We have lift off; AltEnergy 2.0 launched

AltEnergy subscribers were sent this email during the week, but it’s repeated here in case anyone missed it.

You may have noticed a new look and additional features while accessing our website last week. After a soft launch over the last week or so, we have now officially transformed www.altenergy.com.au over to AltEnergy version 2.0.

Here is a brief summary of the changes we have made in AltEnergy 2.0:

  • A new AltEnergy Dashboard feature
  • A new AltEnergy Industry Directory (AEID)
  • New project categories for Waste-to-Energy and Battery projects
  • Ability to search those projects that have a battery component
  • A filter option in the Project Search function to see the most recent additions to the database
  • Separate fields for project Developer and Owner to reflect ownership changes
  • Changes to make registrations of multi-user accounts easier

Further details are provided on this webpage, along with screenshots on how to get the most from these new features; https://altenergy.com.au/altenergy-2-0/

In terms of your existing subscription with AltEnergy, you don’t need to action anything. All existing subscribers will be automatically migrated over to our new Essentials package, which includes access to our Project Database, Project Updates and AltEnergy Dashboard services. Your subscription will continue on based on your existing account details, and the new fee of $19.50 per month for the Essentials service will automatically be deducted as per the existing arrangements we have with you. A breakdown of the subscription options and relevant pricing can be seen on our website home page.

For an extra $5 per month you have the choice to add the AltEnergy Industry Directory to your subscription which is included in the Everything package. To add this to your subscription just log into the website, go to the My Account section (https://altenergy.com.au/profile/), click on the Change Subscription tab, and select the Everything plan.

On this page you also have the option of changing your account details or cancelling your subscription altogether.

If you have any queries about your subscription and account with us email Alexander at support@altenergy.com.au.

Can we ask subscribers for a favour? Can you please check the new website closely to make sure all information about projects you are involved in has come across correctly, and that we are as accurate and up to date as possible? If you spot any errors or have any updates email us at editor@altenergy.com.au.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

The AltEnergy Team

 

PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island

22 November

Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.

“Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is high time we addressed its energy future. Its isolation means it faces challenges to its sustainable economic development,” David Parker said.

It is estimated Stewart Islanders currently pay on average about three times as much as mainlanders for power, putting a huge extra burden on household budgets. The high cost of electricity also hinders businesses that might otherwise – for example – process fish on the island.

“It also makes sense to reduce the reliance on diesel, given the island’s reputation and potential as an environmental tourist destination, both for the National Park and as a Dark Sky Sanctuary,” David Parker said.

“Electricity is currently generated on the island through diesel generators that consume around 360,000 litres of diesel a year. Currently the full cost of diesel is not met, and fiscal reserves are likely to be depleted within a few years.

“Building an initial two wind turbines as part of the island’s power generation network is the most economic and environmentally acceptable option. It provides a renewable energy source. It is estimated to reduce diesel use on the island by half, which will enable the price of electricity to be stabilised.

“The economic resilience of Stewart Island will be considerably improved through this investment. Installing wind turbines will work to improve business viability, increase productivity and encourage businesses to remain on the island. Jobs will be created during the pre-construction and construction phase,” David Parker said.

Some on the island had wanted a hydro scheme but there was not enough storage for that and it would be more expensive.

Some had wanted a cable from the mainland, but that would be much more expensive.

“Wind energy is a clean fuel source compared to other energy sources. It does not pollute the air or produce greenhouse gasses,” David Parker said.

The PGF funding will allow for the pre-development and construction stages to be completed. The pre-development phase includes design, resource consents, geotechnical surveying, land access and economic analysis. The construction phase will include civil works and construction and turbine installation.

David Parker said there had been more than a dozen reports over the years into alternative energy sources for the island, but none had gone ahead.

“We are committed to addressing this important issue for the households and businesses on the island.”

Source: NZ Government

 

PROJECT NEWS

Star of the South Energy Project

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy has invited public comment on a proposal for marine geophysical and geotechnical surveys to be conducted offshore of Victoria in support of Star of the South Energy Project, Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm. The surveys will inform site selection for wind turbine locations, foundation design, cable routing and burial and collect baseline environmental data.

 

First turbine installed at Granville Harbour Wind Farm

25 November

After almost ten years in the making, the first wind turbine has been successfully installed at the Granville Harbour Wind Farm site near Zeehan, marking a significant achievement for the project team.

Workers on site were thrilled to see the first wind turbine completed on Friday, but no one was more excited than landholder, Royce Smith, and business partner Alex Simpson, who conceived the idea to build a wind farm at a remote cattle farm on Tasmania’s West Coast many years ago.

