Bombora to launch construction of 1.5MW mWaveTM through a multi-million dollar investment from Enzen

17 November

  • Investment enables Bombora to commence construction of commercial sized mWaveTM
  • Funding provided by energy specialist and strategic advisory company, Enzen
  • Albany project added to mWaveTM pipeline

Bombora Wave Power Pty Ltd (‘Bombora’ or ‘the Company’) today announced it has raised a multimillion-dollar round of investment to support the construction of it first commercial sized mWaveTM.

Bombora’s patented, Australian designed, 1.5 Megawatt mWaveTM converts wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity.

The investment is being provided by new strategic investor, Enzen, a global energy and environment company that provides strategic advisory and high-end solutions to the energy and utilities industries.

The funding provides capital to accelerate testing of the membrane, valve and full-scale turbine and generator.

Bombora’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Leighton said, “This investment from Enzen, after material due diligence of the mWaveTM’s potential, will allow Bombora to move to full-scale construction and testing.

Having a major energy company supporting our product allows the Company to focus on bringing the mWaveTM to market, and provides access to additional networks in the renewable energy industry.”

Mr Dileep Viswanath, Chief Executive Officer, Enzen Australia added, “We believe the mWaveTM has the potential to be a robust solution for the large scale generation of clean energy. Enzen is committed to investing in state-of-the- technology to ensure that it maintains its lead in renewable energy thereby reducing energy prices and ensuring reliability of supply is sustainable for future generations. ”

Originating in India in 2006, Enzen is a global energy and environment company that has been providing large scale, high-end solutions to the energy and utilities industries. Enzen has become a partner of choice, successfully implementing projects for global utilities across India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Enzen recently announced it is expanding its South Australian offices from 30 to 250 staff.

Albany Project

The Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP), an initiative by the Government of Western Australia to install and provide common user wave energy infrastructure in Albany, was recently awarded to Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd (Carnegie). Bombora is cooperating with Carnegie on the project and looks forward to the opportunity to deploy the mWaveTM at the AWEP site following installation of the AWEP infrastructure.

Source: Bombora Wave Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Power


Australian Government awards grant to $8 million project in the City Of Fremantle using the Power Ledger platform

17 November

Today the Australian government announced they will provide $2.57 million in funding for a cutting edge project in the City of Fremantle and $5.68 million will be funded through project partners including Curtin University, Murdoch University, Curtin Institute of Computation, LandCorp, CSIRO/Data61, CISCO and Power Ledger.

The project is trialling the use of blockchain-powered distributed energy and water systems and was the second largest recipient of the Grant across all of Australia, following behind the ‘Switching on Darwin’ project.

What Are The Funds For?

The project, which involves academic, infrastructure and technology partners, will assess how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to integrate distributed energy and water systems. The federal funding comes as part of the government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program which aims to solve practical problems. The project will also be supported by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

How Will It Work?

The trial will involve highly resilient, low-carbon and low-cost systems installed and connected using blockchain technology. A large solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, rooftop solar PV panels, a precinct sized battery, an electric vehicle charge station and precinct water treatment and capture systems will be orchestrated using blockchain technology and data analytics, and demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities.

Onsite energy generation at water treatment systems will also circumvent the need for costly distribution overhauls, as they are due for a $3million upgrade to increase capacity. The project will provide the community with financial and service sustainability while still engaging the private sector.

Brad Pettitt, Mayor of the City of Fremantle, said: “We are delighted to host this project in the City of Fremantle. This collaboration between existing infrastructure, renewable energy and innovative technology fits with our One Planet zero carbon energy target and will help us to secure the ongoing sustainability of essential services for communities that live here.”

What Role Will The Partners Play?

Curtin University has responsibility for project management duties and will carry out the research underpinning the project.

Professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University said: “We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location.”

Murdoch University will provide research support on alternative district water supply and storage schemes that will be used to provide water, capacity and ancillary services to each other and the grid.

Martin Anda, Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering, said: “This news is very exciting as we now have the opportunity to develop an entirely new precinct scale urban water system in Fremantle that will harmonise with the innovative Power Ledger Platform.

“I am thrilled with the prospect of commencing research, modelling and designing the novel water distribution infrastructure upgrades at Knutsford, through rainwater capture and wastewater recycling, with the City of Fremantle and the whole team.”

