South Australians vote for a return to sensible energy policy under Marshall Liberal government

18 March

New planning and community engagement guidelines are in development to guide Queensland’s solar farm boom.

South Australians vote for a return to sensible energy policy under Marshall Liberal government

By electing Steven Marshall as Premier, South Australians have voted for a return to sensible energy policy and a more affordable, reliable energy system. This is welcome news for South Australians and all consumers across the National Electricity Market.

Former Premier Jay Weatherill declared that yesterday's election would be a "referendum" on his energy policy. After giving South Australians the most expensive and least reliable energy system in the country, Jay Weatherill doubled down on his "big experiment" by proposing a 75 per cent renewable energy target.

South Australians have made their opinion clear and voted emphatically to reject Labor’s energy policy. They have instead supported Steven Marshall's commitment to the National Energy Guarantee which will result in lower prices and greater reliability as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Now it's time for Federal Labor to get on board with the National Energy Guarantee.

Two days before the South Australian state election, Labor's Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Penny Wong said she supported a 75 per cent renewable energy target:

DAVID SPEERS: So, with Jay Weatherill now promising in this campaign to go to a 75 per cent Renewable Energy Target do you think that is a good idea?

PENNY WONG: Yes I do ...

Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, Sky PM Agenda, 15 March 2018

Federal Labor must now acknowledge the failure of South Australia’s energy policies and drop their own reckless 50 per cent renewable energy target and 45 per cent emissions reduction target that they have never costed or come clean with the public as to how it will increase power prices.

The National Energy Guarantee is a unique opportunity to break with the subsidy mentality of the past and adopt a truly technology neutral policy that delivers a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system.

The Commonwealth looks forward to working with the Marshall Government and other jurisdictions through the COAG Energy Council to deliver the National Energy Guarantee and the investment certainty the energy sector needs.

Under the National Energy Guarantee, Australian families will be on average $300 a year better off when compared to Bill Shorten’s plan. Businesses will benefit from a 23 per cent reduction in wholesale costs, allowing them to expand their business, make new investments and create more jobs.

Source: Federal Government

 

NERA grant funding for offshore platform solar installation

19 March

  • $471,000 project on ENI’s Blacktip Wellhead Platform in the Southern Bonaparte Basin
  • The project integrates solar PV to reduce costs and carbon dioxide emissions and to improve system availability

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that the National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) has announced it has approved funding to Carnegie Clean Energy Limited for Securing Platform Power Supply with Renewable Energy.

Carnegie Clean Energy and Eni Australia will improve system security through the integration of solar PV at the Blacktip Wellhead Platform in the Southern Bonaparte Basin. The platform currently makes use of an uninterruptable power supply consisting of turbogenerators feeding a battery bank. The project aims to integrate solar energy technology to reduce the total hours of turbogenerator operation and reduce costs associated with cold starts, leading to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and improving system availability. If successful, the innovative approach could provide a model for securing power availability in high-risk offshore environments.

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said,

“Carnegie Clean Energy’s solution for Eni Australia’s Blacktip Wellhead Platform is an example of NERA’s drive to support innovation and new technology across Australia’s energy resources sector. The Federal Government, through NERA, has provided $200,000 of industry matched-funding to deliver clean and reliable power across the Platform. Until now, the use of traditional power generation has dominated offshore oil and gas facilities but this project demonstrates the possibilities and opportunities that can come from integrating renewable energy into offshore assets.”

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said,

“We are seeing the range of applications for clean technologies extend further as their cost competitiveness and reliability continue to advance and are better understood by customers. Solar and battery systems are increasingly being considered for new applications, particularly in remote locations that are expensive and difficult to access. Eni has shown leadership in this space.”

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

Carlton & United Breweries moves towards 100 per cent renewable energy

20 March

Australia’s leading brewer, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), is today taking a significant step towards sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables.

CUB is adopting renewable energy as the way forward with the signing of a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with German renewable energy developer, service provider and wholesaler, BayWa r.e.