“Alex and I first had the idea to build a wind farm at Granville Farm over ten years ago.

“It’s been a long and challenging process, and at certain points it has felt like it was never going to happen, so seeing the first turbine up is a pretty special moment,” said Mr Smith.

Project Director, Lyndon Frearson, said the first 3.6 megawatt turbine was a major milestone for the project and reflected many months of planning and a huge team effort to ensure the installation was carried out safely and smoothly.

“This is the first of 31 wind turbines to be installed at the site. Recently we’ve been hampered by poor weather on site which has slowed our progress, but now that the weather is turning we are full steam ahead and if weather permits, hope to complete another two turbines by the end of the month.”

After installing the turbine’s 118-tonne nacelle earlier this week, a 30 strong team worked for 13 hours to install the turbine’s three 62-metre long blades using a Leibherr 1750 Superlift Crane reaching 150 metres into the sky.

When operating, the turbine’s blades will ‘sweep’ an area approximately 12,470 m2 – about the size of two soccer pitches.

Each wind turbine will reach almost 200 metres above ground at the blade tip – making these the tallest in Tasmania.

Mr Frearson said construction of the wind farm was progressing well with 200 workers helping out on the project at the peak of construction.

“We’ve now got the transmission line complete, over half of the wind turbine foundations are poured and energisation of the switchyard is expected by the end of the month.”

The $280 million wind farm is expected to be complete mid next year.

Once operational, Granville Harbour Wind Farm will produce clean energy to power around 46,000 Tasmanian homes.

Source: Granville Harbour Wind Farm

 

PROJECT NEWS

Quorn Park Solar Farm

Renewable Energy Development’s proposed 80 MW AC Quorn Park Solar Farm, located approximately 10km north-west of Parkes in NSW, has been placed on public exhibition by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment. The project involves solar photovoltaic modules, steel racking and piled supports, electrical transformers and inverters, electrical cabling, telecommunications equipment, an electrical control room, site substation and perimeter fencing. The application also seeks consent for an energy storage system which would include batteries housed in electrical enclosures. The generated electricity will be exported into the network through connection to an Essential Energy 132 KV line located approximately 700 m to the west of the site. Public comment is open until 3 December.

 

Expression of Interest (EOI) - Whole of Government (WofG) electricity retail arrangements and capacity arrangements

Tender Details

NSW Treasury, on behalf of NSW Government, is calling for Expressions of Interest for the provision of an integrated solution for the Whole of Government Electricity Retail Services and dispatchable Power Purchase Agreement, underpinned by new, technology neutral, fast-response capacity.

Location

NSW Regions: Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, New England, Central Coast, Hunter, Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean, Northern Sydney, Inner West, South East Sydney, South West Sydney, Central West, Orana/Far West, Riverina/Murray, Illawarra, Southern Highlands

RFT Type

Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts - An invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) for pre-registration of prospective tenderers for a specific work or service. Applicants are initially evaluated against published selection criteria, and those who best meet the required criteria are invited to Tender (as tender type Pre-Qualified/Invited).

Closes 10-Jan-2020 12:00pm

Contact Person

Michael Wilson

Phone: 1800 679 289

wofgelectricitytender@treasury.nsw.gov.au

Source: NSW Government

 

TECHNOLOGY

Lightsource BP pioneers UK’s first night time solar service

25 November

Lightsource BP, one of the global leaders in the funding, development and long-term operation of solar projects, has become the first company in the UK to provide a reactive power service from a solar plant at night.

Reactive power is the ability to maintain voltage levels on electricity transmission systems. This allows more energy to be transported down existing infrastructure and therefore increases capacity without the need for infrastructure upgrades. Inverters within a solar plant are able to provide reactive power by reducing or increasing voltage levels. They can deliver the voltage change necessary at a grid supply point, which is managed by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

In a successful plant trial, which took place on Monday 4th November, Lightsource BP used one of its solar plants in East Sussex to provide a reactive power voltage support service at night. The reactive power service was delivered through UK Power Networks’ distribution network and has the potential to help National Grid ESO manage voltage on the transmission network.

The test was coordinated with UK Power Networks’ control engineers who monitored to ensure network safety and reliability with no adverse customer impact.

National Grid ESO confirmed that this is the first night-time grid support service from a solar asset in the UK.

The trial follows three years of testing and development and forms part of the joint National Grid ESO and UK Power Networks ‘Power Potential’ project, which aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources (DERs) in the South East.

