ERA grants Badgingarra Wind Farm electricity licence

26 June

The Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) has granted an electricity generation licence to Wind Portfolio Ltd Pty for its proposed Badgingarra Wind Farm, 180 km north of Perth.

The windfarm once constructed will be made up of 37 turbine generators, each with a rated capacity of 3.6 megawatts, giving a total output of 130 megawatts.

It will connect to the South Western Interconnected System and is expected to export between 500 to 550 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

All of the electricity generated will be sold to Alinta Sales Pty Ltd under a Power Purchase Agreement.

The ERA has granted the licence to Wind Portfolio Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of APA Group, for a period of 30 years starting on 23 June 2017.

Source: ERA

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Badgingarra Wind Farm


NSW Department of Planning & Environment approved two new renewable energy projects last week; Maoneng’s 200MW Sunraysia Solar Farm near Balranald in western New South Wales & Infigen’s 100 MW Bodangora Wind Farm in central NSW


Ararat Wind Farm powering ahead

27 June

Western Victoria Region Ararat’s new wind farm – the third largest in Australia – was officially opened today.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio visited the 240MW wind farm, which is generating enough electricity to power over 120,000 Victorian homes.

Unlike the former Liberal Government who tried to close down Victoria’s wind farm industry, the Andrews Labor Government is supporting our renewables sector to create jobs of the future and deliver clean, green energy.

The Labor Government has wound back the former Liberal Government’s anti-wind farm planning rules and are embracing renewable energy projects like the Ararat Wind Farm and all the jobs they bring.

The Government has also set Victoria’s own Renewable Energy Target of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, which it announced at last year’s event to mark the arrival of the Ararat Wind Farm’s turbine blades.

These targets have given the renewable energy industry the confidence it needs to invest in renewable energy projects and deliver the jobs that are crucial to Victoria’s future prosperity.

Across Western Victoria this has seen the wind farm industry powering ahead with projects underway or proposed at Stockyard Hill, Lal Lal, Moorabool, Dundonnell, Murra Warra and at Stawell’s Nectar Farms.

The Labor Government also delivered the Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative, which is bringing forward $220 million of investment in Victorian renewable energy projects. Through this initiative the Labor Government is using its purchasing power as a large electricity consumer to boost investment in renewables and create new jobs for Victorians.

The Labor Government is separately supporting two new wind farms – Mt Gellibrand and Kiata – and linking new large-scale solar projects to match the electricity usage of Melbourne’s fleet of 410 trams.

$25 million is also being invested to deploy up to two projects of 20 megawatts minimum capacity each of commercially ready energy storage.

Together these projects will provide at least a total of 100 megawatt hours by January 2018.

Source: Victorian Government


Global-first partnership in power and food supply

27 June

Regional Victoria will become an international leader in intensive, protected crop farming relying mainly on renewable energy production following the signing of a three-way Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between a sustainable energy producer, an agribusiness and the State Government.

In a global-first, Neoen Australia, Nectar Farms and the Victorian Government today signed an agreement that will result in the construction of the Bulgana Green Power Hub (BGPH) and a 30-hectare expansion of Nectar Farms’ greenhouse facility at Stawell.

The two projects represent a $565 million investment which will result in the creation of 600 jobs. More than 930 indirect jobs will also be created.

Premier Daniel Andrews joined Neoen Australia’s Managing Director Franck Woitiez and Nectar Farms’ CEO Stephen Sasse at the BGPH site to sign the MoU which guarantees Nectar Farms 10 per cent of BGPH’s energy with the remaining 90 per cent being fed directly to the grid.

Welcoming the agreement, Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Tony Driscoll said securing Nectar Farms at Stawell was a major boost for the area and would create significant jobs for the region.

"If we had not been able to negotiate this agreement between Neoen and the State Government, future expansion of Nectar Farms and subsequent jobs would have been lost to Stawell and Victoria,” he said.

“By ensuring the greenhouses have a reliable, competitive power supply, the company can grow its business here.”

Nectar Farms began construction of 10 hectares of greenhouses after securing a parcel of land from Stawell Gold Mines earlier this year. However, expensive and insecure energy supply halted plans for expansion.

“What Nectar Farms needed was surety of supply at a competitive price,” Cr Driscoll said. “This agreement gives them that.”

Under the MoU, the State Government, Neoen Australia and Nectar Farms have agreed to work together in good faith to develop terms for the Government to provide support for the BGPH. This will allow Neoen to supply Nectar Farms with power at a competitive price.