BayWa r.e. will provide 74,000 MWh per year of renewable energy, enough to power 7,500 homes, sourced from its solar farm in Mildura, Victoria. CUB’s partnership with BayWa r.e. will create up to 300 jobs through construction and opportunities for long term employment through the solar farm’s ongoing operation and maintenance.

CUB CEO, Jan Craps, said, “This represents an important step in CUB’s commitment to 100 per cent of its electricity being sourced from renewables.

 “As one of Australia’s first and leading manufacturing businesses, we have a responsibility to ensure we play our part in tackling climate change and a range of environmental challenges.”

CUB is also moving towards onsite solar generation, which will see solar panels on the roofs at each of our breweries.

CUB is absolutely committed to delivering on an ambitious environmental and sustainability agenda. Already our Yatala brewery is a world leader in water efficiency, and the move to 100 per cent renewable electricity solidifies our sustainability commitment.

Mr Craps said the company is reducing its environmental footprint while also gaining access to reliable and affordable power:

 “Beyond our driving commitment to reduce our emissions, the investment also stacks up when you look at the reduced price we will pay to power our operations. Moving to renewable energy will ensure that we have certainty of supply and pricing, something that is incredibly important for a manufacturing business like ours.”

Sites will remain connected to the grid, allowing excess capacity to be fed back into the system.

Construction of the 112 MW solar farm is underway and BayWa r.e. has already self-financed and constructed the 4km grid connection. It will be built by Melbourne-based Beon Energy Solutions.

Matthias Taft, Board Member of BayWa AG with responsibility for the energy business, commented:

“BayWa r.e. is delighted to be helping CUB to achieve its renewable energy goals.

“For BayWa r.e., the partnership with CUB represents another success in Australia. Since entering the market, BayWa r.e. is now active in solar and wind project development and the solar installer wholesaler market.”

Source: CUB

 

AEMC Reliability Panel identifies future security challenges for electricity system

20 March

A new analysis of Australia’s energy market finds that while we have a reliable amount of power supply, it is becoming harder to keep that power supply stable.

The AEMC’s Reliability Panel today published its annual review of the security, reliability and safety of the national electricity market for the period July 2016 to June 2017.

This latest report shows that managing the power system – keeping things like frequency and voltage within technical limits - is becoming more challenging.

The report considers several incidents in 2016/17 which showed the extent of the potential supply and price impacts for consumers following major security events in the power system. This includes the South Australian black system event on 28 September 2016, which resulted in a total loss of supply to the region and its 850,000 customers.

The report notes the package of new tools introduced by the AEMC in 2017 to help AEMO address the immediate issues concerned with the stability of the power system resulting from the changing generation mix.

These included requirements for networks to provide minimum levels of inertia and system strength, and new ‘last line of defence’ schemes to help AEMO better prepare for, and respond to, a system security emergency.

The report also acknowledges the significant body of work underway on maintaining the resilience of the national electricity market. This includes the AEMC's Frequency control frameworks review and work on the Generator technical performance standards rule change request.

In terms of reliability, the Panel found there was enough capacity in generation and demand response in the market to meet the reliability standard set out in the rules all the time across all regions. The Panel also noted a number of projects underway to address reliability over the longer term, including the:

  • Energy Security Board’s proposed national energy guarantee which integrates energy and climate change policy through a retailer obligation to purchase energy which meets emissions reduction targets for the electricity sector along with dispatchability requirements in each region
  • AEMC’s reliability frameworks review into the lowest cost ways of delivering reliable electricity supply into the long-term (directions paper due March 2018)
  • Reliability Panel’s reliability standard and settings review (final report due April 2018) on the parameters which help guide efficient investment in generation and demand response, as well as operational decisions
  • AEMO/ARENA’s demand response trial – a three year initiative to pilot demand response projects, and encourage other market responses to provide firm capacity.

The review is available here: https://www.aemc.gov.au/markets-reviews-advice/annual-market-performance-review-2017

Source: AEMC

 

Neoen to break ground on Bulgana Green Power Hub

20 March

  • The 100% Neoen-owned project reaches financial close for first agribusiness partnership of its kind in the world
  • Green Power Hub is Neoen’s largest single-stage project in Australia
  • Full construction works to commence in April, creating up to 120 jobs in Stawell

Leading renewable energy producer Neoen is set to begin construction on its Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH), an integrated wind farm and battery storage facility and the company’s largest single-stage project in Australia, having reached financial close.

