Tasmania powering ahead

19 October

The Liberal Party’s Federal Council has today acknowledged the important opportunity and need for Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation and Marinus projects, which are being progressed with energy by the Tasmanian and Federal Liberal Governments.

Tasmania has what the rest of the country needs, with these projects offering the most reliable and cost effective solution for meeting the nation’s demand for affordable, reliable and clean energy.

Importantly, it’s estimated these projects will create 2,400 new jobs and inject $6.5 billion into the Tasmanian economy.

Tasmanians will always come first, and these projects strongly support our policy to deliver the lowest regulated electricity prices in the nation for our businesses and households.

As Tasmania heads to being 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewables by 2022, these are infrastructure projects of national importance that only Liberal Governments, working together, can deliver.

The motion, moved by the Premier, was supported unanimously by the Liberal Party Federal Council.

Source: Tasmania Government

 

Windlab Limited – Kennedy Energy Park update

21 October

Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) (‘Windlab’ or the ‘Company’) has been advised by the EPC contractor to Kennedy Energy Park, a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems and Quanta Services, that it has not been able to deliver a fully functioning generator performance standard (GPS) model in the timeframes of the previously revised delivery schedule and is now not expected to do so until December 2019. Delivery of a fully functioning, compliant GPS model is the responsibility of the EPC contractor under the EPC contract.

AEMO is unable to register the project as a generator until a compliant GPS is prepared and approved. Commercial operation of the project will now be delayed into 2020.

Windlab will continue to keep the market informed. Kennedy Energy Park is owned 50/50 by Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings. Management believes that Kennedy Energy Park has reasonable recourse for these ongoing delays under the terms of the EPC contract and reserves all rights.

Source: Windlab

 

As coal and LNG declines, renewables key to jobs for regional Australia

21 October

Employment will increase in renewable energy and battery storage installations – two of Australia’s fastest growing industries, while the hydrogen sector and supply of lithium and rare earth minerals will open further downstream processing opportunities into the future with the right policy settings, investment and transition planning, asserts a new IEEFA submission responding to the Australian government’s inquiry into the future of jobs in regional areas.

IEEFA’s submission to the inquiry Select Committee into Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas notes Australia must urgently prepare to assist regional and remote communities transition while accelerating investment in industries of the future.

“The inevitable global decline in thermal coal demand is part of a transition towards renewable energy that is already well underway, and this will affect regional and remote communities whether policy makers prepare or not,” says submission author Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

“At its heart, it is a technology transition and inevitable, so Australian policy makers need to get cracking and plan for this long term decline.

“Foreign corporates dominate the Australian fossil fuel industry, and they have no priority to look after Australian communities. Their mandate is solely to maximise their shareholder wealth.

“In particular, Australia must accelerate investment in renewables and battery storage, hydrogen, lithium and rare earths to create regional jobs and grow industry hubs.

“An unplanned, chaotic transition will have far more serious impacts on Australia than one that has been well prepared for.”

IEEFA notes what is currently missing in Australia is the necessary long term transition planning to assist populations move away from polluting fossil fuel industries into alternative industries including renewable industries and technologies.

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Hunter Valley team have made some good progress on a high level plan, and now is the time to leverage this into concrete, in-depth planning.

“Renewable energy investment and export opportunities for Australia are huge,” says Buckley.

“Australia is in a prime position to attract a wealth of renewable investment to progressively replace the slow but inevitable loss of thermal coal royalties from an industry in permanent terminal decline.

“While coking coal for steel production has a longer transition horizon, the International Energy Agency never-the-less still forecasts a slow, steady erosion of its demand profile in any carbon constrained future as steel scrap recycling rates rise and zero emissions hydrogen technologies are commercialised.”

IEEFA notes recent technological advances have made renewables and storage two of Australia’s fastest growing industries, while Chief Scientist Dr Finkel has long argued for a comprehensive plan to pursue domestic and export opportunities for the renewable energy-generated zero‑emissions hydrogen sector to potentially become one of the country’s largest export industries.

“This is where the real opportunity lies both in terms of jobs and investment,” says Buckley.

“Renewables are now the lowest cost, sustainable solution for Australia and potentially one of Australia’s largest export industries of the future.