Curtin Institute for Computation and Data61 will provide the data analytics required to generate insights from these projects.

Professor Andrew Rohl, Director of the Curtin Institute for Computation, said: “We commend the City of Fremantle and its industry partners for their vision on this project and look forward to assisting them to provide a more sustainable future for their community.”

CISCO will be supporting the project as part of its strategic partnership with Curtin University called Innovation Central Perth.

CSIRO and Data61 have the capabilities required to assist in the delivery of this project, including megatrend analysis, risk analysis, statistical forecasting and systems modelling.

“CSIRO’s experience collaborating with industry and government to build platforms will ensure the data generated by the project will be utilised by the community, project partners and municipal government.” said Glenn Platt, the Research Director of Grids & Energy Efficiency Systems.

Landcorp is taking part in the project to monitor success in order to explore alternative water and energy systems that are connected to smart technology.

Dean Mudford, Chief Operations Officer of Landcorp, said: “We are excited to be part of a shared commitment to explore alternative water and energy systems which are innovative, resource efficient and connected to smart technology. The potential for this level of innovation to be embedded within the next stage of our Knutsford development supports our broader corporate objective to lead by doing. Funding which allows research to explore alternative water and energy systems has the potential to significantly reduce infrastructure development costs for decades to come.”

How Is Power Ledger Involved?

Power Ledger will provide the transactional layer for the renewable assets as well as the ownership model for the community owned battery.

Dr. Jemma Green, co-founder and chairperson of Power Ledger, said: “Power Ledger is excited to work with a consortium of innovators and technical experts to grow and develop the platform. We’re excited to break ground on this truly novel project that utilises blockchain technology to orchestrate sustainable assets.”

The project will span over two years and will commence within the next two months.

Source: Power Ledger

NOTE: The City of Fremantle has tendered for a 5 MW solar farm as part of this project.


First turbine erected at Mount Emerald Wind Farm

20 November

Ratch Australia Corporation announced the completion of the first wind turbine at the Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin today after the three 16 tonne blades, each 57m long, were positioned in place atop a 90-metre tower.

The milestone follows the raising of the project’s first towers last week. Each tower is made up of four separate sections and is anchored to an 800-tonne concrete and steel foundation using 168, 36mm bolts. The turbine’s 120-tonne nacelle, the box that houses all of the generating components in a wind turbine, and is as big as a shipping container was also craned into place.

Ratch Construction Director, Mr Rene Kuypers, said the significant milestone capped a huge team effort.

“Reaching this construction point has involved careful planning over many months and a lot of work from a lot of people and I’d like to thank them all,” Mr Kuypers said.

“From unloading the cargo at Cairns Port to carefully trucking the components up to Walkamin and now the crane crews erecting the components, it’s teamwork at its best,” he said.

Mr Kuypers said more than 400 construction crew had been inducted to work on the project to date, including 130 locals while more than 20 suppliers had been contracted from the wider Cairns region.

Over the project’s construction phase, more than 450 components will be delivered to site. There will be 53 wind turbines erected in all, each with a capacity exceeding 3 megawatts (MW) for a total capacity of around 180MW. Once fully operational in September 2018, Mount Emerald will be the biggest wind farm in Queensland.

The wind farm will deliver in the order of 540,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 75,000 north Queensland homes over a 20-year period.

Powerlink’s construction of a dedicated 275kV substation to connect the wind farm to its transmission network is also underway.

Source: Ratch Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Mount Emerald Wind Farm



NSW Department of Planning & Environment released three solar farm proposals for community feedback; Vast Solar’s 50 MW Jemalong Solar Farm in , 90 MW Tarleigh Solar Farm in Blighty and the 195 MW Currawarra Solar Farm near Deniliquin, both being developed by RES Australia. All projects are open for public submissions until 21 December.

Clay Preshaw, Director of Resource and Energy Assessments, said Vast Solar previously proposed a solar generation facility at the same site that would generate electricity using solar thermal technology rather than photovoltaic solar panels. "The development application for the solar thermal plant will be amended by the company and the plant moved to an area adjacent to the site. The department will re-exhibit the amended plans for public feedback next year." Mr Preshaw said.



