Numurkah Solar Farm begins full scale commercial operations

19 July

Downer has completed work on the 128MW Numurkah Solar Farm (Numurkah), located approximately 220 kilometres north of Melbourne.

The Numurkah Solar Farm is owned and operated by Neoen, one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent producers of exclusively renewable energy. The site was officially opened today at an inauguration event by The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

Located on the Goulburn Valley Highway in northern Victoria, the $198 million Neoen-owned and developed 128MW solar farm is the largest in the state.

The site holds 373,839 individual solar panels and spans 515 hectares across seven parcels of land.

The facility will produce 255 GWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum to help power the Melbourne tram network, Laverton Steelworks and over 48,000 Victorian households – this output is equivalent to taking 77,000 cars off the road each year.

The Numurkah Solar Farm showcases the Victorian Government’s commitment to the renewable energy transition and highlights the vast employment opportunities renewable energy developments bring to regional communities across Australia.

Downer’s Executive General Manager for Renewables and Power Systems, Lena Parker, said, “We are proud to have partnered with Neoen. It has been a massive collaborative effort with all of our partners to deliver this solar farm which will provide significant environmental and economic benefits for the community.”

For more information on the Numurkah Solar Farm Project, please visit:

Source: Downer



Pallamana Solar Farm

RES Australia has received state government planning consent for its proposed Pallamana Solar Farm near Murray Bridge in South Australia. The project will have a total capacity of up to 176 MW via ~690,000 solar panels mounted on single axis tracker structures, ancillary structures (including inverters, transformers, underground cabling and security fencing) and a 66 MW (140 MWh) Lithium Ion battery facility and ancillary structures (including inverters and transformers). A 132kV overhead transmission line will connect to an existing substation.


Australia’s first Virtual Transmission Line: Victoria – South Australia

19 July

Today, the latest in a series of confirmations of very large grid expenditure that will land heavily on consumers’ power bills, feels like the right day to make public an alternative approach that Lyon conceived and commenced developing more than four years ago.

Lyon is now making public its development of Australia’s first Virtual Transmission Line (VTL), with a view to offering an alternative and more optimal approach to network investment as the Australian energy sector transitions to a renewable energy future. This concept can be characterised as MurrayLink 2.0.

Lyon stands apart from most in the renewables sector, which will welcome AEMO’s announcement today that very large transmission infrastructure augmentation will proceed in Western Victoria. AEMO’s Western Victorian RIT-T Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR)[1] comes only five months after ElectraNet published the PACR for the SA Transformation RIT-T in February 2019.[2]

Both processes have favoured huge grid augmentation programs.

We don’t deny that the inevitable and escalating shift from reliance on a relatively small number of generators to a patchwork of inverter-based generation requires new network approaches. And it is true that this will have to include transmission augmentation.

However, the interests of consumers are not well served by embarking on major augmentation programs without appropriate consideration of options that enable optimisation before augmentation, the embrace of which would allow right-sizing of new infrastructure and less of a cost impost on energy users large and small.

In determining the location of its Riverland and Nowingi projects, Lyon strategically selected network locations that will benefit the most from local, firm, dispatchable energy, while providing the greatest range of revenue streams for the projects.

Lyon’s large-scale solar and battery storage projects create a new virtual grid operation which provides the option to defer or in some cases reduce investment in grid reinforcements and, based on independent analysis undertaken by Advisian, provides 15% additional transmission capacity which will help reduce electricity prices.

Viewed as a portfolio, Lyon’s Riverland and Nowingi projects provide a combined 180MW/720 MWh of advanced battery storage, located on either side of the existing 220MW MurrayLink Interconnector. These two projects together will deliver rapid resiliency and boosted energy transfer capabilities for this crucial transmission corridor.

The two projects together constitute Australia’s first VTL. In developing these projects, Lyon is providing an option to lift transmission constraints 10x faster than the time required to construct a new interconnector and at a fraction of the cost.

Lyon’s VTL solution aligns with AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, providing:

- Reduced electricity prices by deployment 10x faster than a transmission solution;

- Long duration storage to firm renewable generation;

- 15% additional transmission capacity, delivering congestion management to unlock inter-regional  Renewable Energy Zones and enable greater interconnector asset utilisation;

- New competition for peaking generation; and

- Resiliency to support power quality through Fast Frequency Response.

Because of their proximity to the very large new transmission upgrades that will commence in 2022, the Riverland and Nowingi projects stand to benefit from the greater transmission diversity and export capacity that will be enabled by implementation of AEMO’s Western Victorian RIT-T and ElectraNet’s SA Transformation RIT-T. However, an over-reliance on transmission upgrades is sub-optimal as compared with proven solutions such a VTL. Lyon’s VTL option will provide a faster and more optimal outcome leading to reduced electricity costs and enable more accurate investment decisions surrounding the Interconnector Regulatory Tests.

VTLs can discharge over long durations to meet load requirements in the local area during peak hours, without the need for transporting electricity through congested grid lines, then reversing to act as a sink. The VTL also reduces network congestion and forms virtual power lines to benefit greater regional power flows for other renewable generators.

Once completed, the Riverland and Nowingi projects will represent Australia’s first VTL development.  This VTL announcement by Lyon also constitutes the third announced project of its kind in the world, alongside Terna’s 35MW BESS in the congested Southern Italy region and RTE’s 36MW BESS in France.[3]

In progressing development of the Riverland and Nowingi projects as a VTL, Lyon has worked closely with its advisers to undertake detailed analysis of the benefits that can be achieved and has inter-reacted with AEMO and the Victorian Government.




