energy plants in regional New South Wales” said Terrain chairman David Griffin.

The new solar plants are expected to support more than 250 jobs in regional NSW, including over 240 during construction and 10 ongoing roles.

Construction is scheduled to begin in September and the plants are expected to commence supplying power to the grid in July 2020.

1 AER Electricity and Gas Bill Benchmarks for Residential Customers: in new window

2 Department of Energy and Environment National Greenhouse Accounts Factors for NSW: in new window

3 Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June: in new window; National Transport Commission:

Source: Coles



Flyers Creek Wind Farm

Infigen granted permission to modify the development approval for its Flyers Creek Wind Farm in Blayney NSW to increase generation capacity from 130 MW up to 155 MW with the same amount of turbines. Infigen now plans to use 38 X 4.2 MW turbines instead of the originally planned 38 X 3 MW models.  A requested modification to include a 132kV transmission line and switching station to connect the project to the grid was also approved. The project was first approved in March 2014.


Victorian first for Net Zero target

20 August

La Trobe University will become Victoria’s first zero-emissions University under an ambitious project announced today.

A $75 million initiative combining 20 separate projects will ensure La Trobe will have Net Zero emissions by 2029.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the University was committed to making real change for long-term benefit.

“La Trobe recognises the social, environmental and economic importance of reducing our carbon footprint. That’s why we have set an ambitious target to become the first University in Victoria to meet this important goal.

“Not only is reducing our carbon emissions the right thing to do, it also makes good economic and environmental sense. Rather than simply buy carbon credits, we’ve got a clear plan for action and we are making genuine, local changes to become more efficient and make a deliberate switch to renewables.

The initiative was officially launched by Professor Dewar and University Chancellor John Brumby today. It includes the installation of more than 7 000 solar panels on 27 buildings across the Melbourne campus, starting next month. That’s the equivalent of more than 17 kilometres of panels laid end to end or more than 400 home solar systems. At the peak of solar efficiency, the panels will supply up to half of the campus’ daytime power usage.

In excess of 3,300 solar panels have already been installed on rooftops at regional campuses in MilduraSheppartonBendigo and Albury-Wodonga.

More than 50,000 high-efficiency low cost LED lights will also be progressively installed in and around University buildings to permanently reduce overall power consumption.

As part of the plan, a large-scale composter has already been installed at the Melbourne campus. The unit can each day turn the equivalent of 100kg of organic waste into 20kg of nutrient rich, eco-friendly fertiliser for campus gardens and grounds. Ultimately 100 percent of  campus organic waste will be diverted from landfill, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The University is also harnessing the University’s in-house research and technology expertise to reduce emissions. World class data analytics researchers and their students are designing and implementing the La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP) – not only monitoring energy consumption in up to 50 smart buildings, but also making lighting, heating and cooling adjustments in real time to reduce energy consumption.

La Trobe is Victoria’s only state-wide University, with significant landholdings right across the state, and not just on its campuses at Mildura, Bendigo, Shepparton and Albury-Wodonga.  The University is present in different climate zones throughout Victoria, including areas of the state which receive high levels of sunshine year-round.  This means the University is also in the early stages of investigation with industry and government to assess the viability of solar farms on University land that will not only create clean energy, but also provide an opportunity for research and innovation.

Vice President Strategy and Development Natalie MacDonald said this initiative was the obvious next step in the University’s long-term sustainability plan.

“Our Net Zero commitment builds on the great sustainability work already underway. A diverse eco-corridor runs through our Melbourne campus. We were the first Australian University to commit to divestment of fossil fuel intensive investments in 2016. We are the first University nationally to receive a six-star rating for sustainable large-scale developments and our University City of the Future plan is embracing best practice green building practices,” she said.

La Trobe University is Victoria’s third oldest University and continues to sit in the top 400 universities in the world in all three major global rankings – the QS, Times Higher Education and Academic Ranking of World Universities.

More information the Net Zero plan can be found at the University’s website.