Renew Power Group seeking electricity generation licence for its planned 4.9 MW Peterborough Solar Farm approximately 100km east of Port Pirie in South Australia. The site is located on the western edge of town and is close to the 33/11 kV Peterborough sub-station. The PSF will be connected to the 33kV SAPN Network. The facility will consist of 2 x SMA inverters, NEXTracker mounting systems and Trina solar panels. GCo electrical is the primary contractor for the solar farm detailed design, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. O&M will also be conducted by GCo for 2 years as part of their EPC contract and Defect Liability Period. Energisation is scheduled by 7 February 2018.


Jade Feinberg

Project Manager

Renew Power Group

Tel: 042 665 3372



Bright future for Australian energy storage despite public uncertainty

20 November

A report released today by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) says that Australia has the potential to lead the world in developing large and home scale energy storage systems if public uncertainty can be overcome.

The report, The role of energy storage in Australia’s future energy mix shows that Australia has a wealth of natural advantages that could aid the development of new industries, exports and create jobs in mining and manufacturing.

It also warns that without proper planning and investment in energy storage, electricity costs in Australia will continue to rise and electricity supply will become less reliable.

The report finds the public had some awareness of energy storage such as batteries and pumped hydro but had very limited knowledge of other emerging technologies such as renewable hydrogen.

It also notes reluctance from consumers to install batteries at home for perceived safety reasons. However, the report identifies that Australians are fast adopters given the right market conditions, and there are 1.8 million homes with rooftop solar power systems that could use battery packs for energy storage.

“This report clearly shows the two sides of the coin – that energy storage is an enormous opportunity for Australia but there is work to be done to build consumer confidence,” said the chair of the ACOLA expert working group, Dr Bruce Godfrey.

“The best way to change attitudes is to increase understanding about energy storage.”

“Given our natural resources and our technical expertise, energy storage could represent a major new export industry for our nation,” said Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

“Energy storage is an opportunity to capitalise on our research strengths, culture of innovation and abundant natural resources. We have great advantages in the rapidly expanding field of lithium production and the emerging field of renewable hydrogen with export opportunities to Asia.”

“This is the first in a series of ‘horizon scanning’ reports. By working closely with the Office of the Chief Scientist ACOLA aims to present evidence-based reports on key issues to the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council to inform policy making and identify opportunities,” said ACOLA President, Professor John Fitzgerald.

The report explains that energy storage solutions can improve Australia’s energy system in two major ways. First, by providing greater security by stabilising frequencies that fluctuate within seconds especially with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar farms. Second, by improving reliability by providing additional back-up power when needed in times of high demand such as heatwaves.

The forward-looking report has 10 key findings and contains detailed modelling and a national survey of more than energy 1,000 energy consumers.

Among the findings is that recycling of lithium ion batteries is an opportunity for Australia, where we already have a history of recycling more than 90 per cent of lead-acid batteries.

The report was co-funded by ACOLA and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

After on Monday 20 November:

The full report can be found at

Source: ACOLA


ICO and ACCIONA sign a loan agreement for $75 million to finance Australian wind farm

20 November

The President of Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) Pablo Zalba and ACCIONA Managing Director for Economics and Finance Carlos Arilla have signed an agreement for a loan of 75 million Australian dollars (51 million euros equivalent) to finance the construction and start-up of the Mt. Gellibrand wind farm in the State of Victoria.

The new wind farm, which will come on stream in the second semester of 2018, has a total capacity of 132 megawatts (MW). The electricity generated by the facility will all be sold in the wholesale market (pool). The Government of the State of Victoria made a commitment to purchase renewable energy certificates for 66 MW of the power generated by the wind farm, following a public tender in 2016. This contract will enable it to purchase certificates for up to ten years.

Pablo Zalba highlighted “the added value contributed by ICO in this kind of operation, by facilitating finance in local currency”. He also pointed out that “the public bank will continue to promote activities that facilitate the internationalization of Spanish companies so that they can be more competitive”

Carlos Arilla expressed “satisfaction at the support from ICO in a project that strengthens ACCIONA’s position in the renewables market in Australia, a country where we also have a major presence in the infrastructure and water businesses”.

