Snowy Hydro appoints preferred tenderers for Snowy 2.0

18 January

Snowy Hydro has appointed Australian and global experts in construction, engineering and hydropower as preferred tenderers for the Snowy 2.0 project, following extensive competitive tender processes over the last 18 months.


The preferred tenderer for the civil works is Future Generation, a partnership between Australian construction and engineering company, Clough, and global hydropower and tunnelling specialists, Salini Impregilo.


World leader in hydropower engineering and equipment supply, Voith Hydro is the preferred electrical and mechanical tenderer and will deliver the latest hydro-generation technology in the new power station.


Australian company Leed Engineering has also been awarded the contract for exploratory works pre-construction activities.


Contracts are currently being finalised, with contract execution subject to Shareholder approval of the project.


This is another important step towards the commencement of the project. Snowy 2.0 is a world-leading pumped-hydro project that, with the existing Snowy Scheme, will underpin the stability of the energy market as more renewable energy enters the system.


Source: Snowy Hydro


National plan promise supports hydrogen as fuel of the future

22 January

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed a commitment by the Labor Party to establish a National Hydrogen Plan.


CEO Andrew Dillon said hydrogen not only had enormous potential as a new Australian export industry, it offered the prospect of zero-emission energy and storage to back up renewable power, utilising existing gas networks.


“Hydrogen technology is being embraced around the world – in northern Europe, for example, for domestic and commercial use in gas networks and to fuel passenger and freight trains,” he said.


“It can be produced carbon free from excess renewable energy - during sunny and windy days when generation is high and demand is low – making Australia uniquely placed to develop a hydrogen industry with our abundant solar and wind resources.


“While the potential for export is enormous, one of the most exciting properties of hydrogen is its potential to serve as a large-scale battery, utilising existing gas networks.”


Mr Dillon said national policies that supported the development of a hydrogen sector were essential to help Australia meet its potential and take advantage of a potentially abundant, clean energy resource.


“Funding support for research and development, led nationally, that supports the ultimate commercialisation of hydrogen technologies will provide important impetus,” he said.


“Energy Networks Australia supported the CSIRO on the 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap and has worked with Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, who is developing a national strategy with the support of the Commonwealth and state governments.


“Our gas network members are undertaking significant hydrogen related projects throughout Australia, trialling hydrogen in gas networks and for use in domestic appliances.


“As Energy Networks Australia’s Gas Vision 2050 report has demonstrated, hydrogen’s scope is impressive, with potential to widen a customer’s power options, improve and increase renewable generation and even create a new energy export market.”


Source: Energy Networks Australia



Kondinin Wind & Solar Farm

Kondinin Energy’s proposed wind and solar farm 5km north east of the town of Kondinin in WA’s Wheatbelt region has been declared not a controlled action by the federal government under the EPBC Act. Plans for the project include 46 turbines of yet-to-be-determined size plus an approximately 50 MW solar farm component. The electricity produced by the project will flow directly into the nearby Kondinin substation and then into the Western Power network. 


Photon Energy to roll out 4.6 MWp solar projects for ALDI 

22 January

- Photon Energy will install solar power at 30 of the retailer’s stores and a distribution centre in NSW and Queensland, Australia

- Photon Energy Engineering Australia will design, install and commission the projects  as  well  as  provide  comprehensive  monitoring  and  O&M services

- The  rooftop  solution  is  expected  to  annually  produce  more  than  6.3 GWh of electricity


 Photon  Energy  Group  (WSE:  PEN,  the  'Group')  announces  that  its subsidiary Photon Energy Engineering Australia  will roll out 4.6 MWp solar projects across 30 stores and  a distribution centre of the supermarket chain ALDI in New South Wales and Queensland. 


“Photon  Energy  is  very  proud  to  be  cooperating  with  ALDI  to  transform  its  stores  into  solar  power generators  capable  of  providing  a  large  proportion  of  their  daytime  electricity  consumption,”  said Photon Energy’s Managing Director, Mr Michael Gartner. 