Neoen will build a 63 turbine wind farm 20kms east of Stawell. All required planning approvals and landowner agreements are in place. Neoen plans to include lithium-ion battery storage of 20 megawatts, or 34 megawatt hours, capacity in order to provide sustainable, baseload equivalent power to Nectar Farms.

Mr Woitiez said this project was the first of its type globally and demonstrated Australia’s capacity and capability to develop cutting edge renewable energy technology on an industrial scale.

“By working with the Victorian Government we are able to significantly contribute to the food and fibre sector by providing stable renewable power and energy to an intensive agriculture business,” Mr Woitiez said.

“We applaud the Victorian Government for taking on this initiative, thinking innovatively and working with industry to make it work.”

Neoen will work with Siemens-Gamesa to deliver this innovative, ambitious and ground-breaking project, leveraging both its expertise and its partners’ presence in Victoria to create value for all stakeholders.

Nectar Farms is an Australian-owned agribusiness dedicated to ‘smart farming’ with a focus on glasshouses, hydroponics and high-wire cultivation using innovative technology. It aims to produce fruit and vegetables sustainably to meet both domestic and export market demand.

Nectar Farms has an exclusive agreement to supply Costa Group, the largest fruit and vegetable wholesaler in Australia.

When Nectar Farms’ plans to look elsewhere for expansion due to power supply and cost were revealed, Northern Grampians Shire stepped in and facilitated discussions between the agribusiness and Neoen Australia.

Mr Sasse said Nectar Farms would purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the wind farm for the construction of the greenhouses.

“Due to a number of constraints, ability to expand at our existing Stawell site was not viable. We were examining a number of interstate and overseas options as we needed to significantly grow our business. Being able to source energy behind the meter directly from Neoen made Stawell the most viable option.

“Securing a sustainable and secure energy supply will allow us to significantly expand production capacity and bring much needed jobs to the Stawell region,” Mr Sasse said.

Source: Neoen


More than 1,300 sweet jobs for Stawell’s Nectar Farms

27 June

More than 1,300 new jobs are set to be created in Western Victoria with a massive expansion of Nectar Farms, powered by wind energy and backed by the Andrews Labor Government.

Premier Daniel Andrews today joined Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has now been formalised for the $565 million project, which will build a huge wind farm with battery storage to power the expansion of Nectar Farms.

Backed by the Labor Government’s Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, Nectar Farms is currently undertaking Stage 1 of their major project, which will use the latest in hydroponic glasshouse and plant technology to create a 10 hectare state-of-the-art facility.

This modern facility will supply the highest quality vegetables into domestic and international markets.

Nectar Farms is now looking to start work on the $215 million Stage 2 of their expansion plans, which will develop a further 30 hectares creating 250 ongoing jobs and 300 direct and indirect construction jobs.

The co-located 196MW Bulgana Green Power Hub backed up by a 20MW battery will make the expansion a reality by providing the secure and affordable energy that Nectar Farms needs for its hydroponic greenhouses.

Adding to the wind farm building blitz in Western Victoria, the 56 turbine $350 million wind farm is expected to create another 800 direct and indirect jobs during construction, with a further 19 ongoing once built.

The Labor Government has been fighting every day to give Stawell a new future after the neglect of the former Liberal Government.

Whether it’s the world beating Grampians Peak Trail, the expansion of the Frewstal abattoir or the ongoing work of the Stawell Jobs Taskforce, we’re putting locals first.

The Labor Government is also providing support for workers and businesses affected by the closure of the Gold Mine with the Jobs for Stawell scheme, alongside direct support to affected workers.

Source: Victorian Government

Click here to go to online data sheet: Bulgana Green Power Hub


$280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm to power 40,000 homes

27 June

The Hodgman Liberal Government continues to unveil its vision to establish Tasmania as the renewable energy battery of the nation.

Today we took another significant step forward with Hydro Tasmania announcing it has reached in principle agreement with Westcoast Wind Pty Ltd in relation to a power purchase agreement for the $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm on the West Coast.

This massive development, which has all of the required development approvals, will consist of 33 turbines providing 112 megawatts of capacity and is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and about 10 on-going jobs and generate enough power for more than 40,000 homes.

It follows the announcement earlier this month that a similar agreement had been reached for a $300 million, 49-turbine wind farm at Cattle Hill in the Central Highlands. The power generating capacity of both wind farms will contribute in excess of 840,000 megawatt hours of power annually.