With this loan ICO has once again shown its support for ACCIONA’s expansion plans abroad. In recent years it has participated in the financing of several projects developed by the Spanish group in other countries, such as the Eurus wind farm in Mexico or the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant in Chile.


Link to AltEnergy project database: Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm


NEG report guarantees one thing – it won’t work for South Australia

21 November

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis says the Energy Security Board’s advice on the National Energy Guarantee proves it would entrench the market power of existing fossil fuel generators and retailers, limiting competition and driving up power prices in South Australia.

The Energy Security Board report, released today, includes a section titled ‘competition in South Australia’, which demonstrates how a NEG would further entrench the monopoly behaviour of large market participants.

Mr Koutsantonis said that the advice shows the NEG would favour the large monopolies meaning it would favour the East Coast and push up prices in South Australia.

The advice also clearly shows how the NEG stifles investment in more renewables.

The Federal Government’s report shows the only thing the NEG guarantees is a longer lifeline for coal, more market power and more profits for the existing generators.

Essentially, the NEG is a guarantee for higher prices in SA.

It proves it would make it more difficult for new competition from renewables to enter the market and takes Australia in the wrong direction. The reason high power prices are being experienced across the country is lack of investment, and lack of competition in the market.

The NEG favours the market status quo, doing nothing to drive the transformation towards renewables and will not drive emission reduction to levels that are needed to meet the Paris targets.

The CET was always considered the ‘second best option’, now COAG is being asked to accept the third best option.

There is nothing here for South Australia – we have already set in motion a plan for our State to be more self-­sufficient and to increase renewable energy generation and storage.

We need more generation and more competition in South Australia, which is the key goal of our energy plan.

Source: SA Government


On behalf of all Australians COAG needs to develop the National Energy Guarantee

21 November

Representatives of Australia’s businesses, communities, environment, energy industry and workers are calling on the Commonwealth and States to work together in good faith and a spirit of compromise to make further development of the National Energy Guarantee (the Guarantee) their top priority.

Australia is suffering unsustainably high electricity prices and rising emissions, and our reliability and cost challenges will worsen if the retirement of ageing generators is not managed well. The new private investment needed to turn the situation around will not be forthcoming without confidence in a credible, scalable, integrated and enduring long-term energy and climate policy framework.

To be a success, any framework needs both to sustain broad political support and to address the energy trilemma, supporting a clean and reliable energy system at the lowest sustainable cost. The Guarantee is only a concept at this point, with much development required. But we are hopeful that this further work will identify that the proposed mechanism can deliver. Importantly, there are no apparent alternatives at present that are both potentially functional and potentially acceptable to all sides of politics.

The electricity sector needs certainty, and soon, to put an investment pipeline in place. But the Guarantee is a major and complex reform that will need extensive consultation. It is also just part of a wider energy and climate policy reform agenda including the Finkel reforms, the National Energy Productivity Plan, the Climate Change Policy Review and more. We all look forward to the chance to input as the States, Commonwealth and energy market authorities develop the Guarantee further. Together we can ensure that the overall energy and climate policy framework meets Australia’s needs, including:

  • Competitive, transparent and liquid electricity markets and efficient investment to deliver the lowest sustainable costs to energy users
  • A credible, scalable and enduring settlement of climate policy for the electricity sector to help ensure Australia meets our commitments under the Paris Agreement
  • Confidence for investment in the full range of energy services we need to maintain an affordable and reliable electricity system as old generators retire and emissions decline consistent with our Paris Agreement commitments
  • Comfort that any impacts on industry and the community are understood, equitable and well managed, including maintaining the competitiveness of trade exposed industries, protecting vulnerable households, and ensuring a just transition for electricity sector workers and communities.

The Guarantee must be fit for purpose. Our organisations will not agree to just anything, and neither should COAG. What the COAG Energy Council meeting in Hobart this week should do is agree a work plan and full consultation to resolve the many unanswered questions about the Guarantee as soon as possible and produce a fully-fledged design ready for consideration, agreement and implementation. Without timely progress Australia will see energy costs and emissions increase, threatening our society, environment and economy.