Located in Stawell, regional Victoria, the Green Power Hub will comprise a 194 MW wind farm with Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines, combined with a 20 MW / 34 MWh lithium-ion battery provided by Tesla. AusNet Services, the owners and operators of the Victorian electricity transmission network, will develop the transmission connection for BGPH.

The total project cost stands at approximately A$350 million and will be funded from a combination of Neoen’s equity, as well as long-term debt from KfW IPEX-Bank, French financial services group Societe Generale and Korean government-owned financial institution Korea Development Bank (KDB).

Early preparatory works for the project have commenced, with full construction to kick off in April and the wind farm targeted for delivery in August 2019. Upon completion, the Green Power Hub will generate over 740,000 MWh of emission-free, clean, renewable energy per annum.

The BGPH is expected to create up to 120 jobs during construction and five ongoing jobs in the region once the facility is operational.

The Victorian Government has committed to a 15-year Support Agreement, a major step towards meeting the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and re-establishing the state as a leader in renewable energy. Additionally, in a first of its kind agribusiness partnership globally, Nectar Farms has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the supply of competitive and reliable energy to its glasshouse facility.

Nectar Farms will begin construction on its 30-hectare glasshouse facility in the coming months, to coincide its commissioning with the activation of BGPH. It will take up to 15 per cent of energy from the Green Power Hub, with the remaining 85 per cent going straight into the local grid.

Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, said the successful financial close of BGPH is yet another significant milestone for the company, as it looks to facilitate more renewable integrations and importantly, deliver on its commitment to bolstering regional economies.

“We are excited to finally break ground on the Bulgana Green Power Hub and look forward to delivering affordable and sustainable energy to the State of Victoria. Our teams have worked tirelessly to reach financial close for the project, which will not only create a substantial number of jobs but also stimulate healthy economic activity in the local region, specifically in Western Victoria and Stawell,” Mr. Woitiez said.

Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said this is an exciting initiative that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs while helping meet our renewable energy targets.

“We’re delivering affordable, secure and clean energy which is powering new jobs right across Victoria,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“This is a key milestone for Nectar Farms. At its core, it will enable us to start the planning and development process for our Stawell Project,” said Stephen Sasse, CEO of Nectar Farms. “Our glasshouse facility is strategically located close to the major distribution centres and wholesale markets, which will go a long way in contributing to the Victorian Government’s food and fibre export targets. More importantly, the energy solution we have built with Neoen is a world-first for the horticulture industry, and we hope to see it replicated elsewhere in Australia.”

Source: Neoen

 

Carnegie breaks ground on 10 MW Northam Solar

20 March

  • Carnegie breaks ground on Northam Solar Farm
  • Engineering, construction and procurement underway by EMC/Lendlease Services JV
  • First investment in a renewable energy project by Indigenous Business Australia and Bookitja

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that it has commenced construction of the Northam Solar Farm project, marking the occasion with a sod turning ceremony attended by the Hon. Ben Wyatt, West Australian Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Energy and Aboriginal Affairs.

The Northam Solar Farm is a significant development for Carnegie: it is the largest solar project the company has developed and the first utility renewable energy project to be developed on a “merchant” basis in Western Australia where the power is not contracted under a long term offtake agreement.

It is the also the first renewable investment by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and Bookitja. Carnegie retains a 50% interest in the solar farm and is the asset manager. The project is being delivered by the EMC/Lendlease Services joint venture, with engineering, construction and procurement underway, and will complete in the second half of 2018, when it will also begin selling power into the Western Australian grid.

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano, commented:

“We are delighted to have Western Australian Treasurer and Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt officially break ground on the Northam Solar Farm today, and celebrate the renewable investment partnership we have with Indigenous Business Australia.