“It is time for Australia to refocus on strong new growth markets within the resources and energy export sectors.

“The technological transition in energy markets sweeping the world will create demand for resources such as lithium and cobalt which Australia has in abundance.

“Investing in renewable energy infrastructure can build engineering and scientific capacity, leverage financial capacity, and create thousands of high value, sustainable jobs regionally.

“Re-establishing low cost energy supply domestically in turn can help rebuild the international competitiveness of Australia’s manufacturing industry, badly eroded by the trebling of domestic electricity and gas prices over the last decade.”

IEEFA notes the ongoing deflationary nature of renewable energy technologies globally indicates a looming sunset for the thermal coal mining industry. Longer term, the coking coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industries are not immune, either.

“The current windfall in thermal coal royalties must urgently be put towards the development of a multi-decade transition plan for people and communities across Australia reliant on the thermal coal export industry,” says Buckley.

“Australia must step up and take advantage of low cost, sustainable solutions for Australia’s energy future – today, and through that investment in regional Australia, provide employment opportunities for the future.”

Read the submission: Select Committee into Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas – Submission by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Source: IEEFA

 

South Australia breaks record for minimum demand...again

21 October

On Sunday 12:30 PM AEST, favourable conditions for renewable energy resources, coupled with low weekend demand, meant that South Australia set a new record for lowest operational demand at 475 megawatts. This is the second week in a row that a new record for South Australia’s minimum operational demand has been set, and a strong sign of just how quickly Australia’s energy industry is transforming.

If you didn’t know already, operational demand is the amount of power consumers require from Australia’s energy markets. This does not include power generated by behind-the-meter resources, like rooftop PV, which has already proven itself as a key driver behind these new records.

“At the time of the new record, rooftop solar was generating approximately 821 megawatts of power, which equalled 64% of the total demand required in South Australia. If you add in power generated by utility solar and wind generation, approximately 90% of the state’s native demand was met by renewable sources,” said AEMO’s Chief Operations Officer, Damien Sanford.

“Rooftop solar usually has its maximum output during the middle of the day, when many of us are not at home and consuming less energy,” said Damien.

“Overall electricity consumption is also at its lowest during mild weather conditions, when we aren’t using our heating or cooling systems. Those same mild, clear and sunny conditions are also ideal for rooftop solar,” said Damien.

While these new records can be exciting, that does not mean they’re without their challenges. The increasing contribution of behind-the-meter resources to our energy system has meant that managing key system requirements, like frequency and voltage, can become more difficult.

“System security is AEMO’s highest priority. That’s why we’re working closely with industry members on several market and technical trials for distributed energy resources, like virtual power plants (VPPs), to understand how we can better utilise the increasing amounts of behind-the-meter resources we have today,” said Damien.

As our industry continues to rapidly transform, we’re expecting more exciting records and developments to occur, so be sure to watch this space!

Source: AEMO

 

Lyon Group market update

21 October

The Directors of Lyon Group appointed administrators to Lyon Infrastructure Investments 1 Pty Ltd, Lyon Solar Pty Ltd and Lyon Battery Storage Pty Ltd in May 2019 in order to manage a disruptive minority shareholder and to allow Lyon Group to focus on its broader strategy.

The voluntary administration process was highly successful in stopping the disruption.

The statutory timeframe for the voluntary administration has expired and the status of the three entities in administration has now changed. However, the level of interest in the three advanced solar battery power station projects owned by those entities has not changed.

That interest was demonstrated by the announcement by Lyon Group and China Huadian of 14 October 2019, which included China Huadian’s intention to buy the three projects.

The interest shown by China Huadian and others in Lyon Group’s projects and design philosophy is independent of the processes required by Australia’s Corporations Law.

The Corporations Law works to statutory timelines, transactions with major global corporations don’t.

Meanwhile, Lyon Group has continued to expand consistent with its strategy. Lyon’s plan for its three advanced Australian projects to be a springboard for similar projects in other places facing the same power market challenges as Australia faces is coming to fruition.

