SMA commissions 1.8GW of solar inverter power for projects in Australia in 2018

26 November

SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) will have commissioned 1.8GW of solar inverter power in Australia in 2018. This brings SMA’s total utility-scale PV power plant installation base in Australia above 2GW. With this achievement, SMA has succeeded in offering system solutions for utility-scale PV plants in all states and territories on mainland Australia.

“Industry trends suggest that solar power systems are becoming a key player in energy production in Australia, both in households and in large-scale PV power plants, “said John Susa, Executive Vice President, Sales - APAC / North America. “In the month of September alone, over 1GW of SMA central inverters were actively commissioned. We are very proud to announce that SMA system solutions are thus installed in PV plants in each state and territory on Mainland Australia. The uptake in the utility segment has added 10 permanent staff members to our local service team in Australia and has resulted in 15 additional local employees being subcontracted to work on these projects for the duration of the plants’ life.”

Almost all of the utility-scale PV power plant projects in Australia rely on the SMA Medium Voltage Power Station. This turnkey solution includes Sunny Central inverters, a powerful medium-voltage transformer and a medium-voltage switchgear, is easy to transport and allows for fast commissioning. In addition to advanced system technology, SMA also provides first--class service for utility-scale power plants. Local SMA experts inspect the installation of inverters and medium-voltage components, set up required and plant-specific parameters and perform comprehensive function tests to ensure systems are stably connected to the grid and work smoothly from the outset.

SMA Australia began operations in 2007 and provides a range of solutions for centralized and decentralized PV power plants as well as for residential PV applications and PV hybrid projects. With a team of 54 employees without temporary workers, the company also supports planning, design, engineering and project management as well as installation and commissioning of its solutions.

Source: SMA

 

TENDER

CSIRO Victoria

Tender released by CSIRO Victoria for the design and installation of a solar photovoltaic system of approximately 1000Kw at its Clayton and Narrabri sites. More details are available here.

 

Entura named Owner’s Engineer for Dundonnell Wind Farm

26 November

Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura has been named by Tilt Renewables as the Owner’s Engineer for the Dundonnell Wind Farm in Victoria, Australia.

Located north-east of Mortlake in western Victoria, the wind farm will consist of 80 wind turbines, producing up to 336 MW of clean, renewable electricity with a connection into the National Electricity Market via a new 38 km, 220 kV transmission line.

Tilt Renewables was successful in bidding for the Dundonnell Wind Farm to be part of the Victorian Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS), securing a Support Agreement by the state.

Clayton Delmarter, General Manager – Renewable Development, from Tilt Renewables said, “With the project having recently achieved financial close, we now look to Entura to undertake design review and construction monitoring services for the wind farm and balance of plant, transmission line and a new terminal station.

“This is an exciting time for us, with construction commencement now anticipated in early 2019 and commercial operation scheduled for the third quarter of 2020.”

In announcing financial close for the project, Tilt Renewables highlighted the establishment of an agreement for a shared transmission line solution, available to other wind farm operators in the area – avoiding the need to duplicate infrastructure. To enable this, Tilt Renewables will construct a 15 km, dual-circuit section as part of the total 38 km of new transmission line required for the Dundonnell Wind Farm.

Entura’s Managing Director Tammy Chu said, “Having supported Tilt Renewables in the lead up to financial close, we are pleased to continue that partnership as Owner’s Engineer at Dundonnell, working alongside Vestas as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor and AusNet Services as the Transmission Network Services Provider to deliver a successful project.”

Entura draws on more than 20 years of experience at the forefront of the industry, developing and delivering wind farms and other renewable energy solutions in Australia and across the Indo-Pacific region. Recently Entura launched an online hub with insights and resources to help renewable energy project developers, power utilities and investors understand and assess the different types of energy storage solutions, particularly mainstream contenders such as pumped hydro and large batteries.

“Baseload fossil fuel generation can be replaced by a combination of variable renewables, dispatchable renewables, and smart network support and planning to ensure sufficient transmission capacity,” said Dale Bryce, Entura’s Director Customer Strategy & Market Development, on launching the online hub at dispatchablerenewables.entura.com.

