UNSW wind power test lab will be an Australian first

17 August

UNSW Sydney will be at the forefront of wind power research thanks to a $2m extension of a program with Chinese wind power giant Goldwind.

World-leading UNSW Sydney researcher Professor Joe Dong has secured more than $2m in funding from Chinese wind power giant Goldwind for research projects including an Australian-first lab to test wind technology.

The lab is the first stage of a memorandum of understanding signed at the UNSW China Centre Inauguration in Shanghai this year, and will build on ongoing research between UNSW Engineering and Goldwind, the largest wind power technology and development company in China and one of the largest internationally.

Professor Dong, a world-leader in power systems engineering, said: “Wind power, along with photovoltaics, is the most important renewable energy for the future. This memorandum of understanding includes building the joint test facility at UNSW, which will be the first of its kind in Australia. Further investment from Goldwind will fund research projects covering wind power studies, energy internet, wind turbine noise control and water processing technologies.”

Wind power is the cheapest source of large-scale renewable energy, after hydro. It involves generating electricity as wind turbines capture wind energy within the area swept by their blades. The spinning blades drive a generator that produces electricity for export to the national grid. The grid requires electricity to be delivered at a frequency of exactly 50 Hertz, and while wind power generation is generally reliable, problems can occur when wind speed changes rapidly causing the turbines’ output to vary, which may destabilise the grid.

“Wind power is an established technology and in most cases dependable, although there are some remaining problems to be solved in efficiency, stability and frequency control,” Professor Dong said. “Currently, we do not have a facility in Australia to test wind turbines before connecting to the grid and so we must do this in the United States or Europe, which is very expensive – and the foreign electricity grids don’t perfectly mimic the Australian system.”

Professor Dong added that increased reliability in testing in a new, local lab will contribute to his goal of solving the remaining issues with wind power generation, and place UNSW firmly at the forefront of wind power research in Australia and among leaders internationally.

UNSW Dean of Engineering Mark Hoffman said: “Australia is an important market for wind power generators and this agreement with Goldwind demonstrates their commitment to partnering with internationally-renowned researchers to complement their own capability.

“In 2017, wind farms produced 33.8 per cent of Australia’s clean energy and supplied 5.7 per cent of overall electricity during the year. I look forward to seeing the fruits of this partnership benefit the renewable energy industry in Australia and boost its long-term reliability for the entire community.”

Source: University of NSW

 

Hydrogen offers significant exporting potential for Australia

17 August

Australia is in a strong position to take advantage of the growing hydrogen export market, according to a new report released today by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The report, prepared for ARENA by ACIL Allen Consulting, identifies opportunities for Australia to export hydrogen to help meet the potential future global demand.

Over the next decade, Australia could seize on the opportunity to export hydrogen as significant increase in demand for green hydrogen, ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht said.

“Hydrogen has long been talked about as a potential energy source. Hydrogen produces no carbon emissions when burned – only water vapour and heat, and produces more energy per kilogram than natural gas,” he said.

Green or clean hydrogen can be produced via electrolysis from renewable electricity, or can be produced using fossil fuels with the emissions then captured and sequestered. Hydrogen could then be exported by liquefying it, or by converting it to a carrier such as ammonia.

“Australia has a golden opportunity to become a major exporter of hydrogen, as other countries look to transition to low carbon energy sources,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“If Australia can tap into our abundant wind and solar resources to produce hydrogen using renewable energy, we could export hydrogen at large scale,” he said.

With the right conditions, Australian hydrogen exports could contribute $1.7 billion per annum to the economy and provide 2,800 jobs by 2030, the report found.

Four countries – Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and Singapore – are identified in the report as prospective markets for Australian hydrogen by 2025.

“While countries like Japan and Korea look to decrease emissions and increase renewable options, they are looking to import hydrogen at large scale but there are as yet no exporters,” Mr Frischknecht said.

According to the report, Australia is in a competitive position in regards to potential exports to Asia due to its location, excellent renewable energy resources, well established energy trading relationships and experience in large scale energy infrastructure construction.

But Australia is not alone, as countries like Norway, the United States and Middle Eastern countries are also likely to scale up their capability to export hydrogen.

“The sector is still in its infancy which places Australia in a prime position to utilise its abundant renewable resources, as well as proven track record of exporting energy and strong relationships with energy importers to become a major player in exporting hydrogen to Asia and around the globe,” Mr Frischknecht said.

A hydrogen export market has also been identified to benefit regional communities as hydrogen production facilities are likely to be located close to the supply of renewable energy, particularly large scale solar farms, the report found.

Exporting renewables including hydrogen is one of ARENA’s four investment priorities.

In December, ARENA announced a $20 million funding round into research and development in exporting hydrogen.

ARENA is also one of the leading agencies involved in the Hydrogen Strategy Group.

Dr Alan Finkel AO, the Chief Scientist and Chair of the Hydrogen Strategy Group today released the Group’s briefing paper prepared for COAG Energy Council, which ARENA welcomed.