Source: Latrobe University



Oxley Solar Farm

Location: Gara Road, approximately 14km east of Armidale in northern NSW

Capacity: 300 MW AC

Developer: Oxley Solar Development, a subsidiary of Solar Megawatt Holdings Pty Ltd

LGA: Armidale Council

Estimated cost: $430mil

Description: The project involves the construction, operation and decommissioning of a photovoltaic (PV) solar array farm consisting of ~900,000 panels that would supply electricity to the national electricity grid. The proposed site is a maximum of about 900 ha with the area of PV panels and associated infrastructure likely to occupy around half of this area. This would include a battery storage facility with a proposed storage capacity of 30 MWh. A 132 kV substation would be constructed in the vicinity of the existing 132 kV transmission lines. The exact connection method will be subject to further feasibility assessment.

Contact: Project team

Tel: 1300 708 818




We are proud of our company, our industry and the businesses that support it

21 August

“Aurecon has notified Adani Australia that it will finalise its working association with Adani, following a relationship with Abbot Point Terminal that spanned more than two decades.

“While we are surprised by the decision, given the positive long-term relationship and the fact that we are not aware of any commercial issues or disputes between our companies, we value the work that Aurecon has delivered for our port and renewable energy businesses.

“We are already in conversations with other businesses and a number of companies have eagerly expressed their interest in taking up this portfolio of work, along with other current opportunities to work with our Australian port business, the Carmichael Project, and our renewables business.

“There has been a concerted campaign by extremists against our Carmichael Project and businesses that partner with us.

“It has not succeeded and construction of the Carmichael Project is well and truly underway.

“We have repeatedly demonstrated that we will not be intimidated or deterred from delivering on our promises to Queenslanders, Australians and the people in developing nations who desperately need affordable energy to help lift them out of poverty.

“We are incredibly proud of our Australian businesses that have delivered thousands of jobs and more than $3.6 billion into the Australian economy in the short space of nine years.

“We could not have achieved this success without the support of our suppliers and business partners, many of whom have been with us since day one.

“Together we are proud to be a part of Australia’s world-class coal industry that last year directly employed for more than 50,000 people, and a further 120,000 indirect jobs across the country.”

“Our company is walking the talk when it comes to climate change. We recognise the science and are taking active steps to address the global challenge that is climate change through our international renewables business.

“We have now brought this business to Australia, and recently switched on a 65MW solar farm at Rugby Run in central Queensland.

“Our business is at the forefront of addressing the challenge of rising energy demand in Asia while reducing emissions intensity and we are playing our part in delivering a reliable and secure global energy mix to help create more equitable standards of living between the developed and the developing world.

“Coal is critical to this mix as it provides affordable, reliable baseload power.

“We are proud of the breadth of Adani’s international business, which touches millions of people’s lives by supplying renewable energy, electricity transmission, gas for cars and cooking, coal for electricity, food and services in agriculture, ports, aerospace, healthcare, housing, airports, roads, data storage and so much more.”

Source: Adani Australia



Waipipi Wind Farm

Tilt Renewables reported that as part of its commitments to, and discussions with, IWI stakeholders the Waverley Wind Farm project located near Patea on the North Island of NZ has been renamed the Waipipi Wind Farm.

Project Details

Capital cost ~NZ$270 million

Turbines 31 x Siemens Gamesa (SGRE) SWT-DD-130 4.3MW turbines

Project Structure Multi-contract delivery model:

  • Wind turbine Supply & Installation – Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
  • Civil balance of plant – Higgins as preferred supplier
  • Electrical balance of plant & 110kV transmission line – ElectroNet Services as preferred supplier
  • Transmission connection – Transpower

Revenue contracting 100% volume, 20-yr tenor PPA with Genesis Energy

Capacity 133.3 MW

Turbine tip height/Hub height 160m / 95m

P50 GWh (lifetime average) ~455 GWh/yr

Target NTP Q3 calendar 2019

Target COD Q2 calendar 2021


Finley Solar Farm - milestone

21 August

Finley Solar Farm has been proceeding well, meeting an important milestone in having Stage 1 or equivalent of 85 MW installed and tested, ready for back energisation from the substation operated by TransGrid.

Canadian Solar has been supplying solar modules, operation & maintenance services, and been partnering with Signal Energy to provide EPC services for the 175 MWp Finley Solar Farm. The solar farm is being developed by ESCO Pacific Pty Ltd, who is managing construction on behalf of owner John Laing. Located west of the township of Finley in the Berrigan Shire Council, the solar farm will cover an area of 385 hectares when finished, using approximately 500,000 Canadian Solar Ku modules. The solar panels will be installed on ground-mounted frames, slowly tracking the daily horizontal movement of the sun.