This is important additional generation that can reinforce Tasmania’s energy security and also help deliver more clean energy into the national market.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is seizing every opportunity to maximise our contribution to Australia’s renewable energy demands while also securing renewable energy development jobs, including in regional Tasmania.

Source: Tasmania Government

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Granville Harbour Wind Farm


Boosting Victoria’s renewable energy exports

27 June

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a major new solar power plant that will support local jobs and the development of Victoria’s renewable energy technology exports.

Minister Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced today that the Labor Government will put $1 million towards solar company RayGen’s new 0.5MW commercial power plant in Newbridge.

The project will create 22 jobs during the design, construction and commissioning phase, and a further three ongoing jobs once the plant is operational.

It will support the expansion of RayGen’s export business and projected long-term growth, and has the potential to create up to 70 local jobs in product and software engineering, manufacturing, and sales.

RayGen’s PV Ultra is one of the highest efficiency solar technologies commercially available, utilising technology typically used in space applications.

The PV Ultra Module is over 1000 times more powerful and twice as efficient as conventional photovoltaic panels.

Labor Government funding for the project is being provided through the New Energy Jobs Fund, which offers grants of up to $1 million for new energy technology projects that support the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own projects.

Over 50 applications were received in round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund, with 21 successful projects receiving close to $7 million in grants.

For more information, visit

Source: Victoria Government


Stellata Energy and Ingenious partnership secures planning permission for largest solar farm in Western Australia

28 June

Ingenious Infrastructure is delighted to announce that our joint venture partnership with Australian solar developer, Stellata Energy (Stellata), has successfully secured planning permission for a 120MW large-scale solar PV farm in Merredin, Australia, the largest solar PV farm in Western Australia.

The granting of planning firmly cements Stellata as one of the leading solar developers in Western Australia. The news swiftly follows the recent announcement of the launch of the partnership. The partnership has committed to funding a pipeline of solar farms across the country, with a value in excess of AUD $200 million.

The Merredin Solar Farm spans 400 hectares in Western Australia’s central Wheatbelt and, once developed, is expected to generate an annual output of 260GWh of electricity, powering around 42,000 houses per annum and delivering clean energy into the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

With construction scheduled to commence in the first half of 2018 and target for commissioning in Q1 2019, the project, which has a projected 30 year life, will be the largest solar farm to have received planning permission in Western Australia. The project is also the only grid connected solar farm to include planning approval for batteries and is designed to be battery ready.

The construction and operational phases of the Merredin Solar Farm will provide local employment opportunities and stimulus to local businesses, with an expected 200 people working on site during the construction period and further permanent and temporary staff to be employed during ongoing operations and maintenance.

Commenting on the venture, Troy Santen, Director, Stellata said: “Securing planning permission for the Merredin Solar Farm is another breakthrough for Stellata and Ingenious as we continue our efforts to bring large-scale solar energy to Western Australia. The Merredin Solar Farm will bring clean energy to thousands of homes across the Perth area, as well as the creation of hundreds of jobs in local communities. We look forward to replicating this achievement across our pipeline of solar projects.”

Source: Ingenious Group


Infigen executes fleet-wide services agreements with Vestas

29 June

Infigen Energy (ASX: IFN) is pleased to advise that it has executed service and maintenance agreements with Vestas – Australian Wind Technology Pty Ltd (Vestas) for each of Infigen’s six operating wind farms.

The agreements cover 556.6 MW of installed capacity comprising 256 turbines across the three stages of the Lake Bonney wind farm in South Australia, the Alinta wind farm in Western Australia and the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms in New South Wales. Under the agreements, Vestas will provide turbine maintenance services and replacement components for the turbines from 1 January 2018 for a period of between 7 and 15 years, depending on the wind farm. Vestas will also provide scheduled maintenance services for the balance of plant at those wind farms. Infigen will otherwise be responsible for maintenance of the balance of plant.

Key features of the new agreements include:

  • Vestas being responsible for turbine reliability and maintenance, including the cost of component replacement during the term (subject to agreed liability caps and transitional arrangements at Capital and Woodlawn wind farms);
  • Vestas providing turbine availability guarantees backed by liquidated damages provisions;
  • Vestas’ service fees being calculated on the basis of actual production (MWh), subject to a minimum annual payment; and
  • Vestas being entitled to certain performance payments if turbine availability exceeds prescribed levels.