Source: Entura

 

PROJECT NEWS

Boco Rock Wind Farm

CWP Renewables applied for a modification to its approvals for the Boco Rock Wind Farm involving changes to the Yandra cluster only, which would comprise Stage Two of the project. The purpose of the modification is to construct fewer but larger wind turbine generators for Stage Two within the approved WTG locations, whilst maintaining to minimise impacts and maximise the efficiency of the project design. Stage Two would consist of the construction, operation and decommissioning of up to 20 WTGs within 30 of the 32 approved locations in Yandra cluster.

 

Well matched: wind, solar and a glass of McGuigan

26 November

Australian Vintage Ltd is the first business in Australia to announce a landmark Hybrid Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to ensure 90% of its power at its Buronga Hill Winery is met by solar and wind for the next 10 years.

Australian Vintage are the producers of award winning brands McGuigan Wines, Tempus Two and Nepenthe. The NSW-based Buronga Hill Winery is the third largest in Australia and has a long standing commitment to sustainability.

Australian Vintage Chief Executive Officer, Neil McGuigan, said: “We are extremely committed to the green agenda and take our responsibility to create a cleaner planet incredibly seriously. We are making significant progress on the ambitious sustainability targets we have set and are proud to be at the forefront of the renewable energy movement and leading the field in the wine industry.

“We are proud to be one of the first businesses to sign a hybrid Renewable Corporate PPA in Australia. This is a considerable milestone for the business which, as one of the biggest producers in Australia, operates at a scale that can deliver significant environmental benefits as a result of its green policies. The new partnership with Flow Power is a significant step towards our Buronga Hill winery being predominantly powered by renewable energy. By lowering our carbon emissions and putting renewables at the centre of our approach, we are playing our part in creating a more sustainable future.”

Since signing offtake from multiple renewable plants, Flow Power has been brainstorming how to best deliver this power to businesses. Our CEO Matthew, had an idea to match wind and solar together, so that when the sun isn’t shining, the wind can step in to do the work.

Voila, the Hybrid PPA was born.

Flow Power’s Hybrid PPA layers existing onsite solar with power from offsite wind and solar. Hybrid PPAs match up businesses’ needs with the output of generators to make the most of the low cost, clean power when it’s available.

Our CEO Matthew, commented: “We’re thrilled to be working with Australian Vintage on this landmark deal. The team have aligned the profiles of the wind farm, solar plant and on-site solar at the Buronga Hill winery to create a solution that will meet its power needs for the next ten years.”

Australian Vintage Ltd are living up to the old adage “make hay while the sun shines” but in this case – it’s an award winning bottle of McGuigan Chardonnay.

Source: Flow Power

 

Five Minute Settlement – NEM Settlement Estimates Policy

26 November

Submissions in response to this first stage consultation should reach AEMO by 5:00pm (AEST) on 21 January 2019.

This consultation is being conducted as per the Rules consultation requirements detailed in clause 8.9 of the NER.

Any queries should be directed to AEMO's Five-Minute Settlement email address 5MS@aemo.com.au.

An issues paper and more information is available at http://www.aemo.com.au/Stakeholder-Consultation/Consultations/Five-Minute-Settlement---NEM-Settlement-Estimates-Policy?Convenor=AEMO%20NEM

Source: AEMO

 

Epuron refinances solar portfolio

26 November

Epuron and Infradebt are pleased to announce the close of a A$22.2 million senior debt facility for Epuron’s portfolio of operating solar assets in the Northern Territory. The facility covers:

- 4 MW of ground mounted, solar tracking capacity at the Uterne solar farm at Alice Springs;

- 1.8 MW of ground and roof mounted solar capacity at the Voyages Ayers Rock Resort located at Yulara; and

- 1 MW of ground mount solar and batteries at the communities of Ti Tree, Kalkarindji and Lake Nash.

The facility refinances the initial debt finance provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The loan represents the seventh investment (across 16 individual projects) by the Infradebt Ethical Fund since its first close in September 2017.

Quote attributable to Martin Poole, Co-Founder, Epuron:

“Epuron would like to recognise the CEFC for its support over the last 4 years and is excited to have Infradebt on board as a finance partner.”

