185 possible pumped hydro sites identified for SA

16 June

Australia’s electricity grid could become more secure with up to 185 potential sites identified for pumped hydro energy storage in South Australia.

The sites have been identified as part of work being carried out by the Australian National University which is supported by a $449,000 grant from the Turnbull Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The aim of the study is to develop a nationwide map of potential sites, with South Australia being the first state to be surveyed.

Investing in renewable storage technologies, such as pumped hydro and batteries, will play a key role into securing an affordable and reliable energy network in Australia.

Already we have pledged support for a major expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme with a study grant through ARENA to examine the best locations to increase the Snowy’s capacity to produce reliable, affordable renewable energy and provide pumped hydro storage.

The Government is also looking at further hydro-electricity and pumped storage opportunities in Tasmania, the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia and Kidston in Queensland.

Pumped hydro energy storage involves pumping water uphill to a storage reservoir and releasing it through a turbine to provide additional energy into the electricity grid when it is needed. It accounts for 97 per cent of energy storage worldwide.

As the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel noted in his review of the National Electricity Market, pumped hydro storage systems are the most mature electrical energy storage systems available. They can be dispatched rapidly which means they are well placed to balance peak demand and provide backup for renewable generation.

As part of the Turnbull Government’s commitment to the affordability and reliability of the National Electricity Market, ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation are working together on a new priority funding round for large-scale storage and other flexible capacity projects including pumped hydro.

Source: Federal Government


Kidston solar project (phase one 50mw) update

19 June

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide shareholders with this latest update regarding the construction program for the Company’s Phase One 50MW Kidston Solar Project (KSP1 or Project).

Genex is pleased to report that the construction of KSP1 continues to remain on-time and on-budget for anticipated first generation in Q4 2017 and Practical Completion in Q1 2018. Key activities since the last update (refer ASX announcement 15 May 2017) include:

  • Continued installation of solar modules across the KSP1 site;
  • Continued installation of the piles which form the base for the poles and frames upon which the solar panels are mounted;
  • Continued installation of the NEXTracker module framing system which also includes the single axis tracking system for tracking the sun’s movement and to ensure the modules capture optimal solar radiation levels;
  • Completion of the Ergon Kidston switchyard civil works;
  • Continuation of the Ergon Kidston electrical equipment installation works;
  • Installation of the solar farm substation earth-grid; and
  • Completion of site clearing.

Commenting on the continued successful progress of the Company’s 50MW solar project, Managing Director of Genex Power, Michael Addison said:

“We are pleased to report that construction continues to remain on-time and on-budget. The project continues to tick off major milestones that will allow us to reach first generation by Q4 2017. The installation of panels is fantastic to see, depicting not only the rapid progression of the development but also the scale of the project.

With work progressing strongly on KSP1, the Company is now focussing on our Stage Two Projects being the integrated 270MW Solar and 250MW Pumped Hydro Projects. The recent announcement by the Queensland Government (refer Genex ASX announcement 05 June 2017), to fund a feasibility study into, amongst other pieces of infrastructure, the construction of a 275kV transmission line in Northern Queensland which incorporates Genex’s Stage Two projects, has the potential to significantly de-risk these projects and enables us to accelerate development plans.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided $8.9 million funding to support the construction of the $126M Project at Genex’s Kidston Solar Farm.

Source: Genex Energy

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kidston Solar Farm


BELECTRIC PEG system successfully installed in Australia

19 June

The BELECTRIC PEG system design achieves a significant milestone for cost-effective solar PV power generation

The 4.77MWp Chillamurra Solar Plant at Goondiwindi Queensland; developed and built by YD Projects Pty Ltd and expected to be commissioned in June this year is built with BELECTRIC’s innovative and cost-effective PEG PV power plant system. “We are satisfied from the experience with the PEG system at Goondiwindi. It offers great savings related to material supply, transportation and installation”, said Glenn Clark, YD Projects sales manager. “The PEG system’s simplicity and the cost-effective material supply and installations were clearly demonstrated during the Chillamurra Solar Plant. We believe the system has a great potential in Australia”.

This fixed-tilt substructure which is ~80cm above ground offers significant CAPEX costs reduction compared to other substructure systems available in the market. Those saving are substructure material supply and logistics and installation costs.