Source: ARENA

 

PROJECT NEWS

Batchelor Solar Farm

The Northern Territory Utilities Commission has decided to grant a generation licence to be issued to Batchelor Solar Farm Pty Ltd to construct, own and operate a 10 MW solar photovoltaic power generation facility on the Darwin-Katherine electricity network to sell the electricity to other electricity entities holding a retail or generation licence. In approving the generation licence, the Commission advised that possession of a licence does not guarantee dispatch, and that System Control will constrain output if necessary to maintain system reliability and service quality.

 

Aldoga Solar Farm

The referral for Acciona’s proposed Aldoga Solar Farm in Aldoga, approximately 20km northwest of Gladstone within the Gladstone State Development Area in Queensland, has been opened for public comment by the federal Department of the Environment & Energy. The proposed 280 MW AC project will consist of up to 1,000,000 solar PV modules on a maximum project footprint of approximately 707ha for the solar farm and 53.1ha for the overhead transmission line. The development may also include energy storage capability; (battery banks housed in shipping containers). A 1-2 ha area has been reserved for such purposes, adjacent to the proposed plant substation.

 

PROJECT NEWS

Flyers Creek Wind Farm

Infigen Energy seeking approvals to modify its development approvals (Modification 4) for the 115 MW Flyers Creek Wind Farm in Blayney, NSW. The following changes are proposed as part of Modification 4:

- increase the wind turbine envelope so as to accommodate the newer, more efficient turbine models now available; and

- include a 132 kV transmission line and switching station so as to enable the Project to connect to the electrical grid.

Since the original Environmental Assessment (Aurecon, 2011) ("Original EA") for the Project was prepared and the Project was initially approved in 2014, there have been significant advancements in wind turbine technology. The newer turbine models generate more electricity per wind turbine, increasing the amount of renewable wind energy harnessed by the Project.

Modification 4 seeks approval to increase the maximum wind turbine envelope, including an increase in the maximum tip height by 10m (from 150m to 160m) so as to enable newer and more efficient wind turbine models to be installed at the site.

The Proponent has not made a final decision on the turbine model which will be installed at the site. However, the increase to the maximum turbine envelope proposed as part of Modification 4 would allow for the installation of a turbine model with an installed capacity of up to 4.2 MW, as compared to the turbine models ranging between 2.0 and 3.6 MW which have been considered for the Project. By using the more efficient turbine models now proposed as part of Modification 4, the Project has the potential to generate approximately 430 GWh of electricity per year - sufficient for the average consumption of approximately 58,000 homes.

As a result of Modification 3, the total wind turbines approved as part of the Project was reduced from 42 to 38 wind turbines.

The proposed 132 kV electrical transmission line ("Reinstated Transmission Line") which forms part of this modification application is required to connect the wind farm to the electrical grid network.

The Project was originally proposed to be connected to the grid via an up to 15 km long transmission line from the on-site substation to the existing 132 kV transmission line which runs from Orange North to the Cadia Mine site ("Original Transmission Line").

The Original Transmission Line was removed from the Project as part of Modification 2 to enable land access negotiations to be finalised with relevant landholders.

The Reinstated Transmission Line connects into the same existing 132 kV transmission line as the Original Transmission Line but at a revised location, some 4.6km north east, so as to reflect the outcome of the final land access negotiations with relevant landholders.

Source: Infigen

 

Driving power prices down

20 August

The Turnbull Government has today announced a package of measures to put downward pressure on electricity prices and stop energy companies from gouging their customers.

We are backing the ACCC to drive lower electricity prices for households and small businesses.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry released in July, the National Energy Market is not operating in the best interests of consumers, and reform is urgently needed.

The Government is implementing a number of key recommendations from the ACCC inquiry.

The ACCC and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will be directed to set a default price for households and small to medium-sized businesses; a price that will deliver genuine savings to customers.

This will replace the current standing offer in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and South East Queensland - jurisdictions where prices are not regulated.

The ACCC found the significant gap between standing offer prices and market offer prices has become excessive and consumers who have not sought a better deal are being ripped off.

A default offer will protect consumers from being exploited, while still allowing for the benefits of retail competition. This measure will prevent retailers from exploiting consumers and small business with inflated standing offers.

Under our plan, the AER would be given the power to set the maximum price for the default market offer in each region. Customers on high-priced standing offers will see their electricity price decrease as they move to a lower default market offer.

The ACCC estimates that for average customers on an inflated standing offer, the savings for residential customers from moving to the new default offer could range between $183 and $416.

We also think that small businesses have the right to the same protections and support. The ACCC estimates that savings for the average small to medium sized business on a standing offer could range between $561 and $1457.

The Government will also act to simplify the confusing array of offers that are currently on the market by requiring retailers to use the new default rate as a reference point for all advertised discounts. This will give customers more clarity when they compare retailers and offers and help ensure they get the best deal.

Limits will also be placed on the penalties customers can face when they don’t pay their bills on time and lose their discounts.

