MLFs – an underappreciated risk to renewables projects
Marginal loss factors (MLF) are an often overlooked element of the regulation of the National Electricity Market (NEM). The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has just released its draft MLFs for 2019-20. These results provide a sharp reminder of the risks posed by MLFs to generation projects.
What is a MLF? A MLF is a measure of the marginal transmission losses for a generator (or load) on the NEM. It reflects the physics inherent in our electricity network – that energy suffers losses due to resistance, relative to the distance travelled between the generator and end user (and the capacity of that part of the transmission network). MLFs are a multiplier that decreases (or increases) the revenue for generators to account for transmission losses between the generator and the regional reference node (the notional load centre point of each State). Formulaically, from a revenue perspective, the impact of MLFs can be seen as follows:
Revenue = MLF x RRP x Output
MLF = marginal loss factor
RRP = regional reference price
Output = output in MWh measured at the plant gate (ie before transmission losses).
MLFs scale up (or down) generation at the farm gate. Historically, they have typically been between 0.95 and 1.05. That is, a generator with a MLF of 0.98 would get 98% of the state pool price per MWh for each MWh generated.
AEMO calculates MLFs for each generator on a financial year basis. MLFs are estimated based on the pattern of generation and demand for the last year. This accounts for when a generator generates as well as its location relative to demand. Generators that are distant from load centres (at the time they generate) and/or transmit over weak or congested parts of the transmission network will have poor MLFs (ie an MLF less than one). By contrast, generators that are close to large demand centres (that are using power at the time they generate) will have good MLFs (ie MLFs greater than one).
Exactly the same process is applied to load centres, and electricity users have their demand for electricity scaled up or down by the MLF for their local substation. This provides a fair basis by which transmission costs are allocated between generators and users of electricity.
While this is fair, there are some dynamics of MLFs that are particularly important to renewable generators that mightn’t feel particularly fair at the moment. In particular, MLFs can change rapidly as new generation is built in a particular location. Let’s consider an example of a new solar farm being built in the west of NSW (although this dynamic is broadly applicable elsewhere). This generator will initially have a very attractive MLF – often above 1 – as it is effectively supplying the local demand (and therefore saving the transmission costs of power that would otherwise be transmitted from large baseload generators – which are mainly on the east coast).
However, as more generators are built in the same area, that part of the network will move to be a net exporter of power (as generation exceeds local usage) and, hence, generation effectively then needs to be transmitted to large load centres to the east (eg Sydney). This is a long transmission distance involving high losses (as transmission losses are largely a function of distance (and voltage)) and, hence, the MLF will fall sharply.
This MLF applies to all generators in the area, so the first generator is “penalised” by a fall in MLF that affects all generators in the region. That is, the first mover is penalised by the crowding caused by late arrivals.
Full story available here.
Nordex Group wins another major order for 157.5 MW with N149 turbine
The Nordex Group's new business with its latest turbine, the N149/4.0-4.5 for medium and light-wind sites, continues to boom. The manufacturer has been awarded a contract to supply and install 35 wind turbines for the Mortlake South Wind Farm project located in the state of Victoria in the south-east of Australia for its customer Acciona Energy Australia. The order was placed in the first quarter of 2019.
"In addition to our successful sales in Europe, we are now increasingly meeting with significant interest in the N149 turbine in other international sales regions, like recently in Argentina and now in Australia. This order is yet another indication of the confidence placed in our state-of-the-art technology," says Patxi Landa, Chief Sales Officer of Nordex Group.
In September 2018, Mortlake South Wind Farm was successful in the Victorian VRET (Victorian Renewable Energy Targets) auction process. The Mortlake South Wind Farm, will use turbines with a capacity of 4.5 MW each. Infrastructure works have already commenced and the completion of the wind farm is expected in mid-2020.
The N149/4.0-4.5 is ideal for this site, which is located some 6 kilometres from the town of Mortlake and has average annual wind speeds of 7.7 metres a second. Thanks to its grid compatibility, it can be perfectly adapted to the individual grid connection requirements of the Australian market. The N149/4.0-4.5 has been designed to meet the grid requirements of the most demanding grid connection directives worldwide - a key criterion for choosing this turbine for Mortlake South.
The expected volume of electricity to be produced by the wind farm equates to the annual consumption of some 115,000 households and is equivalent to a saving of 532,000 tons of toxic CO2 per annum.