Combined, the 31 installations are designed to generate more than 6.3 GWh of clean energy every year.


“Photon  Energy  will  also  provide  state‐of‐the‐art  monitoring  as  well  as  operation  and  maintenance services  to ensure  the systems are highly  reliable with  the maximum positive impact  for ALDI,” added Mr Gartner.


Source: Photon Energy


Message from Solarshare’s board of directors

Dear Canberra community member


On behalf of the Board I am pleased to offer you an opportunity to become a Security holder, or increase your Security holding in SolarShare Community Energy Ltd (SolarShare or the Company), which will enable SolarShare to build and commence operation of our flagship project, the Majura Community Solar Farm.


This Offer is in response to the successful completion of a Deed of Entitlement with the ACT Government under the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011, which will secure fxed pricing for the electricity generated by the Majura Community Solar Farm.


The Project comprises the construction and commencement of operations of a ground mounted solar farm in Majura. This 1 MW solar farm, comprising approximately 5000 photovoltaic (PV) modules, will generate electricity equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 260 households.


This project has been the singular priority of the company for the last four years, and the culmination of efforts from our Board, Principal Executive Officer and volunteers.


More information is available here.


Source: Solarshare



Numurkah Solar Farm

A licence to generate electricity application has been lodged for Neoen’s under construction 100 MW Numurkah Solar Farm, north of Shepparton in central northern Victoria. Construction started in July last year.


Labor’s National Hydrogen Plan

22 January

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a $1 billion National Hydrogen Plan to create new blue-collar jobs, support new businesses and supercharge Australia’s renewable energy industry.


Hydrogen is an emerging industry that has huge potential to deliver significant economic, employment, energy and environmental benefits for Australia.

Hydrogen gas is an energy source that can be produced through the process of electrolysis using renewable energy, meaning it can leverage Australia’s world-class renewable energy to make much cleaner hydrogen competitively.

Developing a hydrogen industry will deliver new opportunities for manufacturing, transport and electricity generation.

As the global demand for hydrogen surges to an expected $215 billion market by 2022, Australia is uniquely placed to benefit from the development of this new, job-generating industry.

Analysis by ACIL Allen projects that hydrogen exports alone could be worth $10 billion in 20 years, and create 16,000 new blue-collar jobs – mainly in regional areas. 

Most of the benefits of hydrogen development will be in regional Australia. For example, the deep sea water ports of Gladstone and Newcastle are well placed to support a hydrogen export industry.

While benefiting the nation as a whole, regional Queensland will be the big winner from Labor’s plan.

Labor is taking a hands-on approach to supporting the new jobs and industries Queensland needs for the future.


We want regional Queenslanders to have good, secure blue-collar jobs for the future in existing and new industries.

Hydrogen can be the next great energy industry for Australia – and Labor has a plan to make it happen.

Labor’s six-point plan for hydrogen will:

  1. Allocate $1 billion of funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to support clean hydrogen development, from Labor’s commitment to double CEFC’s capital by $10 billion.

    2. Invest up to $90 million of unallocated funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support research, demonstration and pre-commercial deployment of hydrogen technologies.
    3. Establish a $10 million ARENA funding round for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure around the nation, from within ARENA’s unallocated funding.

  2. Invest $40 million of unallocated funding from the CEFC Clean Energy Innovation Fund to target hydrogen technologies and businesses that have passed the research and development stage.

  3. Implement regulatory reforms that will help the industry develop and prosper, including reforms to support the use of existing gas pipelines for hydrogen, reforms to support the shipping of hydrogen, reforms to better support the storage of CO2 from blue and brown hydrogen production, as well as other reforms to support hydrogen use and production.

  4. Establish the National Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Gladstone with an initial investment of $3 million. This will kick-start early commercialisation of hydrogen technologies, provide a hub for investment and research agencies, and provide opportunities to leverage LNG infrastructure to support hydrogen exports.