The Government will seek initially to work with the states and territories on this reform. If the states do not agree, we will implement the offer through Commonwealth law. We expect the new default offer to apply from July 2019 at the latest.

In addition, the Treasurer will direct the ACCC to hold an inquiry into prices, profits and margins in the National Electricity Market. The inquiry will run until 2025 and include monitoring of retail prices and margins, wholesale bids and conduct and contract market liquidity.

The ACCC will prepare ongoing reports (at least six-monthly) and identify any cases where outcomes are unacceptable. Businesses will have the opportunity to explain and rectify issues raised by the ACCC. Where issues are not resolved, the ACCC will have the power to recommend a proportional and targeted response for the Treasurer’s determination.

The range of enforcement remedies and responses that could be applied if the ACCC identifies problems would include:

- a public warning notice issued by the Treasurer or ACCC;

- a court enforceable undertaking, as currently used by the ACCC in other contexts;

- converting the default market offer into a binding cap price;

- tightening guidelines for how the AER sets the default market offer to further drive down the default electricity price;

- fines and other financial penalties;

- extending market making obligations beyond South Australia, which is a form of structural separation; and

- ordering divestiture of assets or parts of an energy business (as a last resort).

The Government will also be accepting the ACCC’s recommendation to implement a program to underwrite new, stable, low-cost generation for commercial and industrial customers. This program will be technology neutral, as recommended by the ACCC.

In addition, the Government will accept the ACCC’s recommendations to:

- limit market power by placing a cap on the share of generation any single market participant can own or control, excluding investment in new capacity and noting the ACCC’s recommended 20 per cent cap;

- establish a mandatory code of conduct for energy comparator websites to ensure they focus on benefits to consumers, not the commissions they receive from energy companies; and

- establish greater transparency in the wholesale electricity market and provide additional powers for the AER address market manipulation in the wholesale market.

Source: Federal Government

 

Entura helps Infigen to connect new grid-scale battery

20 August

Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura has been engaged by Infigen Energy to deliver grid connection support services to its new 25 MW / 52 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in South Australia.

The BESS will be located adjacent to Infigen’s existing 278.5 MW Lake Bonney Wind Farm and will be connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via the Mayurra substation owned by ElectraNet.

“Entura brings a wealth of expertise in hybrid renewables and generator connection, coupled with previous experience with Lake Bonney Wind Farm and ElectraNet,” said Infigen CEO Mr Ross Rolfe. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Entura in this important project that will deliver improved energy security and reliability of supply for South Australian energy consumers.”

As part of its scope, Entura has undertaken a grid connection study and is supporting Infigen as it finalises connection arrangements for the BESS.

“Grid-scale batteries play a key role in helping renewables to become dispatchable, allowing wind and solar farms to operate more flexibly and providing greater value to asset owners,” said Donald Vaughan, Entura’s Principal Consultant Electrical Primary Systems. “We’re delighted to be working once again with Infigen in this innovative project that will make a contribution to our client and the local community.”

Entura works with clients across Australia and the Pacific to help them tackle the challenges of creating hybrid renewable energy projects from small, remote locations through to utility-scale. The firm delivers safe and sustainable solutions, drawing on its extensive knowledge of all aspects across the full lifecycle of renewable energy assets, along with expertise in batteries, pumped hydro and other enabling technologies.

Source: Entura

 

Mount Emerald Wind Farm starts to power up

21 August

Things are starting to move at Queensland’s largest wind farm, the 180MW Mount Emerald Project near Mareeba.

Ahead of the $360 million project achieving full commercial operation in November, the first turbines have started to turn as part of a staged testing and commissioning process being conducted by project developers Ratch Australia Corporation.

The test is a significant milestone as it announces Mount Emerald’s “electrification” and follows the completion of the site’s substation and switchyard which are now energised and will connect the project’s generation to the national electricity grid.

Ratch’s EGM Business Development, Mr Anthony Yeates said getting the first of the wind turbine blades turning was very important step for the project.

“It’s a very important milestone and is the culmination of lot of work by a lot of people over a very long period of time. We’ve now commenced generating electricity and sending it into the grid, and we’ll be ramping up the amount of generation over the next few months as additional turbines get commissioned. We’ve invested thousands of hours into site preparation and building the project and now we get to see it in action and producing electricity,” Mr Yeates said.

“It is very satisfying this has come together like we planned and it’s a great payoff for all our hard work, particularly for many local suppliers who have been with us from the start.”

While the project uses turbines by Danish manufacturer Vestas, local suppliers such as Gregg Construction, HEH Civil and Watto’s Earthmoving have left their name on the project.

“We’ve been involved on the project since 2009 where we provided some upgrades to the road into the site,” said Gregg Construction’s Ken Gregg whose company has been responsible for civil and excavation works, labour hire, ground surveys and dust suppression,” Mr Gregg said.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve done on what was a very challenging site. We share a great sense of accomplishment and we’ve felt valued by Ratch and its contractors since day one.”