Two additional PEG systems will be built in Australia by the end of 2017, the 10.8MWp system at Barcaldine Queensland developed by YD Projects Pty Ltd and the 3.3MWp system at Dareton NSW developed by a German investor.

Additional value of the PEG system is related to its uniquely efficient area consumption of 0.7 hectare per MWp. A recent sales activity done for behind-the-meter installation had found the usable project land to be sufficient for 15MW PEG system or otherwise only for 5MW tracker system.

During Q1 2017 the first PEG system was installed in Africa and during H2 2017 the first PEG project will be installed in America.

Source: Belectric


Lyon launches world-first utility scale battery storage market services tender

20 June

New $660 million solar storage project in north-west Victoria

The Lyon Group has released a groundbreaking market-driven approach to determining the services that will be provided by a portfolio of its large-scale battery storage projects.

Lyon is seeking expressions of interest for contracts to cover up to 640MWh of storage capacity across Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Lyon’s Battery Storage Market Services Tender, open from today, includes a new $660 million combined large-scale solar and battery storage project at Nowingi in north-west Victoria. Construction at Nowingi will commence in the coming months and is expected to employ about 250 workers.

Lyon Group Partner David Green said his company’s tender was an opportunity for electricity retailers and generators, large electricity users, and other sector participants.

“Lyon is able to offer multiple services from the same battery system, and flexibility in contract size to accommodate various users,” Mr Green said. “Lyon will enter into commercial contracts for real services provided by physical assets. This is not a theoretical exercise.”

Services that large-scale battery storage systems can provide include Energy Price Arbitrage, Load Shifting, Renewable Energy Ramp Control, Frequency Control and Ancillary Services, Caps, Network Control and System Restart Ancillary Services, Marginal Loss Factor services and Firming Capacity.

The outcome of the tender will influence the final engineering design of the projects’ battery storage systems. This innovative approach is believed to be a world first.

The solar storage projects within the scope of the tender are Nowingi (Victoria), and the already announced Cape York (Queensland) and Riverland (South Australia).

“These projects are working through development consultation and approvals. The land has been secured, technology and other commercial arrangements are in place, and the required network capacity analysis and consultations are well advanced. Lyon’s projects are 100% equity financed.”

“Projects like these are the heart of Australia’s energy transition, allowing for substantially higher levels of variable, low emissions generation, while strengthening the resilience of the system.”

Mr Green said the recent Finkel report into the future of Australia’s electricity market shone a spotlight on large-scale battery storage and its central role in the evolving energy system.

“Lyon’s Battery Storage Market Services Tender is a reflection of the new energy world the Finkel Report describes. It is real and it is happening.”

“Large-scale battery storage will be integral to meeting the Energy Security Obligations recommended by Dr Finkel.”

Large-scale battery storage provides a cost-effective alternative to network infrastructure upgrades, and new gas generation. It ensures the true value of large-scale renewables can be realised, and provides multiple capacity and security services to the energy market at any given moment.

“The Finkel Report highlighted the importance of fast frequency response, which is delivered by largescale battery storage more effectively than any other alternative.”

“As the cost of large-scale solar with storage has fallen, the interest of international investors has risen considerably.”

Mr Green said Nowingi Solar Storage would have 2.3 million solar panels and the battery storage system would deliver power on demand.

Nowingi Solar Storage’s 250MW solar generation will charge an 80MW / 160 MWh battery storage system, making it the world’s second biggest such project, after Lyon’s Riverland Solar Storage, which was announced in March this year.

“Nowingi Solar Storage will improve the security and reliability of a stretched part the grid and put downward pressure on electricity prices.”

Lyon developed and sold Australia’s first large-scale solar and battery storage project, having identified that a high penetration of large-scale variable renewables would need to be supplemented by storage in order to deliver reliable, flexible power.

“Lyon identified the need for large-scale battery storage some five years ago. We’ve been working with governments, market bodies and utilities for an extended period.”

The Lyon Group’s Australian project pipeline currently comprises more than 1,700MW of large-scale solar and 1,000MW of large-scale battery storage.

Lyon is developing a number of new and innovative battery storage products that it will release to the market in the near future.