A Shorten Labor Government will make Gladstone the hydrogen capital of Australia.

Hydrogen means more investment in Australia, more exports from Australia, and more blue-collar jobs for Australia.

Australia has everything to gain from the global transition to more renewable energy. But to secure the new industries and jobs it will deliver, we need a government that has a plan to foster and grow the industries of the future.

That is exactly what Labor’s National Hydrogen Plan will deliver.

Further information on Labor’s National Hydrogen Plan can be found here.


Source: Australian Labor Party



Cultana Solar Farm

SIMEC ZEN Solar submits to the state government a development application for its 280 MW Cultana Solar Farm in Whyalla proposed over two sites (north and south) separated by the Lincoln Highway. The proposal comprises approximately 925,000 solar photovoltaic panels mounted on single axis tracker structures) and ancillary structures (including inverters, transformers, underground cabling and security fencing); operations and maintenance building; storage buildings; 33kV switching station (south site); switchyard comprising 275kV/33kV substation and 33kV switchroom (north site); 33kV overhead transmission line connecting the south and north sites; 275kV overhead transmission line connecting the north site to the Cultana substation; and site laydown areas. A 4 hectare area for a battery energy storage system (BESS) has been identified adjacent to the operations compound. The estimated development cost is $300mil.


Council approves solar farm application in Bluewater

22 January

Townsville City Council has given an approval to allow for a solar farm at Bluewater.


Full Council today approved a Material Change of Use (MCU) for the land, however further approvals are required before the development can proceed.


The proposed solar farm will generate 100MW of electricity and is expected to create 200 jobs during construction.


Planning and Development Committee Chair Cr Les Walker said the application includes a proposal to lease the land to the developer for a fixed term.


“The solar farm proposal outlines the expected life of the development as 40 years,” Cr Walker said.


“We’ve approved the MCU after reviewing plans submitted by the developer and considering any concerns raised by the community during the public notification period.


“Dust mitigation, water and stormwater, bushfires, and the visual amenity of the project are all things Council have taken into consideration.”


The MCU also includes a provision that the land must be returned to a rehabilitated rural state at the end of the lease.


Local Councillor Margie Ryder said the solar farm would help create jobs for Townsville.


“Council is dedicated to boosting the Townsville economy and supporting jobs for locals,” Cr Ryder said.


“This development is expected to create 200 jobs during the construction stage and support 3 ongoing jobs when it is operational.


“It’s important that we keep working to progress projects that will create local jobs and boost the Townsville economy.”


Source: Townsville Council



Robertstown Solar Farm

Location: 5km north-east of Robertstown in South Australia

Capacity: 500 MW

Developer: Energy Projects Solar (EPS)

LGA: Shire of Goyder

Description: Construction of a 500MW solar farm and associated infrastructure, including solar photovoltaic modules and ground mounted tracking racks, inverter stations, a 250MW capacity Battery Energy Storage System, condensers, transformers, switching yard and electrical substation, underground cables connecting groups of solar panels to inverter stations, site office, maintenance sheds, laydown area, access tracks and perimeter fencing. The project area is approximately 1800 hectares in size and consists of 12 parcels of land.

Contact: Steve McCall


Energy Projects Solar (EPS)

Tel: (02) 9258 1362



Energy sector facing tight supply conditions during heatwave

24 January

With Adelaide experiencing some of its hottest weather in 80 years, and Victoria nudging past 40 degrees, the electricity supply and demand balance is very tight in Victoria and South Australia over the next few days.


Our priority as the independent market and systems operator is to ensure the ongoing secure and reliable operation of the National Electricity Market. A critical element of this is matching anticipated demand with supply (at all times) to ensure energy consumers have ongoing access to electricity and to protect the power system from damage.


Last week, the industry, together with AEMO, successfully managed operations during its first real test following an extended heatwave across southern Australia. We aim to achieve the same outcome again this week as the mercury rises in the south eastern states.