Quote attributable to Alexander Austin, CEO, Infradebt:

“Infradebt is pleased to finalise the refinancing of the Epuron portfolio, we have worked closely with Epuron to provide a highly customised facility that complements the unique attributes of the underlying projects. We look forward to working with Epuron in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline.”

Source: Epuron

 

Siemens to deliver Australia’s first solar farm synchronous condenser

27 November

Siemens, in partnership with VINCI-Energies/Electrix (main EPC contractor) will design, develop and deliver Australia’s first large synchronous condenser to be installed at a solar farm. When operational, this unit will play a crucial role in strengthening and stabilising the electricity grid that will connect to TOTAL-Eren’s Kiamal solar farm in Victoria.

The 265MW (DC) solar farm located near Ouyen, in North West Victoria, owned by Total Eren, is expected to be the largest in the state when it starts commercial operations late-2019.

When developed, the synchronous condenser will be installed by VINCI-Energies/Electrix. Siemens will carry out the complete commissioning of the synchronous condenser and maintain it as a part of the long term package solution. In addition to helping strengthen the electricity grid connected to the Kiamal solar farm, it will also be beneficial to other large scale renewable projects in the area looking for grid security and strength in a region that has recently witnessed an influx of new wind and solar farms.

“As Australia’s energy mix diversifies, so does the importance of technologies that help stabilize the electricity grid. Synchronous condensers are a proven technology and part of a cost-effective solution,” said Jeff Connolly CEO and Chairman of Siemens Australia and New Zealand.

“While they are a conventional technology, our synchronous condensers include the latest and most advanced generator circuit breakers, excitation, starting, control and protection systems and other auxiliaries that tackle the challenges facing our changing networks.”

Speaking on the contract win, Andrew Theodore, the head of Siemens’ Energy Management division in the region said, “About 30% of the country’s energy generation capacity comes through Siemens technology and we’re proud to secure the contract to design and develop Australia’s first synchronous condenser being installed at a solar farm to support the growing renewables energy sector.”

“In recent times, the synchronous condenser has received significant interest from the renewables industry due to its crucial role as a cost-effective solution providing short circuit contribution that helps enhance system strength in the grid. Synchronous condensers are one of a suite of technologies Siemens has in its portfolio that help address the challenges of integrating large amounts of renewable energy into the grid”, added Andrew.

Tony Croagh (Executive GM VINCI-Energies/Electrix Australia) echoed these words and added: “This project is of great significance to VINCI-Energies in the region as it solidifies its strategic vision of growth for its renewable energy contracting services. This project highlights the strength of bringing VINCI Energies’ and Siemens’ international expertise as well as local knowledge together - to offer world class solutions to an increasingly international client base in the energy sector in Australia.”

Synchronous condensers support and improve power transmission quality in a wide range of applications:

- Stabilization of grids

- High-voltage DC transmission links based on line-commutated converter technology

- Transmission grids with a high amount of power infeed from renewable sources

- Retirement/shutdown of conventional power plants

Source: Siemens

 

Government introduces strict new controls for hydraulic fracturing

27 November

- Fracking will not be permitted over 98 per cent of Western Australia

- Fracking moratorium will only be lifted on existing petroleum titles, after independent scientific inquiry finds risk is low

- Existing ban over South-West, Peel and Perth metropolitan region to continue

- National parks, Dampier Peninsula and public water source areas also declared off limits

- Consent by traditional owners and farmers required before fracking production is allowed

- Fracking royalties to fund new renewable energy projects

Hydraulic fracturing will not be permitted over 98 per cent of Western Australia and, for the first time, traditional owners and farmers will have the right to say no to oil and gas production from fracking on their land.

The State Government will only lift the fracking moratorium on existing onshore petroleum titles following an independent scientific inquiry finding the risk to people and the environment is low.

Under new world-class strict controls as part of the McGowan Government's balanced response to the scientific inquiry, fracking can only be approved on land covered by existing exploration and production licences, or about two per cent of the State.

As promised, fracking will continue to be banned in Perth, Peel and the South-West. Existing and proposed national parks, the iconic Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley and Public Drinking Water Source Areas will also be declared off limits.

The specific boundaries covering the Dampier Peninsula ban will be developed in consultation with the local community.