Source: Lyon Group

 

Nextracker awarded next wave of solar projects in Australia due to high performance features, bifacial optimization, and proven execution

21 October

Company achieves 3-gigawatt milestone of smart solar trackers for Australia

NEXTracker™, a Flex company, today announced that 3 gigawatts (GW) of its award-winning smart solar trackers have been delivered or under fulfillment in Australia as the utility, distributed generation (DG) and commercial and industrial (C&I) solar market continues to grow. NEXTracker continues to expand its presence locally and in Asia Pacific out of its location in Manly, also known as “Solar Beach,” where its growing office can support every stage of a project including design engineering, sales, project management and Operations and Maintenance (O&M).

“We have built our Australian commercial program to provide our customers with exceptional service driven by our understanding of the country’s geotechnical and environmental conditions, energy policy, and legal landscape,” said Pete Wheale, vice president, Australia and Southeast Asia at NEXTracker. “The Australian C&I distributed generation market is booming, and we are uniquely positioned to support the growing needs of our customers on large and small projects with advanced solar and storage technologies, further laying the foundation for our expansion in Southeast Asia.”

“NEXTracker’s technology has allowed us to optimize installation time on solar projects of any size and whenever we need support, they are right there,” stated Glen Thomson, General Manager of Beon Energy Solutions. “We’re proud to partner with NEXTracker and look forward to our continued collaboration to provide high quality installations for utility and C&I scale solar projects across the energy market in Australia.”

“NEXTracker was one of the first companies to be involved in the rise of Australia’s large-scale solar industry,” said Gero Farruggio, head of Australia and global renewables, Rystad Energy. “By 2025, Australia is expected to rise to nearly 23 GW of solar capacity with most of it coming from distributed generation projects. NEXTracker’s understanding of the local market and its portfolio of solar smart trackers makes it well-poised to be an integral part of this growth.”

NEXTracker’s market leading technology was selected for these projects because of its award-winning TrueCapture™ software control system, flexible independent row architecture and its optimized bifacial solar tracker:

- Located in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, the Bomen Solar Farm is a 120 megawatt power plant, employing 250 workers, with construction provided by Beon Energy Solutions, owned by Spark Infrastructure. Selected for its bifacial-optimized solar tracker, NX Horizon, the project, once constructed, will provide enough power for the equivalent of 36,000 Australian homes.

- The SA Water Project: NEXTracker has contracted with Adelaide-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm, Enerven to supply trackers to five water pumping and treatment stations which amounts to 28 MW of South Australia’s largest portfolio of DG solar power plants. The projects are part of SA Water’s plan to achieve a zero cost energy future by building out 154 megawatts (MW) of solar on more than 70 sites to power its water facilities.

- Bungala Solar Plant Project: NEXTracker provided its smart solar tracking system to Enel Green Power for one of Australia’s largest solar power plants in South Australia. The Bungala Solar 1 and 2 power plants feature both NEXTracker’s NX Horizon™ smart solar trackers and the state-of-the-art TrueCapture™ control system. The plants will surpass 570 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy, generating enough electricity annually to meet the consumption needs of over 82,000 Australian households while offsetting more than 520,000 tons of carbon emissions.

Source: NEXTracker

 

Downer awarded Chichester Solar Farm contracts

21 October

Downer is pleased to announce it has been awarded contracts worth approximately $165 million by Alinta Energy Transmission Pty Ltd (Alinta Energy) to build its 60 MW Chichester Solar Farm and supporting power infrastructure in the Pilbara region in the north of Western Australia as part of the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project (Project).

The Project will see the construction of a new solar photovoltaic generation facility at the Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) Chichester Hub iron ore operations, as well as a ~60-kilometre transmission line linking the Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta Energy’s Newman gas-fired power station and 35MW battery facility.

Work awarded includes the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the Chichester Solar Farm, approximately 60 kilometres of transmission line, two new substations and the upgrade of another.

The Chief Executive Officer of Downer, Grant Fenn, said the award is another endorsement of Downer’s experience and leadership in delivering renewable energy projects.

“We are looking forward to delivering the project in partnership with Alinta Energy and we are expecting an efficient integration of the solar farm and supporting power infrastructure into Alinta Energy’s existing network in the Pilbara,” Mr Fenn said.