Source: Lyon Group


Neoen’s Numurkah Solar Farm begins full-scale commercial operation for its Victorian customers

19 July

▪ The Numurkah Solar Farm will generate 255 GWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum to power key infrastructure such as the Melbourne tram network and Laverton steel works

▪ The support of the Victorian government was instrumental in the success of the Numurkah project

▪ With 128 MWp, Numurkah is the largest solar farm in Victoria; almost 300 jobs were created in the area during construction

▪ With this latest project, Neoen confirms its status as Australia’s leading independent producer of renewable energy

Neoen (ISIN Code: FR0011675362, ticker: NEOEN), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent producers of exclusively renewable energy, has today commenced full-scale commercial operation at its Numurkah Solar Farm in Victoria. The official opening took place with the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

The 198 million AUD, 128 MWp solar farm, owned and developed by Neoen, is the largest in the state of Victoria. With 373,839 solar panels installed, it spans 515 hectares. The facility will produce 255 GWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum – the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road each year and enough to power 48,000 Victorian households. It will power Melbourne’s tram network and the Laverton steel works.

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, said “the Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy network towards clean, renewable energy and reaching our renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.”

The Green Certificates Purchase Agreement with the Victorian Government and its wider support for renewable energy development has been instrumental in making Numurkah possible. It has also benefited from a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with GFG Alliance’s SIMEC ZEN Energy.

Besides supplying more sustainable, reliable and competitive energy to Australians, Neoen is committed to local development and community growth. In addition to creating almost 300 jobs for the Numurkah region during construction, and a variety of employment opportunities during the solar farm’s service life, Neoen has established a Numurkah Solar Farm Community Fund to provide financial support to community groups to grow the region.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which provided 56 million AUD in loans towards the project, described Numurkah Solar Farm as a “path-breaking example of how solar energy can deliver a costeffective solution for Victoria’s energy-intensive manufacturers.”

Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, said, “Numurkah is an important project for Neoen and the commencement of commercial operations here is a significant milestone for our operations.

We sincerely thank the Victorian Government, our partners and all our local stakeholders for helping us make this project a success. Neoen will continue to work with its partners, the local communities, councils and state governments to ensure that the people of Australia enjoy clean, reliable and affordable electricity for decades to come.”

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and CEO, said, "We are very proud to be bringing into service the Numurkah Solar Farm. With this project, Neoen confirms its commitment as a long-term owner and operator contributing to Australia’s renewable energy transition. We are determined to continue growing our asset base in Australia, and we will pursue all future developments with the same integrity and respect for local areas.”

Source: Neoen



Theodore Solar Farm

Location: Theodore, Queensland

Capacity: 70 MW

Developer: juwi Renewable Energy

LGA: Banana Shire Council

Status: Development application with council

Description: The proposed project will cover an area of up to 220 hectares and comprise the construction and operation of a large scale solar farm utilising PV solar panels mounted on single axis trackers. Approximately 14 inverter stations will be required, although the final number will not be known until the detailed design phase. The solar farm will connect to the existing Theodore - Moura 66kV transmission line which borders the site. An area for solar battery storage is designated next to the project’s substation and switchyard. Up to 140 full time equivalent jobs will be created during construction, and several permanent jobs during the operational phase.

Contact: Project Development Manager

Juwi Renewable Energy

Tel: (07) 3107 0908


Major Project Status awarded to Sun Cable

20 July

The Northern Territory Government is supporting job creating private sector investment in the Territory, awarding Major Project Status to Sun Cable's Australia-Singapore Power Link (ASPL).

The proposed Australia-Singapore Power Link is a $20 billion, 10 gigawatt solar farm and a 20-30 gigawatt hour storage facility near Tennant Creek.

It will supply loads in the Darwin and Singapore markets via a high voltage direct current transmission.

This is the largest solar farm under development in the world.

The Tennant Creek region has one of the highest solar irradiance resources on the planet, making it a perfect location for the proposed solar farm.

The project will seek to supply long term, competitive, stably priced renewable electricity to the Darwin and Singapore markets.

Integrating the ASPL into the developing ASEAN power grid will also be assessed in the detail during the development phase.

Attracting and securing private investment in the Territory is critical to economic growth and job creation.

This project has the potential to create 1000 jobs during the construction phase and 300 operational jobs.

The project is already engaging local contractors and will seek to manufacture prefabricated solar farm technology in Darwin and Adelaide.

A Project Development Agreement (PDA) will now be negotiated between the NT Government and Sun Cable Pty Ltd.

The PDA will provide the framework for Sun Cable and the Northern Territory Government to work together in progressing the ASPL through the required approvals processes.  Sun Cable will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and a Territory Benefit Plan.

Major Projects are significant contributors to the economic development of the NT. The NT Government awards major project status to private sector initiated projects that are significant to help facilitate their development and delivery.

Quotes attributable to the Chief Minister:

 “The Northern Territory has an incredible opportunity to lead the world as a renewable energy hub – and seizing this opportunity will deliver thousands of local jobs.

We have the guaranteed cloud free days, the land and a Government with the vision, plan and will to make it happen.

Major Project Status for Sun Cable is an important step towards making this this vision a reality.

The Sun Cable project is a gamechanger for the Territory and will further our reputation around the world as a place to do business and invest.

Not only does it announce the Territory as a major world player for renewable energy exports, but also a future where clean, cheap, reliable energy creates local jobs in industries right across the Territory.

We look forward to continuing to work with Sun Cable to make this project a reality.”

Quotes attributable to Sun Cable:

“Sun Cable is excited to enter the next phase of the development process for the Australia-Singapore Power Link.

Source: NT Government



Banana Range Wind Farm

Location: 20 km west of the town of Biloela in Central Queensland

Capacity: 180 MW (approx.)

Developer: Lacour Energy

LGA: Banana Shire Council

Status: Full feasibility study. Project public exhibition held on 9 July 2019.


Description: When constructed the project will comprise up to 51 wind turbines and could potentially include large-scale battery energy storage as well. The project is located on the Banana Range in an area of strong wind resources with an existing high voltage (132kV) transmission line running through the site. The winds at the site are much stronger during the night and thus the energy produced from the project would be a good match to daytime solar energy produced from rooftop solar or large solar farms. 

