Indicative proposal from Federation Asset Management to Acquire 100% of Windlab Limited

20 January

Windlab Limited (ASX:WND, “Windlab”) advises that it has received a non-binding and indicative proposal from Federation Asset Management Holdings Pty Ltd (“Federation”) (the “Proposal”) pursuant to which funds managed or advised by Federation would acquire 100% of the issued share capital of Windlab by way of a scheme of arrangement, at an Offer Price of $1.00 per share1 in cash. The Offer Price represents a premium of 38.9% to the most recent closing price of Windlab shares and 40.1% to the 30 day VWAP2.

The Proposal follows an initial period of discussions and due diligence undertaken by Federation at the same time as Windlab undertook its Strategic Review which was announced to the market on 28 August 2019.

Funds managed or advised by Federation currently have an interest in approximately 18.7% of Windlab shares.

Intention to recommend

The directors of Windlab believe that the Proposal presents Windlab shareholders with an opportunity to realise their investment in Windlab at a significant premium to the current share price. Subject to an independent expert concluding that the Proposal is in the best interests of shareholders not associated with Federation and in the absence of a superior proposal the directors of Windlab intend to unanimously recommend the Proposal to Windlab shareholders upon entry into a binding agreement to implement the Proposal.

Summary of Proposal and Process Deed

The Proposal is subject to a number of conditions, including completion of confirmatory due diligence satisfactory to Federation, any required regulatory approvals, entering into mutually acceptable transaction documentation (including a scheme implementation agreement) and Windlab shareholder and court approval.

The Proposal is non-binding and conditional and there is no certainty that it will result in a transaction.

Windlab has entered into a Process Deed with Federation pursuant to which it has granted Federation a period of exclusivity up until 21 February 2020 to complete its due diligence and negotiate a scheme implementation agreement and other transaction documents (“Exclusivity Period”). The Exclusivity Period may be extended to 26 February 2020 to allow completion of documentation, subject to certain conditions being satisfied.

Windlab has agreed to certain customary exclusivity provisions during the Exclusivity Period including no shop, no talk and no-due diligence restrictions, and notification and matching rights (the no-talk, and no-due diligence restrictions being subject to a customary fiduciary carve-out). Each party will bear their own costs in relation to progressing the Proposal during the Exclusivity Period and no break fees are payable.

The Process Deed is attached to this announcement. Windlab shareholders should refer to that document for further details regarding the agreed arrangements.

At the conclusion of the Exclusivity Period, if Windlab and Federation have entered into a binding scheme implementation agreement, an explanatory memorandum in relation to the Proposal will subsequently be provided to Windlab shareholders, after which a meeting of shareholders will be scheduled for shareholders to consider and vote on the Proposal.

Moelis Australia is acting as financial adviser to Windlab and Dentons is acting as legal adviser.

The Proposal remains at this stage incomplete and no action is required by Windlab shareholders at this time. Windlab will keep the market informed in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations as matters progress.

1 Less the amount of any dividends or other distributions to which Windlab shareholders become entitled on or after the date of this announcement.

2 On 17 January 2020 the closing price was $0.72 per share and the 30 trading day volume weighted average price was $0.71 per share Period”). The Exclusivity Period may be extended to 26 February 2020 to allow completion of documentation, subject to certain conditions being satisfied.

Source: Windlab

 

Beon Energy Solutions sign contract to construct Jemalong Solar Farm in New South Wales

20 January

Beon Energy Solutions (Beon), the construction company that was recently awarded the contract to build the 60-megawatt Jemalong Solar Farm, will be conducting an information session on employment and procurement opportunities for the Jemalong Solar Farm at the Forbes Services Memorial Club on Thursday 23 January, at 6:00 p.m.

This session will be co-hosted by the Chandler Macleod Labour Hire Company, who Beon have engaged to oversee the employment program for the Jemalong Solar Farm. The information provided will include the different role types and opportunities, hours of work, transport options, working conditions and opportunities for local businesses.

Subject to final approvals and completion of road works, it is estimated that construction activities will commence in March 2020 and will be completed in the final quarter of 2020. There will be approximately 200 workers employed over the duration of the project with the majority of those being locally sourced. The two main areas of work will be on the electrical and mechanical side of construction.