Forty-four of 53 turbines have now been raised and another six partially completed while all of the 800 tonne concrete foundations have now been poured. Less than a kilometre of high voltage underground cabling is left to be installed. The remaining construction and turbine installation activities will be completed in parallel with turbine commissioning over the next few months, with full operation expected to commence in November this year.

Mr Yeates was also very pleased with the efforts on site to ensure the project had delivered a very high level of protection to the local ecology.

“We’ve had various teams of specialists on site who have worked very hard to make sure the procedures for protection of cultural heritage, flora and fauna have been carefully integrated into our work, as well as processes to ensure any unexploded ordinance on the site was carefully managed. At times this work introduced new challenges, but we are proud of the outcomes and consider we have probably set some sort of benchmark for future projects” he said.

The wind farm will deliver in the order of 530,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 75,000 north Queensland homes over at least a 20-year period.

Power producer Ratch owns a number of wind farms around Australia including the Windy Hill wind farm near Ravenshoe not far from the Mount Emerald site, and has an interest in a number of renewable energy development opportunities.

The Mount Emerald Wind Farm will boost Queensland’s renewable energy credentials significantly. Of the 3,500MW of wind generation capacity currently in Australia, Queensland currently only supplies around 12MW from wind farms in Ravenshoe and Thursday Island.

Source: Ratch Australia

 

Clean energy funding to reduce power bills

21 August

Regional households will be able to reduce their power bills, thanks to $85 million for clean energy programs announced today by the NSW Government.

“Tackling high energy costs is a top priority for our Government and this significant investment puts further downward pressure on energy bills for homes in regional NSW,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“We are doing everything we can to help families and businesses take control of their power bills.”

A $30 million program will enable communities across the State to build their own local clean energy projects.

These projects, announced today at a solar and battery business in Byron, will use solar, wind and storage technology to power local homes and businesses.

Funding will also be available to develop backup power systems for up to 70 communities, further enhancing NSW’s status as the most resilient State when it comes to energy security.

Each community will be able to save up to $2750 per site per year on their energy bills. These community projects also reduce pressure on the grid, which will help to lower future network costs.

Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin said: “NSW regional communities, including the State’s north coast, will benefit from the jobs and investment opportunities as our State transitions to a more reliable, affordable and modern energy system.”

The funding also includes $55 million to help the private sector develop and accelerate clean energy technology for regional communities, such as pumped hydro.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said: “The NSW Government is lowering barriers for investment for the emerging energy projects of tomorrow.

“These projects will help regional communities make the most of their energy resources, while also helping to further boost NSW’s energy security.”

Today’s announcement comes after the Premier announced a major investment in energy efficiency measures, including funding for energy efficiency upgrades for families and businesses, energy efficient bulbs in 60,000 street lights, and solar panels for homes and Government buildings.

Source: NSW Government

 

Contract Power commences work on microgrid project for Horizon Power

21 August

Pacific Energy advises that Contract Power has recently commenced early works on a contract with Horizon Power dated 18 March 2018 to supply and install a utility scale Samsung lithium battery (1.3MW) and integrate it with gas and solar generation facilities in the Western Australian town of Onslow.

The project has a value of approximately $2m and completion is scheduled for March 2019 and further demonstrates the strides Pacific Energy and its subsidiaries are making into evolving renewable energy technologies.

The battery storage system is part of an important initiative by Horizon Power to provide and optimise the use of renewables. The project will see the Western Australian town of Onslow being supplied with its electricity needs from one of the largest comprehensive microgrid systems in Australia.

The selection of Contract Power by Horizon Power recognizes past performance and, importantly, supports ongoing growth and diversification. The award follows Contract Power’s existing 10 year contract to supply power to six Western Australian remote towns, including a solar/diesel hybrid system for the town of Meekatharra.

Source: Pacific Energy

 

New Chief Executive Officer appointed to ARENA

21 August

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is delighted to announce that Mr Darren Miller has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.

ARENA Chair, Martijn Wilder AM said Mr Miller brings with him more than 25 years experience across renewable energy, electricity retail and a range of sectors.

Mr Miller was co-founder and CEO of Mojo Power, an innovative electricity retailer, from 2015 until July 2018. He was previously the Director of Asset Finance at Sungevity Australia in 2014, and co-founder and CEO of Sumwise, a technology and services company from 2007 to 2013.

He has previously held roles as investment manager for Publish and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) and Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) from 1999 until 2006.

Mr Miller is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons). He also previously held roles at New Zealand Natural and Ernst & Young.

“Mr Miller is a respected leader in the renewable energy and electricity sector with experience working with innovative technology companies, start ups and in investment advisory roles so is ideally placed to lead ARENA as we support Australia’s energy transition,” said Mr Wilder.

“We look forward to working with Mr Miller as ARENA continues to support the transition of the energy sector in the context of local and international economies that are becoming increasingly focused on low emissions energy,” he said.

Mr Wilder also acknowledged the contribution ARENA’s inaugural CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, made through his six-years at the helm.