Contact: James Townsend


Lacour Energy

Tel: (08) 9321 6632



Meridian Energy first to release climate change risk report

22 July

Meridian Energy has released New Zealand’s first corporate report disclosing risks to its business resulting from climate change.

Prepared in accordance with guidance from the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the report lays out the physical risks Meridian faces from a rise in global temperature, as well as the impacts of transitioning to a low carbon future.

Chief Financial Officer Mike Roan says climate change has urgent implications for companies and investors, and the time has come for businesses to be open and honest about the risks they will face.

“Globally, markets and investors have woken up to climate risk. There’s a growing movement to reconsider investments in companies and sectors who are heavily exposed, whether that’s from sea level changes, industry disruption, the uptake of new technology or public policies and legislation.

“Being a strong corporate advocate for climate action means understanding and acknowledging our risks and encouraging others to do the same. It’s the ethical and responsible thing to do for our investors and all New Zealanders,” says Roan.

TCFD reporting also requires companies to report their governance oversight of climate risks, the expected impacts on their business strategy, and targets they use to manage the risks.

Meridian’s report comes ahead of the Embark event in Auckland this week celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Climate Leaders Coalition, where businesses come together to share ideas on how to take positive action to reduce emissions.

Roan says understanding and reporting climate risk will be an ongoing commitment from Meridian and is integral to the company’s work on reducing emissions, supporting accelerated action on renewables and decarbonisation, and engaging staff and suppliers to improve sustainability.

“Risk reporting is now a key part of our broader climate action programme and we’re ready to help others understand the very real risks climate change poses for businesses and organisations.

“The more New Zealand businesses understand the climate risks they face and report openly about them, the better equipped and capable investors are to make sound decisions,” Roan says.

Meridian’s full report can be found here.

Source: Meridian Energy


Suntech aims to create a new era in Australian market with its newly gained Solar Panel Validation

22 July

Recently, Suntech, as a famous solar photovoltaic manufacturer in the world, is engaged in the R & D and the production of crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, has successfully passed the Solar Panel Validation conducted by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER).

The Clean Energy Regulator is an Australian independent statutory authority responsible for administering legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy. It has kept a close cooperation with relevant industries for a long time and implemented the Solar Panel Validation (SPV) initiative. SPV aims to protect the integrity of the renewable energy plan, and provide enterprises and consumers with a convenient way to check and confirm the specific information of solar panels. The successful passing of its professional test and verification means that the relevant product of a manufacturer conforms to the quality and performance standards of Australia.

SPV consists of two parts:

An app for installers to use on a mobile device and a database of serial numbers for approved solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, received directly from manufacturers. Installers use the app to scan solar panel serial numbers, which are then checked against a database to ensure they correspond to verified serial numbers for panels approved by the Clean Energy Council.

SPV provides customers with an electronic record of confirmation their installed solar panels are verified as part of SPV. The record includes information such as the make and model of the solar panels, their serial numbers, the time and date of installation and the location. Customers are now asking solar businesses if they are participating in SPV and for a record of verification for their solar panels.

Over the years, with remarkable technical superiority and manufacturing level as well as reliable product quality, Suntech has won a high brand reputation in the Australian market; undoubtedly, the gaining of this solar module certificate wins Suntech a fast pass. In addition, Suntech has successfully passed the verification of the Australian Clean Energy Council (CEC) and is included in the solar PV module list database of CEC. As an institution of supreme authority in clean energy in Australia, CEC imposes quite strict standards in the admittance verification of products, and requires the manufacturer to provide test data from a qualified third-party independent laboratory to ensure the product's consistency with performance and safety requirements; all PV modules to be admitted into the Australian market must have the strict qualification examination of CEC.

Suntech pays much attention to the Australian market. The successful passing of this Solar Panel Validation not only verifies the quality and reliability of Suntech's products in the Australian market, but also provides a guarantee for the rights and interests of Suntech's local customers; and at the same time, it is helpful for the Australian government and solar energy industry to maintain market stability. In the future, Suntech will keep on developing Australian market to wholeheartedly provide photovoltaic products and services with high quality, high reliability and high cost performance for customers.

Source: Suntech



Teewana Solar Farm

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy has declared Teewana Farm’s proposed 9.9 MW Teewana Solar Farm in Gidgegannup, Western Australia a controlled action. The project will require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed, with the relevant controlling provisions being, Listed threatened species and communities (sections 18 & 18A).


BHP to invest US$400m to address climate change

23 July

BHP today announced a five-year, US$400m Climate Investment Program to develop technologies to reduce emissions from its own operations as well as those generated from the use of its resources.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie said: “Over the next five years this program will scale up low carbon technologies critical to the decarbonisation of our operations. It will drive investment in nature-based solutions and encourage further collective action on scope three emissions.”

“Commercial success of these investments will breed ambition and create more innovative partnerships to respond collectively to the climate challenge.”

Mr Mackenzie added: “We must take a product stewardship role for emissions across our value chain and commit to work with shippers, processors and users of our products to reduce scope three emissions.”

Other measures announced today include:

- Establishing a new medium-term, science-based target for scope one and two emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. This is in addition to BHP’s short-term goal to cap 2022 emissions at 2017 levels, and long-term goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century.

- Developing a new climate portfolio analysis report in 2020, following on from BHP’s 2015 two degree scenario analysis. This new report will evaluate the potential impacts of a broader range of scenarios and a transition to a ‘well below’ two degree world.

- Strengthening the link between emissions performance and executive remuneration. From 2021, this link will be clarified to further reinforce the strategic importance and responsibility of reducing emissions as a business.

Mr Mackenzie concluded: “We require a considered and orderly transition to a lower carbon world, in which resource companies like BHP have both critical expertise and a key role to play.”

Source: BHP


Senior debt facility closed for Terregra’s Mobilong and Moyhall Solar Farms

23 July

Infradebt and Terregra Renewables are pleased to announce the close of a A$7 million senior debt facility for Terregra’s Mobilong and Moyhall Solar Farms. Both projects are 5MWac utility scale solar facilities in South Australia. Construction at Mobilong was completed in July, with construction at Moyhall to commence shortly. Balance Utility Solutions is the EPC contractor for both projects.