While we know that unexpected events can and do happen, particularly when the power system is under pressure from the sustained hot weather, AEMO is confident the plans we have in place and the targeted actions we have taken in collaboration with the wider energy industry and governments, have appropriately equipped us to tackle unforeseeable events the upcoming summer might bring.


As with last summer, AEMO has put in place its Summer Readiness Plan, which includes the sourcing of 941 megawatts of off-market reserves through the Reliability and Emergency Trader (RERT) mechanism. This initiative enables AEMO to have sufficient resources to manage potential high-risk scenarios that typically occur in summer, such as extreme or extended heat events such as the one occurring this week in South Australia and Victoria. Other scenarios include bushfires and/or unplanned infrastructure outages.


We continue to monitor the situation very closely this week but acknowledge that the supply and demand balance is very tight. Extreme weather (we are seeing forecasts of 37-42C in Victoria and 40C-46C in South Australia) naturally puts the power system under pressure (like any type of major machinery), particularly between the peak demand hours of 4pm – 7pm.


AEMO has the emergency resources to call on should we need them, but consumers too can play a part in carefully planning their energy usage in the coming days:

- Lower your blinds before you leave for work in the morning

- If you’re at home during the day, run the dishwasher or washing machine earlier in the day to avoid the 4pm-7pm peak electricity demand period.

- You don’t have to turn off your aircon during the peak period, but you can help reduce your energy usage by adjusting the setting to 20-24 degrees instead of leaving it at 18 degrees.

- If you have a pool, temporarily turn off your pool pump during the peak period.


AEMO continues to work closely with government, industry, emergency services and weather forecast providers to monitor and assess the situation and will call on additional resources as required to mitigate the risk of supply shortfalls.


Source: AEMO


Northam & Delamere project completions

25 January

  • Northam Solar Farm receives Approval to Operate
  • Delamere Microgrid achieves Practical Completion


Northam Solar Farm

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that the Northam Solar Farm has received Approval to Operate from Western Power. The system began exporting to the grid in November and has been performing well, producing over 4000 MWh. The additional generation gained due to the single axis tracking system selected for the project has been evident with the system’s output quickly ramping up in the morning. Interested parties can find out more about the project, including some visuals on the “Progress” page at


Delamere Microgrid

The Delamere Microgrid built at the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory is fully operational and has achieved practical completion. EMC was awarded a contract to design, construct and install a Microgrid System at the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory of Australia in a competitive tender process in 2017. This innovative solar, battery and diesel off-grid microgrid system is now supplying high penetration solar power to approximately 200kVA peak load and is delivering reliable, 24/7 power resulting in diesel consumption savings.


Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


AER to report on high wholesale electricity prices in Victoria and South Australia

25 January

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) monitors and reports on wholesale electricity markets. As part of this role, we report on events that result in wholesale electricity spot prices exceeding $5000 per megawatt hour (MWh). 


Most end-customers are not directly exposed to wholesale electricity prices. Energy retailers are the main purchasers in the wholesale electricity market. Retailers bundle electricity with network services for sale to their residential, commercial and industrial customers. Generators and retailers can manage their exposure to price variations in the wholesale market by entering hedge contracts that lock in firm prices for the electricity they intend to produce or buy.


On Thursday 24 January the spot price in Victoria and South Australia exceeded $5000/MWh between 4 pm and 9 pm, reaching the price cap of $14 500/MWh in Victoria and South Australia a number of times.


We expect to publish the report into these high prices within 40 business days, by 26 March 2019, on the AER’s website.


Source: Australian Energy Regulator



Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Storage Expansion

Origin Energy is planning to undertake geotechnical investigations in support of expansion of its Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project located in the NSW Southern Highlands, approximately 150km south east of Sydney. As part of the feasibility study underway, the geotechnical investigations are required to provide confidence that the below ground structures can be constructed and operated safely and cost effectively. Origin intends to expand the existing 240 MW by another 235 MW of pumped storage generation capacity.


View PDF