“Through his time at ARENA, Ivor shared his entrepreneurial insight and deep understanding of the clean energy sector and how to drive its transformation,” said Mr Wilder.

“On a personal level, Ivor was also a pleasure and delight to work with and we wish him all the success for his future endeavours,” he said.

Mr Frischknecht advised the Minister and the Board of his intention not to seek a third term as CEO of ARENA in February this year.

ARENA was established in 2012 by The Australian Renewable Energy Agency Act 2011 to accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. Since then, ARENA has committed almost $1.2 billion towards more than 370 projects with a total project value of almost $4 billion. Notably, ARENA has helped to make large scale solar commercially competitive in Australia.

Mr Miller will be commence his three year term on Monday 27 August 2018.

Source: ARENA

 

NEW PROJECT

Berri Barmera Council Solar Farm

Location: Berri Barmera Council in South Australia

Capacity: 10 MW

Developer: Berri Barmera Council

Description: The Berri Barmera Council invites Expressions of Interest from Registrants for the construction and operation of a 10MW solar farm which will contribute to delivering a predictable and cost-effective renewable energy supply within the region. The proposed construction of the Berri Renewable Energy Solar Power Generation Facility is in response to a localized need for affordable power to users with high load requirements to support business, local economic growth and stability of the Riverland region.

Tender closes at 5:00 PM Adelaide time 4 October 2018.

More information available here, or contact Damian Edwards by email damian@cqpartners.com.au

Contact: David Beaton

CEO

Berri Barmera Council

Tel: (08) 8582 1922

Email dbeaton@bbc.sa.gov.au

 

New microgrid program for the Latrobe Valley

21 August

The Andrews Labor Government will fund a $3 million grant program to help grow the new energy technology sector in the Latrobe Valley.

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio today announced the Latrobe Valley Microgrid Grant Program, which will help accelerate the uptake of renewable energy in the region.

The funding will support the development of a microgrid project located in the Latrobe Valley with the aim of lowering the cost of energy for local businesses, encouraging investment in the region and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

A microgrid is a small network of electricity users with a local supply of power that can function independently of the electricity grid, delivering energy security, sustainability and cost savings for those in the network.

A microgrid generally operates while connected to the grid, but importantly, it can break off and operate on its own using local energy generation in times of crisis like storms or power outages. Microgrids can also share excess energy produced back into the network for other users.

Eligible project types include microgrids, virtual power plants and smart embedded networks which have renewable energy as the primary energy source.

Applications will close on 17 September 2018. The successful microgrid project will need to be completed by mid-2022.

This competitive grant program is in addition to the Government’s $10 million state-wide Microgrid Demonstration Program, announced in December 2017. Announcements on successful projects will be made shortly.

For more information visit energy.vic.gov.au/microgrids.

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

“We’re ensuring businesses in the Latrobe Valley have access to cheap, clean, and reliable energy.”

“This microgrid program will mean local businesses can save money and strengthen investment in the local economy.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This exciting initiative will give businesses the opportunity to source their energy from renewable resources and reduce the cost of their electricity.”

“I encourage industry to apply for this grant program which will boost the development of renewable energy in the Latrobe Valley.”

Source: Victoria Government

 

NEW PROJECT

Bookaar Solar Farm

Location: 10km north of Camperdown, in south-west Victoria

Capacity: 200 MW

Developer: Infinergy Pacific

LGA: Corangamite Shire Council

Description: The project will consist of 700,000 panels. The project’s Planning Application and accompanying assessments have been submitted to the Corangamite Shire Council. Site selected for its suitable grid connection options onsite,; extensive farming land; good transportation links and site access; and low visual impact. The site was previously considered for a wind farm development.

Contact: Richard Seymour

Project Manager

Infinergy Pacific

Email: r.seymour@infinergypacific.com

 

Powering Daintree

21 August

Options for supplying power to the Daintree community have been investigated in a report released today by energy market experts Sunverge.

The analysis, supported by $180,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, examined five options to power the World Heritage-listed Daintree rainforest. These included single and multiple electrical micro-grids with high renewables uptake and a gas micro-grid with renewables and bio-methane.

Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg personally visited the Daintree community last year on the invitation of Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch to hear first-hand community concerns.

“I had the opportunity to meet members of the local community and see first-hand the situation where they are currently using diesel generators to power their homes and businesses,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“This Sunverge report is an important step forward. I commend Warren Entsch for his tireless advocacy for his local community on this issue.”

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch welcomed the release of the Sunverge report and said he looked forward to seeing real action and results moving forward.

“The comprehensive report outlined five recommendations but option one is the only practical solution in that it will deliver reliable mains equivalent power while delivering environmental outcomes through incorporation of innovative renewable technologies and massive reduction of fossil fuels,” Mr Entsch said.

“Australians would be horrified to learn that more than 10 million litres of diesel is burnt annually in the Daintree to power generators. This in itself is unacceptable. That’s why we must get serious about powering the Daintree.