After the Gunning, Waubra and Mt Gellibrand projects, all of which use turbines from the AW platform, Mortlake South is the first order from Acciona Energy Australia with turbines from the Delta4000 generation. The Nordex Group has installed 370 MW in Australia and has had a branch in Melbourne since July 2017.
Source: Nordex Group
Girgarre Solar Farm
The federal Department of the Environment & Energy declared Leeson Group’s proposed 118 MW Girgarre Solar Farm, approximately 6km south-west of Girgarre in Victoria, not a controlled action. The project will feature up to 368,000 panels on a 256 hectare development site connected to Powercor’s 66kV Stanhope-Shepparton line, and a total of 18 power conversion units each comprising inverter, transformer and switchgear.
Link now in place for Coopers Gap to fire up
Another link in the chain is in place for the massive Coopers Gap Wind Farm near Kingaroy, with the nearby substation ready and waiting.
Publicly-owned transmission operator Powerlink has energised the new 275kV substation that will connect one of Australia’s largest wind farms to the electricity grid and 9 million Australian energy users.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the substation’s completion was a major milestone for the project and for Queensland’s renewable energy generation mix.
“Cooper’s Gap will generate up to 440MW of renewable energy – the equivalent of powering a city the size of Ipswich,” he said.
“Queensland has led the way with large-scale solar farm development, but ongoing work at the Coopers Gap Wind Farm highlights the expansion of wind power.
“The economic benefits of large-scale renewable projects are far-reaching.
“Coopers Gap is just one of more than $5 billion worth of large-scale renewable energy projects that are operational, committed or underway in Queensland, creating more than 4600.
“Coopers Gap will create up to 200 jobs during construction, while Powerlink’s grid connection works supported 52 jobs.”
Once the 23 wind turbines are installed and generating power later this year, the substation will step up the voltage generated from 33kV to 275kV.
This process enables electricity to be efficiently transported via Powerlink’s existing Western Downs to Halys transmission line and into the statewide transmission network. The substation effectively delivers clean energy produced in Queensland to the National Electricity Market.
Powerlink Acting Chief Executive Kevin Kehl said Powerlink was proud to play a key role in connecting one of Australia’s largest wind farms to the electricity grid.
Source: Queensland Government
Eni starts wave power energy generation at the Ravenna offshore site
The first hybrid power plant in the world producing energy from waves and photovoltaics has been installed offshore Ravenna San Donato
Eni has successfully installed and activated the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) production unit, capable of converting energy generated by waves into electricity and adapting to different sea conditions, so as to guarantee a high continuity in energy production.
The pilot plant was installed at the Ravenna offshore site by Eni’s Central Northern District and has been integrated into the world’s only hybrid smart grid system featuring photovoltaics and energy storage as well. It reached a peak power output of over 51 kW, or 103% of its nominal power. This technology is suitable for powering medium and large offshore assets and, in the future, will enable Eni to convert mature offshore platforms into renewable energy generation hubs.
Waves are the most underutilised renewable source in the world, with extremely high energy density, high predictability and low variability, making them a very promising future energy source suitable for the decarbonization of offshore processes.
Eni's commitment to researching and developing energy from renewable sources jointly with the Politecnico di Torino (PoliTO) and the spin off Wave for Energy S.r.l. has led to the identification of wave power’s enormous potential and recognising it as the most unexploited renewable energy resource worldwide. The power available by waves can be adapted to off-grid scenarios and, at the same time, works alongside other renewable sources to create a resilient energy system with zero emissions.
This project is another concrete example of Eni’s ability to integrate academia into the world of business. Eni continues to leverage existing collaboration agreements with the main Italian universities to accelerate the development of innovative technologies, strengthening and supporting industry in Italy.
The birth of a cleaner greener power system is underway
It’s a transition with some pain attached
Australia’s power system transition to renewables is accelerating with all the promise of lower cost and lower emission options for consumers – but there are problems to fix along the way.
The annual market performance review for 2017/18 was released today bringing together current knowledge about how the energy market is performing in terms of security, reliability and safety. It makes sombre reading.
This report is prepared for the Australian Energy Market Commission by its independent Reliability Panel of industry experts and consumer advocates. It confirms the power system is experiencing more stress as it transitions to more renewables.
Key trends continue to include the entry of significant new generation capacity, mainly intermittent, large scale, wind and solar; an ageing thermal coal generation fleet that will see power stations retire at the end of their operational lives and massive growth in solar PV that could see rooftop installations reach 25GW by 2035/36 or 45% penetration in a market the same size as today’s.