In addition to the local employment opportunities, there will also be opportunities for local businesses, such as fencing contractors, cleaning services and transport companies to be involved in the project.

This will be the fifth large scale solar farm that Beon has built in regional Australia. Beon has a proven strong record for engaging and supporting the regional communities in which it has built large scale solar farms. In 2019 Beon was nominated as a finalist in the Clean Energy Council’s annual national awards in the area of Community Engagement.

For the Jemalong Solar Farm, Beon will continue to build on its ‘women in solar’ program that offers women training and support to gain employment in the burgeoning solar industry. Furthermore, Beon will be working closely with the Forbes Shire Council to look at ways in which employment opportunities can be created for drought affected farmers.

Beon Energy Solutions general manger, Glen Thomson, said, “We are looking forward to working with the local community in and around Forbes to construct the Jemalong Solar Farm, continuing our approach to support regional communities to build Australia’s renewable energy future.”

Once complete the Jemalong Solar Farm, that will be owned and operated by Genex Power Limited, and will produce enough energy to power approximately 23,000 homes per year.

Source: Beon Energy Solutions

 

Appointment of new O&M service provider

20 January

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to advise that Hydroflux Utilities Pty Ltd (Hydroflux Utilities) has been appointed as the operations and maintenance service provider for the Goulburn and AJ Bush Bioenergy projects with effect from today.

Hydroflux Utilities has significant experience in all aspects of wastewater treatment processes and equipment, including treating water for electrical generation, transmission and distribution. As part of the Hydroflux Group which provides services to the bioenergy industry, Hydroflux Utilities is well equipped practically and commercially to service the Bioenergy Alliance's projects with offices in both Queensland and New South Wales.

This outcome is a result of a period of co-operation between ReNu Energy and Hydroflux Utilities. Resonance Industrial Water Infrastructure Fund (Resonance) kindly facilitated the transition. ReNu Energy continues to hold a 30% equity interest in the projects under its Bioenergy Alliance with Resonance. Both parties are committed to the ‘waste to energy’ industry.

ReNu Energy also intends to transition to Hydroflux Utilities administrative and accounting services that ReNu Energy currently provides for the Bioenergy Alliance.

The appointment of Hydroflux Utilities transitions ReNu Energy's responsibilities as the O&M service provider of the projects to Hydroflux Utilities in full. The restructure is part of ReNu Energy's strategy to optimise its bioenergy operations and as a result reduce its cost base. The service fee revenue under O&M contracts and administration arrangements are not material to ReNu.

An update of our organisational structure and corresponding adjustments to ReNu Energy’s cost base will be provided at our half year disclosure in February.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project

The first Goldwind wind turbine has been successfully and safely installed at Goldfields’ Agnew Mine in Western Australia as part of the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project. The Agnew project, delivered in partnership with EDL and which received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, is the first to use wind generation as part of a large hybrid microgrid in the Australian mining sector.

 

First wind turbine assembled at Warradarge Wind Farm

20 January

The first of 51 wind turbines has been erected at the Warradarge Wind Farm in the Mid West Region of Western Australia. 

The three 67 metre long blades were the last components lifted in place on the 3.6MW turbine. 

Once complete, the Bright Energy Investments (BEI) Warradarge Wind Farm will produce 180MW and will supply the equivalent energy to 148,500 West Australian homes. 

General Manager of BEI, Tom Frood was pleased to see wind farm taking shape.

“Erection of the first full turbine is another major milestone for this important renewable energy project, which remains on track for planned first energy around the start of the fourth quarter of 2020,” Mr Frood said. 

Each wind turbine is assembled from three tower sections, a nacelle, a hub assembly and three blades. Assembly of each wind turbine generator generally takes around two days to complete, depending on weather conditions.

BEI is a joint venture of the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF), Cbus and Synergy.  

Source: Bright Energy Investments

 

PROJECT UPDATE

St Patricks Wind Farm

Epuron is holding a second Community Information Day at the Great Lakes Community Centre in Miena on Saturday February 1, 2020. Epuron is proposing the St Patricks Plains Wind Farm with up to 67 wind turbines and associated infrastructure around Steppes in the Central Highlands of Tasmania. The proposed site is 10 km South of Miena and 25 km north of Bothwell in the Central Highlands Council Local Government Area

 

NEW PROJECT

Key works commence at Gingin Landfill Project

21 January

HIGHLIGHTS

- Site works at the Gingin Landfill Project have commenced, with M8 Sustainable on track for construction of Cell 1 to begin in February

- The Gingin Landfill has been designed to allow for operation as a bioreactor facility

M8 Sustainable Limited (“M8S” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise that site works have commenced on the Company’s flagship development - the Gingin Landfill Project.

