World’s biggest battery showcases robust renewable grid of the future

29 February

International engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon today released a new report analysing the performance of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage system and the value to the National Electricity Market following its second year of operation.

The Hornsdale Power Reserve, owned and operated by Neoen, supplied by Tesla, and located in South Australia, continues to show to the world how one big battery can revolutionise renewable energy. Built two years ago in record time to stabilise the state’s electricity grid, facilitate integration of renewable energy and help prevent blackout events, the large-scale battery storage system has delivered more than AU $150 million in electricity cost savings in its first two years of operation.

Aurecon’s Managing Director – Energy, Resources and Water Paul Gleeson said, “It demonstrates at scale the potential for battery storage to provide fast acting supply and demand balancing to the network, which is critical to maintaining consistent frequency for grid stability and improving integration of renewable energy to the National Electricity Market.”

The report quantifies the market benefit of the presence of Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve on the National Electricity Market throughout 2019, compared with a modelling of what pricing would have been if it had not been present in the market.

Aurecon found that the existing 100 MW facility reduced the Contingency Frequency Control Ancillary Services costs by approximately AU $80 million, and the total Regulation Frequency Control Ancillary Services cost by approximately AU $36 million, for a total cost reduction of approximately AU $116 million.

Aurecon’s latest report also provides analysis of the major network outage in Victoria on 16 November 2019 that caused the grid in the state of South Australia to “island” or become separate from the rest of the national electricity grid.

“The islanding event in November 2019 resulted in substantial cost savings of approximately AU $14 million, with Hornsdale Power Reserve’s presence significantly reducing the duration of price spikes during the event when all services needed to be sourced locally within the state of South Australia,” Mr Gleeson said.

Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, acknowledged the importance of Aurecon’s report:

“Realised with our partners Tesla, the expansion of the world’s largest battery will not only mean more savings for all, but will also demonstrate the highly innovative services that batteries can provide to the grid and continue to position South Australia at the forefront of the energy transition,” said Mr de Sambucy.

The Project Management Institute’s recently recognised Hornsdale Power Reserve as one of the world’s most influential projects of the past 50 years. The Hornsdale Power Reserve’s expansion will go to only further demonstrate that large-scale battery energy storage is an essential part of the mix required to ensure grid reliability and stability in a controlled transition to renewables.

Aurecon continues to lead the development of strategies, policies and projects to harness the opportunities and navigate the risks of the energy transition, working closely with federal, state and territory governments and across industry to bring future energy ideas to life.

Source: Aurecon


Two key milestones achieved at Australian wind farm mark final development stages

2 March

The last Cherry Tree Wind Farm wind turbine was erected on 17 February and the wind farm was energized (connected to the grid) shortly afterwards on 20 February.

The next phases of work now include the commissioning and testing of the substation infrastructure, wind turbines and the wind farm control systems before the wind farm is brought into operation. Reinstatement and minor civils works are ongoing at site and should be finished by April.

Once operational, the Cherry Tree Wind Farm will contribute to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and its objective to see 25 per cent of the State’s electricity generation supplied from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 50 per cent by 2030. The project will also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil fuels from the power supply.

The expected annual electrical output from the Cherry Tree wind farm will power 37,000 average Victorian households and avoid the emission of 200,000 tonnes of CO2e annually.  Once the wind farm is complete, partners Infigen will purchase the electricity the wind farm generates and on-sell it into the grid. 

Regional Managing Director Justin Bailey said:

“We are really excited to see Cherry Tree Wind Farm enter its commissioning phase. Our investment, together with the work of our project partners, will soon see this asset producing clean energy for Victoria. As a key provider of infrastructure and energy projects that foster sustainable growth, we are really proud to be part of this project helping the Victorian government in their efforts to de-carbonise the economy."

Source: John Laing



Wollar Solar Farm

Wollar Solar Development granted development consent by NSW state government for its proposed new 290 MW solar farm with 30 MW/30 MWh of battery storage located approximately 7 kilometres (km) south of Wollar and 38 km north east of Mudgee in the Central West and Orana region of NSW.

The project site is located in a rural area, with the nearest non-associated residence located about 2.8 km south. TransGrid’s existing Wollar Substation is located about 900 m east of the proposed development footprint. The site would have direct access to the electricity network via existing transmission lines that traverse the site, as well as direct access to the local and regional road network via Barigan Road or Maree Road.

The project has an estimated capital investment value of $431mil and will create up to 320 construction jobs and 5 full-time operational jobs.


Building Tasmania’s hydrogen energy industry

2 March

With global markets actively looking at ways to decarbonise their economies, the Tasmanian majority Liberal Government is investing $50 million over ten years to build a renewable hydrogen industry here in Tasmania.

Premier Peter Gutwein said Tasmania’s Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan outlines real actions that will kick-start the renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania, creating hundreds of jobs and injecting billions into our economy, particularly in regional areas.

“We will invest $20 million through a Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund, provide up to $20 million in concessional loans and up to $10 million in support services which include competitive electricity supply arrangements and payroll tax relief, to drive industry development,” he said.

“Our vision is that Tasmania will be commercially exporting hydrogen by 2030.”

The Plan identified that a 1,000 megawatt renewable hydrogen facility (approximately enough power for 1 million households) was feasible and would create an estimated 1,000 - 1,200 local jobs, and support a further 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy investment in our State.

