Solar to generate water savings

23 April

SA Water is looking to install 152 megawatts of solar photo-voltaic generation and 35 megawatt hours of energy storage over the next two years, to realise its ambitious goal of achieving zero net electricity costs by 2020.

Distributing generation and storage capacity across approximately 70 of its sites around the state is forecast to reduce SA Water’s electricity operating costs and deliver new revenue, to achieve the zero net outcome.

SA Water Chief Executive Roch Cheroux said neutralising the company’s electricity costs – which reached $55 million for 220 gigawatt hours in 2016-17 – will produce an operational saving to be passed on to customers in keeping with the objectives of the independent regulatory process.

“We’re working hard to keep our customers’ water prices as low and stable as possible, and big operational circuit breakers like this are essential to achieving savings and future price reductions,” said Roch.

“Locating generation behind the meter will improve our resilience to grid interruptions, significantly reduce our network charges and isolate our business from electricity market price volatility, in both the short and long-term.

“The maturity of solar technology has allowed us to confidently determine how and where it can assume supply for our energy-intensive water treatment and pumping operations, and export to the market to return revenue.”

An independent review of the deployment plan and economic assumptions has confirmed its feasibility, with benefits to be realised incrementally from the start of installation.

Energising the solar arrays will be SA Water’s first focus, with the selection and acquisition of storage to be informed by a series of thermal, flywheel and battery trials currently being progressed with specialist technology partners.

“We’re now looking to hear from experienced and capable suppliers who can help deliver arrays ranging in size from 100 kilowatts to 13 megawatts, at metropolitan and regional locations.”

An initial Expression of Interest with guidance for prospective vendors is now available through  

"Our range of energy initiatives like biogas and hydroelectric generation, and trading as a market participant, has cut more than $3 million a year from our electricity bills since 2013,” said Roch.

“Scaling-up our solar capacity will jolt our energy management program towards our goal of zero net electricity costs by 2020.”

SA Water’s solar portfolio began taking shape with the installation of a pilot 100 kilowatt solar photo-voltaic and 50 kilowatt hour battery storage system at its Crystal Brook Depot.

A further $10 million investment in up to six megawatts of solar photo-voltaic panels to be positioned at treatment facilities in metropolitan Adelaide was announced in December 2017, with first installation on-track to start at Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant next month.

Source: SA Water


AGL to sell portfolio of small generation and other assets to Whitehelm Capital

23 April

AGL Energy Limited has agreed to sell a portfolio of small generation and compressed natural gas refuelling assets, known to AGL as the National Assets, to Sustainable Energy Infrastructure, a consortium led by Whitehelm Capital. AGL will record a profit on this transaction as a Significant Item when financial close occurs. The National Assets were recorded in AGL’s accounts for the six months ended 31 December 2017 with a carrying value of $74 million.

The portfolio of assets AGL is selling comprises 18 small generation operations located throughout Australia with a combined capacity of 81 MW, including landfill gas, biogas and biomass generation and co-generation, in addition to compressed natural gas refuelling. The sale is consistent with AGL’s strategy of divesting non-core assets.

Source: AGL Energy


Image Resources signs Heads of Agreement for solar farm for Boonanarring

23 April

Image Resources NL (ASX: IMA) (“Image” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the execution of a binding Heads of Agreement (“HOA”) with Sunrise Energy Group Pty Ltd for the supply and construction of a 3-4 Mega Watt Alternating Current (MWAC) solar farm to be built next to the Company’s high-grade, zircon-rich Boonanarring mineral sands project located 80 km north of Perth, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be commissioned in the 4th Quarter 2018.

Subject to receipt of all necessary approvals, the Solar Farm will be built, owned and operated by Sunrise Energy Group on land owned by Image and leased to Sunrise Energy Group. The solar farm will be located approximately 20km north of Gingin, adjacent to the Boonanarring mine and processing facility and connected directly to Image’s embedded electrical supply network in a “behind the meter” configuration. See Figure 1 for photo of similar type solar farm.

“We are pleased to be one of the pioneering WA mining companies adopting distributed renewable electricity generation” said Patrick Mutz, Managing Director of Image Resources. “This solar farm is expected to produce around 25% of our electrical requirements at Boonanarring. Not only will the solar farm supply power in an environmentally sustainable manner, its construction will result in a further $6-$7m of capital investment by Sunrise Energy Group into a long-life asset located in the shire of Gingin, creating both construction and operational employment. It could also provide a small savings in annual electricity costs to the Company.”