Unprecedented in their breadth and scope, these trends put extraordinary pressure on the security and reliability of our power grid.
As the generation mix changes we need different ways to manage the power system when new technologies connect to the grid in large numbers. Systems with lots of non-synchronous generation like wind and solar are weaker and harder to control – raising the risk of cascading blackouts.
The good news is, the system met its reliability standard in 2017/18. But the reliability reserve energy trader had to be used to supply demand for the first time ever during that period. The bulk of the $51 million cost was paid by Victoria and South Australian businesses. It’s been used twice more since then. Concerning.
The story is the same when it comes to keeping the technical parameters of the system in line. The grid is holding up but only because the system operator is intervening on a daily basis to keep the lights on. It’s a power system under increasing pressure.
In 2017/18 AEMO responded to system weakness with 101 directions for synchronous generators (like gas) to turn on to keep the system stable compared with just eight the year before. All but one of those directions were issued to keep the system stable in South Australia.
South Australia’s electricity supply is now operating under direct intervention of the market operator around 30% of the time.
In Victoria, there were occasions when AEMO had to manually switch off transmission lines to maintain voltages at stable levels across the network to deliver secure supply.
System strength deterioration is also evident in north Queensland, south-west NSW, north-west Victoria as well as South Australia.
Ever since 2016, even before South Australia’s system black event, the AEMC has been examining the facts of system transformation and making new rules so the grid can remain strong as new forms of generation and capacity come in.
We have increased the pace of this work so it’s possible to move away from expensive emergency ‘stop-gap’ solutions to more efficient and cheaper ways of integrating new technology.
Our work program has put new obligations on networks and generators to maintain system strength. The power system is strong when voltage levels are steady even in the face of sudden changes in electricity flows when the weather changes. Networks now have to maintain system strength above minimum levels at key locations when shortfalls are identified by the system operator. The South Australian network, for example, is installing synchronous condensors which are due to be commissioned in 2020. When that happens the need for frequent directions to maintain South Australia’s system strength will hopefully come to an end.
New generators must now pay for any extra equipment or services they need to maintain the strength of the network before they are able to connect to the grid.
These are big changes – and they will make a big difference to the management of the power system.
Right now it’s most important for industry, regulators, governments and consumer representatives to work together to fully understand the implications of the generation transformation as it unfolds ,so precise solutions can be targeted to actual problems.
All the market bodies working together have a comprehensive program underway to manage the impact on system stability and reliability but it will come at a cost. That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus on targeted least cost solutions.
Getting more firming capacity into the system will help. This is why the AEMC believes it’s important that the retailer reliability obligation be implemented by the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council so retailers and large users get incentives to invest in dispatchable electricity generation and demand response to fill any gaps between generation and forecast peak demand.
These issues are not insurmountable. It’s why government needs to encourage the right energy investments through stable integrated energy and climate change policy. We all need to come together at the COAG Energy Council to manage these matters on behalf of consumers.
Clarke Creek Solar Farm
Pacific Hydro submits its referral for the Clarke Creek Solar Farm, approximately 17km south of the township of Clarke Creek in Central Queensland, to the federal Department of the Environment & Energy for public comment. The proposed action will compromise the construction and operation of a 315 MWac solar photovoltaic facility with battery storage capabilities. The development area is approximately 940ha of rural land, with a proposed new 275kV transmission line connection of 6km into the Broadsound Substation. The final layout and capacity of the solar farm facility will be determined during detailed design stage and subject to the conditions of the development permit and any other approvals granted.
Renewable business is boomin’
Australia is powering ahead in its uptake of renewables, with investment in large-scale clean energy projects doubling between 2017 and 2018.
A new report from The Clean Energy Council has found investment in large-scale renewables increased from $10 billion in 2017 to $20 billion in 2018, with 38 projects completed throughout the year.
“This is excellent news. It shows that business is well ahead of the government when it comes to transitioning to the new economy. This large-scale investment created almost 11,000 new jobs, many of which are located in rural and regional areas,” said the Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie.
“This year looks even brighter. Eighty-seven large-scale renewable energy projects are under construction or have been financially committed,” she said.
“Jumping on board the global renewables boom is a win-win for the nation. It will ensure we cut our emissions, which have been rising year on year, as well as drive investment and jobs,” she said.
“Australia still lacks any credible climate and energy policy at a federal level, yet we are still witnessing incredible growth across the country in clean energy,” said Ms Mckenzie.