Endorsed by:

 Australian Aluminium Council

 Australian Council of Social Services

 Australian Council of Trade Unions

 Australian Energy Council

 Australian Industry Group

 Australian Steel Institute

 Brotherhood of St Laurence

 Cement Industry Federation

 Clean Energy Council

 Energy Efficiency Council

 Energy Networks Australia

 Energy Users Association of Australia

 Investor Group on Climate Change

 National Farmers' Federation

 St Vincent de Paul Society

 WWF Australia

Source: Clean Energy Council


Australian first – Melbourne powers ahead with wind farm

23 November

Melbourne’s most iconic organisations have joined together to support the development of a wind farm that will be built near Ararat in regional Victoria.

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project has united 14 leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and Councils to source energy from the new 80 MW wind farm.

"We're sending a message that we're committed to jobs and investment in regional Australia as well as long-term energy security for Melbourne," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"We expect that more than 140 jobs could be created in the construction phase, with around eight ongoing jobs in the operation and management of the facility.

"This power purchasing project will be an Australian first. It shows that large organisations can combine their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy plants in regional Australia."

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project group is led by the City of Melbourne and includes the 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. The group is working to finalise contracts with Melbourne based clean energy company Pacific Hydro which has been selected as the preferred supplier in the tender for the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

The planned wind farm will be owned and operated by Pacific Hydro and the power will be supplied by its retail arm, Tango Energy. The facility will include 39 wind turbines and will deliver a boost to the local economy with construction jobs and opportunities for local businesses, suppliers, and contractors.

The group plans to purchase 88 GWh of energy, which is the equivalent to powering more than 17,000 households in Melbourne for a year.

"This will abate more than 96,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year. That's as much as taking more than 22,000 cars off the road," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

Crowlands wind farm has received all relevant planning approvals: construction contracts are being finalised and are subject to financial close. The project at the wind-rich agricultural community, 205kms from Melbourne, was first proposed in 2007. Currently only 17 per cent of Victoria's electricity is derived from renewable energy.

"This model can be replicated all over Australia and internationally, where practical, by groups of cities, businesses, and community members. We're releasing a handbook that makes it easy to learn from our experience, improve on the approach and replicate it many times," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"This project adds to a growing number of organisations and governments going direct to market to purchase renewables, but never before has it been proven that such a large number of partners can come together and make it work."

Source: City of Melbourne

Link to AltEnergy project database: Crowlands Wind Farm


New renewable energy will lower power bills: Government analysis

23 November

New wind, solar and bioenergy projects built between now and 2020 under the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cut the average household power bill by hundreds of dollars a year next decade, according to analysis released by the Federal Government.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the new analysis on the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) showed that household power bills will be hundreds of dollars lower each year from 2020 to 2030 compared to 2017, because of existing policies which encourage renewable energy.

“It is now clear that more renewable energy in the power system means lower power prices – for both mums and dads and big energy users with major electricity expenses,” Mr Thornton said.

“Renewable energy is now the lowest cost electricity generation it is possible to build. This analysis shows the significant reduction in power bills coming from new renewable energy.

"With the RET coming to a close, it is crucial that any future policy – including the proposed NEG – ensures sustained new investment in clean energy to bring on the much needed new supply to drive down power prices. The NEG policy should ultimately be assessed against this objective.”

Mr Thornton said as well as helping to reduce power prices, renewable energy is creating jobs and investment in regional areas of the country.

“We are in a record year for wind and solar in particular, with close to $9 billion of investment and almost 5000 jobs created in large-scale renewable energy alone. Rooftop solar and storage are also booming, with thousands more employed installing solar power systems in Australian homes and businesses," he said.

“As more large businesses switch on to the idea of creating and storing their own electricity, this will fundamentally change the way we think about our energy system.

“Another report released by the Chief Scientist this week suggested that only a modest amount of energy storage would be needed to accommodate close to 50 per cent renewable energy in the current power system.

“We have joined a call for state and federal governments to work towards further exploration of the NEG at this Friday’s meeting of the COAG Energy Council, to answer the many questions that remain about the policy. However, like many studies before it, this new analysis shows the policy task ahead must tap into the massive benefit renewable energy can provide to Australian homes, businesses and the economy.”

Source: Clean Energy Council


World’s biggest lithium ion battery set to be energised

23 November

South Australia is set to have back-up power in place this summer through the world's largest lithium ion battery, which is set to be energised for the first time in the coming days as it enters a phase of regulatory testing.