“The time for talk is over. The Daintree community wants action.”

Mr Entsch said he was pleased to learn the Queensland Government had committed $1 million towards a plan to develop a solution to deliver sustainable energy for the Daintree.

“The onus is now on the Queensland Government to produce the business case so the project can go to tender,” he said.

“I will be watching closely the progress on this critical project.”

The Sunverge report is available here: arena.gov.au/knowledge-bank/powering-daintree/

Source: Federal Government

 

Helping Australia’s busiest airport to go renewable

22 August

Origin is helping Sydney Airport, the gateway to Australia, in its journey to a renewable energy future.

With more than 40 million passengers a year, nearly 350,000 aircraft movements a year, three terminals, a freight facility, not to mention close to 55,000 people working on airport across more than 200 organisations, Sydney Airport uses a lot of energy.

Origin Energy will supply to 75 per cent of Sydney Airport’s electricity with wind power in an innovative energy agreement that combines renewables with firming generation and supports the airport’s goal of halving its carbon intensity by 2025.

Under the long-term agreement, Sydney Airport will be supplied with wind power from the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm contracted through Origin, with Origin to provide firming generation when the wind is not blowing enough to meet the airport’s load.

The 37-turbine, 135 MW wind farm located 45km south of Mudgee, NSW, commenced construction earlier this year and is expected to be fully operational by late 2019.

With operations around the clock, wind was a natural choice of renewable source for the airport, with Origin entering into an offtake agreement with Crudine Ridge and packaging it with firming supply when the wind farm is not generating enough to meet the airport’s load.

Origin Energy executive general manager energy supply and operations Greg Jarvis said there was growing interest from customers for renewable energy solutions.

“Renewable energy in Australia is rapidly growing in scale and Origin is enabling our customers to source energy with direct line of sight to wind and solar facilities,” Mr Jarvis said.

“When Sydney Airport approached us wanting a cost-effective way to meet their energy needs and reduce emissions, we developed an innovative agreement where we contract the wind and bundle it with firming energy in an all-in-one package.

“Sydney is Australia’s busiest airport, operating around the clock – the combination of wind and firming is perfect to meet their load and help them transition to cleaner energy supply,” Mr Jarvis said.

Origin has committed to 1,200 MW of new renewable supply since March 2016 and can provide energy from any of these wind or solar farms or assist in procuring and firming energy outside this portfolio.

Earlier this year, Origin signed a landmark agreement with the University of NSW to provide firming generation to complement the university’s offtake agreement with Sunraysia Solar Farm and was seeing growing interest from customers wanting more sustainable energy combined with the assurance of firming energy and expert portfolio management.

“Origin is proud to be helping our customers develop energy procurement strategies to enhance their sustainability aspirations,” Mr Jarvis said.

Source: Origin Energy

 

V-KOR vanadium battery successfully achieves first Australian electricity grid integration

22 August

  • 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium battery successfully integrated with the Western Power electricity grid at OzLinc Industries trial site in Perth, for its first Australian grid connection deployment.
  • Valuable data from the OzLinc trial will help optimise the V-KOR battery within hybrid grid systems incorporating solar PV, wind turbines, gas or diesel power generators.
  • Opportunity for network providers to save millions of dollars by utilising V-KOR battery as an electricity network solution.
  • Protean is continuing to receive enquiries regarding its V-KOR battery and progresses towards commercial orders.

Protean Energy Ltd (Protean or the Company) is pleased to announce an update to the 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium battery deployment at the OzLinc Industries site in O’Connor (Perth, Western Australia).

The local network operator (Western Power) has provided approval for the battery to be connected to the network. The deployment will be used to demonstrate the V-KOR vanadium battery capability to future customers, and to collect data to help refine product configurations for grid connected batteries.

To date, the OzLinc Industries deployment has been used in a micro grid situation (isolated from the main electrical grid), in combination with a 21kW solar PV system and a 21kW diesel generator.

Protean plans to further demonstrate the capability of the complete Battery Energy Storage Solution (BESS) via developing a number of Australian projects as part of our roadmap to large scale grid installations.

The V-KOR vanadium battery is a key enabler for peak shaving and renewable energy utilisation, designed to be used in conjunction with solar systems, wind turbines and natural gas generators. The V-KOR vanadium battery allows customers to utilise more of their own renewable energy by storing excess solar or wind energy for use at selected times of the day.

The battery can also be used to store off peak energy from the grid, for use in peak periods.

Protean sees future commercial opportunities for the V-KOR vanadium battery particularly for:-

  • Network Operators – Potential efficiency gains in network augmentation by utilising V-KOR battery as an electricity network solution.
  • Commercial & Industrial Market - Reduced peak demand charges, and increased self-supply using low cost renewables for C&I customers.
  • Renewable Energy Farms - Firming of large scale renewable energy intermittency.