The development of the solar farm will produce enough energy to power 59,000 NSW homes, displacing over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually with economic stimulus and social benefit to the region. Development will also offer employment during planning, construction and operational stages of the project. Additionally, there is a multiplier effect from the project, in which value is created for industries such as accommodation, leisure and retail in the region.

Source: Canadian Solar


Share or perish – the megatrends shaping energy

21 August

A modern energy system based on the principles of fairness and sharing value through partnerships between companies and customers is taking shape in Australia, according to EnergyAustralia.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said the Australian energy industry was transforming in response to three global megatrends: decarbonisation; falling technology costs, and; a focus on fairness. Companies which resist the trends, or rely on incremental change, risk failing, she said.

"Within a decade, maybe less, the Australian energy market will have changed beyond recognition," Catherine said.

"We’re talking a complete transformation which will require energy companies to enter a new social contract with the community. Families and businesses will expect that, where value is created in a new, modern and cleaner energy system, they’ll have opportunities to share in that value."

Research into global megatrends by EnergyAustralia, one of the country’s leading power retailers, identified the three having greatest impact on the energy sector:

- Decarbonisation – the shift from a power system dominated by large, centralised fossil-fuel generation to one based on intermittent, renewable energy.

- Falling technology costs – supporting the growth of consumer generation and storage, such as solar PV systems and batteries, and underpinning the "connected" home.

- Focus on fairness – as trust in institutions is questioned, and digital platforms proliferate, people are looking for a "fair go", making clear their expectations for how energy companies should behave.

Head of Customer Mark Collette said EnergyAustralia was responding to the megatrends by finding ways to partner with customers while investing in renewable energy projects around the country.

Solar PV, battery storage, selling power back into the grid and demand response were becoming increasingly popular services with households and small businesses. Earlier this year EnergyAustralia expanded its offer to commercial and industrial customers with the acquisition of 49 per cent stake in solar and LED lighting company, Echo Group.

Retail products also reflected the trends. In July EnergyAustralia eliminated conditional discounting and introduced a new suite of offers with prices fixed for contract terms. The launch included a plan aimed at providing existing customers with lower rates, effectively sharing savings when churn is reduced.

“Building new, cleaner generation capacity is just one side of the equation,” Mark said. “There’s a new world of products and services out there that can help households and businesses save energy and money – people want help piecing them together into the package that suits them best.

“When there’s value created people expect they’ll get to share in it, whether it’s from the energy they generate themselves or even the energy they don’t use. Demand response is a great example – the cheapest generation is the generation you don’t have to build.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has put the cost of the physical transition of the country’s energy system between $8 billion and $27 billion between now and 20401.

After a five-year turnaround program EnergyAustralia now has a stable platform from which it can assess new gas and pumped hydro projects with the potential to complement and firm wind and solar generation entering the market. At the same time, EnergyAustralia continues to invest in its existing generation portfolio to provide reliable power for customers as the clean energy transition unfolds.

“People want the clean energy transition, but many are struggling with rising power bills. Cost, emissions and reliability – it’s the trilemma,” Catherine said.

“The community isn’t asking for anything that’s unreasonable or out of reach. All the pieces of the puzzle for a modern, cleaner energy system already exist, and it’s taking shape; it’s a system underpinned by wind and solar power, supported by storage, like commercial batteries and pumped hydro, demand response, energy efficient technology and flexible generation.

“The challenge isn’t technology, or even engineering – it’s planning, to make sure all the pieces fit together,” she said.

1 Australian Energy Market Operator, Integrated System Plan, July 2018

Source: EnergyAustralia


Canadian Solar signs agreements to provide operations & maintenance services for 300 MWp solar power plants in Australia

21 August

Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced that it has signed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) agreements with Gannawarra Solar Farm Pty Ltd, Hayman Solar Farm Pty Ltd and Daydream Solar Farm Pty Ltd for three solar PV plants totaling 300 MWp in Australia.