Terregra is a leading Indonesian renewable utility with hydroelectric assets under construction and development across Indonesia. The Mobilong and Moyhall Solar Farms are their first investments in Australia and have been developed by their local team. Terregra have a strategy to develop a portfolio of 30+ MWac of 5 MWac solar farms across Australia.

Quote attributable to Graham Pearson, Director of Terregra Renewables:

“It’s great to have senior debt finance in place for Mobilong and Moyhall. Mobilong was commissioned last week and is already selling renewable energy into the SA grid. Construction at Moyhall is due to commence shortly, with first generation due in early 2020. We look forward to continuing to build our portfolio of Australian projects in partnership with Infradebt.”

Quote attributable to Alexander Austin, CEO, Infradebt:

“Infradebt is pleased to finalise its part in financing Mobilong and Moyhall Solar Farms, we have worked closely with Terregra over the past six months to provide a senior debt facility that supports their strategy in Australia. We look forward to working with Terregra in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline.

2018-19 has been a busy year for Infradebt. This transaction marks the thirteenth investment for the Infradebt Ethical Fund since its first close in September 2017. We are pleased to have executed on IEF’s strategy over the year and assembled a diverse portfolio for IEF. The portfolio is well positioned – with attractive returns and well diversified by project, technology and offtake.”

Source: Infradebt


Renewables up, power prices down as CleanCo kicks off

23 July

Queensland’s next wave of renewable energy and regional jobs is about to be unleashed with 10 projects competing for contracts to kick start new regional investments and a new clean energy generator.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland’s third publicly-owned electricity generator, CleanCo, would commence trading in the national electricity market on 31 October, and encourage up to 400 megawatts of new generation and storage.

CleanCo is working with 10 short-listed renewable energy proponents to boost its starting pack, which includes the Wivenhoe (external site) and Swanbank E (external site) power stations near Ipswich and three Far North Queensland hydro power stations.

“This will increase competition and supply in the Queensland electricity market, putting more downward pressure on electricity prices for Queenslanders,” Dr Lynham said.

“Preliminary analysis indicates CleanCo should reduce wholesale electricity prices on average by around $7 per megawatt hour, which is expected to translate to an estimated $70 per annum saving for the average Queensland household.

“There’ll be more new jobs building these projects in regional Queensland and the extra generation will also make our power supply even more reliable.

“This takes Queensland one step closer to our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“Unfortunately, the LNP has refused to support this program. Going by their track-record in government, when not one large scale renewable energy project was built, there’s no doubt they’ll see CleanCo as another Queensland-owned energy asset to sell.”

From 31 October, CleanCo will take over the 570 megawatt Wivenhoe pumped storage hydro station, the 385 MW gas-fired Swanbank E power station and the Kareeya, Barron Gorge and Koombooloomba hydro power stations from the state’s other publicly-owned generators, Stanwell and CS Energy.

CleanCo will also complete the Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction, bringing up to another 400 megawatts of solar and wind energy and battery storage into the market.

CleanCo will seek binding bids from 10 proponents to supply renewable energy (see table next page) and recommend projects to government early next year.


Renewables 400 is a reverse auction program which enables CleanCo to identify the best projects to increase the state’s diversified renewable energy supply. Reverse auctions are competitive processes where multiple projects bid to secure power purchase contracts or other forms of project support.

Reverse auctions have been used by governments around Australia and internationally, including by the ACT and Victorian Governments as part of achieving their renewable energy targets.

Source: Queensland Government





Capacity (MW)

Capital cost  ($ mill)



ACCIONA Australia

MacIntyre Wind Farm





Edify Energy

Majors Creek Solar Farm, with battery storage






First Solar Australia

Chinchilla Solar Farm, with battery storage






Goldwind Australia

Clarke Creek Wind Farm, with battery storage

Between Mackay and Rockhampton





Infigen Energy

Forsayth Integrated Facility, with battery storage

Forsayth, FNQ





Lyon Infrastructure Investment

Cape York Solar Storage

Lakeland, FNQ





Neoen Australia

Kaban Green Power Hub, with battery storage

Ravenshoe FNQ




Pacific Hydro Australia Developments

Haughton Solar Farm, with battery storage

Upper Haughton near Townsville




Vena Energy (formerly Equis)

Collinsville North Solar and storage project






Lakeland Wind Farm

Lakeland, FNQ






Wind farms environmental noise guidelines

In mid-2018 the EPA carried out a technical review of the Wind farms environmental noise guidelines, to ensure that the guidelines are still appropriate. The review confirmed that the South Australian noise criteria are still among the most protective in the world.

This draft guidelines will be distributed directly to stakeholders who have already engaged with the EPA on this matter, including all parties making noise-related submissions to the recent State Commission Assessment Panel hearing on the proposed Crystal Brook Energy Park.

The EPA is seeking feedback from the community, local government, other development authorities, state agencies, acoustic engineers, wind farm development proponents and other stakeholders on noise from wind farms in the updated guidelines.

Feedback can be submitted to:

Wind Farm Guidelines Consultation

Environment Protection Authority

GPO Box 2607

Adelaide SA 5001

email (mark subject as Wind Farms Guidelines Consultation).

Further information

Closing date for submission: 2 September 2019

For further information, contact Tony Williams

Source: SA EPA


New large-scale solar guidelines boost sector confidence

24 July

New planning guidelines for large-scale solar farms have been released by the Andrews Labor Government to help ensure Victoria’s transition to a clean energy future is planned properly.

Acting Minister for Planning Lily D’Ambrosio today released the final Solar Energy Facilities – Design and Development Guideline, which will help inform a range of decision makers, solar farm developers and communities on planning requirements for large-scale solar farms.

The guideline was shaped by a nine-month development process including extensive consultation with communities, councils and industry and a review of best-practice standards interstate and internationally.

