Toowoomba region breaks more ground in Queensland’s solar landscape

20 May

Solar is continuing to become a staple of Queensland’s renewable energy landscape, with construction starting today at the new 121 megawatt Yarranlea solar farm, west of Toowoomba.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Yarranlea Solar Farm was further confirmation that Queensland and the Palaszczuk Government was leading the charge in renewable energy investment.

“The Yarranlea Solar Farm is building on the state’s existing and current renewable energy projects as a $240 million, 200-job and 121 megawatts energy generator,” Dr Lynham said.

“The commencement of construction of the Yarranlea solar farm signifies the beginning of a 12-month journey to being operational, when the switch will be flicked and it begins powering approximately 32,000 homes.

“This investment by Risen Energy will see the installation of approximately 400,000, two by one metre solar panels over 250 hectares at Yarranlea, creating even more employment opportunities for the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region.

“Risen Energy is already a part of Queensland’s renewables sector with its panels used in a number of large-scale and commercial projects but this is the first instance in which Risen has taken on a direct role.

“This project also joins other renewable projects dotted along this region’s landscape including the Oakey and Darling Downs solar projects and the Coopers Gap Wind Farm.

“While Queensland is blessed with an abundance of sunshine, it has been the championing of the right investment climate by the Palaszczuk Government which has helped to secure this investment.”

Risen Energy’s Project Development & Investment Director John Zhong said the company was proud to be involved with the Yarranlea Solar Farm.

“This is Risen Energy’s first of many company-owned solar developments in Australia.

“The 121 megawatts Yarranlea Solar Farm will be constructed using as many local resources as possible including labour, equipment, contractors and accommodation.

“When completed the Yarranlea Solar Farm will supply power to homes, businesses and industries in the Darling Downs region and the South East,” Mr Zhong said.

“Risen Energy’s investment in Queensland is another important step in securing the state’s solar investment boom and its renewable economy,” Dr Lynham said.

There are 56 large-scale solar projects currently in the approvals or construction process in Queensland.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Wind farm to generate power and jobs for the Far North

21 May

Far North Queensland residents are set to benefit from a wind farm project for up to 29 turbines as part of Neoen’s planned green power hub at Kaban 80km south west of Cairns.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick announced that the State had provided development approval for the wind farm project, which would bring substantial investment to the region and is expected to create around 150 jobs during construction.

“The proposed development at Kaban is for a wind farm for up to 29 turbines and additional infrastructure, including a substation and battery storage facility,” Mr Dick said.

“This means jobs for the region over the 12-month estimated construction period and more clean energy for the region to tap into.

“The green power hub, which will incorporate the wind farm, is a $300 million project, planned to operate for at least 30 years and generate enough power to supply 57,000 homes.

“The Queensland Government welcomes private sector investment of this kind in support of the state’s renewable energy policy.”

Minister for Energy Anthony Lynham said the new wind farm would complement more than two dozen large-scale projects that were currently committed or under construction throughout Queensland, including the recently announced $200 million Lakeland wind farm, also in the Far North.

“When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland’s renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power close to one million homes,” Dr Lynham said

“Our 50 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030 has boosted the level of renewable energy investment, bringing significant projects to regions right across the state.

“This is yet another project to join our $4.3 billion pipeline of renewable energy projects underway or financially committed,” he said.

Minister Dick said each turbine would have an electrical output of up to 5.5 megawatts (MW).  It was expected that the total generation capacity would be up to 160 MW. The turbines would have a maximum height of 240 metres.

“Neoen worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts on nearby houses, impacts on fauna, native vegetation clearing and traffic impacts,” Mr Dick said.

“Conditions are recommended to be imposed on the decision that will mitigate and manage acoustic, flora and fauna and traffic impacts.

“The Queensland Government looks forward to bringing more job-creating, economy-boosting projects to the Far North,” he said.

Source: Queensland Government

 

AGL completes assessment of offer from Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Alinta Energy

21 May

On 30 April 2018, AGL Energy Limited received an unsolicited, non-binding, highly conditional indicative offer from Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Alinta Energy Pty Limited to acquire the Liddell Power Station, associated assets and the related site for a cash consideration payable to AGL of $250 million (the Offer).

AGL has completed a thorough assessment of the Offer and, after careful consideration, has advised Chow Tai Fook and Alinta that it will not proceed any further with the Offer. The AGL Board has determined that the Offer is not in the best interests of AGL or its shareholders. The Offer significantly undervalues future cash flows to AGL of operating the Liddell Power Station until 2022 and the repurposing of the site thereafter.