“The Northam Solar Farm has been developed as a template for future projects where Carnegie receives value from multiple revenue streams including electricity sales and project construction, operating and maintenance.”

Eddie Fry, Chair of IBA said:

“IBA is very excited to be getting behind this project and helping to bring it to life as it is one of the first large scale solar projects in the country with Indigenous ownership.”

Karen Jacobs, Director of Bookitja said:

“The Bookitja Pty Ltd is excited to be an active party to the Northam Solar Farm. As an Aboriginal entity our invested interest in this ground breaking project will continue our focus on building economic growth for our community”.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Lilydale Waste to Energy Facility

Location: Lilydale, Victoria

Developer: Yarra Water

LGA: Yarra Ranges

Description: The WtE facility is designed to generate electricity by feeding organic waste into an anaerobic digestion process and, using the methane-rich biogas produced to fuel a generator. The WtE facility will receive approximately 150 tonnes of organic waste each day. Electricity generated by the WtE facility will be used to power the facility itself and the neighbouring Lilydale Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), with the remaining electricity (approximately 70%) exported to the grid as sustainable power.

Contact: Ian Donald

Project Manager

Yarra Valley Water

Tel: (03) 9872 1247

Email: lan.Donald@yvw.com.au

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Rolleston Solar Farm

RES Australia submits an environmental referral for its proposed 90 MW Rolleston Solar Farm, 16km north-west of Rolleston in Queensland, to the federal Department of the Environment & Energy for public comment. The proposed development includes tracker mounted arrays with associated infrastructure such as a construction compound, battery storage area, substation, inverter units and temporary laydown area. An overhead transmission line will also be constructed from the on-site substation to the Albinia Substation approximately 3.6 kilometres to the north-west.

The proposed facility is approximately 275 hectares in area and is bordered by the Dawson Highway to the south, the Rolleston Branch Rail Line to the west and agricultural properties to the north and east. It is within Central Highlands Regional Council area.

Contact: Douglas Smith

Head of Solar

RES Australia

Tel: (02) 8440 7400

Email: douglas.smith@res-group.com

 

PROJECT UPDATE

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy declared Eco Energy World’s proposal for the 40 MW Sanctuary Solar Farm in Pittsworth, approximately 35km south west of Toowoomba, Queensland, not a controlled action.

 

TECHNOLOGY

ClearVue Technologies share offer

Perth-based Building Integrated Photovoltaic product developer ClearVue Technologies has launched an offer of 25mil shares at an issue price of $0.20 each to raise $5mil and list on the ASX. Oversubscriptions of up to a further $1mil may be accepted under the Offer.

ClearVue’s technology involves the integration of solar technology into building and agricultural industries, specifically glass and building surfaces, to produce renewable energy.

ClearVue’s ‘smart building material’ patented technology comprises a glass lamination interlayer doped with inorganic micro and nanoparticles. The micro and nano-particles draw a large portion of the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays from the sun and redirect those rays to solar cells embedded around the edge of the glass panels in the window frame.

The rays are converted into energy, while allowing up to 70 per cent of visible light to pass through. The functions of this luminescent interlayer are supported by other advanced components used within the glazing structure, for example solar-control low emissivity thin-film coating and transparent diffractive elements designed to internally deflect IR and UV light from within glass.

ClearVue Technologies’ IPO offer closes on 6 April. The full prospectus is available from http://www.clearvuepv.com/investor-centre/clearvue-prospectus/

Source: ClearVue Technologies

 

Pumped hydro study in Bendigo a success

21 March

The Andrews Labor Government is calling for expressions of interest to investigate the viability of using pumped hydro to store electricity in Bendigo’s empty mineshafts.

A pre-feasibility study co-funded by the Labor Government and City of Greater Bendigo has proven it’s technically feasible and economically viable to store renewable energy using Bendigo’s empty mineshafts.

The study investigated the viability of using pumped hydro to store electricity and support integration of renewable energy generation into the grid.

The study developed a pumped hydro project concept which has a generation capacity of 30 MW and could store 6 hours or 180 MWh of energy – boosting the reliability of the local power grid.