The release of the guidelines will provide more confidence to the solar sector and encourage greater investment, as part of Victoria’s renewable energy boom.

The guideline also gives certainty for councils and developers as to what is required for developments to achieve acceptable outcomes for land, communities and the environment.

Businesses looking to establish large-scale solar farms in Victoria will use the guideline to ensure proposals are built in appropriate locations, easily accessible to the grid and consider high-productivity agricultural areas and sensitive landscapes.

The guideline also includes a range of best-practice approaches to help developers engage with communities and ensure the least possible environmental and social impacts of their proposals.

The guideline will be implemented through a future planning scheme amendment to the Victorian Planning Scheme. If the amendment passes the Minister for Planning will then become the responsible authority for all large-scale solar farm applications.

The guideline is available to download at

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Planning Lily D’Ambrosio

 “With solar technology taking off in Victoria, we need to provide clear advice on how to establish best practice facilities in appropriate locations.”

“The guidelines will help to ensure community consultation is part of the process from an early stage, so local residents are engaged, informed and have an opportunity to provide input before the planning permit is lodged.”

“Along with providing more certainty to the community, the guidelines will reduce the burden on local councils and give the renewable energy industry more confidence to invest.”

Source: Victoria Government


PPA with Kellogg’s

24 July


  • NEW’s Beryl Solar Power Plant has signed a corporate PPA with cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s to December 2026, with option to extend to December 2029
  • Reduces Beryl’s exposure to fluctuating electricity and LGC prices
  • Further diversifies offtakers and contract lengths in NEW’s portfolio
  • Five-year unlevered average yield of 8.2% per annum now expected for Beryl
  • Beryl reached commercial operations in June 2019

Further to its announcement on 15 July 2019, New Energy Solar (NEW) announces that the Beryl Solar Power Plant (Beryl, the Plant) has entered into a binding Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Kellogg (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. (Kellogg’s), a subsidiary of Kellogg Company.

Kellogg Company is a leading global cereal company with net sales of over US$13bn in 2018 and is a member of the RE100 initiative to transition to sourcing 100% of its global electricity needs from renewable sources. While the Kellogg’s PPA commences on execution, it effectively contracts the purchase of electricity from the date the Plant began generation until the expiry date of 31 December 2026. Kellogg’s has an option to extend the term for three years until 31 December 2029.

This agreement is in addition to Beryl’s existing 15-year PPA, which represents approximately 69% of generation. The volume of electricity and Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) sold to Kellogg’s will be approximately 29% of generation for the remainder of 2019, with this proportion decreasing over the life of the Kellogg's PPA. With respect to the period from the Plant’s commissioning up to commercial operations, Kellogg’s will retrospectively acquire all of the electricity and LGCs produced. By selling electricity and LGCs to Kellogg’s rather than into spot markets, Beryl reduces its exposure to fluctuating electricity and LGC prices.

With the Kellogg’s PPA in place, NEW expects Beryl’s five-year unlevered annual average gross yield to be 8.2%.

John Martin, CEO of NEW, said “We are pleased to be partnering with Kellogg’s as an offtaker for Beryl. This agreement complements Beryl’s existing PPA and contributes to the achievement of our strategy to build a portfolio of stable, long-term, contracted cashflows from investment-grade counterparties. In addition, the Kellogg’s PPA further diversifies the range of offtakers and contract lengths in the portfolio, enhancing NEW’s ability to deliver attractive, risk-adjusted returns to investors.”

Esme Borgelt, Managing Director of Kellogg’s Australia and New Zealand said “Our partnership with Beryl enables us to champion and support the clean energy revolution, helping to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from both our head office and manufacturing site in Australia as part of our broader sustainability commitments. It’s through innovative partnerships like this, along with our ongoing focus on reducing energy demands within our value chain, that companies like Kellogg’s can help reduce their impact on the environment.”

Beryl commenced generating electricity in April 2019 and reached commercial operations in June 2019, increasing NEW’s operating portfolio capacity by 110.9MWDC. In its first year of operations, Beryl is expected to produce more than 199,000MWh of electricity, equivalent to displacing approximately 153,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, powering 25,000 Australian homes, or removing 45,000 cars from the road.

Source: New Energy Solar


The Renewable Energy Target 2018 Administrative Report

24 July

The Clean Energy Regulator today released the 2018 Renewable Energy Target Administrative Report – The acceleration in renewables investment. The report highlights the record investment in large scale, commercial and industrial and household solar over the last year.

The report also includes the annual statement on progress toward the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target, which finds that at the end of 2018, we are on track to meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target in 2020 due to the level of commissioned, under construction and operating utility-scale renewables capacity.

Highlights from the 2018 report include:

- At the end of 2018, enough utility-scale renewables capacity was commissioned and generating, or under construction, to meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target in 2020.

- With the capacity of new build commencing generation in 2018 combined with the expected accreditations in 2019 and 2020, we expect generation to step up from around 22,000 gigawatt hours in 2018 to around 30,000 gigawatt hours in 2019 and 40,000 gigawatt hours in 2020.

- The transformation of Australia’s electricity grid is accelerating. Australia is installing solar and wind so fast that it is now leading the world in the per capita deployment rate for renewables.

- Renewable capacity installed under the Renewable Energy Target more than doubled from 2.2 gigawatts in 2017 to 5 gigawatts in 2018.

- A record 3455 megawatts of large scale renewable energy projects were installed in 2018, more than triple the 1113 megawatts installed in 2017, the previous record.

- The strong momentum in new firm project announcements continued in 2018 and early 2019 well beyond the point where it was clear the 2020 target would be exceeded.

The Renewable Energy Target 2018 Administrative Report

Source: Clean Energy Regulator



Lincoln Gap 3 Wind Farm

Nexif Energy is seeking approvals to construct two temporary meteorological monitoring masts to a maximum height of 110m above natural ground level to be installed as part of the proposed Lincoln Gap 3 Wind Farm. The Lincoln Gap 3 Wind Farm Development Application is expected to be lodged with the State Commission Assessment Panel in July 2019.