Lightsource BP worked with UK Power Networks and National Grid ESO on Power Potential to deliver this important milestone in an initiative which has the potential to save UK energy customers over £400m by 2050 and provide up to an additional 4 GW of power capacity in the South East region of the UK.

Kareen Boutonnat, Lightsource BP Chief Operating Officer, comments: “The success of this trial clearly demonstrates that innovation is key in addressing the future growth of the energy sector. With electricity demand increasing so rapidly we have to be in a constant state of evolution in order to solve the problems of the future.

“Right now, we have proven that solar plants can play a larger role across the electricity network – even at night. However, it is only the beginning and as our team continue to develop and support this project, we will remain focused on pushing the boundaries and forging partnerships to remain a leading innovator across our sector”.

Dr. Biljana Stojkovska, National Grid Electricity System Operator, Power Potential Project lead comments: “As we move towards our 2025 ambition of being able to operate the GB electricity system carbon free we are seeing more renewable generation come online – such as wind and solar – which in turn requires finding new ways of managing system characteristics like voltage. This innovative trial, which forms part of our Power Potential project, is an exciting first step. We look forward to seeing it progress over the coming months as we explore new reactive power markets for distributed energy resources, and their potential to cut costs for energy consumers.”

Dr. Rita Shaw, UK Power Networks, Power Potential Project lead comments: “We are delighted to have successfully supported Lightsource BP to facilitate the participation of its solar plant in our reactive power trials. It is one of many examples of innovative collaboration with our distribution connected generation customers, in building the foundations for our Distribution System Operator (DSO) transition.”

Source: Lightsource BP

 

Guidelines to make the integrated system plan actionable

The Energy Security Board (ESB) and AER is holding a public forum on the Energy Security Board’s reforms to make the Integrated System Plan (ISP) actionable.

The Integrated System Plan (ISP) will be a whole-of-system plan that provides an integrated roadmap for the efficient development of the National Electricity Market (NEM) over the next 20 years and beyond.

This public forum will jointly consider the ESB’s draft rules and the AER’s issues paper on a number of associated guidelines. These were released for consultation on 20 November 2019.

he purpose of the public forum is to provide stakeholders with an overview of these documents and an opportunity to ask questions.

Public forum details

Date: Thursday 5 December 2019

Timing: 9:30am (for a 10am start) – 12:30pm

Location: Sydney (the ESB will provide venue details early next week)

Email RSVPs to info@esb.org.au by Friday 29 November 2019, advising the names of attendees and any dietary requirements. The ESB will provide further details of the forum to stakeholders who have registered their interest.

Source: AER

 

Rio Tinto approves $749 million investment in Pilbara iron ore mine

27 November

Rio Tinto has approved a $749 million (A$1 billion) investment in its existing Greater Tom Price operations (100% owned) to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine will facilitate mining of existing and new deposits and includes construction of a new crusher as well as a 13-kilometre conveyor.

The new conveyor system will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5 per cent compared to road haulage and the business is continuing to assess additional options to reduce emissions including renewable energy solutions.

Pending final government approvals, construction will start in the first quarter of 2020 with first ore from the crusher expected in 2021. Production of high-quality Brockman ore will support the company's flagship Pilbara Blend, which continues to be the preferred baseload product for China's steel mills.

The project is expected to deliver an attractive internal rate of return with a capital intensity of about $25 per tonne of production capacity. The investment is included in Rio Tinto's existing guidance for Pilbara replacement capital for 2020 to 2022.

As part of the investment, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology to enable autonomous haulage at WTS2 from 2021. The ongoing deployment of autonomous haulage at the company's Pilbara operations is delivering significant safety benefits as well as enhancing productivity and reducing costs.

Approximately 50% of the company's haul truck fleet will be capable of operating autonomously by the end of the year with plans being assessed to expand this in the years ahead. Consistent with its proven track record, the company is continuing to reskill, redeploy and retrain as automation technology is implemented.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said "Our iron ore business continues to deliver industry-leading margins as we drive performance from our mines. This significant investment in the Greater Tom Price hub is one of a pipeline of high-quality, low-cost options that will underpin production of our flagship Pilbara Blend product well into the future."

The investment in the WTS2 mine will help sustain the current workforce at Rio Tinto's Greater Tom Price production hub. Additionally, at its peak, the construction workforce is expected to number more than 1,000 people.

Source: Rio Tinto

 

Clean energy outlook – confidence index

28 November

This index provides an insight into the status of the industry from leading CEOs and Senior Executives.

We surveyed over 70 senior leaders from across the clean energy industry in order to gauge the investment confidence in the clean energy industry, as well as, employment trends and the specific business challenges felt across the industry.