In considering the Offer, AGL sought external expert advice on matters relevant to the Offer, including the capital expenditure requirements across all plant components and the reliability and safety profile of the ageing power station. Consequently, AGL has reaffirmed its decision to close Liddell in December 2022 and will continue progressing its NSW Generation Plan, which includes repurposing Liddell. The Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that completion of this Plan will address the capacity shortfall that may occur as a result of Liddell’s closure.

Source: AGL Energy

 

Planning approval for Wesley Vale solar farm

21 May

Latrobe Council has today announced the approval of the Wesley Vale Solar Farm, near Devonport, which will become Tasmania’s largest solar farm. The development will supply up to 12.5 megawatts (a.c.) of renewable energy to the grid, enough to power 2,900 homes.

Most importantly, the project will strengthen and diversify Tasmania's energy mix, as a complement to the hydro-electric backbone.

Epuron is very excited to see the project enter the next phase of development. We appreciate the efforts already made by Council and the local community to reach this milestone, and we are committed to continuing our engagement with all project stakeholders.

Epuron is now finalising the grid connection arrangements for this project and preparing for construction to commence in 2019.

Source: Epuron

 

Construction to start for Cattle Hill Wind Farm

21 May

Goldwind, alongside Power China Resource Limited (PCR), a subsidiary of POWERCHINA Ltd, today announced construction will commence for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm, located in Central Tasmania.

Vice President, Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd, Mr Li, said PCR is pleased to be partnering with Goldwind to deliver the Cattle Hill Wind Farm project.

‘We look forward to working with Goldwind and key project partners to successfully construct and operate the wind far,’ Mr Li said.

Tasmanian civil construction company, Hazell Brothers, will be one of the key partners for the project during the construction period.

“Hazell Brothers recently successfully completed the site access works for the project. The agreement signed today allows Hazell Brothers to commence early works for the project and acknowledges them as the preferred contractor for the full civil and electrical works for the wind farm,” said Mr John Titchen, Managing Director of Goldwind Australia.

“Hazell Brothers has extensive experience in delivering large-scale infrastructure projects in Tasmania,” said Mr Titchen.

TasNetworks will now commence all works required to connect the wind farm to the Tasmanian grid. Once operational, the project will provide clean energy to power approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes each year.

The project will establish a community fund, donating $120,000 into the local community each year. An example of this is the recent major sponsorship of the World Fly Fishing Championship to be held in Tasmania in 2019.

Last year, Goldwind and Aurora Energy announced a long-term partnership for the purchase of Tasmanian generated renewable energy certificates produced by the wind farm, assisting Aurora Energy to meet its obligations under national renewable energy legislation.

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

NEW PROJECT

Pallamana Solar Farm

Developer: RES Australia

Location: Pallamana, north-west of Murray Bridge in South Australia

Capacity: 176 MW

LGA: Murray Bridge

Description: Located on approximately 730 hectares of farmland predominantly used for cropping and grazing. The project aims to supply energy to the National Electricity Market by generating electricity through the use of Solar PV panels. Energy will also be stored and dispatched later through the use of banks of Lithium Ion Batteries. RES will be holding a Community Information event on Tuesday 29 May 2018 in Murray Bridge.

Contact: Chris Gosling

Project Manager

RES Australia

Email: info@pallamana-solarfarm.com

Tel: (02) 8440 7400

 

PROJECT NEWS

Darlington Point Solar Farm

EIS for Edify Energy’s 275 MW Darlington Point Solar Farm, plus ancillary infrastructure including 100MWh battery energy storage system, in NSW placed on exhibition until 20 June. The project area, approximately 10 km south of the town of Darlington Point, comprises the TransGrid Darlington Point Substation and the proposed solar farm site, which is approximately 1042 hectares (ha) in size, with approximately 710 ha proposed to be developed for the solar farm. Augmentation works would be undertaken within the existing substation. The site and surrounding lands are zoned as RU1 – Primary Production. A 330 kV and two 132 kV TransGrid overhead transmission lines cross the site from west to east, and a 33 kV Essential Energy overhead transmission line runs north-south near the eastern boundary of the site. The project has an estimated capital investment value of $407 million, consisting of $353 million for the solar farm and $54 million for the BESS.

Contact: Andy Winter

Edify Energy

Email: andy.winter@edifyenergy.com

 

Share Purchase Plan raises $5.3 million

22 May

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that it has raised $5.3 million to grow its solar, battery and wave energy businesses.

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

“We thank our shareholders for their support in the capital raise. We will now use this new capital and our existing funds to accelerate our businesses towards financial sustainability.”