Alinta Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Dimery, said: “Working together, we are on the cusp of demonstrating that renewables can drive Australia’s economic powerhouses forward – even for remote and complex industrial applications.”

Downer is one of Australia’s largest and most experienced providers in the renewable energy market and power systems sectors, delivering services to customers requiring both utility and commercial scale sustainable energy solutions.

The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.

Source: Downer

 

100% renewable energy deal struck for the City

22 October

Renewable electricity will power all City-owned properties from 1 July 2020.

A new agreement with innovative energy company Flow Power will ensure all City of Sydney operations, including pools, sports fields, depots and buildings, including the historic Sydney Town Hall, will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

The largest standalone renewables deal for an Australian council to date will see three-quarters of the City’s power sourced from wind generation and one-quarter from solar.

The new commitment will see us cut our emissions by around 20,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to the power consumption of 8,000 households.

It’s also projected to save up to half a million dollars a year over the next 10 years.

Supporting NSW renewables

Regional communities are living with the impacts of climate change. They’re also a key part of the solution, according to Melinda Dewsnap, sustainability engagement manager – residential.

“Partnering and investing in projects such as these ensures we run our cities on renewables and help build new economies across the state,” Melinda said.

We’re committing to buy electricity from Sapphire Wind Farm near Glen Innes in northern NSW, Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga in the south-west of the state, and a not-for-profit community-owned solar scheme near Nowra on the south-east NSW coast.

Flow Power CEO, Matthew van der Linden, said the City’s commitment to buy its electricity from renewable plants is an important step in Australia’s transition to a low-carbon future.

“We need organisations to lead by example when it comes to their energy strategy. If just 20% of the market followed the City’s lead, it would drive investment in 11 gigawatts of new renewable generation – that’s double the current pipeline of renewable projects,” Matthew said.

The community solar farm project near Nowra is being developed with Repower Shoalhaven and is expected to be completed in 2020.

With a construction cost of close to $5 million, the project will provide local jobs during construction and operation.

The journey to net zero

We’ve been certified carbon neutral since 2011. In June this year, we declared a climate emergency. With this new energy agreement, we’re going to achieve our commitment to reduce emissions by 70% 6 years ahead of our 2030 deadline.

Local government leadership is driving climate action in Australia.

“Over 25% of Australians live in local government areas which have now declared a climate emergency. We need to run our homes and businesses on 100% renewable energy," Melinda said.

Source: City of Sydney

 

International insights on renewable integration

22 October

As part of our Renewable Integration Study, AEMO has completed an international review to determine how Australia compares with other comparable global power systems.

Our industry is rapidly evolving. The transformation of the power system is presenting new engineering challenges that must be addressed and, as the energy market operator, AEMO is responsible for managing this transition in an orderly and proactive fashion, collaborating closely with industry stakeholders and clearly mapping out the road ahead.

To facilitate and expediate a deeper understanding, AEMO has committed to developing in depth analysis to complement the development of the 2020 Integrated Systems Plan (ISP) process. This Renewable Integration Study (RIS) will inform future ISPs as well as providing foundational engineering advice to government and administrative policy-makers to support their consideration of future changes needed in electricity regulations and market designs.

As the first deliverable from the RIS, AEMO has undertaken a review on how Australia compares with other international power systems. This insights paper explores how comparative jurisdictions are managing the technical requirements of their power systems during periods of high wind and solar generation, and what practices appear effective from a technical perspective.

Key insights from the review include:

- Parts of Australia are already experiencing some of the highest levels of wind and solar generation in the world, including one of the highest levels of residential solar PV.

- Successfully integrating high levels of distributed energy resources like rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) requires an increasing level of visibility, predictability, and controllability of these small distributed devices. Australia can learn from several jurisdictions in its approaches to these challenges.

- Managing variability and uncertainty is increasingly challenging at higher levels of wind and solar generation. Australia can learn from others in their approaches, including the assessment of system ramping requirements and fleet capability.

- Australia should consider international approaches to frequency management in high renewable generation systems, including approaches to maintaining sufficient inertia and enablement of primary frequency response on all generators.

- International power system operators have taken a staged approach to operating power systems with progressively less synchronous generation online. A similar approach could be considered in Australia.