Royalties from any unconventional onshore oil and gas projects will be used to support new renewable energy projects via a special Clean Energy Future Fund with a $9 million seed allocation.

The royalty rate for unconventional oil and gas will increase to 10 per cent, the same rate that applies to conventional petroleum production.

The 12-month independent inquiry by Environmental Protection Authority chairperson Dr Tom Hatton made 44 recommendations. Major changes to the existing regulatory regime include:

- No fracking to be allowed within two kilometres of gazetted Public Drinking Water Source Areas;

- All fracking projects, including exploration and production wells, to require EPA assessment;

- The development of an enforceable Code of Practice to ensure high standards of health, safety and environmental protection; and

- No fracking allowed within two kilometres of towns, settlements or residents.

The State Government will implement all of the inquiry's recommendations before any fracking production approvals are granted.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"We've delivered our election promise to ban fracking in Perth, Peel and the South-West, and now we're introducing new world-class strict controls to regulate the industry in other parts of the State, following the findings of an independent scientific inquiry.

"Banning fracking on existing petroleum titles after the scientific inquiry found the risk from fracking is low, would undermine Western Australia's reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.

"At the same time, it is crucial that the industry demonstrates that it has the support of landowners who, for the first time, will be able to say yes or no to any fracking production on their land.

"This is a balanced and responsible policy that supports economic opportunity, new jobs, environmental protection and landowner rights."

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

"We respect the outcome of the scientific inquiry, and it shows that jobs and investment can be allowed with proper regulation and enforcement.

"Western Australia has a long history of safe and responsible oil and gas operations and is a world-class industry regulator.

"The report demonstrates that the risks associated with fracking are minimal and can be safely managed under this balanced policy."

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"As a Government, we have a responsibility to deliver positive outcomes, based on a robust, independent scientific inquiry, in the best interests of all Western Australians.

"This policy strikes a balance between ensuring positive environmental outcomes and a prospering economy.

"Greenhouse gas emissions are an important issue for Western Australians. We will embark on renewed action on emissions. Gas is part of the transition to a clean energy future, with emissions from gas much lower than other baseload power production.

"With the new strict controls in place and the establishment of a Clean Energy Future Fund, we're setting up our State for the long term and a transition to renewables."

Source: WA Government

 

Albany funding plan extension

28 November

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) advises that it has now been informed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) that it has been granted an extension to 15 February 2019 to provide a revised funding plan for the Albany Wave Energy Project.

Carnegie had requested that the DPIRD consider extending the submission deadline to allow time for the proposed changes to the Federal Government’s Research & development (R&D) tax incentive to be clarified. Given the material impact of the proposed changes on the funding plan for the Project, and the material uncertainty around whether those proposed changes will be implemented (and in what final form), Carnegie wishes to incorporate any final decisions on the R&D tax incentive into Carnegie’s revised funding plan.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

UN report: Australia not on track to meet Paris target

28 November

A new United Nations report has found that Australia, along with countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United States, is not on track to meet its 2030 Paris climate target.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison keeps repeating the line that we’re going to meet our target at a canter. But without a credible climate policy, Australia is stuck in the barriers,” said the Climate Council’s acting CEO, Dr Martin Rice.

Under the Paris Agreement, Australia promised to reduce its emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

But today’s UN report says our greenhouse gas pollution levels are projected to ‘remain at high levels rather than reducing in line with the 2030 target.’

“The report makes for sobering reading. It tells us that global carbon emissions increased in 2017 after three years of stagnation. Australia is one of the worst climate offenders. Our pollution levels have risen for three years in a row,” said Dr Rice.  

The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees above the level prior to mass industrialisation.

The UN says nations must effectively triple their pollution-cutting goals if the world hopes to hold warming below 2 degrees.

“The message here is that we must move faster and with greater urgency. Australia is on the frontline of climate change, and yet we are going to miss our woefully inadequate Paris climate commitment. The Federal Government must ratchet up its response. We need to phase out fossil fuels like coal and accelerate the transition to clean, low-cost renewable energy,” said Dr Rice.