Warwick Solar Farm

The University of Queensland has applied to the Regulator for a generation authority under the Electricity Act 1994 (the Act). The application for a generation authority is in respect of a proposed solar farm (the generating plant), located at Sladevale, 5km north of the Warwick town centre in the Southern Downs region of Queensland.

The generation plant is to be known as the Warwick Solar Farm and will consist of two distinct but identical plants to be known as Warwick Solar Farm 1 (WARWSF1) and Warwick Solar Farm 2 (WARWSF2). The generation authority, if issued, will authorise the connection of both WARWSF1 and WARWSF2 to Ergon Energy’s distribution network. The applicant proposes to connect WARWSF1 and WARWSF 2 to Ergon Energy’s 33kV network at the Warwick Bulk Supply Point.

The Warwick Solar Farm will have a total nameplate rating of 78.172MW DC and will be comprised of 115,164 x 380W DC photovoltaic panels and 89,376 x 385W DC photovoltaic panels. The panels will be mounted on 2,456 rows of single axis trackers.

The applicant will be the asset owner of the generating plant. Lendlease Services Pty Ltd has been contracted by the applicant to provide construction, operation and maintenance services. Subject to receipt of all necessary approvals (including this generation authority), the applicant anticipates the generating plant will reach commissioning stage early-to-mid 2020.

Source: Queensland Government


Final rule to improve transparency of the frequency control framework

25 July

The AEMC has made a final rule that establishes ongoing reporting requirements on AEMO with respect to the frequency performance of the power system, and on the AER in relation to frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) market outcomes. 

The rule change request was submitted by AEMO and the AER to action the recommendations made by the AEMC in its Frequency control frameworks review final report, which, among other things, was aimed at improving the transparency of the framework. 

The frequency control framework is central to maintaining the stability of the power system, which operates within defined technical limits.

The key features of the final rule require:

- the AER to report on FCAS market data on a quarterly basis and provide commentary on the key trends it sees

- AEMO to provide weekly information on key frequency performance data

- AEMO to report more comprehensively on frequency performance against the frequency operating standard on a quarterly basis.  

The final rule improves the transparency and consistency of information provided to the market in relation to frequency performance and FCAS market outcomes, which will help market participants make better-informed decisions. This is especially important given the degradation of frequency performance in the NEM that is being observed. This request was submitted as two separate rule change proposals. These were consolidated, as they both raise issues related to the frequency control framework.

This rule change was considered non-controversial and followed an expedited rule change process. Nine submissions were received from stakeholders in response to the consultation paper published on 30 May 2019. 

The AEMC’s Frequency control frameworks review final report detailed the Frequency control work plan which in turn sets out actions the Commission, AEMO and the AER will take to support the stable and secure operation of the power system in relation to frequency control. This rule change was part of this collaborative work plan. 

The AEMC has also received two rule change requests in relation to broader issues with primary frequency control. The AEMC will commence these shortly.

Source: AEMC


Pacific Hydro short-listed to supply large-scale renewable energy in Queensland

25 July

After making a submission to the Queensland Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction, Pacific Hydro will now compete against nine other shortlisted projects to secure a contract with publicly-owned generator CleanCo.

If selected in the next phase, Pacific Hydro would deliver an additional 100MW of clean energy along with battery storage at the company’s Haughton Solar Farm site located 60km south of Townsville.

“We are thrilled to be one of the ten projects shortlisted and are eager to proceed with the next steps,” said Rachel Watson, CEO of Pacific Hydro Australia.

“Our proposal is shovel-ready and leverages our recent experience delivering large-scale solar in north Queensland. Our track record of success paired with strong relationships with Burdekin Shire Council and the local community made us a very strong contender,” she added.

Haughton Solar Farm is being built in a series of stages. Construction of the first 100MW of the project commenced in 2018 and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.

Once all stages are complete, Haughton Solar Farm is expected to have a generating capacity of up to 500MW, enough to power approximately 291,000 homes.

Source: Pacific Hydro



Biala Wind Farm

BJCE is excited to announce works are planned to commence on the wind farm on Monday 29th July 2019. The wind turbines will be connected together and to Grabben Gullen road by unsealed tracks.

Subcontractor and Accommodation Provider Opportunities

All sub-contractor details, lodged through our website (, have now been submitted to our primary contractors. If you are a sub-contractor who is interested in taking part in the project, you can still register your details on our website and we will pass your details on.

As a new community initiative, we have set up a spot on our website where locals can put forward potential accommodation for wind farm staff. Perhaps you run a B&B or have a house on your property you'd like to rent. We will pass your details on to our contractors and they will contact you directly if they are interested.

Source: BJCE


Solar farm to power Wodonga’s sewage treatment plant

25 July

Wodonga’s sewage treatment plant will soon be powered by a three megawatt solar farm as part of North East Water’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

Tenders are expected to be issued in the coming months for the multi-million dollar project to be built on Corporation owned land between Old Barnawartha Road and the Hume Highway at West Wodonga.

Managing Director, Craig Heiner, said approximately 10,000 panels will be installed at the site and will utilise a single axis tracking system to increase solar generation capacity.

“The farm will generate enough electricity to power the nearby sewage treatment plant during daylight hours”, Mr Heiner said.

“Wodonga’s sewage treatment plant consumes 25% of the Corporation’s total energy requirements, so the solar installation will significantly reduce our expenses and carbon emissions.

“Any excess electricity generated by the farm will be fed into the grid to help off-set power usage at other water and sewage treatment plants across the north-east.

“We’ve been investing significantly at the plant over the past few years to increase its efficiency and the solar farm is another step in that journey."

Mr Heiner added, “We currently source around 20% of our electricity from wind generated power from Ararat.”

“When the solar farm comes online, 50% of the Corporation’s total daytime power consumption will come from green energy.