Carnegie previously announced on 30 April 2018 that it had initiated a Share Purchase Plan which allowed all eligible Carnegie shareholders to purchase between $2,500 and $15,000 worth of shares in Carnegie at 3.0 cents per share. The offer price equated to approximately a 12% discount based on the share price at the close of trading on 27th April 2018 and a 15% discount on the 20 day volume weighted average price.

Carnegie identified that the funds raised would be used to move its wave and solar/hybrid businesses toward profitability. Specifically, funds raised were for working capital to deliver its existing projects, to further develop and convert its contract pipeline, develop its build, own and operate project pipeline and to pursue opportunities to expand its businesses either organically or through corporate transactions. The issue of shares the subject of the Share Purchase Plan will occur over the next 5 business days.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

Global solar leader adds Longreach to their portfolio

22 May

Queensland is taking another step to becoming Australia’s solar state with the commissioning of Canadian Solar’s $29 million Longreach solar farm.

Representing Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham at the project inauguration event at Longreach, Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting, welcomed this investment from Canadian Solar - one of the world’s large solar panel manufacturers.

“The Longreach solar farm is being progressively commissioned and is operating at 50 per cent capacity exporting 7 megawatts of power into the Ergon Energy grid.

“When fully operational it will power around 5000 homes.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Solar150 program is now paying dividends with Canadian Solar’s project being one of the first commissioned to come online to the national electricity market.

“The Solar150 program was designed to help kick-start the State’s solar investment boom by providing long-term revenue certainty giving proponents including Canadian Solar a 20-year revenue guarantee.

“The Longreach Solar Farm will be followed by the initial 25-megawatt stage of Canadian Solar’s 80-megawatt Oakey solar farm which is due to be running and grid-connected by September. This is another dividend of the State’s Solar 150 program.”

Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr Shawn Qu said the Longreach project would be followed by the commercial operation of the two-stage Oakey Solar Farm with the first stage expected for completion in August 2018.

“Canadian Solar is looking forward to further contributing to the growth of solar energy in Queensland off the back of the great success we have already seen in our solar projects, like the Longreach solar farm and the Oakey 80-megawatt solar farm.” Dr Qu said.

Mr Whiting said Canadian Solar was making a major investment and contribution to the State’s solar boom.

There are 56 large-scale solar projects currently in the approvals or construction process in Queensland.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Energy Security Board - National Energy Guarantee - Issues Papers

22 May

The ESB has prepared the following issues papers to facilitate discussions with jurisdictions and Technical Working Groups on several detailed design elements.

Following the discussions with jurisdictions and Technical Working Groups, more detailed technical working papers will be developed. The technical working papers and draft final design document will be available for public consultation in mid-June.

The Issue Papers are available at http://www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au/publications/energy-security-board-national-energy-guarantee-issues-papers

Source:  COAG Energy Council

 

Construction to start at Goldwind’s Stockyard Hill Wind Farm

23 May

The development and management plans for the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm have now been endorsed by the Victorian Government. On-site construction work for the 530 megawatt (MW) project will now commence.

Goldwind Australia’s Managing Director, Mr John Titchen, said receiving the endorsed development and management plans is a key project milestone.

“On site construction for the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will now start. We look forward to continuing to work with the Victorian Government, local councils, the local community and other key partners to construct Australia’s largest wind farm.” Mr Titchen said.

The Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will comprise of 149 Goldwind advanced technology turbines. Goldwind Australia will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction services to the project and the Warranty, Operations and Maintenance services once the project is operational. Goldwind Australia has appointed a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and WBHO as the Balance of Plant contractor for the project.

The project has a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Origin Energy. Origin Energy will buy all the power generated by the wind farm and the associated renewable energy certificates until 2030.

Recently, Goldwind and AusNet Services signed the connection agreement for construction of connection assets for the project. The connection agreement, which was also signed by the Australian Energy Market Operator, set out the terms and conditions for the wind farm to connect to Victoria’s transmission network.

The project is expected to create up to 300 jobs during construction peaks on site and employ up to 25 permanent maintenance staff once the wind farm is complete.

Once operational, Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will produce clean energy to power approximately 391,000 Victorian homes.

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

NSW solar farms approved

The NSW Department of Planning & Environment approved four new solar farms this week.

Jemalong Solar Farm

Vast Solar is proposing to build a 50 MW solar farm at Jemalong Station, approximately 26km south west of Forbes in the Forbes Shire Council local government area. The project would be located on a 679 hectare (ha) site adjacent to Vast’s existing 6 MW concentrated solar thermal pilot plant. Vast has a separate State Significant Development application for a concentrated solar thermal plant which it intends to amend to relocate the proposed CSP plant to an adjacent site.