Mr Na, Chief Technical Officer for KORID Energy said: “The Perth trial allows refinement of ancillary battery functionality as part of our development roadmap. It also serves to build familiarity with future customers. The V-KOR battery is progressing towards full commercialisation for the Australian market and our technology will assist network providers to offer lower electricity costs to their customers. We are encouraged by the size of the market opportunity for vanadium batteries in Australia and the enquiries we have had from land developers, major commercial customers and recent discussions with the electricity network provider. The time is right for our battery technology and we are strategically positioned to capitalize on a rapidly expanding battery storage market in Australia and globally.”

Source: Protean Energy

 

PROJECT NEWS

Wellington North Solar Farm

AGL’s proposed Wellington North Solar development has been placed on public exhibition by the NSW Department of Environment & Planning until 19 September. The proposed development footprint covers approximately 837 ha, including the solar plant site and two transmission line options to connect to TransGrid’s existing Wellington Substation, located approximately 3km south of the Proposal site.

It is anticipated that the proposed Wellington North Solar Plant would include the following infrastructure elements:

- PV modules mounted on a horizontal fixed or tracking structure.

- Power conversion stations (PCS) to allow conversion of DC module output to AC electricity.

- An onsite substation containing transformers and associated switchgear.

- Underground electrical conduits and cabling to connect the arrays on the array site.

- Internal access tracks and upgrades to existing access roads, where required.

- An area for a future battery storage facility.

- Site office and maintenance building with associated car park.

- Perimeter security fencing and CCTV.

- Up to approximately 7km of 132kV or 330kV, overhead or underground transmission line to the existing TransGrid 330kV substation (either an east and or west transmission line).

- Native vegetation planting to provide visual screening from specific viewpoints, as required.

The construction phase is expected to last approximately 18 ‐ 24 months with peak activity during the middle nine months of the construction period. At the peak of the construction, it is anticipated that up to 250 site personnel would be required onsite.

 

NEW PROJECT

Jindera Solar Farm

Location: Glenellen, north of Jindera in New South Wales

Capacity: 130 MW

Developer: Jindera Solar Farm Pty Ltd, a partnership of Hanwha Energy Corporation and Green Switch Australia

Estimated cost: $100mil

Employment: 300 construction jobs & 2 operational jobs

LGA: Greater Hume

Description: The solar farm would occupy around 519 ha of rural land currently used for agriculture. The proposal infrastructure includes solar arrays, trackers, modules, invertors, a substation, underground cabling, security fencing, battery storage and a cable run to connect the solar farm to TransGrid’s Jindera substation.

Capital Investment Value: $100,000,000.00

Contact: Symon Grasby

Green Switch Australia

Email: sg@gscapital.uk

 

NEW PROJECTS

Parkesbourne Solar Farm

Location: Parkesbourne, ~15km west of Goulburn in NSW

Capacity: Approximately 600 MW

Developer: CWP Renewables

LGA: Goulburn Mulwaree

Estimated cost: $600mil

Employment: 300 construction jobs & 25 operational jobs

Description: Proposed development is on agricultural land, well suited to solar generation due to its flat terrain, low density of rural residential dwellings and proximity to existing transmission infrastructure. The project is comprised of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, steel racking and piled supports, electrical transformers and inverters, battery storage, electrical cabling, telecommunications equipment, security fencing, a site office, maintenance building and car park facilities. Two TransGrid 330 kV transmission lines directly cross the proposed project area, which will provide the connection to the national electricity grid. The identified land is currently used for grazing and/or cultivation by landholders included in the project.

 

Glenellen Solar Farm

Location: Glenellen, 16km north of Albury in southern NSW

Capacity: Approximately 200 MW, New South Wales, Australia

Developer: CWP Renewables

LGA: Greater Hume

Estimated cost: $200mil

Employment: 150 construction jobs & 10 operational jobs

Description: The project consists of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, steel racking and piled supports, electrical transformers and inverters, battery storage, electrical cabling, telecommunications equipment, security fencing, a site office, maintenance building and car park facilities. Battery storage will allow energy to be stored and dispatched into the National Electricity Grid on demand.

Contact: Ed Mounsey

Chief Operating Officer

CWP Renewables

Tel: (02) 4013 4640

Email: ed.mounsey@cwprenewables.com

 

Queensland charges ahead with Townsville battery project

23 August

Townsville is one step closer to having a $2 billion lithium-ion battery factory creating hundreds of new jobs following today’s signing of an assistance agreement between the Queensland Government and an international consortium.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the agreement with Imperium 3 – an international joint venture led by Boston Energy and Innovation, Magnis Resources and Charge CCCV LLC – follows on from her Government’s election commitment last year to provide up to $3.1 million for a feasibility study into this project.

“Today’s signing is great news for Townsville, and Queensland as a whole, as it means we are one step closer to making this facility a reality, along with the jobs it would bring to Townsville,” the Premier said.

“I was in Boston in June this year at the BIO International Convention, as part of my trade delegation to the United States, where I observed the signing of a recommitment between Townsville City Council and Imperium 3 should the lithium-ion battery project progress to construction.