The Gannawarra Solar Farm near Kerang in western Victoria, co-owned by Wirsol and Edify Energy, is a 60 MWp single-axis tracking solar system with energy storage and it is the first large-scale solar farm in Victoria to date. The Hayman and Daydream solar farms are located in Collinsville of Northern Queensland with a combined capacity of 240 MWp, and are developed by Edify Energy and co-owned by Blackrock and Edify Energy. Canadian Solar will be responsible for plant monitoring, performance management, and preventative and corrective maintenance in all three facilities.  Canadian Solar's O&M portfolio in Australia is now over 875 MWp with over 2.9 GWp O&M portfolio in operation or contracted worldwide.

"Edify's position as a market leader in Australia provides the opportunity to work in partnership with other world class leaders in renewable energy," said John Cole, Founder and Chief Executive of Edify Energy. "We are excited to be working with Canadian Solar as our O&M contractor on five power stations – four solar farms and an energy storage system – for which we have an ownership stake and are asset manager. Working with Canadian Solar will ensure a continued source of efficient, innovative and reliable renewable energy. We continue to lead the charge towards a smarter and cleaner energy supply for Australia."

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc. said, "As one of the leading global providers of solar system solutions for the past 18 years with extensive experience in operating and maintaining our own solar facilities, offering operations and maintenance services to customers is a natural extension of Canadian Solar's value proposition. We are delighted to be selected by Wirsol and Edify Energy to provide O&M services to the 3 solar farms to minimize downtime and increase site availability. We will continue to add value to the Australian energy market by providing the best quality service, maximize production of renewable energy and enhance the value of solar assets through our O&M services."

Source: Canadian Solar



Golden Plains Wind Farm

Westwind Energy appointed GE Renewable Energy as co-developer and turbine supplier for its 800-1000MW Golden Plains Wind Farm near Rokewood in Victoria's southwest. More than 200 of GE’s new 5.3 MW Cypress wind turbines will be installed at Golden Plains which will be completed in stages at an overall cost of around $1.5bil. The project was granted state government development approvals in January.


Our vision for a brighter energy future

21 August


The development of a new business strategy focused on generating further value from the refining business, leveraging existing assets and capabilities and building on our core strengths through highly economic projects, is continuing apace.

Additionally, the Company is focussed on growing value from the infrastructure and the pipeline assets which are of critical importance to the security of New Zealand’s fuel supply.

Said Fuge: "A key contributor to that strategy will be our plans to generate carbon-free electricity from a solar farm adjacent to the Refinery on land belonging to the Company. The 31-hectare solar farm would be New Zealand's largest solar facility."

"The early work on the economics of the project has shown that the solar farm could reduce the cost of the Refinery's electricity consumption by around $3 million to $4million per year.

Progressing solar is contingent on obtaining a resource consent for the project and final approval from the Refining NZ Board later in the year. "

(NOTE: Excerpt from Half Year Results.)

Source: RefiningNZ


Additional resources required to meet summer peaks

22 August

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has today released its 2019 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO), which forecasts tight electricity supply-demand conditions in several States for the upcoming 2019-20 summer and highlights the need for short- and longer-term investment in dispatchable resources and transmission.

The ESOO is developed annually to forecast electricity supply reliability in the National Electricity Market (NEM) over a 10-year period and is designed to inform the decision-making processes of market participants, new investors, and policy-makers. For the first time, this ESOO also considered whether there was a sufficient resource need to trigger an obligation on retailers under the Retailer Reliability Obligation (RRO).

The 2019 ESOO forecasts a continued elevated risk of expected unserved energy (USE) over the next 10 years. Compared to last year’s ESOO forecast, AEMO observes greater risks of load shedding due to uncontrollable, but increasingly likely, high impact (‘tail risk’) events such as simultaneous unplanned outages during hot days.

For the immediate summer, findings highlight the impact of major generation outages in Victoria and the need for additional reserve resources and reflect the measured impact of a deterioration of reliability of aging thermal generators. Beyond 2020, AEMO forecasts only slight improvements in reliability for peak summer periods until new transmission and dispatchable supply and demand resources become available, with the situation to further worsen following the gradual closure of Liddell power station.