The study determined there was a strong prospect for cost-effective energy storage in regional Victoria, which could help the city achieve its goal of becoming a net exporter of renewable energy.

The Labor Government contributed $100,000 to the initiative, with an additional $50,000 provided by the City of Greater Bendigo. A full feasibility study will now be carried out.

If built, it’s anticipated this project would create 50-60 jobs during construction and five jobs during operation.

The Government is seeking expressions of interest from industry and other parties over the next eight weeks to progress this work into a full feasibility study.

The pre-feasibility study found further issues that would need to be assessed in a full feasibility study, such as the accuracy of the 3D modelling of the mine shafts and rock stability.

Information sessions will be held in Melbourne and Bendigo to provide interested parties with an opportunity to seek further details – and we are encouraging industry to take the concept through to the next stage.

A copy of the pre-feasibility study is available at energy.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“There is enormous potential for Bendigo’s empty mineshafts to store dispatchable, renewable energy and support generation into the grid.”

“This is an exciting next step in potentially storing significant renewable energy capacity – which can be dispatched to the grid at any time as needed.”

“New energy technology is delivering jobs and a more affordable and reliable energy system to regional Victoria.”

Source: Victoria Government

 

Jolywood joins hands with Golden Invest to develop Australian solar projects

21 March

Jolywood (Taizhou) Solar Technology Co. Ltd ("Jolywood" or "the Company"), a leader in the research, development, and mass production of N-type bifacial solar cells, has signed a cooperation agreement ("the Agreement") with the Australian solar company Golden Invest Pty Ltd. The cooperation marks a further step for Jolywood in penetrating the Australian market by providing local energy projects with N-type bifacial solar cells.

Per the agreement, Golden Invest will develop power projects with a total capacity of 100 MW in Australia, which will exclusively utilize N-type bifacial solar modules manufactured and supplied by Jolywood. The N-type Bifacial Solar Cells meet their requirements, as they bolster stronger resistance to LID, maintain better performance under weak illumination and have a lower cost compared to other options such as P-type modules.

Cao Xiaorong, General Manager of Jolywood Overseas Sales, said, "We are thrilled to work with Golden Invest, which has rich experience in developing solar power projects in Australia. This partnership is yet another recognition of the quality and value of our N-type bifacial solar products from a global company."

Jolywood and Golden Invest have successfully collaborated before. The first project that they completed together in Renmark, South Australia, generates 248 KW of electricity using Jolywood's N-type bifacial solar cells. Based on the actual amount of power generated and other performance data tracked, the modules deliver high efficiency with longer power generation time and better performance in weak light condition. Mark Yates, General Manager of Golden Invest, has expressed great confidence in the future sales potential for the N-type bifacial solar modules in the Australian market.

Golden Invest is a leading Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) company that also invests and develops solar energy and energy storage in Australia. Its director Mark Yates has 14 years' experience in project development and management. By the end of 2017, Mark Yates had successfully accomplished the development, design and installation of projects delivering a combined capacity of 200MW.

Jolywood has been actively exploring international markets in recent years. Apart from this Agreement, it signed a distribution agreement with IMI Industry in Thailand last year and just entered into a business partnership with Solar Systems from Ukraine. "We hope, through more global cooperation opportunities, that we can help more communities and people build a greener future," said Cao.

Source: Jolywood

 

Norton Rose Fulbright partners Simon Currie and Vincent Dwyer to establish new energy advisory business

21 March

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright today announced that partner and current global head of energy Simon Currie, and partner Vincent Dwyer, will lead an innovative new advisory business that will provide services to the energy sector.

The new business will provide strategic consulting and guidance, and transaction advisory services. The business will also be a start-up and growth company accelerator for the energy sector.

The energy advisory business is to be run as a separate independent business to avoid conflicts of interest, but will work with the law firm. This reflects Norton Rose Fulbright’s desire to look at ways in which the depth of services to its clients can be enhanced beyond those traditionally found in a law firm. Simon and Vincent will in the future become senior consultants to the firm.