“This is all part of our commitment to cutting carbon emissions by 42% within six years and our pledge to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050.”

Construction of the solar farm is expected to commence in late 2019 and is estimated to take 18 months to complete.

Source: North East Water


The Numurkah Solar Farm in Victoria reaches full-scale commercial operation

26 July

SIMEC Energy Australia (SEA) has today welcomed news of yet another key milestone in delivering sustainable, globally competitive energy to our customers with the Neoen, Numurkah Solar Farm reaching full-scale commercial operation.

Through a 15-year power purchase agreement signed with Neoen last year, the Numurkah Solar Farm forms part of SIMEC Energy Australia’s energy generation portfolio – which sources energy from a growing range of grid-scale renewable energy generation assets around Australia. This enables our customers to access all the benefits of sustainable energy at globally competitive prices.

Located on the Goulburn Valley Highway in northern Victoria, the $198 million AUD, 128 MW solar farm, owned and developed by Neoen, is the largest in the state.

The asset has 373,839 solar panels installed, spanning 515 hectares. Neoen forecasts that the facility will produce 255 GWh of emission-free, clean, competitive renewable energy per annum – the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road each.

CEO Mr Marc Barrington welcomed this important milestone for Neoen and SEA and spoke of the benefits the solar farm’s operation will provide to SEA’s energy partners.

“This is a fantastic achievement by Neoen, as we also continue to work towards financial close of our own 280MW Cultana Solar Farm in Whyalla, South Australia.

Ultimately, it’s Victorian energy users that partner with us that will benefit most from our agreement with the Numurkah Solar Farm. The long-term power purchase agreement we have in place will help us deliver sustainable energy at globally competitive prices which our customers clearly benefit from.

With the full-scale operation of Numurkah online, we are now seeking partnerships with more Victorian based businesses and industries that want to access innovative, flexible, energy solutions, backed by renewable energy assets. All delivered by a new market entrant that is providing substantial benefits for Victorian, and Australian, energy users.”

As SEA continues its push into the Victorian energy market, we are seeking partnerships with business that share our core values which are driving increased competition, transparency in operations , sustainable practices and globally competitive energy prices for the benefit to business and industry. If you think this aligns with your business, contact the SEA team today on 1300 902 203 or at

Source: SIMEC Energy



Orange Grove Solar Farm

The NSW Independent Planning Commission has approved Overland Sun Farming’s proposed 110 MW Orange Grove Solar Farm near Gunnedah in northern NSW. The project includes construction and operation of approximately 330,000 PV solar panels and possible installation of battery and energy storage devices within the development footprint. The project site is approximately 12km east of the township & encompasses an area of approximately 417ha.


Launch of the Zinc Energy Green Bond Fund

23 July

  • Zinc Energy Pty Ltd is excited to launch the Zinc Energy Green Bond Fund (Fund) this month.
  • The Fund provides investors with attractive returns through senior debt investments to support the renewable energy industry, which generates positive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impacts.
  • The Fund will potentially play a pivotal role in transitioning Australia from its retiring fossil fuel based energy generation fleet, into new, low cost and efficient renewably powered generation fleet.

Zinc Energy Pty Ltd is excited to announce the launch of its maiden green bond fund this month… the Zinc Energy Green Bond Fund. The Fund will be managed by its subsidiary, Zinc Energy Funds Management Pty Ltd as Corporate Authorised Representative (number 1276710) of the Specialised Investment and Lending Corporation Pty Ltd (The SILC Group) which is holder of AFS licence 407100. The SILC Group is Trustee and Administrator of the Fund. 

Leveraging the in‐depth understanding of, and experience in, the Australian energy market, financing structures and energy assets of its key management team, Zinc Energy has identified an opportunity to construct bespoke financing arrangements, with low risk exposure, for unrated long‐term senior debt.

Targeting wholesale investors who seek high performing, low risk returns and positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts, the Fund has the potential to play a pivotal role in helping Australia transition from its retiring energy generation fleet, into a new, low cost and efficient renewable energy generation fleet. This activity will create opportunities for investors to play an active role in supporting a better and more sustainable future for Australia and the world. 

The Fund will make loans to assets in Australia that produce electricity from renewable sources or support renewable electricity production. This will include solar farms, wind farms, bio‐gas/bio‐diesel power stations, solar thermal technologies, pumped hydro power assets, as well as batteries.

These assets typically have a 20 to 30‐year life and will form part of the highly regulated Australian electricity market. Loans to support the long‐term operations of a renewable energy project will have a target term of 5 to 10 years. Construction and pre‐construction loans will be of 1‐ to 4‐year terms.

“We are excited about the opportunities that the Australian renewable energy industry offers. The fund will help Australian renewable energy projects secure financing that will lead to lower cost energy for Australians while helping to reduce CO2 emissions,” said the CEO of Zinc Energy, Sigmund Malter.

“Through our Fund, institutional investors who seek renewable energy, ESG and infrastructure investments can further diversify their portfolios. Even investors with private equity and venture capital mandates would find that our Fund meets many of their criteria.” 

Zinc Energy’s core expertise lies in the risk management of electricity and renewable energy commodities. It has developed its reputation through negotiating medium to long‐term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable energy infrastructure assets.

Source: Zinc Energy


Cattle Hill Wind Farm substation energised

26 July

The substation and transmission line to link to the Cattle Hill Wind Farm to the transmission network has been completed and energised by TasNetworks.

Goldwind Australia Managing Director, John Titchen, said the substation’s completion is a major milestone for the project.

“Goldwind is pleased to be partnering with TasNetworks to achieve successful energisation of the substation for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm project. We have found the TasNetworks team to be very professional and capable.” said John.

“The commissioning and energisation of the substation is a key milestone in the project and has been made possible through a great team effort from everyone involved.” said TasNetworks CEO, Lance Balcombe.

“In addition to the construction of the substation on the wind farm site, approximately 130 metres of new transmission line has been built to connect the project to the existing transmission network and approximately three kilometres of existing transmission lines has been reconfigured to accommodate the future power output from the project.