Across all 6 sites the turbine availability guarantees provided under the agreements are based on energy yield rather than time based availability. These incentivise Vestas to perform scheduled turbine maintenance activities during low wind periods and, based on Infigen’s experience with production linked variable turbine O&M fees since 2012, result in a better alignment of Infigen’s wind farm costs with its revenues.

As a result of these agreements Infigen has greater certainty over its long term turbine O&M costs. The agreements have been structured with a modestly escalating price profile to broadly reflect the expected costs that will be incurred as the fleet ages. In the medium term these costs (excluding performance payments and one-off transitional costs) are expected to be generally consistent with FY17 costs with the potential to be slightly lower.

Infigen’s Managing Director Ross Rolfe said, “Infigen and Vestas have had a long and positive working relationship and we look forward to that continuing. These agreements will assist Infigen to maximise the profitability of our operating fleet.”

In 2015 Vestas publicly announced a strategic ambition to become fleet-wide, lifetime, maintenance partners with their customers and deployed their Multi-brand Service Strategy. In support of this strategic intent Vestas committed to building centres of excellence including one for Suzlon turbines (utilised at the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms) based in India. Vestas is currently performing service and maintenance activities on Suzlon turbines at two other wind farms (166 MW) in Australia.

Source: Infigen


Salt Creek Wind Farm

30 June

Tilt Renewables announces that it has reached a Financial Investment Decision on its 54 MW Salt Creek Wind Farm project in western Victoria. The project is expected to produce 172 GWh per annum on average once fully commissioned, sufficient to power around 30,000 homes.

The project is expected to take 12 months to construct and will provide in excess of 100 jobs during the construction period.

Given its current highly contracted revenue base, Tilt Renewables has taken a portfolio view to this investment decision in terms of proceeding without a power purchase agreement at this time. However, contracting will be considered post investment commitment depending on pricing and terms.

Following the closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria earlier this year and a number of other market factors, forward wholesale electricity prices have risen considerably which support revenue projections in the early years of operation for this project.

We believe the project has good investment fundamentals, supported by proven technology and construction partners and robust long term operations and maintenance arrangements and as such represents an attractive project to contribute to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

We look forward to further enhancing our existing positive relationship with the local community through the construction phase of the project and then during its operational life.

Tilt Renewables will continue to progress a range of options within its development pipeline in Australia which is now well diversified geographically and across utility scale wind and solar opportunities. Moving forward the development focus will also extend to storage technologies and firming capability to address generation intermittency.

Source: Tilt Renewables

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


Columboola Solar Farm, EPBC Referral

The Columboola Solar Farm (the Project) is located on Kerwicks Road, Columboola, Queensland. The Project site is approximately 35km west of Chinchilla in the Western Downs Regional Council.

The proposed Project involves the construction and operation of a large-scale solar farm covering an area of 594 hectares, and will generate up to 324MWac of clean renewable energy.

The Project will be developed in two stages, with each stage comprising approximately 162MWac.

The Project will utilise photovoltaic (PV) solar panels mounted in rows to either a fixed tilt or single axis tracking system. A tracking system is preferred as it allows the PV solar panels to follow the sun in an east-west direction to ensure they are exposed to the sun for the optimal amount of time throughout the day.

The solar panels will generate direct current (DC) electricity that will be converted to alternating current (AC) by inverters, which will be contained in shipping containers, or similar, located throughout the solar farm. The shipping containers will also hold transformers, which will increase the voltage of electricity before it is sent to the Project’s on-site substation.

The on-site substation will connect to Powerlink Queensland’s Columboola Substation located 1.3km south, via a new overhead 132 kV transmission line. The Powerlink substation will then distribute the power to the electricity grid via its existing network. This EPBC Referral does not include the Project’s electricity grid connection, which will be managed by the entity that will develop the transmission assets.

The Project’s final detailed design, including the specific layout and spacing of PV solar panels, access tracks, location of inverters and electrical infrastructure, will be undertaken when the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor has been engaged for the Project delivery.


Jolyon Orchard


Luminous Energy

Tel: (07) 3103 2270




Perth-based Advanced Energy Resources selected to build an $8 million, 3 MW wind and solar farm at Port Gregory on the Mid-west Coast of Western Australia for miner, GMA Garnet. The project will feature a battery storage component and supply almost 70 per cent of the mine’s power requirements.






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