To read the full international insights report, please click here. And stay tuned for more as we develop and progress our technical insights, both global and domestic.

Source: AEMO

 

City awards 100 per cent renewable contract

22 October

City of Newcastle will become the first local government in NSW to move to 100 per cent renewable electricity after awarding a tender to purchase power from the state’s largest windfarm.

A 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) was awarded today to energy retailer Flow Power for the equivalent of all the City’s operational needs from the Sapphire Wind Farm in the New England region. 

The accepted tender, which follows Council’s August resolution to make the switch to renewables when existing supply contracts expire, stands to save rate payers around $1.8 million over the 10-year contract. 

“From 1 January, the City will become the first local government in NSW to purchase enough renewable electricity to meet 100 per cent of our operational electricity requirements,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“This means enough clean energy will be put into the grid to power every sportsground floodlight, local library, park-BBQ and any other facility Council operates.

“Drawing all our energy needs from renewables is a significant achievement for the City and our mission to make our operations more sustainable and cost effective.

“Around 70 per cent of the respondents to a recent community survey supported this move, ranking renewables as one of their highest priority measures to reduce impacts on the environment.”

Flow Power CEO Matthew van der Linden said organisations like City of Newcastle were “leading the transition to a new energy future”.

“We’re thrilled to see the uptake of renewable deals like these grow in the Hunter Region, as proven by City of Newcastle and Molycop earlier this year,” Mr van der Linden said.

“We see this as a long-term partnership, which will not only support City of Newcastle but also, have significant broader impacts for the local region.”

The City already uses half a megawatt of solar energy generated on the roofs of 10 of its facilities, including Newcastle Museum, with an additional five megawatts to come from the solar farm at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

Located 18km west of Glen Innes, CWP Renewables’ Sapphire Wind Farm generates enough energy to power around 115,000 homes annually. The facility is part of a 1,300-megawatt wind, solar and battery portfolio the Newcastle-based firm is building across Australia.

Sapphire also supplies locally based industrial products manufacturer Molycop, which became one of the biggest buyers of renewable energy in Australia when it signed a PPA with Flow Power earlier this year.

The City will join the University of Newcastle in switching over to renewables on 1 January and follow the lead of other progressive Australian organisations, including the University of NSW, CBA, Westpac, Monash University and Melbourne University.

Source: City of Newcastle

 

Vivopower International PLC announces sale of Australian solar portfolio and additional solar contract wins

22 October

VivoPower International PLC (Nasdaq: VVPR) (“VivoPower” or the “Company”), an international solar and critical power services company, is pleased to announce that it has sold its remaining Sun Connect portfolio of 53 operating solar projects spread across five Australian states for US$1.1 million. VivoPower originally acquired the Sun Connect portfolio of 68 commercial and industrial sites totalling 1.6 GW in December 2015 and individual projects have been sold in the intervening period. Over the life of the Company’s investment, the sale represents a 2.0x multiple of invested capital and an unlevered IRR of 20.1% before tax.

The Company would also like to announce that its Australian critical power services business, J.A. Martin Electrical Pty Limited (“J.A. Martin”), has won two additional contracts for solar farm construction worth US$3.0 million. This represents their third and fourth major contract for construction of solar projects in the past year and confirms that their intentional strategic shift to pursue the expanding solar EPC market in Australia is beginning to pay dividends.

“The sale of the Sun Connect solar portfolio enabled us to secure an excellent return on our original investment as well as allowing us to continue to develop and finance new small and medium-sized solar projects throughout Australia.”, said Art Russell, Interim Chief Executive Officer of VivoPower. “Also, the award of these two additional solar construction contracts to J.A. Martin will continue to build their reputation and momentum in the sector. With over US$40 million of additional solar farm construction opportunities currently in their business development pipeline, we continue to believe that solar EPC represents an unprecedented opportunity for growth in J.A. Martin.”

Source: VivoPower

 

Lightsource BP signs financing agreements on first Australian project with ING and EDC

Lightsource BP today announced it has signed a senior debt facility with ING and EDC (Export Development Canada) to fund its first Australian solar project.