“Construction of the project is progressing on many work fronts, six Goldwind turbines have now been installed and commissioning of turbines will commence shortly. 

“Goldwind and Power China Resources Group appreciate the significant project progress, reflecting a team effort by many major project partners and approximately 150 staff currently working on site. Construction of the wind farm is planned for completion by the end of 2019” commented John.

Once the turbines are commissioned and generating power later this year, power will be fed via transmission line to the Waddamana substation and then into the state-wide transmission network. Once operational, Cattle Hill Wind Farm will produce enough clean energy to power approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes.

Source: Goldwind Australia


South Australia’s resources sector keeps the lights on for local businesses

26 July

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy’s (SACOME) landmark electricity deal with SIMEC Energy Australia came into effect this month, delivering affordable renewable power to some of South Australia’s largest energy uses.

The energy consortia, masterminded by SACOME, brings together manufacturing, retail, agriculture and resources companies and is responsible for fast-tracking the 280MW Cultana Solar farm near Whyalla, which has recently received development approval.

IGA is the second food retailer to join the consortia, alongside Foodland supermarkets. The agricultural sector is already benefitting from up to 50% reduction in energy prices with storage and handling group Viterra and the Central Irrigation Trust part of the contract. Leading mining company Hillgrove Resources and chemical manufacturer Adchem complete the consortia, which signed an eight-year deal last year.

Rebecca Knol, chief executive officer, SACOME said “We are delighted to see another South Australian food retailer benefitting from this innovative approach to energy procurement. This ground-breaking deal highlights the benefits of collaboration across sectors - from paddock to plate, SACOME’s consortia is providing benefits to all South Australians.

Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman, SIMEC Energy Australia and Executive Chairman and CEO of GFG Alliance said “The SACOME Buying Group has always been - and continues to be - a very important part of the SIMEC Energy Australia family, and I’m very happy that they will now be receiving all the benefits of the globally-competitive energy that SIMEC Energy and GFG Alliance can deliver.

“This announcement also comes at a very auspicious time for us, with our Cultana Solar Farm Project recently receiving development approval and some other important announcements on that project coming very soon. As a foundation customer of SIMEC Energy Australia, the consortia’s foresight to work together and agree an eight-year term for their electricity was key in the development of this project - the first step in our $US1 billion, 1GW plan for new dispatchable renewable energy generation in SA.”

“The consortia provided market disruption at a time of escalating power prices and unreliability and has underpinned the development of new renewable generation that will benefit all South Australians. Like all renewable projects, Cultana Solar Farm required a foundation customer, SACOME’s consortia provided this, and enabled this project to get off the ground.

Con Sciacca, CEO, Foodland said “As the Mighty South Aussies, Foodland employing thousands of South Australian’s across the entire state, this consortia enhances the sustainability of our brand in an ever-increasing competitive landscape"

Viterra added, “Viterra is in many of South Australia’s regional communities, providing a competitive supply chain to connect our 5000 grower customers with domestic and international markets. We are pleased to welcome IGA into the buying consortia as another company that is also part of the same regional communities.”

Gavin McMahon, CEO, Central Irrigation Trust said “We pump water to 1,500 growers who irrigate 14,000 hectares of horticultural crops which provide produce for our tables. We are pleased to be able to pass on considerable reductions in electricity costs incurred through pumping over the long term, supporting our growers as they compete in both domestic and international markets with their produce.”

Mark Woodhead, CEO, Adchem said, “Electricity costs are a substantial portion of our total cost to manufacture value added copper chemicals on a large scale. This contract represents a positive long-term outcome to secure electricity supply at a competitive price. Copper chemicals are used in the agricultural sector as fertilizers and animal feed supplements and we are proud to contribute to the competitive production of food in Australia.”

Lachlan Wallace, CEO, Hillgrove Resources said “Hillgrove’s participation in this consortia has assisted us to deliver competitive copper production and provides the necessary energy price stability to consider transitioning the existing open pit to an underground mining operation. Hillgrove Resources operations are located on primary production land and we continue to work hand in hand with the agricultural sector to deliver community benefits.”

Source: SACOME


Muswellbrook chosen for Idemitsu Australia Resources major renewable energy study

26 July

Idemitsu Australia Resources (IAR) Managing Director Naoki Kawamoto and Chief Commercial Officer Chris Walsh recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AGL Energy (AGL) committing to fund a joint Engineering Feasibility Study for a 250MW pumped hydroelectric storage facility at the Muswellbrook Coal Mine.

This work will include design, engineering and geotechnical investigations is expected to take up to 18 months.

IAR Managing Director Naoki Kawamoto said that the Muswellbrook Coal Mine has been a mainstay in the community for 111 years and this agreement has the potential to continue providing economic and social benefits to the community by utilising one of the mine’s voids which is no longer being mined.

“Innovative rehabilitation solutions such as the reuse of mine voids for renewable energy generation can provide towns like Muswellbrook with a long term sustainable resource and attract further investment.

“Coal will continue to be an important pillar of our business in Australia alongside our existing fuel and agricultural businesses, with this project being our first Australian renewable energy study project proceeding to a fully-fledged feasibility”.

Chief Commercial Officer Chris Walsh said that Idemitsu Kosan, IAR’s parent company in Japan, is a diversified energy player with significant interests in renewable power generation in Japan, including Wind, Solar PV generation, Geothermal energy and Biomass.

“IAR is continually looking for new opportunities to utilise its assets and diversify its energy mix for the benefit of shareholders and to promote the energy security of Australia and Japan”.

“We recognise the importance of our mining operations in the regional locations we operate in and we are exploring innovative rehabilitation and sustainability solutions across all of our operations in New South Wales and Queensland.”

“On behalf of IAR I thank AGL Energy and Muswellbrook Shire Council for their efforts in making this partnership a reality and I look forward to progressing the study over the coming months.”

Source: Idemitsu

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