The results and related comments indicate that since we last surveyed the industry in July 2019 investment confidence has fallen, with the industry continuing to cite grid connection and transmission concerns and a lack of Federal Government policy as the biggest challenges for the industry.

Full report available here https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/resources/resources-hub/clean-energy-outlook-confidence-index

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

14D acquiring Aurora project near Port Augusta

29 November

  • 14D acquiring SolarReserve Australia II Pty Ltd
  • TESS-GRID to provide electricity firming services
  • Refocus to 400MW solar farm with progressive storage capacity to several thousand MWh
  • To be developed and financed in 14D subsidiary company

1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) is set to acquire SolarReserve Australia II Pty Ltd, which owns the Aurora Solar Energy Project near Port Augusta in South Australia and two solar sites in New South Wales.

The Aurora Solar Energy Project has SA Government development approval for a 70 MW solar PV farm and 150 MW of generation from a concentrated solar thermal plant (CST). South Australian company, 1414 Degrees proposes to use the site to pilot its world leading TESS-GRID technology. The electricity firming services will be developed to similar scale as the previous project.

“We will be using South Australian technology to create a large-scale, thermal energy storage plant near Port Augusta able to supply reliable power on demand to the national grid,” 1414 Degrees Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said.

Government and stakeholder approvals will be sought to vary or submit a new development application to provide up to 400MW of solar PV together with the installation of the TESS-GRID technology. 1414 Degrees aims to progressively scale up the storage capacity to several thousand MWh. A TESS-GRID at this scale would be able to supply many hours of dispatchable electricity with spinning reserve from its turbines and a range of frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) to support grid stability.

1414 Degrees’ electrically charged TESS-GRID could also buy and store electricity generated by other renewable farms on the high voltage transmission network in the region, strengthening firming services and earnings from market arbitrage.

Heat from the TESS-GRID can power Smartfarms, protected cropping greenhouses and industry, and 1414 Degrees is investigating production of hydrogen using the excess heat from its turbines. Progressing the development will create jobs during construction, then long term jobs for operators of the generation and storage plant and industries using the heat energy.

1414 Degrees Executive Chairman, Dr Kevin Moriarty said that the site had several clear advantages for the development of the TESS-GRID solution.

“The unregulated high-voltage transmission line to the OZ Minerals Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines is being constructed along the boundary of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, and provision has been made for a substation at the existing Aurora site with direct connection to the Davenport substation in Port Augusta.

Davenport is part of the major transmission networks to Eyre Peninsula, Adelaide and the new interconnector to New South Wales. This project is currently not impacted by marginal loss factors (MLF) that have constrained output from renewable farms in remoter parts of the national grid,” he said. “We will reopen negotiations with OzMinerals and ElectraNet as soon as the acquisition is complete” he added.

Dr Moriarty said that the Aurora Solar Energy Project will be developed and financed in the subsidiary company, and 1414 Degrees will control and manage the Project. “We’ve had a lot of interest from infrastructure and investment funds seeking to invest in the potential of our technology and this large solar farm will generate significant revenues while supporting the staged development of our large-scale energy storage technology. The advanced status of this project is expected to result in early revenues from energy sales. We will avoid high capital requirements by staging the development.” He said that the Company proposed to offer its more than 3,000 shareholders an entitlement to directly invest in units of the Aurora Solar Energy Project alongside the institutional funds.

The $2m acquisition will be funded by the Company's cash reserves.

Source: 1414 Degrees

 

Shell completes acquisition of ERM Power Limited

29 November

Shell Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Shell) has completed the acquisition of ERM Power Limited (ERM), one of Australia’s leading commercial and industrial electricity retailers.

Greg Joiner, the Vice President of Shell Energy in Australia, which to date has primarily focused on gas trading, will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of ERM. In the future the two businesses will be integrated and ERM rebranded as Shell Energy.

Mr Joiner said he was pleased to welcome ERM’s highly-capable staff and customers to Shell.

“ERM will become Shell’s core power platform in Australia and substantially accelerate our position in the Australian market,” Mr Joiner said.

Notes:

- Shell has strong credentials in power, serving commercial and industrial customers for over 20 years in North America. In 2017, Shell acquired MP2 Energy in Texas and the eastern USA and announced the first agreement to supply commercial and industrial customers directly in Germany, Italy and the UK moving from wholesale over many years to becoming a retailer supplying end customers.