The project site has a 165 ha development footprint, is relatively flat, consists mostly of cleared agricultural land, and is on land zoned RU1 – Primary Production. The solar farm will be comprised of approximately 170,000 solar panels, approximately 22 inverter stations and a new 66 kilovolt (kV) grid connection substation and approximately 5km 66 kV transmission line to Essential Energy’s  existing West Jemalong Substation.

 

Tarleigh Park Solar Farm

RES Australia received approvals to develop a new 90 MW solar farm approximately 23km east of Deniliquin, in the Edward River local government area. The Tarleigh Park Solar Farm project is located on a 250 hectare site which is relatively flat and has been largely cleared for agricultural purposes. The proposed development footprint within the site is 173 ha and has been designed to avoid site constraints including remnant vegetation.

The project involves the construction of approximately 243,200 solar panels, approximately 16 inverter stations, a lithium-ion battery facility with a storage capacity of 16 MWh, and an onsite substation directly connected into the existing TransGrid 132kV overhead transmission line.

 

Currawarra Solar Farm

Another RES Australia proposal for a new 195 MW solar farm approximately 25 km northeast of Deniliquin in the Edward River local government area approved. The Currawarra Solar Farm project is located on a 620 hectare site which is relatively flat and has been largely cleared for agricultural purposes. The proposed development footprint within the site is 472 ha and has been designed to largely avoid site constraints including remnant vegetation.

The project involves the construction of a new solar farm with a generating capacity of 195 MW and battery storage capacity of 44 MWh. The key components of the project include approximately 654,200 solar panels, approximately 42 inverter stations, a lithium-ion battery storage facility, with up to 22 battery housing containers, and an onsite substation and associated underground and overground cabling connection to TransGrid’s 132kV transmission network.

 

Wellington Solar Farm

Development approval granted for First Solar’s 174 MW Wellington Solar Farm, with an energy storage facility near Wellington in central NSW. The project is located on a 559 hectare site near the Mitchell Highway, approximately 2km north-east of Wellington. There is an existing 330 kV overhead transmission line that passes through the site, and connects to Transgrid’s Wellington substation, directly adjacent to the south of the site. The project site consists mostly of cleared agricultural land, and is currently used for irrigation cropping and grazing, and includes three small farm dams.

The project includes approximately 440,000 solar panels and approximately 50 inverter stations, an energy storage facility with up to 6 purpose-built blocks, a substation within TransGrid’s Wellington substation containing one transformer and associated switchgear, and an overhead 33kV, 132 kV or 330 kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting the energy storage facility to the substation. It has an expected cost of $270mil to construct.

 

AC Energy to invest in Australia renewables platform

23 May

AC Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, will participate in the Australian renewables market through a joint venture with international renewable energy developer, UPC Renewables. AC Energy is investing USD 30M for a 50% ownership in UPC's Australian business and is also providing a USD 200M facility to fund project equity.

UPC Renewables Australia is developing the 1,000 MW Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects in North West Tasmania and the 600 MW New England Solar Farm located near Uralla in New South Wales.

UPC Renewables Australia also has a further development portfolio of another 3,000 MW’s located in NSW, Tasmania and Victoria.

“AC Energy is very excited to invest into UPC Renewables Australia as it complements AC Energy’s goal to exceed 5,000 MW by 2025. The UPC Renewables Australia platform is focused on large scale projects and is managed by a high-quality management team” said AC Energy president and CEO, Eric T. Francia.

“The Robbins Island project itself is a very large site and together with Jim’s Plains have some of the best proven wind resources in the world, and the New England Solar project has excellent solar resource within close proximity to Transmission” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of UPC Renewables Australia, Mr Anton Rohner said “AC Energy investment into UPC Renewables Australia will enable us to accelerate projects in Australia. We are making progress on the Robbins Island and Jims Plain project in North West Tasmania and we endorse the Prime Minister’s recent comment about how wind and hydro are highly complementary. We expect our projects in North West Tasmania to have capacity factors in the order of 50% with the turbines producing power nearly 95% of the time.”

“The Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects, together with Tasmania’s hydro assets and other new renewable energy projects, will assist in making the interconnectors between Tasmania and Victoria, a dispatchable and significant renewable energy generator into the National Electricity Market.”

Source: Ayala

 

The world’s most influential companies are committed to 100% renewables; is yours?

23 May

Major corporations, particularly US corporations, are driving forward with renewable energy investment at record rates even in spite of ongoing policy uncertainty.

The RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative uniting influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for - and delivery of - renewable energy.  To date, 132 companies have made the RE100 pledge.  As one powerful example, Apple recently announced that 100% of its facilities worldwide – including its supply chain – are now powered by renewable energy.

