VivoPower International PLC Announces an Alliance Agreement with ReNu Energy

18 May

VivoPower International PLC, a global next generation solar power company, today announced an Alliance Agreement with ReNu Energy (ASX: RNE) of Australia, pursuant to which ReNu Energy will have a right of first offer to acquire solar projects orginated by VivoPower in Australia below 5MW in size. In addition, VivoPower has entered into a term sheet with ReNu Energy for the transfer and operation of the first of these, the 600kW Amaroo Solar PV Project, subject to customary conditions precedent.

Under the terms of the agreement, Renu Energy will pay an annual alliance fee for the initial five year term of the agreement calculated based on the number of projects acquired from VivoPower, which may be extended by VivoPower for an additional five years. For each project acquired, ReNu Energy will also pay an up-front origination fee to VivoPower, and will enter into a long-term agreement under which VivoPower will provide asset management services.

“We are very pleased to partner with ReNu Energy and we hope that the sale of Amaroo is the first of many projects that we will transfer pursuant to the Alliance Agreement,” said Dr. Philip Comberg, Chief Executive Officer of VivoPower International PLC. “For VivoPower, the Alliance Agreement provides a unique strategic pathway to strengthen our build, transfer and operate (BTO) model for commercial, industrial and government (CIG) solar PV projects in Australia and to grow our base of long term recurring power services revenue.”

CEO & Managing Director of RNE, Mr Chris Murray commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with VivoPower, a successful originator of solar PV projects across the globe. The Alliance Agreement will allow us to accelerate the growth of our portfolio of behind the meter renewable energy assets, as we continue to originate and develop projects in our own right.”

“The Amaroo Solar PV asset marks ReNu Energy’s first operational solar asset in what we aim to grow into a portfolio of solar PV projects. The Amaroo Project is operational and has a long term government offtake – an ideal project with which to launch our solar PV business. Amaroo will deliver an average annual contracted 20 year cash yield of 12.7% per annum, delivering positive cashflow to ReNu Energy.”

Source: VivoPower 


Flyers Creek Wind Farm modification

Submission made by Infigen Energy to NSW Department of Planning & Environment to modify Flyers Creek Wind Farm (MOD 3) development application to excise three properties which have exited from the project.

The proposed modification involves:

- a reduction in the number of turbines from 42 to 38 and removal of associated land;

- an alternative alignment for the approved 33 kilovolt (kv) overhead power line; and

- minor changes to access tracks and underground cabling, and an additional equipment laydown area.

Flyers Creek Wind Farm is a proposed wind farm development located approximately 20 kilometres south of Orange in the Blayney Shire local government area.

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Flyers Creek Wind Farm


Energy industry helps test demand response

19 May

A grant of up to $22.5 million from the Turnbull Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will be used for a three year trial in South Australia and Victoria to temporarily free up supply during extreme weather and unplanned outages.

The pilot demand response initiative will aim to trial 100 megawatts of demand response capacity by December, with the potential for demand response to be scaled up in subsequent years.

At a workshop today the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and ARENA are consulting with energy industry stakeholders on the proposed program.

Participants at ARENA's A-Lab workshop will help ARENA and AEMO design a program that tests the capabilities of demand side resources.

The Turnbull Government wants to make sure all resources are available to contribute to energy reliability and affordability, including resources on the demand side of the market.

'Demand response' involves paying consumers to reduce their energy consumption on request during peak periods, extreme weather or other emergencies, helping to avoid blackouts.

I am pleased that ARENA and AEMO are collaborating to further integrate renewables into the electricity grid, and the strong interest by energy market participants in this workshop is very encouraging.

A key outcome of the proposed ARENA demand response program is that it will assist in identifying options to support the electricity system to manage peak demand in real-time.

This initiative will inform any regulatory changes that are needed for demand response to be an option in the long term.

Our evolving electricity market needs innovative ways of smoothing out volatility as it transitions towards an electricity system with increasing variable renewable energy.

This initiative is in line with the Government's commitment to delivering affordable and reliable electricity as we transition to a lower emissions future and could be used to reduce costs around network infrastructure.

ARENA's A-Lab provides a space for participants to explore and define solutions to the most complex challenges of integrating renewables and grids, combining their respective strengths and building momentum for change.

Source: Federal Government


Pacific Hydro secures innovative global funding platform

22 May

Pacific Hydro has implemented a multi-currency A$670 million equivalent global funding facility to finance a significant portion of the company’s international operating and development portfolio.