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

“Our firm believes that there is a demand for a more holistic approach to the provision of specialist services to clients and we are very pleased to be able to support this innovative venture, which will allow Simon and Vincent to utilise their extensive market knowledge in new ways, as well as retaining their relationship with Norton Rose Fulbright.”

Norton Rose Fulbright business law practice group leader in Australia, Alison Deitz, commented:

“We believe our clients will welcome the connectivity between our firm’s leading global and domestic legal capability and Simon Currie and Vincent Dwyer’s deep energy market insight. We see great opportunities for our clients focussed on the Australian market, but also the Asia-Pacific region and right around the world.”

Simon Currie commented:

“The energy sector is being transformed. Large energy companies are rebranding and changing their focus. New players are entering the sector as it converges with other sectors such as real estate, transport, infrastructure and agriculture. With the help of Norton Rose Fulbright’s high quality global and Australian energy teams, we will work with companies across the sector and help them thrive in a rapidly changing landscape."

The new energy advisory business will commence shortly.

Source: Norton Rose Fulbright

 

NEW PROJECT

Kanmantoo Pumped Hydro

Location: Kanmantoo, South Australia

Developer: Hilgrove Resources

Capacity: 1300 MWh (up to 6 hours at 200-250 MW capacity)

Description: Potential to convert disused pits at copper mine into a pumped hydro project. Key features include:

- Very low capital cost at < $1M/MW and < $160/kWh

- Potential to be first to market; commissioned by end 2021

- Infrastructure already in place (ponds, water, buildings, roads, power)

- Proximity to grid and proposed renewable energy projects

- Existing studies and knowledge (environmental, geotechnical, geology, hydrogeology)

- Long established social licence to operate

- Project site 100% owned freehold land with room to establish 40MW solar facility

- Responsiveness to provide spot market arbitrage and FCAS opportunities

- Low technology risk

Sufficient freehold land adjacent to the network connection point to establish a 40MW solar facility to supply power to PHES and/or directly to market.

Contact: Steve McClare

Managing Director

Hillgrove Resources

Tel: (08) 7070 1698

Email: steve.mcclare@hillgroveresources.com.au

 

Delivering more large-scale battery storage for Victoria

22 March

The Andrews Labor Government will build two large-scale batteries – with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and leading energy companies – as part of the most sophisticated energy storage initiative in Australia.

The Victorian Government’s energy storage initiative will be strategically located and will provide backup power and grid-stabilisation functions – vital to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy supply for Victoria – as the grid transitions.

The two projects are being delivered by private consortia Edify Energy and Spotless Sustainability Services, with $25 million from the Labor Government and matched funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg today announced the lithium-ion batteries – which include the largest integrated solar farm and battery in Australia.

The Tesla 25MW/50MWh battery will be integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm – south-west of Kerang – and will store renewable energy produced on site.

The second battery is a 30MW/30MWh system connected directly to a vital grid intersection at a substation at Warrenheip, near Ballarat.

This will be able to deliver crucial power supply, frequency control and related back-up services in milliseconds to maintain stability in the network for Western Victoria.

Construction has already begun, with both projects expected to be operational in time for next summer’s peak.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We said we would deliver this for Victoria, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

“This Andrews Labor Government initiative is an important part of helping us transition to a more affordable, reliable and clean energy system.”

“We are continuing to modernise our electricity grid, strengthen our energy security and deliver real action on climate change.”

Source: Victoria Government

 

Call for clean energy award nominations to shine a light on record year for industry

22 March

Renewable energy leaders and innovators are invited to nominate for the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards, which highlight innovation and excellence in the Australian renewable energy and energy storage industry.

Nominations are open until 31 May this year, and the winners will be announced in Sydney on 31 July at the NAB Gala Dinner during the Australian Clean Energy Summit.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said this year’s awards will shine a light on the best of the many extraordinary projects being developed during the biggest year for the industry in its history.

“Coming off a record amount of investment in new generation from renewables, the winning projects will showcase the innovation and technology that is helping to speed us towards a renewable energy future,” he said.

The Clean Energy Council Awards cover three categories: Innovation, Community Engagement and Outstanding Contribution to Industry.