Source: Climate Council

 

John Laing secures first wind energy investment in Tasmania, boosting Asia Pacific region’s growing renewable investments

28 November

Leading international infrastructure investor, John Laing, has today secured a 49.8% investment in the 112MW Granville Harbour Wind Farm in Tasmania, making the most of some of the best wind resources in Australia.

The project, which will comprise turbines to provide enough clean energy to power more than 45,000 homes, is in the early stages of construction and is expected to be fully operational in late 2019.

Located on 1,200 hectare working cattle farm on the west coast of Tasmania at Granville Harbour, the acquisition forms part of John Laing’s growing renewable energy portfolio in the region. It complements investments in the Finley Solar Farm (VIC) and Sunraysia Solar Farm (NSW) both announced earlier this month, and Kiata Wind Farm (VIC) and all three stages of the Hornsdale Wind Farm (SA).

Justin Bailey, John Laing, Regional Managing Director - Asia Pacific, said:

“We are very pleased to secure our first investment in Tasmania. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to creating sustainable infrastructure for communities in which we operate. The investment is consistent with our strategy to create long term value through the successful delivery of greenfield infrastructure and further enhances the diversification of our renewable energy portfolio in the APAC region.”

The remaining 50.2% of equity funding will come from Palisade’s Renewable Energy Fund with lenders MUFG, ANZ and Westpac providing senior debt to the project. The Granville Harbour Wind Farm will benefit from a long-term renewable energy power purchase arrangement with Hydro Tasmania.

Global renewable energy provider Vestas will supply, commission and service the project, featuring 31 Vestas V126-3.6MW wind turbines. Construction of the 11km transmission line to connect Granville Harbour Wind Farm to the electricity grid is now underway and will be managed by TasNetworks.

Source: John Laing

 

Decmil selects NEXTracker’s NX Horizon smart solar tracker for 255 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm

28 November

NEXTracker™, a Flex company, announced it has been selected by Decmil, an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to supply its smart solar tracker, NX Horizon™ for the Sunraysia Solar Farm. The Sunraysia Solar Farm is owned and operated by both John Laing and Maoneng Australia and managed by Maoneng Australia. This is the second NEXTracker system in its portfolio after the Mugga Lane solar park in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The Sunraysia Solar Farm will deliver power to AGL (Australia Gas and Light) Energy via a 15-year contract.

“NEXTracker is honored to be selected by Decmil to supply 255 megawatts of our smart solar tracker, and to one of the first projects in Australia structured with a long-term offtaker as the end-user,” said Dan Shugar, NEXTracker CEO. “We also applaud AGL Energy’s transition to provide more renewable energy options to its customers for cleaner and more affordable energy.”

Decmil Managing Director and Group CEO, Scott Criddle, said: “Decmil is looking forward to partnering with NEXTracker on the Sunraysia Solar Farm project. They offer significant experience in delivering smart technology for the renewables sector.”

The project site location was selected to embed renewable electricity generation closer to metropolitan load centers such as Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney. The Sunraysia Solar Farm aims to directly contribute to meet Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). For large utility-scale solar and wind, the RET goal is to generate 33,000 GWh of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, or 23.5 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation.

Serving as the backbone of small to large utility-scale solar power plants around the world, NX Horizon is designed to withstand desert environments and harsh wind speeds with its completely sealed mechanical and electrical components operating at one meter above the ground. With its signature independent rows, high-slope tolerance and rapid assembly features, construction risk is minimized, and project schedules are accelerated. NX Horizon is certified to UL 2703 and UL 3703 standards, underscoring NEXTracker’s commitment to safety, reliability and quality. NX Horizon can also be augmented with TrueCapture™ control software to enhance energy yield, and paired with Digital O&M™ services for real-time analytics, performance monitoring, and predictive maintenance.

The Sunraysia Solar Farm also has a contract with the University of New South Wales in Sydney as part of the University’s plan to reach “carbon neutrality” on energy by 2020. At the height of construction, close to 400 people will be working and living in Balranald, contributing to significant economic growth and job opportunities to the region.

Source: NEXTracker

 

PROJECT NEWS

Chances Plain Solar Farm

juwi Solar to appeal decision by Western Downs Regional Council not to approve its application for development approval for the 100MW Chances Plain Solar Farm. In October the full council refused the application on the basis it is proposed on good quality agricultural land. The land is classified ALC Class A, which is high value cropping land.