The impact of the retirement of one unit at Liddell Power Station in April 2022 begins to tighten the reserve situation in New South Wales culminating in an increased USE level in 2023-24 following the closure of the remaining units. However, as the USE level is forecast within the expected 0.002% across these years, it does not meet the “material reliability gap” threshold that would require AEMO to trigger the RRO in 12 months' time. The analysis does, however, highlight that as in Victoria this summer, following the gradual closure of Liddell, a combination of high summer demand and unplanned generator outages will leave the region exposed to significant supply gaps and involuntary load shedding during peak electricity demand, unless mitigating actions are taken in advance. 

AEMO’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Audrey Zibelman said that the analysis demonstrates the need for urgent action and prudent planning and investment in the sector to deliver affordable and reliable electricity supply to Australian consumers all year round, but particularly during the summer period.

“AEMO has already commenced work with the industry throughout the NEM and is working closely with governments to prepare for this summer by securing additional resources to meet peak summer demands. However, while expected and allowed for under current rules, we are finding this type of reactive action is imposing higher costs on consumers and risks to reliability which are not sustainable over the longer term.

“A more measured course is to take a number of deliberate actions that address the challenges of our aging coal fleet and which meet the need for secure and dispatchable supply, whilst also taking advantage of Australia’s natural resources. We need to harness all the resources we have in the system, together with the opportunities that come with the technological advances occurring in the industry to meet current and future energy demands at the lowest cost possible,” Ms Zibelman said.

AEMO has identified several pragmatic actions that should be taken to avoid consumer exposure to an unreasonable level of risk of involuntary load shedding during peak summer periods. Some of these actions are currently underway, such as AEMO’s Summer Readiness Plan and the planning and commissioning of targeted transmission augmentation, and others require changes to rules and/or additions to AEMO’s authority.

Further actions identified include several changes that will support better outcomes for reliability and affordability. These include the introduction of a new reliability standard designed to assure that each region has sufficient resources to meet peak demand requirements during 90 percent of the time - this is more typical standard used internationally; the development of new markets for essential services so AEMO can more efficiently pay suppliers for all resources required to maintain the reliability and security of the physical system; the acceleration of critical upgrades and construction of interconnectors and transmission to enable better use of existing and new supply resources; and the ability to procure and operate a three-year strategic reserve to minimise the need to pay a premium for emergency power.

The development of a more reliable and secure power system does not equate to a more expensive one, Ms Zibelman added.

“At present, AEMO does not have the tools or mechanisms to enable cost effective access to sufficient resources for all hours of the year, so we are forced to use more emergency actions that impose unnecessary risk and costs on consumers, just at a time where the goal is to pursue more cost-effective outcomes. To achieve our goal, we are working closely with industry, the Commonwealth and State governments to pursue with necessary speed the adoption of changes required to deliver affordable, secure and reliable energy to Australian consumers this year and in the future,” Ms Zibelman said.

You can download the full 2019 ESSO here

Source: AEMO


Shell makes offer to purchase ERM Power

22 August

Shell Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has today entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed to acquire 100% of the shares in ERM Power (ERM), a leading commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity retailer in Australia, for $AUD 617 million less dividend adjustments payable by ERM.

In the space of just 10 years since ERM entered the commercial and industrial electricity market, the company has grown to become the second largest energy retailer by load in Australia. The company is also an electricity generator, owning and operating two gas-fired generation plants. Gas-fired generation will play an important role in Australia’s transition to renewables.

“This acquisition aligns with Shell’s global ambition to expand our integrated power business and builds on Shell’s existing gas marketing and trading capability,” Shell Australia’s Country Chair Zoe Yujnovich said.

“ERM will become our core power and energy solutions platform and this acquisition is a significant step forward in growing Shell’s integrated power business in Australia. Upon completion, we look forward to welcoming ERM’s staff and customers to Shell,” she said.

The acquisition has received Foreign Investment Review Board and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approvals and Shell’s offer is subject to court approval as well as ERM shareholder approval. The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of 2019.

Source: Royal Dutch Shell


Renewable solution reaches remote Indigenous communities

22 August

Renewable energy is creating jobs and reducing costs and emissions for isolated and remote Indigenous communities in Queensland’s far North.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham told Parliament today that the Palaszczuk Government was delivering on its $3.6 million election commitment to continue to roll out renewable energy to Bamaga, Mapoon, Pormpuraaaw and Doomadgee.

Work is underway extending an existing solar farm at Doomadgee, Mapoon is next cab off the rank, and government officials have started talks with Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional councils.