In 2017 the Innovation Award was shared by Horizon Power for a new way of billing electricity similar to a mobile phone plan and AusNet Services for its establishment of a community mini-grid in Mooroolbark in Victoria, in collaboration with GreenSync and PowerTec.

The Community Engagement Award was won by The Climate Council for a rapid response strategy to combat the misinformation following the 2016 state-wide South Australia blackout.

Former Clean Energy Regulator Chief Executive and Chair Chloe Munroe was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award for her powerful contribution to the further growth and maturity of renewable energy.

“The awards complement a packed and exciting two-day summit program full of robust conversations about our clean energy future and meaningful networking opportunities,” Mr Thornton said.

“With over 80 key speakers, six conference streams and three networking events, delegates will be able to get access to the latest insights and network with leading renewable energy professionals who are driving the energy transformation for our country,” Mr Thornton said.

Early bird registrations for the Australian Clean Energy Summit are open until 31 May.

The Australian Clean Energy Summit will take place on 31 July – 1 August 2018 at the ICC Sydney. More information and registration is available at cleanenergysummit.com.au.

Further information on the Clean Energy Council Awards can be found at cleanenergysummit.com.au/awards or by emailing awards@cleanenergycouncil.org.au. Entries close on 31 May 2017.

The Clean Energy Council would like to thank Goldwind Australia, the event’s major sponsor.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

RCR to commence work on utility-scale battery storage project

22 March

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce it has been awarded a contract for the 25MW/50MWh Gannawarra Energy Storage System (“the Project”) being developed by Edify Energy with co-investment from Edify Energy and Wirsol Energy.

RCR’s scope of work includes the engineering, procurement, and construction of the balance of plant which includes installation, testing and connection of the harmonic filters and state-of-the-art Tesla battery system for the Project. The filters and Tesla battery system will be free issued to RCR. Together the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning are supporting the Project with grant funding.

This Project will extend the performance of the Gannawarra Solar Farm to a combined 50MWac solar with 25MWac/50MWh of battery storage. The Gannawarra Solar Farm, located near Kerang in Victoria, is currently under construction by RCR.

RCR Tomlinson, Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “RCR continues to consolidate its position in the renewable energy sector, including its capabilities in the design and construction of utility-scale battery storage infrastructure.

This battery energy storage system will be integrated with the 50MWac Gannawarra Solar Farm currently under construction by RCR and demonstrates the potential for integrating large-scale battery storage systems with solar.

I believe that once constructed the Gannawarra battery energy storage system and the Gannawarra Solar Farm will be the largest combined utility-scale solar and battery energy storage system in Australia and amongst some of the largest in the world. Once again, this demonstrates that RCR is at the forefront of renewable energy development and construction in Australia,” said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

 

Spotless consortium announced deliver Victorian government energy storage initiative

22 March

The world-class consortium comprising Spotless, AusNet Services, EnergyAustralia and Fluence, has today signed a contract with the Victorian Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to design, construct and operate Victoria’s first utilities scale grid-connected Battery Energy Storage System. The intent of the Energy Storage Initiative is to enhance the capability of the Victorian electricity network to support further renewable electricity generation and unlock economic growth.

The 30 Megawatt (MW) 30 Megawatt-hour (MWh) Battery Energy Storage System will be located at the AusNet Services Ballarat Terminal Station in Warrenheip, Ballarat. The system will comprise nine purpose-built and engineered battery enclosures (similar to a standard shipping container) for its Lithium–Ion batteries, operating system and environmental controls, security and associated cooling and safety systems. The system has the capacity to power more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand before being recharged. It will operate 24/7 to support critical peak demand and frequency control services to improve the security and reliability of the State’s energy supply.