Source: Lyon Group



Majors Creek Solar Farm

The proposed action involves the establishment of approximately 200 MW AC of solar power photovoltaic (PV) facilities at Woodstock Giru Road, Woodstock. The energy will be grid-connected through a new switchyard constructed at the site and connected to existing 275 kV transmission line running through the Project Area. The PV facilities will be located within the Project Area and the development has been designed to avoid significant impacts to MNES. The project will also be designed to accommodate battery storage technology at a later date.

The Project Area was chosen for its relatively flat topography and the High Voltage Transmission lines that crosses the site from the north west to south east.

The Project Area covers approximately 742 ha and is comprised of two lots. Only a portion of this will be subject to development. The development envelope covers an area of approximately 539.5 ha.


Ian Christmas    

Head Engineering & Technical   

Edify Energy

Tel: 0447 347 974             

Email: ian.christmas@edifyenergy.com

Source: Edify Energy      


Securing our energy future

20 June

The Turnbull Government is taking immediate action to put downward pressure on power prices and ensure reliable energy for all Australians.

Every decision we make in the energy sector is designed to ease pressure on household bills and make businesses more competitive.

Today, the Turnbull Government agreed to:

  • Finalise tough new regulations in the gas sector to give Australian customers priority access to gas supply before it is exported. This will commence on July 1.
  • Strengthen the Australian Energy Regulator by providing it with an additional $67.4 million to stop energy network companies gaming the system and overturning rulings in the courts.
  • Ask AEMO how to ensure that new continuous dispatchable power is provided, including what support is needed to promote new investment.

This decisive action puts the needs of Australian families and businesses first. Our priority is to ensure all Australians have access to reliable and affordable energy supplies.

The finalisation of our tough gas regulations will increase supply to the domestic market, putting downward pressure on gas prices which have risen because of supply shortfalls.

We simply cannot allow Australians to pay more for Australian gas than competitors overseas do.

Restrictions will be placed on gas exporters when there are shortages in the domestic market.

The Turnbull Government will also take immediate action to address escalating electricity prices.

We will stop big electricity companies from running to the courts to try to overturn the Australian Energy Regulator’s decisions. Companies have made 52 appeals and the courts have ruled against consumers 31 times. This will end.

To back this, we will strengthen the Regulator by providing it with an additional $67.4 million to ensure it is fully equipped to address behaviour in the market that is pushing up electricity prices.

Baseload power anchors our electricity system. Continuous generation underpins our household and economic security. With a significant amount of baseload generation being phased out over the next 15 years, we need to ensure we are prepared and have enough power to meet future needs.

We will ask the responsible market body, the Australian Energy Market Operator, to:

  • identify the existing and potential loss of continuous, dispatchable (baseload) generation;
  • talk to suppliers and customers, particularly large-scale emissions intensive industrial users, about what they need to secure future investment; and
  • examine how much continuous power is needed in the short term to stabilise power prices.

On the back of the identified need, we will ask AEMO how best to ensure the new continuous dispatchable power is provided, optimising affordability and security for consumers, including what if any support, including support from Governments if new investment is needed.

At an emergency COAG Energy Council meeting last year, following South Australia’s state-wide blackout, the Chief Scientist was tasked with developing a long term blueprint for the future security of the national electricity market.

The Chief Scientist's report was provided to COAG on 9 June. We are continuing to examine his report with the care it deserves.

The Commonwealth will progress the recommendations of the Chief Scientist, through the COAG Energy Council, which focus on enhanced security, stability, transparency and governance of the energy system and will continue further to consider and analyse the Clean Energy Target.

Source: Federal Government


Finkel review progress welcome but certainty is crucial for new investment

21 June

The Coalition party room’s approval yesterday of 49 recommendations from the Chief Scientist’s review of Australia’s energy security will ensure clean energy is better integrated into the power system, but bipartisan support for a Clean Energy Target remains essential to drive new investment in electricity generation, the clean energy industry’s peak body said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said new investment in power generation is the most effective way to put downward pressure on electricity bills, and ensure energy security as ageing generation continues to retire.