Sunrise Energy Group will now work, at its cost, to complete all of the remaining development activities, including securing all required approvals, over the next 6-8 months, with construction anticipated to commence in early 2019.

The binding provisions of the HOA are customary for an agreement of this nature and include exclusivity, confidentiality and the reimbursement of certain costs incurred by Sunrise Energy Group in the event Image decides not to proceed with the project during the project approvals phase.

“We are excited to be working with Image Resources on this solar farm project” said Neil Canby, Executive Director, Sunrise Energy Group. “The adoption of large-scale distributed generation by the commercial and industrial sector in WA has been very limited to date. The WA market is a very different market to the National Electricity Market applicable to the Eastern States, having unique challenges and opportunities. Image Resources has taken the time to work through our commercial model and evaluate the opportunity as a potential large load industrial customer, including the social, environmental and economic benefits of having distributed renewable energy generation for their mining project.”

Mr Canby goes on to say, “This proposition is not unique to Image Resources. This is a model that can be used for many large rural loads across WA that are connected to the grid. We look forward to making this project a huge success for Image Resources. Sunrise Energy Group is proud and committed to be leading the charge in this exciting new energy supply segment.”

Source: Image Resources


MOU: NESI Solar to be a new Cornerstone Investor

23 April

AFT Corporation Limited (ASX: AFT or the Company) is pleased to advise signing a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NESI Solar Australia Pty Ltd (NESI).

In partnership with NESI, AFT intends to expand solar PV operations into Australia's rapidly expanding solar farm sector.

NESI is developing solar farm projects, including the Whyalla 30MW PV project, 396km northwest of South Australia's capital, Adelaide. This joint venture aligns AFTs core business with NESI’s solar PV technology, and integrates AFT with NESI’s solar technology and international network.

Today’s MOU provides for NESI to make a cornerstone investment of $2.1m in AFT (before costs), via a convertible note facility.

Subject to the Company and NESI finalising a binding agreement on these terms, AFT would issue 1. (First Tranche) 700,000,000 shares at $A0.001 per share; and

  1. (Second Tranche) 1,400,000,000 shares at $0.001 per share.

The Second Tranche will occur following the Company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting and be subject to AFT refreshing its Listing Rule 7.1 capacity for issuing securities.

In addition the MOU provides for a $30,000 per month project management, design and engineering engagement services agreement.

Strategic direction

Chairman Alan Beasley said: “Confidential negotiations with NESI over recent weeks is delivering a meaningful understanding for enhancing value to AFT’s investors. We are undertaking the analysis for best monetising our strategies. The NESI relationship brings complimentary resources for our core solar business, and supports our Petbacker licensing agreement.”

Source: AFT Corporation



Bomen Solar Farm

Renew Estate’s environmental impact statement for development of the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm with a battery storage system in NSW is on public exhibition until 21 May. A Community Information Session will be held on Monday 7 May at which opportunities for local contractors and service providers will be outlined. The type of services typically required include: Labour Hire, Environmental Services, Engineering Services, Civil/Earthworks, Electrical, Geotechnical, Fencing, Security, Transportation & Logistics, Waste Management, Supply of Materials and Accommodation. The $138mil proposed solar farm project is located near the Bomen industrial hub, approximately 7km northeast of the Wagga Wagga Central Business District.

Contact: Byron Serjeantson

Tel: (02) 8459 9704



Gregadoo Solar Farm

The Gregadoo Solar Farm EIS has been put on public exhibition until 26 May. The development site covers about 150 hectares of land. Key development and infrastructure components would be constructed on about 96 ha, and include:

- Around 122,000 solar panels mounted on single axis tracking system.

- Operations and maintenance building with associated car parking.

- Upgrade existing farm access point from Boiling Down Road for operational access.

- Construction of new access points from Boiling Down Road for construction and emergency access.

- Internal access tracks.

- Eight (8) inverter units.

- An electrical substation.

- Overhead and underground electrical cables.

- Grid connection to the Gregadoo Substation.

- Security fencing and CCTV.

- Native vegetation planting to provide visual screening.

- Filling in three farm dams.


Gunnedah Solar Farm

The Gunnedah Solar Farm EIS has gone on public exhibition until 26 May. The 150 MW solar farm in northern NSW will cover an area of 304 hectares and is estimated to consist of up to 460,000 PV panels installed on a single axis tracking system. It is being developed by a consortium of Canadian Solar (51%), Photon Energy (24.99%) & Polpo Investments (24.01%). In addition to the solar PV panels the proposal will also include the construction of an access road to the site, installation of electrical infrastructure such as the on-site substation, overhead transmission lines, inverter station and landscaping works.