The 200MWp solar installation, near Wellington, NSW, is the largest single plant to be financed by Lightsource BP to date. It is also one of the first times that bifacial solar panels will be installed at this scale in Australia.

The funding partnership marks the start of a new relationship for Lightsource BP, ING and EDC and:

- Backs Lightsource BP’s ambition to become a world leading owner and operator of solar assets,

-Aligns with ING’s and EDC’s drive to finance sustainable companies,

-Supports EDC’s objective to promote Canadian exports and Canadian foreign direct investments for companies of all sizes.

ING are underwriting two thirds of the financing with EDC funding the remaining third. NAB (National Australian Bank) will act as facility agent and security trustee on behalf of ING and EDC.

Construction is due to start shortly and will showcase next-generation Canadian Solar bifacial panels, alongside Array Technologies Inc. single axis tracking. This combination will allow Lightsource BP to operate the site to maximum efficiency and boost levels of energy production. It is a clear indication of the strength of the company’s supply chain and developmental expertise, as well as Lightsource BP’s ability to form strong partnerships with other industry leaders. The site will be one of the largest bifacial solar projects in Australia.

The majority of the electricity generated by the site will be sold by Lightsource BP to Snowy Hydro via a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With an installed capacity of 200MWp, it will produce approximately 435,000MWh of clean, renewable electricity a year.

Michiel de Haan, Global Head of Energy for ING, commented: “We are delighted to support Lightsource BP on its first solar project in Australia. ING’s global energy sector expertise in combination with our local presence enables us to support our clients around the world in the markets they are active in. We are very pleased to start relations with ambitious and sustainable companies such as Lightsource BP and we are keen to support Lightsource BP on an ongoing basis on their global initiatives in the renewable energy space. The transaction contributes towards ING’s ambition to align our lending portfolio with the Paris Agreements goals and marks another milestone for our dedicated Energy team in Sydney.

Jean-Philippe Nolet, Director and Head of Renewables & Sustainable Technologies at EDC commented: “This is an important transaction for us because it supports Canadian Solar taking their market-leading technology to international markets and further strengthens EDC’s presence in Australia’s renewable sector. We’re equally pleased to be establishing a strong relationship with Lightsource BP as they continue to develop ground-breaking projects worldwide.”

Adam Pegg, Country Manager for Australia at Lightsource BP, commented: “This project is the first in the Australian pipeline to come to fruition, and is just the beginning of Lightsource BP’s ambition to be a leader in the Australian solar market. Our team is hard at work advancing a number of projects across the NEM. We’re proud to be pushing the low-carbon transition forward in this country, and to be contributing to the company’s wider goal of achieving 10GW of solar in the next five years.”

Source: LightsourceBP

 

Array Technologies’ selected for one of the largest bifacial solar projects in Australia

23 October

Array Technologies today announced that DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis solar trackers were selected for the 200MW Wellington solar farm, which will utilize cutting-edge bifacial modules.

This project is a landmark development for Australia, as it will be one of the first local projects to deploy bifacial solar at utility-scale. Once operational, the solar farm will produce 435,000MWh of clean, renewable electricity a year. The farm will generate power equivalent to the consumption of 72,500 homes, displacing 350,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is the equivalent of taking 121,580 cars off the road.

“With decades of innovation and experience under our belt, we’re excited to see a continued commitment to solar asset reliability as global development firms and EPCs recognize Array’s DuraTrack HZ v3 as the tracker-of-choice for milestone projects such as these,” stated Jeff Krantz, chief commercial officer at Array Technologies. “Bifacial projects require not only the lowest levelized cost of energy from their tracking foundation but also the most advanced technology to pair with bifacial modules to stack up economically.”

The Wellington solar farm supports Australia in its efforts toward providing 23.5 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, while further establishing regional New South Wales as a leader in renewable energy.

“As long-term owners and operators of our solar assets, we always look for the best technological and equipment solutions for the life of the solar farm and we are very pleased to have selected Array Technologies for Wellington solar farm,” said Adam Pegg, country manager, Australia of Lightsource BP.

Array Technologies has established itself as a market leader in Australia, supplying 2GW of its tracker technology to solar farms across the country.