- Australia is one of the core identified markets for Shell’s new “Emerging Power” theme, along with Northwest Europe and the USA. These markets are where we are seeing a strong growth in renewables to complement traditional fuels, and where customers are seeking a reliable, flexible and cost-effective pathway to a lower-emissions energy system.

- Through this acquisition, ERM’s customers will have greater access to dual fuel offerings and a growing suite of behind the meter and energy-efficiency solutions, including connections to our existing sonnen business in Australia.

- The deal to acquire ERM was first announced 22 August 2019.

Source: Shell

 

Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory June 2019 quarterly update released

29 November

Today the Morrison Government released the June 2019 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

During the year to June 2019, emissions fell 0.1 per cent or 0.4 Mt CO2-e to 532.0 Mt CO2-e.

New data highlighted in the report reveals that emissions are lower than when the Coalition came into Government and are at their lowest level since 2015-16 (Figure 1).

Emissions from electricity generation fell for a third year in a row, down 1.2 per cent or 2.1 Mt CO2-e. During the September Quarter 2019, emissions in the National Electricity Market fell to their lowest level since records began in 2001.

The report highlights the ongoing impact of the drought and Queensland floods on the agriculture sector, where emissions have declined 5.9 per cent or 4.2 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19.

The report also outlines the impact of emissions from Australian exports in recent years, which have placed upward pressure on Australia’s total emissions even as these exports lower global emissions (for example, by displacing more emissions-intensive fuels).

Emissions related to producing Australia’s exports have increased as a share of total emissions from 30.1 per cent or 161 Mt CO2-e in 2013-14, to 37.5 per cent or 199 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19. The rapid growth of the LNG industry accounts for much of this increase. The value of Australian exports has also increased by 36.4 per cent since 2013-14, to $372 billion in 2018-19.

Despite this upward pressure, emissions per capita and the emissions intensity of the economy continue to fall and are at their lowest levels in nearly three decades.

For the first time, the Department of the Environment and Energy has prepared a consumption-based inventory. Emissions released in Australia and in other countries due to Australian domestic consumption have decreased by 4 per cent or 20 Mt CO2-e, to 450 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19.

Consumption-based emissions are 18 per cent or 102 Mt CO2-e lower in 2018-19 than in 2004-05.

Emissions related to LNG production, a key export sector, increased by 22.3 per cent or 7.8 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19. Australia’s LNG exports are estimated to be worth $49.8 billion in 2018-19 and have the potential to reduce global emissions by up to 159 Mt CO2-e, or up to 29.9 per cent of Australia’s annual emissions.

Australia’s emissions are 15.2 per cent below the peak recorded in the year to June 2007 and 12.9 per cent below emissions in 2005 (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement).

In the year to June 2019, emissions per capita have fallen 40.9 per cent compared to 1990, while the emissions intensity of the economy has fallen 62.9 per cent.

During the June Quarter 2019, emissions were unchanged relative to the previous quarter, on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis.

The Government is taking real and meaningful action to reduce emissions. In 2018-19, Emissions Reduction Fund projects reduced emissions by 13.7 Mt CO2-e.

The Government welcomes these developments as we deliver our $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, which maps out to the last tonne how we will meet our 2030 Paris target.

Our commitment is achievable, balanced and responsible, and is part of coordinated global action to deliver a healthy environment for future generations while keeping our economy strong.

Download the report here: www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science-data/greenhouse-gas-measurement/publications/quarterly-update-australias-nggi-jun-2019

Source: Federal Government

 

Emissions stall but not for long

29 November

The Climate Council welcomes news that greenhouse gas emissions have stalled over the past year, but the Federal Government can claim no credit for this.

The Department of Environment and Energy’s latest data shows that emissions fell by just 0.08 per cent in the year to June 2019.

“The suffering of our farmers who are destocking in the face of drought, and the hard work of the renewables sector have meant that Australia’s emissions have stalled,” said the Climate Council’s Senior Researcher, Tim Baxter.

“Sadly, this drop is a blip. Renewables investment is set to dry up in the coming months. Our LNG exports are set to continue increasing,” he said.

“We need urgent and long-term cuts to our emissions in order to address the climate crisis. This requires our Federal Government to adopt a credible climate policy,” said the Climate Council’s Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice.

“Australians are suffering as a result of a warming climate because of the burning of coal, oil and gas. We are living with unprecedented bushfires, drought and heatwaves which have all been made worse by climate change,’ said Dr Rice.

“The solutions are available. Australia has extraordinary wind and solar resources. We must accelerate the transition to renewables with storage and we must continue to challenge the power of the fossil fuel lobby,” he said.

Source: Climate Council