The innovative funding platform establishes one of the first cross-border portfolio financings for large-scale renewable energy.

Pacific Hydro CEO Mike Fuge said the transaction would provide many benefits and marked an exciting point in the company’s growth.

“We are proud to be one of the first examples of such a major cross-border arrangement; this deal is a great demonstration of the power of global lending partnerships.”

The portfolio-style transaction involved the refinancing of a number of project-financed assets whilst providing additional capacity to expand the portfolio of assets in both Australia and Chile, where the company owns a number of hydro and wind assets.

The facility is funded by an international group of lenders which includes China Construction Bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DNB Asia Ltd, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, and National Australia Bank Limited.

Allens was the lead global counsel to Pacific Hydro, working alongside Chilean counsel, Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogado. Gilbert + Tobin acted as lead global counsel for the financiers.

Pacific Hydro is currently developing renewable energy assets in Australia, Chile, and Brazil with the Punta Sierra (Chile) and Yaloak South (Australia) wind farms currently under construction.

Founded in Australia in 1992, Pacific Hydro is a global renewable energy owner, operator and developer. The company holds a high quality, diversified portfolio of 19 operating assets and an installed operating capacity of ~850 MW across Chile, Australia and Brazil. A further 100MW of projects are currently in construction, complemented by over 1.7 GW of development potential and a growing Australian retail business.

Pacific Hydro is fully owned by State Power Investment Corporation of China (SPIC).

Source: Pacific Hydro 


Rye Park Wind Farm approved

22 May

The Planning Assessment Commission (the Commission) has granted consent to State significant development application (SSD 6693) from Rye Park Renewable Energy Propriety Limited for the Rye Park Wind Farm Project, subject to conditions. The decision follows the public meeting in Boorowa on 30 March 2017.

The Commission had regard to the Applicant’s Environmental Assessment, the Response to Submissions and the Department’s assessment report and carefully considered submissions made through written submissions to the Commission and presentations to the public meeting. The Commission has balanced the economic, social and environmental factors in its determination of the proposal.

The Commission supports the Department’s assessment of the visual impact on non-associated residences from turbines in the Intermediate precinct. However, the Commission in its assessment of the project does not fully support the Department’s recommendation to remove all 16 turbines from the North-Western precinct based on visual impact and the impact on Rye Park village’s land use zoning. The Commission notes the subjectivity of visual assessments and has recommended the removal of 8 wind turbines that would have moderate-high visual impacts on residences and the public domain of Rye Park village and nearby residences.

The total number of wind turbines approved for this project is 92.

The Commission noted the diversity of community opinion over the project’s impacts, and acknowledged that the project, as submitted to the Commission would have negative impacts on a number of non-associated residences. However, the Commission considered that, with the removal of a number of turbines and with appropriate conditions, these impacts could be effectively mitigated and are outweighed by the broader public benefit.

The Commission noted that the project would provide benefits to the locality, which include contributions to renewable energy, employment and capital investment, and that the project is in the public interest. The Commission accepts the Department’s recommendation for approval.

Source: NSW Planning Assessment Commission

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Rye Park Wind Farm


Next step taken in solar thermal development

24 May

The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has taken the next step in the development of a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta in South Australia.

ARENA has today requested information from prospective industry participants on the costs and benefits of Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST).

This information will help ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to determine the scope and focus of government assistance for the deployment of CST in Australia.

The call follows the Turnbull Government’s commitment in the Budget to make up to $110 million available for an equity investment to accelerate and secure delivery of a CST plant at Port Augusta.

The plan for a CST plant at Port Augusta, for which the Government has made its commitment clear in the Budget, has been strongly led by the local member Rowan Ramsey.

CST plants operate in a similar way to traditional fossil fuel power plants with steam spinning a conventional turbine which means they can contribute to network stability and reliability when coupled with built-in storage.

ARENA and the CEFC have a strong track record in supporting the commercialisation of emerging technologies and will use that expertise to take CST to the next level in Australia.

CST plants are being developed across the world including one which I visited with ARENA’s CEO in the Negev Desert in Israel.

The Negev Desert has a similar solar radiation profile to Port Augusta which means Australia is well placed to take the learnings from that development and apply them here.

ARENA is expected to call for funding applications for investment in a CST plant by the end of this year.

Source: Federal Government

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