“The Finkel Review provides a strong roadmap for a clean, affordable and secure energy system. It’s very pleasing to see the Federal Government move swiftly to approve these recommendations, which include a range of market and regulatory reforms to better facilitate the transition to clean energy which is now underway,” Mr Thornton said.

“However these reforms alone are not enough to manage the transition of the energy system and bring on the new investment in low-cost electricity generation which is essential to power the Australian economy.

“The Chief Scientist clearly showed that a suite of clean energy technologies supported by battery technology can ensure a secure energy system into the future. Substantial cost reductions this decade show these solutions can be delivered to Australian power consumers while minimising costs.

“Private investors are willing to invest in the new generation assets required, but only if policymakers provide clear long-term policy certainty. The flurry of recent policy proposals from state and federal governments risk detracting from the long-term market confidence needed for these investments,” he said.

Mr Thornton said the strong and broad political and industry support for a Clean Energy Target can provide the investment confidence necessary for the large capital investment required from private investors in the coming decades.

“It will also be crucial to encourage innovation to increase the dispatchability of proven renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, integrating energy storage and exploring opportunities for increasing the role for hydro, bioenergy and solar thermal,” he said.

“Having a long-term, market-based and technology-neutral policy in place will be much more effective than the continued ad-hoc policy and regulatory change that has resulted in the current energy crisis for Australia.”

Source: Clean Energy Council


Chinchilla Solar Farm

The Department of Environment & Heritage this week made a decision that First Solar’s proposed 100 MW Chinchilla Solar Farm is “not a controlled action provided it is undertaken in the manner set out in this decision”


Battery energy storage project gets green light

22 June

Government-owned corporation Territory Generation has today announced one of the game-changers in the transition to renewable energy for Alice Springs and the Northern Territory.

T-Gen CEO Tim Duignan said the announcement of Vector Energy as its preferred supplier to install a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) would change the face of Alice Springs as it transitions to a renewable energy future.

The 5MW battery energy storage solution – at this stage understood to be one of the largest grid-connected storage solution in Australia – is primarily being installed for generation stabilisation, and is timed to coincide with the shift from the ageing Ron Goodin Power Station to the upgraded Owen Springs Power Station at the end of 2017.

“This Energy Storage system, along with our new machinery at Owen Springs, heralds a new era of power supply for Alice Springs,” Mr Duignan said. “We’re replacing aged electricity generators with the latest equipment, to provide efficient and reliable power supply, drive down the cost of producing electricity and to support a transition to renewable energy.”

The BESS will be used to provide improved power generation reliability for the region, by assisting in smoothing the output of Territory Generation’s solar power during cloud cover events.

“There is significant expectation from industry, business and the community in Alice Springs to increase solar penetration on the grid, however without storage to smooth the solar output, there is limited opportunity to integrate further solar without impacting on grid stability,” Mr Duignan said.

“Reliability of base-load power is a major issue in Australia at the moment and these new technologies are an important step to ensuring reliability in a controlled transition to renewables. Vector Energy’s comprehensive solution will integrate into our existing system and is one of the reasons we have chosen them. Ultimately it will assist in supporting the system to be able to increase the solar profile in Alice Springs.”

Territory Generation has undertaken extensive modelling of the Alice Springs grid with its new generators at Owen Springs Power Station, engaging consulting engineers Aurecon to provide the technical advisory services for the development of the BESS project.

“The system to be installed has the ability to augment the storage capacity with further batteries in the future, which is a game changer for the energy generation industry in the NT. We hope this is the first of many similar solutions and by proving this technology, Territory Generation is building the case for other renewable energy generation and energy storage solutions into the future,” Mr Duignan said.

Vector CEO, Simon Mackenzie, said he’s excited that TGen has recognised Vector’s experience and skillset, to partner with them on this significant project. “New technologies allow systems to be tailored to solve customer needs, much like the unique challenges and aspirations of the Alice Springs network. When completed it will be one of the two largest grid-tied battery storage projects in Australasia, both delivered by Vector,” he said.

Modelling determined that the total cost of the wider Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System Project – at $8.3m – would, on a simple payment basis, be recouped within 4-5 years due to the efficiencies and savings realized.

The Energy Storage System is expected to be complete by late 2017.

Source: Territory Generation

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