Mortlake South Wind Farm

Acciona’s proposed 42-turbine, 76.5 MW Mortlake South Wind Farm south of Mortlake in western Victoria was declared “not a controlled action” by the federal Department of the Environment & Energy. Acciona expects the wind farm to be constructed by October 2020, and last month expressions of interest for work packages closed including civil works, transportation, electrical, wind turbine installation (erection and assembly) and temporary construction facilities.


New centre to ride the next wave of renewable energy research

24 April

  • New Wave Energy Research Centre to be located in the former Albany Visitor Centre
  • $3.75 million McGowan Government contribution to advance research and development of wave energy
  • Centre to attract global attention, stimulating local and industry jobs and growth

Renewable energy research has taken a step forward today with an announcement that The University of Western Australia's Wave Energy Research Centre will be based in the former Albany Visitor Centre.

The McGowan Government awarded $3.75 million to UWA to establish the centre as a hub for wave energy expertise, research and development.

The building will be fitted out and become operational over the coming months, providing scientists and other multidisciplinary experts with a dedicated hub to support their research endeavours on the South Coast.

The centre - in its prominent location - will be a high-profile addition to Albany, helping UWA to realise its ambition for the world-class facility to be a focal point for wave energy research, attracting local and international scientists to the region.

The McGowan Government is committed to supporting technology and innovation to advance the production of clean energy, while creating opportunities for jobs and growth in the Great Southern region and the renewable energy sector.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"I am proud that Western Australia is leading the charge to be a world-leader in the development of renewable energy technology, which will see Albany become a global centre for expertise and innovation.

"This centre demonstrates my Government's commitment to investing in the State's scientific capacity.

"Albany is the perfect location to examine wave technology, and the new Wave Energy Research Centre will provide a facility for scientists from across the world to gather a deeper understanding of wave and offshore energy."

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"UWA's Wave Energy Research Centre, located in the former Albany Visitor Centre, is a fantastic addition to the growing Albany science and education precinct and is another example of the State's scientific capability.

"Today marks another chapter in Albany's proud history of leading renewable energy production and a step forward on our endeavour to see WA move from a technology taker to a technology maker."

Source: WA Government


Goldwind’s Moorabool North Wind Farm set to progress towards construction

24 April

Goldwind Australia today announced it has made another step forward towards construction of the 150 megawatt (MW) Moorabool North Wind Farm (The Project), located in Victoria. Moorabool North Wind Farm project is the northern section of the 321 MW Moorabool Wind Farm.

The project will comprise of up to 50 Goldwind advanced technology turbines. Goldwind Australia will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services to the project and the Warranty, Operations and Maintenance services once the project is operational.

Goldwind Australia has appointed Zenviron as the Balance of Plant contractor.

“Preliminary work, including work on the transmission line and widening and upgrading several intersections close to the wind farm area will start shortly.” said John Titchen, Goldwind Australia Managing Director.

John outlined the almost AUD370 million project will provide significant benefits for the local area.

“Last year, Goldwind launched the Local Business Participation Program for the project. This program is a key initiative to identify capability and capacity in the local community and maximise opportunities for local subcontractors and suppliers to participate in the project,” said John.

“The project is expected to create up to 150 jobs during construction peaks on site and employ up to 10 permanent maintenance staff when fully operational,” said John.

Helen Kennedy, Goldwind Community Engagement Officer for the project said engaging with the local community has been a key focus over the last 12 months.

“Goldwind Australia is committed to proactive information sharing and long-term involvement in the Moorabool Shire community. We are actively working to ensure that the benefits of the wind farm are shared throughout the community,” said Helen.

Helen outlined the project’s sponsorship fund as an example of benefit sharing with the local community.

“The fund has already provided over $100,000 across a number of different local community groups. Recipients have included the Ballan Autumn Festival, local business awards, local sporting teams, school garden projects, historical heritage projects, and local hall renovations within the local area” said Helen.

Once operational the wind farm will power approximately 200,000 average Victorian homes each year.

The wind farm will contribute to Victoria’s transition to a modern and renewable energy future, as well as deliver significant local benefits to business and the community.