The Gingin Landfill Project is a fully-permitted landfill facility with a licensed capacity of 150,000 tonnes per annum and is the key growth asset that underpinned M8S’s successful IPO in December.

Key works that are currently underway or completed to date include:

- Site survey for the area that will encompass Cell 1, the associated infrastructure and main access road;

- Clearing of Cell 1 and the main access road;

- Construction of the secondary access road and laydown area.

Following the release of tender documents, construction contract negotiations are now well advanced, with core contracts expected to be awarded next month.

Once commissioned, Gingin will begin accepting non-recyclable material generated by M8S’ other core facility, the Maddington Recycling and Processing Facility. M8S also intends to develop the Maddington site to include a putrescible waste transfer station to aggregate and supply waste to the Gingin landfill enabling it to capture waste generated from surrounding metropolitan areas.

M8S Managing Director Tom Rudas said: “This is an exciting time for M8S. With the ASX listing now completed, we can fully turn our attention to growth strategy and the start of site works now is in line with our schedule.

Gingin will be a state-of-the-art landfill facility which will benefit from the shortage of waste disposal facilities in Perth’s northern corridor.

The design of the Gingin landfill site also provides us with an opportunity to turn organic waste into energy.”

The Gingin landfill design incorporates a leachate recirculation system to maximise degradation of organic waste and improve the production of methane gas for the generation of renewable energy (electricity and heat).

The Shire of Gingin has acknowledged that the Company intends to seek the approval of the relevant authorities for a licence in order to recover and re-process the organic fraction of the waste sent to the landfill into compost like products.

This will turn each of the planned 10 Gingin landfill cells into functioning bioreactors.

The Company will continue to provide updates throughout the Gingin construction period.

Source: M8S

 

NEW PROJECT

Hydro power scheme approved on West Coast, NZ

21 January

DOC has approved a small scale "run of river" hydro power scheme on public conservation land near Whataroa in South Westland. The power plant will generate 1.89 MW.

DOC's West Coast Operations Director Mark Davies who made the decision, says the scheme can be constructed with minimal long term effects on the environment.

The scheme is a "run of river" hydro scheme, which means there will be no dam constructed. Water will be collected via a weir and diverted into a penstock/pipeline which would take the water down to a powerhouse. The water will be returned to the river downstream of the powerhouse in its entirety.

"Once construction of the scheme is completed and regeneration has occurred the visual and landscape effects are expected to be very low," Mark Davies says

"This scheme does not have significant effects on the site's natural character, intrinsic and wilderness values, and there are few recreationists in the area.

"There is potential for some loss of habitat for long-tailed bats and some bird and lizard species, however the impact has been assessed as minimal."

As part of the decision-making process, DOC is imposing robust conditions during the construction of the scheme to ensure that any effects on vegetation or wildlife are minimised.

This includes requiring that a liaison officer be employed to oversee the construction and compliance with concession conditions, and the construction footprint being kept as small as possible. All trees greater than 30cm diameter at breast height must be assessed and approved by a department ecologist prior to removal.

The power scheme has been approved after a process which included public consultation and subsequent consideration of issues raised. The area the scheme is to be constructed in comprises three land statuses - Stewardship Land, Scenic Reserve and Marginal Strip.

Source: Department of Conservation

 

Lake Bonney Battery boosts energy competition

21 January

The Marshall Government’s transformation of South Australia’s power system is another step closer with the Lake Bonney big battery in the final stages of testing and close to full commercial operation.

“The Marshall Government has prioritised delivering cheaper, more reliable electricity to South Australian households and businesses whilst lowering emissions,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Infigen’s Lake Bonney Wind Farm and Battery in the state’s South East will help increase competition in the retail electricity market and make power more secure for South Australian businesses.

Infigen’s 25 megawatt/52 megawatt hour lithium-ion battery system will enhance their ability to provide ‘firm’ renewable electricity supply contracts to a number of commercial and industrial customers.

Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Lake Bonney Wind Farm and Battery demonstrates South Australia’s transformation into a modern energy market.

Speaking during a site visit to Lake Bonney, Minister van Holst Pellekaan said that grid scale storage is critical to making our renewable energy work for consumers, including increasing retail competition.

“Assets such as the Lake Bonney Wind Farm and Battery provide reliable, affordable and renewable electricity to this state’s commercial and industrial customers,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

“It will allow South Australia to incorporate more renewable energy into the system and move towards net-100% renewable energy in the 2030’s.”

“The Battery has been supported by a $5 million grant from the South Australian Government, matched by $5 million from the Commonwealth’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

“In a significant boost for local employment Infigen’s Wind Farm and Battery created 430 jobs during the construction phase.

“Tesla is one of the new commercial customers supported by Infigen’s expansion into the South Australian retail electricity market.

“Infigen was recently awarded a retail contract to supply Tesla fast-charging supercharger stations with energy across Australia.

“Not only will the Lake Bonney Battery use Tesla batteries to store energy, it will also allow Infigen to fuel electric cars at Tesla Superchargers across Australia,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan said.

Infigen’s Executive Director, Finance and Commercial, Sylvia Wiggins, said the Lake Bonney Battery is an important asset in their generation portfolio.

“Lake Bonney allows us to grow the volume of renewable energy we sell to commercial and industrial customers. We are pleased to be partnering with South Australian customers, communities and governments as we lead Australia’s transition to a clean energy future”.

Source: SA Government

 

NEW PROJECT

EPA approves Laverton North waste to energy plant

22 January

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has granted a works approval for a waste to energy plant at Laverton North.

The applicant, Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd, will develop a waste to energy facility to process 200,000 tonnes/year of source-separated residual municipal solid waste.

Once constructed, Recovered Energy Australia will not be able to operate the waste to energy plant until it obtains an EPA licence.

The facility will be located at 28 Alex Fraser Drive, Laverton North VIC 3026.

The works approval is subject to conditions. These conditions include the requirement for an EPA-appointed auditor to review detailed design and for further EPA consideration prior to finalising detailed plans. Conditions also require the facility to be able to achieve environmental performance equivalent to European standards.

BACKGROUND

EPA assessed the proposal against all relevant environmental policies and guidelines and looked at any potential environmental and human health impacts that could result from the facility.

Separate from an EPA works approval, Recovered Energy Australia has secured a planning permit from Wyndham City Council to construct and operate the proposed facility.

Recovered Energy Australia Pty Ltd proposes to deliver approximately 15 MW of electricity to the grid and seeks to divert municipal solid waste currently destined for landfill.

In making its decision, EPA considered all views conveyed by members of the public through the consultation period.

Source: EPA Victoria

 

Snowy 2.0 work re-starts after the fire

22 January

Work on the Snowy 2.0 project construction site at Lobs Hole is underway again, with far less damage to plant and equipment occurring from the bushfires than first anticipated.

Our staff, Snowy 2.0 contractors and project suppliers are currently re-mobilising to site and the bulk of the workforce will be back at work by the end of this week. The priority following the fire was clearing fallen and dangerous trees from around the main access roads and working closely with the Rural Fire Service and National Parks and Wildlife Service to safely recommence work. The immediate tasks for the project are continuing with road construction, the main access portal excavation and site camp set-up, along with replacing lost ancillary equipment.

There are many local businesses already involved with Snowy 2.0 and we know how important it is for the local economy for project work to continue. With the Snowy Mountains economy facing the challenge of recovery, rebuilding the local economic and social benefits of a major regional infrastructure project like Snowy 2.0 will be more critical than ever. 

Source: Snowy Hydro

 

Risen Energy’s Yarranlea Solar Farm is connected to the grid                                                                                             

23 January

Risen Energy (Australia) has completed the construction of the 100 megawatt AC Yarranlea Solar Farm and achieved network registration with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on January 3.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm is undergoing the staged commissioning procedures.

“The staged procedures we are performing allow us to currently generate 28 megawatts to the grid. This is followed approximately 1 month later with 50% output, and a further month after that to 100% output” said Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia).

“Staging the transition to full output ensures that the network is stable as this is relatively new technology to the Darling Downs area.  This commissioning regime ensures that there is minimal potential for disruptions to stable power supplies to the community” said Lee.