What this shows me is that renewable energy makes business sense, and that the decision-makers that run these corporations recognize the value of these investments – both in terms of the bottom line and in terms of the environmental benefits they produce. It shows that even in the absence of renewable energy leadership coming from the US federal government, consumers and investors want to see investment in renewable energy continue and even increase.  And increase it will.  According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the RE100 signatories have spurred $94 Billion in investment in renewable energy.

Unfortunately, solar represents a much smaller percentage of corporate renewable investment than does wind.  According to BNEF, corporations signed 2.8 GW of PPAs for wind and solar in 2017, more than half the global total of 5.4 GW. However, solar represented only 500 MW of that 2.8 GW, with wind representing the remaining 2.3 GW.

Policy uncertainty due to tariffs and other trade disturbances has certainly contributed to caution on the part of corporate buyers in procuring solar energy.  Progress towards 100% corporate renewable energy would certainly be faster without trade disturbances like the recent Section 201 ruling.  Nonetheless, I always recommend companies invest in a balanced portfolio of renewable assets and contracts.  Firstly, the risk profiles for wind and solar are different, and secondly, despite new tariffs, solar has reached the point where it is fully price-competitive with wind in many geographic markets.

Canadian Solar, through both our module sales and project development businesses, has played a key role in fostering corporate procurement of solar energy in the US and elsewhere around the world for many years.  Our wholly-owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy was one of the first developers to execute a sizeable agreement (11 MW across 12 sites) with a corporate offtaker, Kaiser Permanente, as early as 2011.  In 2014, Canadian Solar partnered with IKEA, one of the RE100 signatories, to develop solar systems across seven sites in Australia.  In 2016, LinkedIn used Canadian Solar CS6X-315P modules on its first NetZero building as part of its Sunnyvale, CA campus.  And in 2017, we supplied 47 MW of CS6U-P modules for Starbucks’s NC-47 project in North Carolina.

Thus far, corporate PPAs have not been as successful in China as they have been in the US and elsewhere in the world, partly because regulation does not allow private PPAs between renewable power plants and corporate users.  We hope to see this change soon, as regulatory barriers come down and multinational companies extend their renewable energy pledges to their supply chains in China and elsewhere in Asia.  However, China is the clear leader in on-site solar installations by corporates with an estimated 8 GW of capacity according to BNEF, though all of these are self-consumption and net-metering projects.

What will it take for all companies around the world to follow the example set by the RE100 signatories?  What will it take for all governments around the world to end isolationist trade policies that erect unnecessary barriers to doing the right thing for the environment and for the bottom line?  In the 17 years since I founded Canadian Solar, I have witnessed both courageous leadership and disastrous protectionism as a response to the rise of solar energy. Solar is here to stay, and discerning companies know that the commitment they make to solar and other renewables now will pay financial, environmental, and customer loyalty dividends for many years to come.

Source: Dr. Shawn Qu

 

Nephila Climate and Allianz close proxy revenue swap for Australia solar farms owned by Elliott Green Power, Ltd

24 May

Nephila Climate ("NCx"), the weather and ESG-driven specialty division of Nephila Holdings Ltd., together with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE's alternative risk transfer unit ("Allianz"), announced today that they have closed a first set of solar Proxy Revenue Swaps for two solar projects in Australia, the Susan River Solar and Childers Solar facilities. The two five-year transactions will protect the new solar projects' revenues from the financial risks associated with uncertain production volume, timing of energy generation and future energy prices.

The 98 MW Susan River Solar farm and 78 MW Childers Solar farm, owned entirely by subsidiaries of Elliott Green Power, Ltd., ("Elliott") are both located in South East Queensland, Australia. Elliott announced financial close for the projects in January 2018 and construction is expected to take nine months.

These two transactions mark the first time the Proxy Revenue Swap has been applied to a solar venture since the innovative hedging product was launched in 2016. Previously, Proxy Revenue Swap transactions have been used to de-risk wind projects.  

Nephila Climate's CEO Richard Oduntan said, "NCx is delighted to see the expansion of the Proxy Revenue Swap to Australia and to solar projects. We are pleased that the availability of such customized risk capacity served a critical role in helping to de-risk these two solar projects."

Elliott Green Power's CEO, Umberto Tamburrino, added: "We are delighted to partner with NCx and Allianz on this innovative transaction, and look forward to expanding our relationship with them in the future."

Allianz's Managing Director, Karsten Berlage also noted, "We are excited to create and commercialize this new risk management tool for the solar industry following our successful provision of hedging solutions for investments in the wind sector."

Source: Nephila Climate

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