“These communities rely heavily on expensive, non-renewable diesel fuel to generate power,” Dr Lynham said.

“Switching to renewables, such as solar, directly benefits local communities by creating jobs and power savings, as well as bringing the environmental benefits of reduced emissions.”

At Doomadgee, construction has begun on a 304 kilowatt extension of Ergon Energy’s existing solar farm.

The solar farm extension will use an innovative pre-fabricated solar technology to allow ground-mounted solar panels to be deployed faster and cheaper than traditional solar installations. 

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said one of the biggest local benefits was that Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council had won the tender for the civil works.

“This means the project is supporting up to 15 construction jobs in the local community over the next two months,” she said.

Work will also kick off next month on installing another 105 kilowatts of rooftop solar on four council buildings.

“The rooftop solar will save Doomadgee council an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 per year on their power costs over 20 years, which is money that stays in community,” he said.

The Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council is installing rooftop solar this year and this project will deliver a technical management solution so that solar and diesel generation can work together.

As part of the project, the Indigenous Consumer Assistance network will be in Mapoon this year helping families save money on power by using energy more efficiently at home. 

Mapoon will also get more rooftop solar and some battery energy storage mid-next year.

Source: Queensland Government


Clarification – AEMO NEM Statement of Opportunities

22 August

Windlab Limited (“WND” or “the Company”) notes the release yesterday by the Australian Energy Market Operator of its “2019 Electricity Statement of Opportunities” (the “ESOO”). The ESOO refers to Kennedy Energy Park reaching commercial operation in August 2019, with a footnote that the project’s “commercial operation date has been delayed to 1 July 2021 due to project status”.

Windlab was not consulted by AEMO about this assumption and is not aware of the basis on which AEMO arrived at this assumption. Windlab will advise AEMO that it considers their assumption to be overly conservative.

First export of electricity from Kennedy occurred as expected in mid-August and the project has begun commissioning and testing under a 5MW export limit. Commercial operation is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Source: Windlab


5B selected as preferred technology for Sun Cable’s world-first 10GW solar project

22 August

Australian solar technology developer 5B is pleased to announce it has been selected as Sun Cable’s preferred technology on the development of the solar farm component of the ground-breaking Australia-Singapore Power Link project - a $20 billion, 10GW solar farm and a 20-30GW hour storage facility near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The project is the largest solar farm under development in the world and will supply loads in the Darwin and Singapore markets via high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission. The project will commence construction in late 2023, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Power generated by the farm will be exported to Singapore via a 3,750 kilometre undersea HVDC cable, providing up to 20% of Singapore's electricity.

5B were selected as preferred technology partner for the project due to their revolutionary solar array technology, Maverick; a modular, pre-fabricated and plug & play solution that enables deployment of solar faster and at lower cost than ever before. Chris McGrath, 5B CEO, commented; "The Sun Cable project exemplifies the possibilities unlocked with our Maverick technology. We developed the Maverick solution precisely to allow solar deployment that is simpler, faster and smarter and by doing so, opening new opportunities for solar. Our solution streamlines engineering, procurement & construction and transfers cost, time & risk from the construction site to our factory - so in a controlled environment where high productivity and quality can be achieved - key for a project of this scale and in such a remote location as the Australian Outback. The fact that our Maverick solution is now driving a cost of solar energy so competitive that Australia can export that energy from the Outback to Singapore, is tremendously exciting and marks a significant tipping point for the energy market.”

5B will deploy the project at record low cost and speed, with a special variant of its Maverick solution, the Big Field Maverick, or BFM. 5B’s current Maverick solution is already pushing the boundaries of low cost and speed for solar array delivery - however the BFM, specifically targeted at mega and giga scale projects - will undoubtedly be setting a new solar farm delivery land-speed record, at a blistering pace of more than 15MWp per day, or 1MW per person per week.

In a significant step for Sun Cable and 5B, the first block of Maverick technology was deployed in July 2019 to commence detailed onsite monitoring of the solar and meteorological conditions at the Sun Cable site.

David Griffin, Sun Cable CEO, explains “The project is scheduled to start producing power from late 2027. The construction related logistical challenges are extensive. 5B’s centrally pre-fabricated and rapidly deployed Maverick solution, provides the simplest and lowest risk means to manage a project of this scale, especially in the remote Australian Outback.”