Source: Array Trackers

 

JinkoSolar unveils new Tiger module with Tiling Ribbon Technology at All-Energy Australia 2019

23 October

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (the “Company,” or “JinkoSolar”) (NYSE: JKS), one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, today announced that it has officially launched a new high efficiency Tiger module using 9-busbar Mono PERC and Tiling Ribbon (TR) technology at All-Energy Australia 2019, Australia’s largest national showcase of clean and renewable energy, held in Melbourne. With module efficiency of 20.78%, the new Tiger module is capable of generating up to 460 Wp of peak power output which is suitable for both utility and rooftop installations.

JinkoSolar incorporated Tiling Ribbon technology into the new Tiger module to eliminate the inter-cell gap and increase efficiency. The new Tiger module combines a half-cut cell design to reduce cell current mismatch and ribbon power losses. In addition, 9-Busbar technology shrinks the distance between the main busbar and finger grid line which decreases the resistance loss and increases power output and efficiency.

“Our new Tiger module delivers significantly higher power output and an easy performance boost that doesn’t require much extra effort for customers to install,” said Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar, “This is another step forward technologically for JinkoSolar and demonstrates our ability to innovate advanced technologies as we accelerate towards the era of grid parity.

Source: JinkoSolar

 

Australia’s carbon emissions set to drop: ANU experts

24 October

Australia's carbon emissions will decline by as much as four per cent over the next few years but governments need to support continued renewable energy deployment to ensure that emissions do not rise again, experts from The Australian National University (ANU) say.

Professor Andrew Blakers said emissions would drop on the back of Australia's world-leading deployment of solar and wind energy, which is 10 times faster per capita than the world average.

"This is a message of hope for reducing our emissions at low cost," Professor Blakers said.

"Solar and wind energy offers the cheapest way to make deep cuts in emissions because of their low and continually falling cost.

"Federal and state governments can ensure that emissions continue to fall on the back of renewable energy by enabling adequate electricity transmission and energy storage.

"If the renewable energy pipeline is stopped or slowed down because of insufficient transmission and storage, then emissions may rise again from 2022."

Dr Matthew Stocks said falls in emissions in the electricity sector are about to be more substantial than increases in emissions from all other sectors combined.

"We are just starting to see large drops in electricity emissions from the recent increases in wind and solar deployment, with more to come from wind and solar currently being built," Dr Stocks said.

"Government policy that is more stable and supportive of renewable energy than at present would encourage continued or accelerated deployment of solar and wind energy.

"If the Federal Government helps companies to quickly build more transmission to allow electricity from wind and solar farms to reach our cities and cross state borders, then emissions will continue to decline."

Professor Blakers said an additional undersea cable between Tasmania and Victoria would improve access by mainland states to the wind and hydro generation and storage resources of Tasmania.

"The extra cable would also reduce the effect on Tasmania of occasional outages of the single existing undersea transmission cable," he said.

Professor Blakers said state governments can establish Renewable Energy Zones to overcome outdated transmission rules, in collaboration with or separately from the Federal Government.

"These zones would be in places with good wind, sun and pumped-hydro energy storage resources. The role of Government is to help companies provide new high-capacity transmission from these zones to cities, either through new powerlines or upgrades to existing transmission," he said.

"There are straightforward solutions to the teething problems of technical change in the energy industry - though not without some political headaches." 

Source: ANU

 

Across government contract for the supply of electricity

The Government of South Australia (State) invites proposals for an across government contract for 100% of its electricity supply requirements.

This open RFP is the first stage of a two stage Procurement Process. Following completion of the evaluation of RFP responses, shortlisted Respondents will be invited to respond to a selective Request for Tender (RFT).

The State is a significant user of electricity consuming in aggregate approximately 500 GWh each year. The State’s contract for electricity supply and retail services for all State sites covered by this Procurement Process has a current expiry date of 31 October 2020 with options to extend to 31 December 2021.

The State’s electricity demand is categorised as follows:

- Large sites (greater than 160 MWh p.a.) – approximately 637 NMIs consuming approximately 405 GWh p.a.

- Small sites (less than 160 MWh p.a.) – approximately 6,117 NMIs consuming approximately 66 GWh p.a.