Risen Energy has worked closely with Ergon Energy and Powerlink to achieve registration of the Yarranlea Solar Farm and will continue to work with them to complete the smooth transition to full output for the solar farm.

“We are very pleased that we have achieved this milestone by working closely with network providers and anticipate having a fully operational solar facility in a few months, supplying green power the Darling Downs area,” said Lee.

Yarranlea Solar Farm

The Yarranlea Solar Farm is located near Pittsworth, about 50km west of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs. The solar farm is approximately 250ha in area and consists of over 360,000 Risen solar panels mounted on a single axis tracking system.  The farm will generate and deliver clean, renewable electricity to power up to 32,000 homes.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm is connected to the power grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, located close to the farm site. This allows transmission of power into the Middle Ridge Bulk Supply Substation, ultimately supplying green power to homes, businesses and industries in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs area.

The completed facility has a projected life of 30 years. At the end of the facility’s useful operating life, all physical infrastructure will be removed, and the land returned to its former agricultural use.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm will contribute to the green footprint of the state in support of the Queensland Government’s Green Policy.  Risen Energy (Australia) as the owner of the Yarranlea Solar farm has worked within the Queensland Government’s Solar Farm Guidelines which provide a practical guidance for communities, landowners and project proponents.

“Risen Energy (Australia) has progressed the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm.  We used our PV panel technology to supply power to the grid. Ultimately, integrated battery storage will be incorporated in the solar farm to provide continuous power during periods of peak demand” said Lee.

Source: Risen Energy

 

Project EnergyConnect achieves important milestone

24 January

ElectraNet and TransGrid have today welcomed the approval by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) of the regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T) for Project EnergyConnect.

ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters said today’s announcement was an important project milestone, with the AER determining the business case for Project EnergyConnect was “robust”.

Mr Masters said the AER also determined the proposed interconnector, between South Australia and New South Wales, remained the most “credible option that maximises the net economic benefit” in the National Electricity Market (NEM), ultimately benefiting electricity customers.

“The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) recently released draft 2020 Integrated System Plan identifies Project EnergyConnect as a ‘no regrets’ project for the national electricity market,” he said.

TransGrid Chief Executive Officer Paul Italiano said TransGrid and ElectraNet were committed to delivering the project at the lowest possible cost with the greatest benefit to energy consumers.

“Project EnergyConnect provides the critical infrastructure needed to enable the sharing of renewable and baseload generation in the National Energy Market,” Mr Italiano said.

Project EnergyConnect supports Australia’s growing renewable energy industry, with up to 30 new wind and solar projects (totalling nearly 5300 megawatts) planned for South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, expected to benefit from the new transmission line.

This would be enough energy to power more than 1.6 million Australian homes.

ElectraNet and TransGrid both acknowledge support for Project EnergyConnect from the South Australian Government which has enabled early works such as line route identification and stakeholder engagement on both sides of the border to progress.

The next step involves both businesses preparing a Contingent Project Application to be lodged with the AER for approval.

For more information about Project EnergyConnect visit www.projectenergyconnect.com.au

Source: ElectraNet and TransGrid

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Aatlis Microgrid

The Australian Energy Regulator has granted Aatlis Utilities Pty Ltd an individual exemption for the sale of energy at its Aatlis Microgrid project.

The primary activity of Aatlis Utilities Pty Ltd is the generation of electricity from gas and solar installations. The retailing of electricity to customers within the precinct will result from the generation. Gas will be retailed to selected industrial customers.

It is proposed to retail both electricity and natural gas.

The electricity will be distributed by a private microgrid network which will be Islanded or Behind the Meter and not connected to the main electricity distribution or transmission grid.

The gas will be retailed in private distribution networks coming from the gas power plant. The gas power plant will be connected to the Roma Brisbane Pipeline owned by the APA Group via a distribution main.

The proposed microgrid will be established within an NEM area which is supply by Ergon Energy. Part of the land covered by the proposed microgrid is in greenfield areas where there are no power networks. We choose not be grid connect and access existing distribution network.

The amount of energy sold will increase as new demand is built. Aatlis Utilities applied for approval for power for 100 MW of gas power and 50 MW of solar power. Its initial power capacity is expected to be approximately 25 MW – 20 MW gas and 5 MW solar.

Source: AER/Aatlis Utilities

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