 

Pernod Ricard Winemakers announces 100% renewable electricity in all Australian sites by mid-2019

28 November

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity in Australia by mid-2019, supporting the company’s global sustainability and responsibility goals.

The announcement comes as Pernod Ricard Winemakers celebrates the official “switch-on” of 1MW of solar-generated electricity at its Barossa Valley Winery, marking the first completed stage of the company’s massive 2.8MW solar installation project.

When completed in mid-2019, this will be the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia and will supply 20% of the business’ annual electricity usage. Supporting the creation of some of Australia’s leading iconic wines, Jacob’s Creek and St Hugo.

Working with AGL Energy, the solar installation is expected to generate around 4,000 MWh of renewable electricity every year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumed annually in approximately 800 South Australian homes.

To reach 100% renewable electricity, Pernod Ricard Winemakers has signed a landmark 10-year Virtual Generation Agreement (VGA) with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power, to connect the business with renewable electricity sources. The business will be the first in South Australia that is connected to both offsite wind and solar farms.

This means the remaining 80% of the business’ annual electricity requirement will be met by solar and wind for the next 10 years though Flow Power.

The commitment to its own solar project combined with the VGA will allow Pernod Ricard Winemakers Australia to achieve its ambition to source 100% renewable electricity well ahead of its original plans.

Helen Strachan, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, said the agreement demonstrates Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ commitment to sustainability and responsibility.

“We are doing everything within our means to draw upon renewable energy, both in terms of our own renewable electricity sources at our winery and our commitment to supporting the renewable energy industry.”

“We are excited to be leaders in defining the future of sustainable business in a rapidly changing environment.”

Brendan Weinert, AGL’s Manager Delivery Energy Solutions Business Customers, said “AGL is pleased to partner with Pernod Ricard Winemakers in delivering a sustainable energy solution to its iconic Australian wine brands, based in the Barossa Valley.”

David Evans, Flow Power’s Director Commercial and Engineering, said “Flow Power is excited that Pernod Ricard Winemakers will be the first South Australian business to come on board our Hybrid Power Purchase Agreement. By matching both solar and wind Power Purchase Agreements, Pernod Ricard Winemakers receives a cost-effective means to get to 100% renewables.”

Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Sustainability & Responsibility initiatives were recognised globally as among the best in the industry at the recent The Drinks Business Green Awards held in London. The business has also been recognised as a leader on home soil after winning the Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards, as well as the South Australia Wine Industry Association Large Business Environmental Excellence Award.

Source: Pernod Ricard Winemakers

 

One year on; Adam Pegg, Australia Country Manager

29 November

To celebrate the first year of our partnership with BP, we’ve asked team leaders across the globe to reflect back on the past twelve months.

From an Australian perspective, the first twelve months of our partnership with BP has been all about building the relationship on a local level. We’ve dedicated a lot of time to introducing and integrating the two teams, the Lightsource Australia offices working closely alongside the BP Australia teams to really uncover the potential for the partnership.

The goal of Lightsource BP, as a strategic alliance, is to accelerate the low-carbon transition to the benefit of both businesses, so the work of this first year has really focused on building strong relationships and a firm foundation, so that next year and going forwards we can make the most of our strengths and gain impressive traction in the Australian market.

We’re in a particularly strong position for bringing our offering to Australia, and that’s emphasised by our partnership with BP.

For BP, our presence in the market provides them with an opportunity to procure solar electricity for their customers from a recognized global industry leader. An integrated strategy works for BP, as a direct off-taker for Lightsource BP solar projects, but also as a partner in providing supplementary solar solutions to their mining and off-grid customers. Offering a dual solution of solar and diesel to these customers not only brings trust and credibility from both sides, but also has the bonus of doubly-securing customers and future-proofing business.

All in all, the first year of the Lightsource BP partnership has been a success for our Australian teams, with an impressive tender win securing an agreement with Snowy Hydro garnering huge positive reactions, as well as a the construction of a strong pipeline of projects – we’re in a position now to accelerate our offerings into the future, and bring secure renewable energy solutions to corporations and communities across Australia.