- Unmetered lighting (street and traffic lights) – 61 NMIs consuming approximately 27 GWh p.a.

State bodies responsible for this demand include hospitals, schools, police stations, emergency services assets and general government administration buildings.

Typically, the State has contracted for its electricity supply using a bundled energy supply and retail contract for terms of between 2 and 4 years.

In 2017, the State contracted with an organisation to develop a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta to provide for the State’s electricity needs. The 20 year contracting arrangement comprised a Generation Project Agreement (GPA) for the supply of electricity and an Electricity Retail Services Agreement (ERSA) for the provision of retail services. The contracting arrangement was due to start providing electricity from 1 November 2020 when the normal term of the current arrangement is due to end.

The solar thermal plant project did not achieve financial close and so, in April 2019, the State terminated the contract. As a result, the State is now seeking to contract for 100% of its electricity supply requirements from the end of the normal term of the current arrangement on 1 November 2020 (or potentially later subject to extending the term of the existing arrangement up to 31 December 2021).

The State has recently entered into an across government contract for the provision of, and access to, electricity metering and related services. The scope of the arrangement includes the transmission of metering data to the State’s electricity supplier for billing purposes and to AEMO for market settlement activities.

Objectives

Proposals must contribute to the achievement of one or more of the State’s procurement objectives:

  1. Supply of 100% of the State’s electricity load

The State has a strong preference to have a single engagement to supply its total electricity demand of approximately 500 GWh p.a.

The State is prepared to consider proposals that are not capable of supplying the entire electricity demand where they offer significant comparative benefits against one or more of the other procurement objectives, including value for money.

  1. Lowest Cost to SA Government

The total cost to the State will be used as a key differentiator in the selection of the preferred Respondent(s) for progression to the RFT process.

  1. Improved innovation and competition in wholesale and retail electricity markets in South Australia

The State has a preference for proposals that increase liquidity in the South Australian electricity contracting market and generally improve competition in the state.

The State is also interested in proposals that provide technical, commercial, operational or other value-added dimensions.

  1. Contribution towards the State’s commitments of making electricity cleaner, more affordable, reliable and secure for all South Australians

The State will assess the emissions intensity of the electricity portfolio being proposed to meet the State’s demand, how emissions will be measured and how they will deliver cleaner energy over the term of the contract.

The State has a preference for proposals that positively impact security, reliability and NEM wholesale prices.

  1. Economic Contribution including compliance with South Australia’s Industry Participation Policy (IPP)

The benefits to the South Australian economy of each proposal will be considered as part of the evaluation.

More information available here: https://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tender/view?id=110007

Source: SA Government

 

New rules to improve information on new generation projects to support least-cost investment

24 October

The Australian Energy Market Commission has published a final rule to give developers better and more up-to-date information about what new generation projects are in the pipeline. This may help businesses make better investment decisions on where to locate new generators and assess project viability. 

AEMC Acting Chief Executive Suzanne Falvi said the final rule is a good outcome for both developers of new generation and electricity consumers. 

“More than 50 gigawatts of new wind and solar projects are in development, which is roughly equivalent to the national electricity market’s entire current capacity,” said Ms Falvi. 

“The smooth entry of these new generators relies on developers having up-to-date information about where and when other developers are proposing to locate generators to help avoid traffic jams in generation.

“More efficient decisions on where to invest in new generation ultimately benefits consumers by promoting reliable supply at lower costs,” Ms Falvi said. 

Currently, as part of the grid connection process, developers provide transmission network businesses with key project information such as the type of generator proposed, the technology it uses, the maximum power it can generate, and the project’s timing. 

The final rule requires transmission businesses to share this information with the market operator, AEMO. This will enable AEMO to publish more detailed, up-to-date data on proposed and existing generators on its generation information page on its website. This information may help project developers assess how marginal loss factors could change.

The Commission’s final rule also extends access to key technical information to certain types of developers who are not “registered participants”. This reflects the emergence of new business models where some developers are selling generators before connecting to the grid.

The Commission has set out an implementation timeframe that would enable the key changes to be implemented in stages by end January 2020.

This work is part of the AEMC’s system security and reliability action plan.

Source: AEMC

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