Due to the long term horizon of this project, it was also important for Sun Cable to take into account the trajectory of current technology and likely market conditions into the future. Maverick has been specifically developed by 5B and is recognised by its partners and customers, as being the solar farm of the future. McGrath explains, “As the cost of solar PV modules continue to fall, the focus for the industry becomes more and more centred on the challenge of getting solar modules from their point of manufacture, into the field and delivering energy in the fastest, lowest cost way possible. 5B, along with other pioneers in the industry, see this as driving a paradigm shift away from single axis tracking, which is enjoying its renaissance in current market conditions, towards low cost, energy dense east-west solutions, such as Maverick. Our Maverick solution also takes this a critical step further - providing the platform through its centralised pre-fabrication and on-site rapid deployment approach, for end to end streamlining of the supply chain for delivery of solar farms - as opposed to current slow and laborious ‘stick built’ or in situ construction practices.”

McGrath explains “To date, 5B’s Maverick solution has found itself being deployed in largely off-grid, remote or distributed projects, such as oil & gas or mine sites, as its rapid deployment and inherent re-deployability are most highly valued in these applications. These applications have provided a very important springboard for us as we have matured and optimised the technology, and will always form an important part of our market. However, deploying massive MW scale projects at ground-breaking speed and cost has always been the ultimate objective for our Maverick solution, making it ideally suited to the Sun Cable project.”

The Maverick blocks for the project will be fed to the site from Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south by the Darwin-Adelaide railway line, requiring a more than kilometre long train every few days and in the order of the equivalent of 40,000 shipping containers. At the peak of delivery, they will be arriving and being deployed at a rate of more than 100 BFMs, or 15MWp, per day. The project is also expected to create 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in total, with approximately half of these associated with the solar farm delivery. Converting the process from construction in the field to centralised pre-fabrication in factories means that this phenomenal delivery pace will be achieved with a modest team of 50 to 100 people onsite, supported by a force of 500 to 1,000 people in the production facilities.

5B has formed a strategic collaboration for the industrialisation and scaling of its Maverick solution for both Australia, and globally, with IXL Solar. IXL Solar is a member of the IXL Group - one of Australia’s longest operating manufacturing businesses, with deep roots in Australia’s automotive manufacturing history. Having prospered in the automotive industry for decades, IXL has made a strong diversification towards renewables, establishing local capacity for manufacturing of a range of solar mounting technologies.

5B’s participation in the Sun Cable project puts into sharp focus the opportunities for Australia’s economic future - demonstrating not just the opportunity for a shift to exporting energy from Australia that is produced sustainably, but also complementing this with a shift towards a knowledge-based economy, by affirming Australia’s position as a world leader in renewable energy technology, ready for export to power the world.

Source: 5B


Renewable hydrogen to be produced at Brisbane gas facility

23 August

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $950,000 in funding for gas company BOC for a renewable hydrogen production and refuelling project in Queensland.

The $3.1 million pilot project will involve the installation of a 220 kW electrolyser and a 100 kW solar array at BOC’s Bulwer Island gas facility to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis, and will utilise the industrial gas equipment and infrastructure onsite. The electrolyser will have the capacity to produce 2400 kilograms of hydrogen per month.

The project also includes a hydrogen refuelling station in Brisbane. In addition to supplying BOC’s existing industrial customers, 50kg per day of renewable hydrogen will be produced by BOC for the vehicle refuelling station.

Hydrogen from fossil fuels is currently produced at BOC’s Altona steam methane reformer in Melbourne. Once this project is complete, green hydrogen produced at Bulwer Island will reduce the need to transport hydrogen. The electrolyser will be configured to produce hydrogen via electrolysis drawn from the onsite solar or grid sourced renewable energy via a power purchase agreement.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said BOC’s project would demonstrate the production and use of renewable hydrogen in refuelling, and in existing gas production and supply chains.

“BOC’s project is a great example of leveraging current industrial gas equipment and infrastructure, and will also trial renewable hydrogen in refuelling. Producing hydrogen on site will reduce shipping costs, while being able to help grow the local Brisbane fuel cell vehicle market and also meet demand from local industry.”