Source: Lightsource BP

 

UQ makes 25-year solar farm commitment to Southern Downs

30 November

The University of Queensland has officially taken ownership of the Warwick Solar Farm project, sealing a 25-year commitment to the Southern Downs.

Final design of the $125m solar farm will now begin, with construction to create up to 100 jobs from early next year.

UQ Chief Operating Officer Greg Pringle said the University was excited to have entered the next phase of the project after key project milestones were met by renewables developer, Terrain Solar.

“UQ is investing over the 25-year life of the solar farm and is keen to see the Southern Downs become a hub for sustainable energy research, education, and engagement,” Mr Pringle said.

“The solar farm will employ about six people on an ongoing basis in operations and maintenance roles, including a full-time UQ facility manager.”

UQ today announced that Lendlease would design and construct the project.

General Manager of Lendlease’s Energy and Technology business unit, Greg Locke, said they looked forward to partnering with UQ in supporting Australia’s transition to clean energy.

“Providing local employment and supplier opportunities will be a key focus for us as UQ’s delivery partner,” he said.

“An industry briefing for potential employees and suppliers will be held in Warwick in December, to provide further information to anyone interested in working on the Warwick Solar Farm project.”

The project will include the planting of more than 30,000 native trees and shrubs along the six kilometres of the site’s boundaries.

UQ’s purchase of the project followed Terrain finalising a connection agreement with Ergon Energy, and the development approval which was granted by the Southern Downs Regional Council in June.

The project will make UQ the first university in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity needs from its own renewable energy asset.

The solar farm will generate 160,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy per year when fully operational - displacing 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum, the equivalent to taking 48,600 cars off the road.

The UQ Sustainability website will be regularly updated as the project progresses.

Source: University of Queensland

 

Industry releases clean energy policy directives to lock in support from NSW voters

30 November

The Victorian election result should be a warning to all political parties that voters expect a strong clean energy policy in the upcoming New South Wales election, the Clean Energy Council said in releasing a package of policy directives today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said political parties would do well to take notice of the voter response to the Victorian Government’s positive election campaign on increasing clean energy in the state.

“The toxic political environment in Canberra has failed Australians, and both the public and the energy industry are now looking to state governments for leadership,” Mr Thornton said.

“The centrepiece of the clean energy industry’s policy directives is a strong target for renewable energy, accompanied by a reverse auction program to give financiers the necessary confidence to invest in the state.

“The large-scale renewable energy projects currently under construction in NSW add up to almost $4.3 billion of investment and almost 2000 direct jobs, and will increase the reliability of the NSW system as coal generation continues to close. But without strong policy from the next NSW Government, this momentum in new renewable energy investment is likely to stall,” he said.

The measures recommended by the Clean Energy Council champion the use of clean energy to improve the affordability of rental housing, as well as introduce targeted skills training and measures to encourage large-scale renewable energy, rooftop solar and home batteries. Every policy has been supported by one or both parties in the recent Victorian election.

Mr Thornton said renewables and storage provided a massive opportunity to deliver economic benefits for NSW and lower power prices, while empowering customers to take control of their power bills.

“The NSW Government has recently acknowledged the importance of reforming the electricity network to support the continued rollout of renewable energy in the state. Its Transmission Infrastructure Strategy in particular will be important to open up regions of the state for new renewable energy projects,” he said.

“We call on all parties in New South Wales to clearly articulate their policies to deliver cleaner, more affordable and secure energy for the state,” he said.

The policy recommendations from the Clean Energy Council include:

Large-scale renewables

- Establish a 2030 clean energy target

- Introduce New South Wales reverse auctions for renewable energy

- Develop a transmission investment strategy for new renewable energy zones

- Identify and introduce initiatives to drive skills and training

Rooftop solar and batteries

- Drought-proof farmers using solar and batteries

- Support community energy and microgrids

- Solar and batteries for schools

- Introduce minimum energy affordability requirements for rental properties and establish a proram to encourage solar power to be installed on rental housing at no upfront cost to tenants

- Make all new houses energy self-sufficient with solar and storage

- Introduce targeted support for batteries

The full election policy flyer with additional policy detail can be downloaded from the Clean Energy Council website.

Source: Clean Energy Council

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