The cost of new wind and solar, backed by storage, is now lower than the cost of new coal generation.
“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, imagine what we could achieve with credible policies in place,” she said.
Source: Climate Council
Dundonnell Wind Farm under construction
Work is underway on the 336-megawatt Dundonnell Wind Farm, which will generate enough clean energy to power 245,000 Victorian homes thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today commended Tilt Renewables on their work to get this major $560 million 80-turbine wind farm near Mortlake underway.
The wind farm is set to provide a major boost for the local economy, delivering around 200 construction jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs, with local wind turbine assembly set to commence in Australia for the first time in over 10 years to supply this project.
Geelong’s brand new Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) on the former Ford site will build the turbines for this project, which will be underpinned by 64 per cent local content under the Labor Government’s Victorian Industry Participation Policy.
The Dundonnell Wind Farm was made possible thanks to the Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target reverse auction, which will see more than 900 MW of new clean energy developed, helping to drive down energy prices for Victorian families and provide more clean energy for Victoria.
Together, these projects across Victoria will generate $1.1 billion of economic investment in regional Victoria and create more than 900 jobs, including 270 apprenticeships and traineeships.
The Labor Government is increasing Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030 – putting more clean energy into the grid, increasing investment and driving down energy prices.
Once operational, the Dundonnell Wind Farm will reduce emissions by roughly 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Construction is expected to take around two years and be fully completed in late 2020.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“The Dundonnell Wind Farm will not only reduce energy prices but will create jobs across south-west Victoria, all jobs that the Liberals fought tooth and nail against.”
“We’re proud to make Victoria the leader in renewable energy – this is great for jobs, reducing emissions and driving down energy prices – with our position only growing stronger as more wind farms get underway.”
Source: Victoria Government
2018 renewable energy report card: 'Guinness Book of Records' for sector
More than a fifth of Australia’s power (21 per cent) came from renewable energy last year and the generating capacity of large-scale renewable energy projects underway increased by 260 per cent compared to 2017, according to a record-breaking edition of the Clean Energy Australia report.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said this year’s Clean Energy Australia report reads like the Guinness Book of Records for the renewable energy and storage industries.
“The report reflects on an unprecedented period where more rooftop and commercial solar was installed than ever before, and Australia celebrated a milestone of 2 million solar homes nationally,” Mr Thornton said.
“The real cherry on top is that Australia as a nation produced enough renewable energy in 2018 to power every household in the country.”
The amount of renewable energy capacity financially committed in 2018 increased by 260 per cent on 2017, with 14.8 GW committed in 2018 compared to the 5.6 GW in 2017. Large-scale solar was the biggest mover in 2018, with the total generating capacity of completed projects increasing close to five times (480 per cent), from 382 MW at the end of 2017 to 1824 MW in 2018.
“Renewable energy entrenched its position as the lowest-cost type of new energy that can be efficiently built, and costs for new solar and wind power continued to fall – meaning investors saw more bang for every buck. While investment in large-scale renewables doubled from $10 billion in 2017 to $20 billion in 2018, the generating capacity grew by more than 2.5 times over the same period,” Mr Thornton said.
“This extraordinary level of investment created over 13,000 new direct jobs in rural and regional Australia. This takes total employment in the industry to over 20,000 direct jobs, with many more indirect jobs created throughout rural and regional Australia.
“With the amount of investment underway, it is now clear that the large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) will be met by 2020, with 67 large-scale renewable projects under construction at the end of last year, compared to the 34 in 2017 and just 11 in 2016.
“But with no energy policy beyond 2020, these extraordinary achievements could grind to a halt unless the next Federal Government commits to a sensible and enduring energy policy that can provide long-term investment confidence.
“The states have acted to fill the gap with their own policies, but the lack of a streamlined national policy puts much of the remarkable progress that has been made at risk,” he said.
Highlights from the report include:
- The amount of renewable energy capacity committed in 2018 increased 260 per cent on 2017, with 14.8 GW underway in 2018 compared to 5.6 GW in 2017. This has created another 7000 new jobs since 2017.
- Investment in large-scale renewable energy doubled to $20 billion, creating over 13,000 new jobs and new generating capacity of almost 15 GW.
- The clean industry is now directly employing over 20,000 people, many of these throughout rural and regional Australia
- Electricity generated by renewables hit 21 per cent in 2018 – its highest ever level.
- Rooftop solar installations passed 2 million systems nationally, with six solar panels installed per minute across the country in 2018.