“Hydrogen is a huge opportunity for Australia, both in our domestic economy and internationally as an emission-free energy source but it is still in its early stages. In Australia, hydrogen has applications across transport, heavy industry, and as energy storage injected into our existing gas networks. Internationally, we are well placed to become a leading exporter of hydrogen,” Mr Miller said.

Last year ARENA commissioned a report by ACIL Allen Consulting to look into the opportunities for Australia from hydrogen exports. The report found that Australia is in a strong position to become a leading exporter of hydrogen, as global demand increases over the next decade, predicting Australia’s hydrogen export industry could be worth $1.7 billion annually to the economy and create 2,800 jobs by 2030.

ARENA has thrown its weight behind Australia’s increasing focus on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. Previously, ARENA has supported Toyota’s hydrogen centre at their Altona former car manufacturing plant, ATCO’s hydrogen microgrid in Western Australia and Jemena’s power-to-grid gas demonstration in western Sydney. Last year, ARENA also awarded $22.1 million to 16 hydrogen research projects. ARENA is also contributing to the National Hydrogen Strategy being led by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

“ARENA is playing a leading role in helping to get Australia’s hydrogen economy off the ground by supporting innovation from early stage research to demonstration-scale projects like this,” Mr Miller said.

BOC South Pacific’s Managing Director John Evans said this will leverage BOC’s existing infrastructure and expertise across the entire hydrogen supply chain, and support the growth of hydrogen as a zero emission fuel.

“BOC is delighted to be working with ARENA and our project partners to establish a local supply of renewable hydrogen in Queensland that can be easily scalable and replicated across the country.

“Through this project, we will deliver added environmental value to our industrial customers and facilitate the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in Queensland – while also enhancing our own production processes at Bulwer Island.”

Source: ARENA


SEARs issued by the NSW Department of Planning

23 August

Following the submission of the Scoping Report for the proposed Bowmans Creek Wind Farm, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has issued the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). The SEARs specify what issues are required to be addressed within the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Scoping Report and SEARs are both available on the Major Projects portal at the link below.

A community update will be provided shortly with more details about the assessment work being carried out for the EIS and subsequent community information sessions. To subscribe to the community updates please enter your email address at the bottom of the project page.

Source: Epuron



Cohuna Solar Farm

Enel Green Power is seeking a generation licence from the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESC) as owner and operator of the Cohuna Solar Farm. The Cohuna Solar Farm is 34.2 MWdc/27.27 MWac in capacity, comprising of bifacial PV panels on single axis trackers. The Cohuna Solar Farm is located in the Shire of Gannawarra, Victoria, approximately eight kilometres south of the town of Cohuna, and 25 kilometres east of Kerang. The Applicant will invest approximately $60 million (AUD) to construct and operate the Cohuna Solar Farm.

Construction of the Cohuna Solar Farm began in March 2019 and commercial operations are due to commence by the end of 2019. The Cohuna Solar Farm will be connected to the local distribution grid through the Cohuna Zone Substation and will comprise around 87,000 bifacial PV modules. It is expected to generate up to 77 GWh per year for the 30 years of its estimated design life, equivalent to avoiding 70,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

In August 2018, the Applicant successfully procured a 15-year support agreement through Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) for the generation of energy and green certificates at the Cohuna Solar Farm, helping to support its ongoing commercial viability.

Source: Essential Services Commission of Victoria

NOTE: Enel Green Power acquired the Cohuna Solar Farm from original developer Leeson Group on financial close.


Garden Island Microgrid operational

23 August

Carnegie is pleased to announce that the Garden Island Microgrid (GIMG) has commenced operations following recent approval from the Department of Defence. With approvals in place from Department of Defence and Western Power (received in late June), Carnegie has officially powered up the system and has commenced producing clean renewable energy for HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base.

The energy being produced on Garden Island partially supports the power demand of HMAS Stirling under an electricity supply agreement between Carnegie and Department of Defence. Over the coming months, Carnegie will be working to optimise the system including ramping up capacity and system functionality.

The Garden Island Microgrid is a 2MW solar PV and 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system with the capability to connect wave energy in the future. The system is designed as a wave-integrated microgrid and the agreements with the Department of Defence include the ability to sell power produced from wave energy. The Project has received funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

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