Source: Goldwind Australia


Monadelphous contracts update

24 April

Engineering company Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) (“Monadelphous” or “the Company”) today announced it has secured new contracts in the resources and infrastructure sectors with a combined value of approximately $100 million.

The Company’s renewable energy business, Zenviron, has secured a contract for balance of plant works associated with the 150MW Moorabool North Wind Farm Project for Goldwind Australia. The project is located 5km south of Ballan, Victoria and is expected to be completed in December 2019.

In addition, the Company has been awarded various structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation integrated packages of work under an existing panel contract with BHP for its iron ore operations. The work will be performed at a number of BHP sites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Lastly, the Company has received an order from Australia Pacific LNG, under an existing agreement, for the supply of additional wellhead skids.

Source: Monadelphous Group



Lang Lang Solar Farm

Location: Lang Lang, Victoria.

Capacity: 30 MW

Developer: ARP Australia Solar

LGA: Cardinia Shire Council

Expected cost:

Description: Community consultation started for proposed development on 150-acres of low-yielding land on the outskirts of Lang Lang town in close proximity to a sub-station. The proposal is for the installation of about 100,000 panels with provision for battery storage.


Wonthaggi Solar Farm

Location: Wonthaggi, Bass Coast Victoria

Capacity: 30 MW

Developer: ARP Australia Solar

LGA: Bass Coast Shire Council

Expected cost: $50mil

Description: Proposed on the outskirts of Wonthaggi town on the site of an old abattoir. Grid connection discussions underway with AusNet which should lead to construction of the 100,000-panel solar farm staring in early 2019.


Morwell Solar Farm

Location: Morwell, Victoria

Capacity: 70 MW

Developer: ARP Australia Solar

LGA: Latrobe City Council

Description: Development proposed for solar farm with battery storage on a 141-hectare site on the outskirts of Morwell. Construction is scheduled to take around nine months with start targeted for early 2019. Community information sessions started in April 2018.

Contact: George Hughes


APR Australia Solar




Collie Solar Farm

The Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel approved a development application for Hadouken Energy’s 20 MW Collie Solar Farm in south-west WA. The project will have a development area of approximately 18 hectares, and consist of 69,000 photovoltaic modules installed using a fixed-tilt panel system and five inverters to be connected to an existing Western Power substation in Collie via an adjacent 22kV line. Expected to have a capital expenditure of $16mil, the project is scheduled to take an estimated 3-6 months to build. There is a contingency for 10 X 40-foot shipping containers for housing batteries.


Decision papers on wind offer arrangement

24 April

The New Zealand Electricity Authority has published a decision paper on wind offer arrangements, which sets out its decision to amend Parts 1 and 13 of the of the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010 to; enable wind farm owners to withdraw their generation in an efficient way when the spot market price is below their operating cost, prevent wind farm owners withdrawing large amounts of generation in ways that are not well co-ordinated.

These changes will together promote the efficiency and reliability limbs of the Authority’s statutory objective by; enabling the lowest-cost generators to be scheduled and dispatched and reducing the risk of under-frequency events which can lead to supply interruptions.

The amendment will not come into force until the system operator and NZX make enabling changes to the market systems.

More details are available here:


Westpac Group is seeking proposals for the supply of renewably generated electricity and associated services

The Westpac Group will be seeking proposals from third party electricity retailers and project developers for the purchase of up to 150 GWh annually of renewably generated electricity with the objective of entering into a medium to long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). It is expected this electricity will be sourced from either wind energy, solar photovoltaic or hydro-electric generated sources. The process is open until 30 May 2018.

More information available here (requires subscription).


Unlocking investments on WaterNSW infrastructure

The NSW Government is inviting energy and storage proposals that make use of the state’s water infrastructure to support a more secure, affordable and reliable energy mix.

WaterNSW, the state’s bulk water supplier and river operator, is running an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to investigate the opportunity for private developers to make energy investments in the organisation’s existing infrastructure and water resources, including the 42 dams across the state.

The Government sees the potential for sensible infrastructure developments on WaterNSW assets, such as pumped hydro, hydro generation, floating solar and other technologies.

An industry briefing is scheduled for 2 May 2018. Please visit eTender to register your interest.

Source: NSW Government



Lancaster Solar Farm

The Campaspe Shire Council voted unanimously to approve Esco Pacific’s proposed 100 MW Lancaster Solar Farm in Victoria. The proposal is for the installation of 300,000 panels within a 172 hectare site connected to the 66kV Shepparton-Kyabram transmission line.

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