“In line with our Advance Queensland agenda, we are determined to make the most of the opportunities for the future, and by assisting to progress the feasibility study of this project, we hope to leverage considerable private sector investment into regional Queensland.

“Battery storage solutions are fundamental to making renewable energy reliable, and Imperium 3’s project would be supplying into a rapidly expanding market and would further develop Queensland’s advanced manufacturing capabilities in the renewable energy market.”

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said a senior team from his department had worked with Imperium 3 to finalise the assistance agreement to support the delivery of the feasibility study for the $2 billion lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Contracts signed for Portland renewable energy project

23 August

Wannon Water is pushing ahead with a $4.2 million wind generation project that will provide all the power for its energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities in Portland.

The project is the latest step in Wannon Water’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Once commissioned, the generator will contribute significantly towards Portland achieving zero-net emissions from local renewable power generation for its water and sewage treatment systems.

Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the capital cost would be paid back within 10 years through reduced energy bills. “Over the life of the asset, the total payback is forecast to be substantial, resulting in future savings for our customers.”

“We also recognise the importance of supporting regional economic growth and prosperity. The project therefore includes input from at least one local supplier,” Mr Jeffers said.

The project aligns with Water for Victoria, the Victorian Government’s long-term blueprint for investment in water-related activities and the water sector to support a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and thriving communities.

The Water for Victoria plan sets a new long-term direction for managing the state’s precious water resources as we deal with the impacts of climate change and a growing population. The document sets out a range of climate mitigation strategies for water utilities, who are the largest carbon emitters in the public sector.

German company Enercon won the $2.1 million contract for the supply and delivery of the innovative gearbox-less E48 generator that will be located at the sewage treatment plant site in Olearia Road. Portland company Keppel Prince has been sub-contracted to manufacture the tower using local steel. In another win for locals, Portland firm G.R. Carr is the successful tenderer for the $770,000 contract for the project’s civil works.

Work at the site is expected to begin soon and the project is scheduled to be commissioned by mid-2019, weather permitting.

Once connected to the grid network, the wind generator will produce more than two gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year and reduce carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year. It will be smaller than other generators installed along the coast and will connect into existing power infrastructure.

Wannon Water also has a range of other carbon mitigation projects underway or complete in order to achieve the targets set out in the Water for Victoria plan. These include solar generation systems at the corporate office in Warrnambool and on water storage tanks at Hamilton and Warrnambool.

Source: Wannon Water

 

Adani Whyalla solar farm receives construction go-ahead

23 August

South Australia is one step closer to delivering its next large-scale solar farm with pre-construction approval now granted to Adani Renewables Australia for the project.

The solar project will be located approximately 10km from Whyalla, at a vacant site which is near 400 hectares in size, delivering up to 140MW and 300,000 MWh of power each year.

Adani Renewables Australia CEO, Jennifer Purdie, said the project has now received all the necessary approvals to commence construction, making it the most progressed large-scale solar project in the Whyalla region.

“With all our approvals received we are now in the process of finalising commercial negotiations with customers,” Ms Purdie said.

“We recognize the aspirations of South Australians to deliver a reliable energy network through renewables.

“Adani Renewables Australia is eager to provide energy solutions to this ambition by contributing to an energy mix that is reliable, secure and affordable for all customers as we transition to a low emissions future.

South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway welcomed Adani’s investment and said the State’s Upper Spencer Gulf region has quickly become a national focal point for renewables energy projects.

“This is another welcome investment for Whyalla in particular as the investment of near A$200 million will create up to 150 construction jobs at the peak of construction and up to five ongoing jobs for the life of the project,” Mr Ridgway said.

Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer welcomed the state government approval and said it further confirmed Whyalla as the emerging renewable energy hub of South Australia.

“We’ve been working with Adani on this project to gain all the necessary approvals and put a lease agreement in place,” Mayor Breuer said.

“This State Government approval is another step forward for what will be another significant solar farm project in Whyalla.

“We congratulate Adani Renewables on this milestone and look forward to construction starting on this project with hopefully lots of local jobs created during the building stage and in the running of the facility.”

Adani Renewables is currently writing Power Purchase Agreements direct with corporate customers and a commercial decision on the project will be announced in QTR 3, with operations expected to commence in 2019.

South Australian Business Manager, Peter Gayen, said Adani Renewables Australia was looking forward to exploring new energy solutions with industry through wind, battery and pump storage projects in the future.

“The Whyalla solar farm is our first project in South Australia, but it’s just the beginning. We are working with South Australia’s businesses on the Whyalla solar farm and look forward to working with them on other future projects to deliver affordable renewable energy solutions that will ultimately drive down electricity prices.”

The Whyalla solar farm is Adani Renewables Australia’s second solar project, with construction on their first solar farm in Rugby Run, Queensland, due for completion later this year.

The Rugby Run Solar Farm will supply 65MW of renewable power in phase 1, with the capacity to expand up to 170MW.

Source: Adani Australia