- The installed capacity of rooftop solar now exceeds 8.1 GW throughout Australia, approximately four times the capacity of the Liddell Power Station. The average rooftop solar system size continues to increase, now reaching 7.13 kW.
- A record breaking 67 large-scale renewable energy projects were under construction at the end of 2018.
- Large scale solar had an extraordinary year, with the amount of installed capacity increasing almost five times (480 per cent), from 382 MW in 2017 to 1824 MW in 2018.
- There was a 45 per cent increase in commercial solar installations throughout 2018.
- The top three postcodes with the highest uptake of rooftop solar are: Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba, cementing Queensland’s place as the sunshine state.
The full 2019 Clean Energy Australia Report can be downloaded from the Clean Energy Council website.
Source: Clean Energy Council
2018 Annual Statement – Progress towards the 2020 target
In 2018 it became certain that the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 gigawatt hours will be achieved in 2020.
At the end of 2018, enough utility-scale renewables capacity was commissioned and generating, or under construction, to meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target in 2020.
The portion of household electricity bills attributable to the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target was $9.85 per quarter for the average household electricity bill in 2018.
The large-scale generation certificate spot price moderated significantly towards the end of the year from around $85.00 in January to $47.50 in December 2018 and fell further to $31.00 by mid-March 2019. This will moderate the costs to electricity retailers and should be reflected in the pass through cost to electricity bills in 2019.
A record 3455 megawatts of constructed projects were accredited in 2018, more than triple the 1113 megawatts accredited in 2017, the previous record.
In 2017, the Clean Energy Regulator stated that 6400 megawatts would need to be commissioned between 2017 and 2019 to meet the target in 2020. This capacity will be accredited and generating ahead of schedule, around mid-2019.
Since 1 January 2016, 11,611 megawatts of new capacity has been firmly announced. Of this, 4474 megawatts has been commissioned3 against the 6400 megawatts required to meet the 2020 target. A further 5408 megawatts is under construction and an additional 1729 megawatts of projects hold a power purchase agreement. We would expect these projects to reach financial close and start construction in 2019.
This is due to the higher level of large-scale renewable energy capacity build by the industry in the three years from 2017 to 2019 than the first 16 years of the scheme.
NOTE: The full statement is available here.
Source: Clean Energy Regulator
Final rule to streamline the regulatory process for priority transmission projects
The AEMC has made a final rule to streamline the regulatory process for three priority projects identified in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan.
The inaugural Integrated System Plan, published in July 2018, forecasts where and when network investment needs to happen to support the large amount of new generation connecting to the grid in the coming years.
The plan has a list of priority transmission projects which includes minor upgrades to the interconnectors joining QLD-NSW and VIC-NSW, and a new interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales (Project EnergyConnect).
The final rule allows for the Australian Energy Regulator to concurrently consider regulatory processes that apply to the three projects after the completion of the cost-benefit assessment (known as the regulatory investment test or RIT-T). The final rule does not remove or change any of the regulatory steps for these projects other than to allow them to run concurrently, and the AER cannot complete a step until the previous step has been completed.
The final rule may reduce the time between the completion of the RIT-T for these projects, and when the AER makes its determination on whether the transmission businesses can recover the cost of the projects.
The final rule was made in response to two rule change requests from Dr Kerry Schott AO that sought to streamline the same regulatory process for the different projects. The Commission consolidated these two rule change requests on 14 March 2019 and considered them as a single rule change request.
As the rule change request was considered non-controversial, the AEMC followed an expedited rule making process. The new rule starts on 11 April 2019.
This final rule is part of the AEMC’s recommended reforms to the transmission framework set out in our final report for the Coordination of generation and transmission investment review published in December 2018. In progressing the remainder of these reforms to better coordinate investment in transmission infrastructure and new generation, the AEMC is examining ways that market participants can more appropriately bear the risk of transmission investment, rather than consumers.
Lang’s Crossing Solar Farm
Location: Hay, NSW
Capacity: 5 MW
Developer: IT Power
LGA: Hay Shire Council
Estimated cost: $7.5mil
Description: Development application lodged for a solar farm using single axis trackers.
Contact: Simon Franklin
Tel: (02) 6257 3511
Statement regarding SolarReserve
The South Australian Government has been informed by SolarReserve, the company proposing the Aurora Solar Thermal Plant in Port Augusta, that it will not be in a position to achieve Financial Close by the 31 of May 2019 as required under the Generation Project Agreement Amendment Deed.
The date to achieve Financial Close was amended by the State Government from its original 1 February 2018.