Tesla Powerpacks, connected to Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, have now been fully installed on site, with the testing phase ensuring the battery is optimised and meets AEMO and South Australian Government requirements.

Throughout this testing period, the battery will be providing system security services to South Australia.

Premier Jay Weatherill will join representatives from Neoen, Tesla and Consolidated Power Projects next week to officially launch the battery, which has put South Australia and Jamestown on the map as a world leader in renewable energy with battery storage.


In March 2017, the State Government announced its Energy Plan, with the objective of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy to South Australians.

This plan included building the nation’s largest battery, to store renewable energy and have back up power for when we need it.

In July, following a competitive process, French renewable energy company Neoen and US sustainable energy company Tesla, were awarded the contract to deliver the project, which would be the world’s largest lithium ion battery and installed near Jamestown.

Source: SA Government

Link to AltEnergy project database: Hornsdale Wind Farm


Genex achieves first energisation for Kidston Solar stage 1

24 November

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has successfully achieved solar substation energisation (Energisation) of the Kidston Stage 1 Solar Project (KS1 or Project). Energisation is a major construction milestone and also represents a significant event in the development of the Company.

Energisation is one of the most important testing and commissioning steps before electricity can be exported from the Project into the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Genex is also pleased to report that it has achieved registration by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as a Market Generator, and has thus completed all technical and regulatory processes to enable the export of electricity into the NEM.

Commenting on these significant milestones, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“Energisation of the solar substation is a crucial milestone in the commissioning for any large-scale renewable energy project. The smooth development of the Project to date is a reflection of the significant dedication and effort by the project delivery team. With all necessary regulatory approvals in place Genex is now able to complete the final steps to enable the dispatch of electricity into the NEM.

With first generation and revenue scheduled for early December 2017, we are pleased to reconfirm that the development remains on time and on budget.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Commonwealth and Queensland State Governments. The Commonwealth Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, has continued to support Genex Power’s Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing $8.9 million in funding for KS1 and up to $9 million for Stage 2. The Queensland Government, by providing a 20-year revenue support deed and by designating the Project “Critical Infrastructure”, significantly contributed to the success of the Project”.

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Solar Project



Synergy Wind submitted an environmental assessment referral for its planned 34-turbine, 115 MW Alberton Wind Farm to Victorian Government. Synergy expects the project to produce enough clean energy to power more than 45,000 Victorian homes, generate around 115 jobs during construction and contribute around $2.8 million to the local economy. Around 12 long-term jobs are estimated to remain over the life of the project. An EPBC referral for the project was submitted to the Federal Government in December last year.


Energy Guarantee must now address critical concerns for renewables industry

24 November

The clean energy industry has welcomed progress on further policy development for the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) today, but warned the process would now need to address the many concerns it has about the policy.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the most important issue is whether the NEG can ultimately deliver new renewable energy investment that is crucial to reduce power prices.

“The clean energy industry will only support the NEG policy if it is designed and implemented in a way that ensures strong and sustained investment in renewable energy and energy storage,” Mr Thornton said.

“A lot of analysis and work is now required to fill in the detail necessary to fully assess the policy and its potential. This will determine whether it is capable of delivering this new investment and able to secure support from the clean energy sector.”

Mr Thornton said the clean energy sector had a variety of other concerns, including:

  • whether the policy would be scalable to deliver higher levels of new investment to replace the closure of ageing coal generation, or to achieve higher emissions reduction targets in the future
  • the potential impact on energy sector competition and subsequent impact on retail pricing
  • careful consideration of the interaction between the NEG and the complexities of the energy market, as well as the need for high levels of transparency and strong governance and decision-making that will ensure investor confidence in the policy
  • the possibility of the NEG to stifle innovation in exciting new technologies, solutions and business models across the sector.

“We hope the progress today may usher in a new period of long-overdue cooperation between state and federal governments, the business community, the energy industry and a broad cross-section of other industries who are struggling to deal with high power prices,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with the Energy Security Board and the COAG Energy Council.”

The Clean Energy Council’s position statement on the National Energy Guarantee outlines a variety of concerns based on the policy detail currently available, and is available on our website.