Spotless Sustainability Services will manage the design and construction of this landmark project. They will commission the Battery Energy Storage System from Fluence, the recognised energy storage global leader. The system will be an unregulated asset of AusNet Services and will be installed at its Ballarat Terminal Station and connected to its electricity transmission network. Once the system has been commissioned and accepted by AusNet Services and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), EnergyAustralia will operate the charge and discharge of the system. “It’s an exciting time for Victoria and the utilities industry, said Dana Nelson CEO Spotless. Spotless is pleased to take a lead role to introduce renewable energy solutions. We’ve brought together leading utilities expertise and proven energy storage technology to deliver this Victorian first. Spotless is committed to a sustainable future and will continue to be at the forefront of energy innovation in Australia.”

“Our comprehensive experience and constant learnings demonstrate that the future of energy will include a diverse mix of power generation and storage solutions. This project is another fantastic step towards an even more resilient, modern energy network and further demonstrates what is possible when industry and government work together,” said Nino Ficca, Managing Director of AusNet Services.

“Large batteries, such as this one, are critical to providing clean, affordable and reliable energy now and for many years to come. AusNet Services is proud of our involvement in this project and is confident that this will be the first of many such projects in Victoria and across the country.”

“Renewable energy is an obvious contributor to filling the gap left by the retirement of coal plants but we need to maintain a stable grid during cloudy and windless times. That’s where battery storage comes into its own with its ability to store wind and solar energy for quick release to stabilise fluctuations in the grid, said Catherine Tanna, EnergyAustralia Managing Director. The clean energy transition is happening right now. Commercial-scale batteries, demand response, pumped hydro and energy recovery – all the ingredients are there for a modern energy system that can deliver reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for customers. The challenge remains planning; getting the right balance and mix for a modern energy system – and doing it at least cost.”

“We’re proud to partner with this supergroup of Australia’s energy companies and together help Victoria create an energy network that can weather any challenge,” said Fluence CEO Stephen Coughlin. “With this new project, Australia becomes the 16th country in which we’ve deployed our industrial-strength energy storage solutions over the last decade, and we look forward to delivering many more Australian storage projects in the future.”

Planning approval has been granted for the project with construction to commence in March 2018 for completion in November 2018.

Source: Spotless

 

Shovels in the ground for MREP an Australian first

23 March

Melbourne Renewable Energy Project partners and Pacific Hydro will today celebrate the official start of construction on a new 80 MW wind farm in Crowlands, near Ararat.

​Acting Lord Mayor of Melbourne Arron Wood said the wind farm will provide electricity to 14 leading organisations which have combined their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy infrastructure in regional Australia.

"This is the first project of its kind in Australia. No other renewables project has tackled the complexity of 14 partners in one buying group. We are proud to reach this milestone after announcing the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) in November 2017," the Acting Lord Mayor said.

"The Crowlands windfarm will save MREP customers 96,000 tonnes of CO2 every year and will create more than 140 construction jobs as well as eight ongoing positions to operate and manage the facility.

"This is an innovative, cost-effective approach to creating and purchasing renewable energy and also a great example of how a major city with a $92 billion economy can influence positive outcomes in our regional towns."

Today, MREP representatives will meet with the Crowlands community. Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said work to transform the site into a wind farm has commenced with construction of access roads and bridges.

"We will install 39 turbines over the next few months to provide the 88 GWh of energy we will purchase; enough to power more than 17,000 households in Melbourne each year," the Acting Lord Mayor said.

"The additional power that's generated will feed back into the grid and be used by businesses and households across south eastern Australia, improving supply and affordability for all customers."

Pacific Hydro owns and will operate the wind farm when it is completed early in 2019, and its retail arm, Tango Energy, will supply the power.

"Crowlands will be one of the few regional Australian towns with a solar powered town hall when Pacific Hydro install a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and storage battery, just one of the projects that will be funded through their Community Investment Program," the Acting Lord Mayor said.

"Melbourne is leading the nation in responding to climate change, reducing our carbon footprint, building resilience and increasing our urban biodiversity. We have already reduced our operating costs by $1 million in annual electricity savings with our energy efficiency and solar projects.

"MREP will be replicated all over Australia by groups like ours going direct to market to purchase their renewable energy. Several big corporates have already announced power purchase agreements and that number will continue to climb."

MREP partners include the City of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Moreland City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, Citywide, National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and NEXTDC.

Source: MREP

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