Upon receiving the information from SolarReserve I requested further information on 2 April regarding its intentions for the project going forward.
Yesterday, I received a response which confirmed how SolarReserve proposes to sell the project to a third party who may take the project or an alternative project forward at the site.
As a consequence of SolarReserve’s inability to meet the Financial Close Deadline, the State Government will immediately begin the process of returning to market to secure its future electricity needs.
Any party that might purchase the project from SolarReserve will be able to tender for the new contract.
The South Australian Government has a contract in place with SIMEC ZEN Energy to supply electricity until November 2020, and the contract has an extension option if required.
The South Australian Government has provided SolarReserve with every opportunity to deliver on the terms of the contract it signed with the former State Government, in August 2017.
Both the current and former State Government modified and extended the terms of the contract to assist SolarReserve to meet its commitments under the Agreement.
SolarReserve first notified the previous State Government of their difficulties in securing finance before the last election, and they were granted additional time.
Since the election in March 2018, the Government has worked hard to provide every reasonable assistance to the project, including additional time, finalisation of the project lease, approval of identified engineering, procurement and construction contractors, and introduction to potential financiers and investors.
I have long been a supporter of developing solar thermal technology in the Upper Spencer Gulf and this has not changed, but unfortunately SolarReserve has confirmed that it cannot be the company to do this.
I know that this news will be a concern for the local people and businesses of Port Augusta, but the region remains the focus of the growth that the Government is overseeing in the energy sector, and I remain very confident for the region’s future.
The State Government will ensure that we get the best deal possible for the people of South Australia, including delivering more affordable, reliable and cleaner electricity in South Australia.
Source: South Australia Government
West Wyalong Solar Farm
Lightsource Development Services Australia submitted a referral for its West Wyalong Solar Farm in Western NSW to the federal Department of the Environment & Energy for public comment. The proposed action will facilitate a 90 MW AC solar farm and supporting infrastructure. The majority of the proposed action is in one 280 hectare lot.
Neoen to host community information sessions on Kentbruck Green Power Hub
▪ The proposed 900MW wind farm and battery storage facility will be the largest, and one of the first energy projects in Australia to be located within an actively managed and harvested pine forest
▪ Project will bring an estimated $1B investment to Australia’s renewable energy future and economy
Neoen, one of the fastest-growing leading independent producers of exclusively renewable energy worldwide, will be hosting two public information sessions on its proposed Kentbruck Green Power Hub on the 15th and 16th April, 2019. The proposed 900MW wind farm and battery storage facility is the first of its kind in Australia, with turbine construction occurring within an actively managed and harvested pine forest.
Located mainly in pine plantation owned by Mount Gambier plantation company GTFP, Kentbruck Green Power Hub will span 30km in the far-west of Victoria, between the towns of Portland and Nelson. The public drop-in sessions follow initial consultations with neighbours and the local council and serve to inform the community on the assessment process and to receive feedback on the project.
Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia said, “While we are still in the early stages of the project, Neoen’s policy is to maintain an open and consistent dialogue with local councils, communities and neighbours from the very beginning. The community information sessions with the people of Portland and Nelson will allow us to share more details on our proposed development and address any potential concerns early on.”
“At Neoen, all our projects aim to protect, retain and restore natural resources and the environment. As part of our environment impact studies for the Kentbruck project, we will enlist independent experts and consultants to carry out detailed ecological assessments to ensure the proposed development does not threaten or destroy surrounding fauna during and after construction,” Woitiez added.
GTFP’s Managing Director, Laurie Hein said, “GTFP is pleased to be working with Neoen on its proposed project at Kentbruck. We believe it will benefit the local community and provide clean, renewable energy on a national scale. We have been impressed with Neoen’s thorough approach to planning for this project, providing GTFP with confidence the project will properly address any concerns that we and other community stakeholders may have.”
Neoen has a proven track record in successfully developing and operating large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia, including the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in Hornsdale, South Australia, and the country’s largest fully operational photovoltaic facility in Coleambally, New South Wales. The company always abides by all planning guidelines and works closely with local and state authorities to ensure there is minimal impact on the surrounding communities.
In addition to delivering sustainable, reliable and competitive electricity to Australians, its 11 projects currently in operation or under construction across the country have also benefitted regional communities through local economic stimulation and jobs creation.
Public drop-in sessions will provide the local community with details of the project and an opportunity to raise any questions around the proposed development.
Source: NeoenView PDF