Source: Clean Energy Council


Building the case for a second interconnector for Bass Strait

24 November

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and TasNetworks today announced plans to work together to explore a more detailed feasibility and business case assessment for a second interconnector across the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the mainland grid.

A second interconnector after Basslink would allow Tasmania to expand the amount of electricity it could provide to the grid, allowing Tasmania to play a greater role in the National Electricity Market. It would also provide a backup to ensure supply to Tasmania.

This more detailed feasibility and business case assessment is expected to cost an estimated $20 million, to be funded by both ARENA and TasNetworks.

TasNetworks and ARENA are defining the scope of the more detailed feasibility and business case assessment to be formally assessed by ARENA. The business case for a second interconnector to link Tasmania and Victoria across the Bass Strait would consider:

  • The optimum capacity
  • The preferred route
  • Technical specifications and supply arrangements for the cable, and grid interconnections
  • Potential timing
  • Detailed cost estimates
  • Regulatory revenue investment test
  • Financial and development models to implement the second interconnector

ARENA has previously committed up to $2.5 million for Hydro Tasmania to undertake early stage feasibility studies as part of the Battery of the Nation project.

This work includes upgrading of existing hydro power stations, identifying 15 high potential sites for pumped hydro and how wind power and hydro could help provide dispatchable, reliable power to other states.

This more detailed feasibility and business case assessment will build upon the Tamblyn review and will be informed by the findings of the Battery of the Nation feasibility studies.

The third of these studies currently underway considers how Tasmania can play an expanded role in the NEM through increased wind power and reconfiguring or expanding its hydro capacity, which would rely upon a second interconnector. Preliminary findings from that study indicate that the benefits of a second interconnector could outweigh the costs by $500 million.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht said making the case for a second interconnector could enable Tasmania to act as a giant battery, providing large scale renewable energy generation and storage capacity.

“Tasmania has some of Australia’s best wind resources, a large established hydro electric system and the potential to develop pumped hydro sites. To harness this potential, a second interconnector would need to be constructed to enable further generation and storage capacity to be delivered to the rest of the NEM.

“With Hydro Tasmania, ARENA is already investigating the feasibility for new wind and pumped hydro, and this business case would be the next step,” Mr Frischknecht said.

TasNetworks Chief Executive Officer Lance Balcombe said a more detailed feasibility and business case assessment would be a crucial step towards determining whether a second interconnector was viable, and how the project should proceed.

“TasNetworks is excited to work with the Australian Government and ARENA to explore the potential for a second interconnector which could unlock huge potential for Tasmania to become a major energy exporter,” he said.

Source: ARENA


Turnbull Government welcomes progress on the National Energy Guarantee at COAG Energy Council

24 November

The Turnbull Government welcomes the decision by the COAG Energy Council to undertake further design work on the National Energy Guarantee.

The Guarantee was recommended by the independent expert Energy Security Board (ESB) and has received widespread support from industry and consumer groups.

Agreement by the Council is a significant and constructive step forward in delivering a more affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.

As part of the agreement, the ESB will further develop the design details of the National Energy Guarantee and report back to the COAG Energy Council by April 2018.

As ESB modelling undertaken by Frontier Economics shows, wholesale electricity prices are forecast to drop by 23 per cent, while the savings to households will be in the order of $400 per year in the decade from 2020 to 2030 under the National Energy Guarantee and new generation.

Large energy users will also greatly benefit from the Guarantee. For example, a chemical factory could see a reduction in its energy bills of around $1.4 million per year and a paper manufacturer around $10 million per year.

As a truly technology neutral policy, the Guarantee will also drive the right investment and reduce emissions without subsidies, taxes or trading schemes.

The Turnbull Government looks forward to continuing to work with the states and territories and the ESB on the Guarantee in the lead up to the next COAG Energy Council meeting in April 2018.

The Guarantee builds on the wide range of energy policy initiatives already undertaken by the Turnbull Government, including an agreement with retailers to offer millions of Australian consumers a better deal, legislation to stop the networks gaming the system and delivering more gas for Australians before it's shipped offshore. These initiatives, together with a record investment in energy storage, including Snowy 2.0, will help drive a more affordable and reliable system.

Source: Federal Government

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