Hydrogen, which can be used for a broad range of energy applications, is produced from water using electrolysis. Using Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy, we can produce hydrogen with zero emissions, making it very attractive to both domestic and international markets including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China.

Minister for Energy, Guy Barnett, said the plan outlines that Tasmania’s natural and established advantages means we can produce renewable hydrogen up to 15 per cent cheaper than from the mainland power grid, and up to 30 per cent lower than from dedicated off-grid renewable resources.

“Government funding will be delivered through a competitive Expression of Interest process, due to open in the coming weeks, which will align with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA’s) $70 million hydrogen funding round,” he said.

“A major renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania plays to our strengths and competitive advantages, complements our nationally significant Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects, and our commitment to taking real action on climate change and reducing emissions.”

The Plan also outlines opportunities across government to increase hydrogen uptake including rolling out hydrogen buses, fleet vehicles and ferries. It is expected that private operators, such as Navigators, may also take up the option to use renewable hydrogen once it’s commercially available.

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan is available from the Department of State Growth at

Source: Tasmania Government



Tailem Bend 2 Solar Farm

Vena Energy submitted an application for a variation to amend the ‘As Built layout’ drawing of the Coorong Solar Substation to allow for the effective connection of the Tailem Bend Solar Project Stage Two via the necessary upgrades to the Coorong Solar Substation. The intent of the variation is to allow for the addition of a new substation bay in order to abide by regulatory requirements and an allowance for a potential harmonic filter or reactive plant to accommodate the connection of the Tailem Bend Solar Project Stage Two to the NEM.


Vestas secures service agreement for Senvion turbines in Australia

3 March

Leveraging its industry-leading multibrand service capabilities, Vestas has secured a service agreement with Nexif Energy for the maintenance of the 126 MW Senvion turbines of the first stage of the 212 MW Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia.

Vestas will deliver a long-term Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) contract for the 35 M140 3.6 MW Senvion turbines to maximise the project's energy production and provide long-term business certainty for Nexif Energy. Delivery of service will commence immediately and will include the additional benefits of scheduled maintenance for the substation, all high voltage equipment and the facility roads.

As the wind industry's largest multibrand service provider, the Lincoln Gap agreement is an addition to Vestas' existing portfolio of 107 MW Senvion turbines in Australia under long-term, full-scope service agreements. Globally, Vestas is now servicing over 300 MW of Senvion turbines in Australia, Europe and the US. The high quality of execution and performance is underpinned by more than 10,000 dedicated service employees and a global network across 69 countries.

"Multibrand service deals like Lincoln Gap demonstrate how Vestas can leverage our market experience, broad service solutions capability and extensive supply chain to provide value for our customers throughout the wind farm lifecycle - whether that is for service on Vestas turbines or third party machines," says Clive Turton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific. "We are proud that customers all throughout our region can turn to Vestas' broad range of industry-leading and cost-efficient service solutions."

"We offer unmatched expertise to service all major turbine brands, and a total of more than 30 non-Vestas models," says Peter Cowling, Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand. "As a result of our comprehensive knowledge of Senvion technology, we are pleased to support Nexif Energy and other customers for the lifetime of their Senvion fleet."

"Nexif Energy is pleased to appoint Vestas as its long-term maintenance services provider for the stage one Senvion turbines at our Lincoln Gap Wind Farm," said Matthew Bartley, Founder and Co-CEO of Nexif Energy. "Following Senvion's insolvency, Nexif Energy stepped in to oversee completion of construction, and with stage one now operating, and maintenance and performance in the hands of a leading industry services provider - Vestas, Nexif Energy is well positioned to complete stage two and move forward with implementation of our expansion plans."

The Lincoln Gap wind farm is in an ideal location due to its excellent wind resource and great access to the grid, which will enable it to export over 800,000 MWh a year to the Australian energy consumers.

Source: Vestas


Acting on Climate Change

3 March

Tasmania has a proud history as a quiet leader on climate action, with a strong track record of renewable energy and innovation, helping to reduce our emissions and those of the nation.

We were the first state to achieve zero net emissions, and we have the lowest per capita emissions of all States and Territories. We are also one of the lowest net emitters of carbon dioxide on the planet, but we know there is more that we can, and should do.

Which is why our Government has today announced a review of our target of net zero emissions by 2050.

I have requested that central agencies, DPAC and Treasury, conduct a detailed analysis of the pathway our state would need to take and the challenges and opportunities available in achieving net zero emissions before 2050. The process will be informed by science, economics, and the views of our businesses and community.

The detailed analysis and targeted consultation will occur over the next 6 months and will be used to responsibly and sensibly inform amendments to the Climate Change (State Action) Act and Tasmania’s new Action Plan for 2021 onwards.

The fact is, Tasmania has enormous opportunities in renewable energy, to grow our economy, attract industries and investment, create jobs and also support Australia's transition to renewable clean and reliable base load energy supply. Importantly, we are already on track to meet our target of being 100% in renewable energy by 2022.

That is why, today we have announced a new renewable energy target of 200 per cent of our current needs by 2040, to double our renewable generation. This target will be detailed in a new Renewable Energy Action Plan, to be released in April that will set Tasmania on the pathway of becoming the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia.

Source: Tasmania Government


Windlab – execution of scheme implementation agreement with Squadron Energy and Federation Asset Management

4 March

Excerpt: Windlab Limited (ASX:WND), ("Windlab", the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding Scheme Implementation Agreement (“SIA”) with Wind Acquisition 1 Pty Ltd (an investment vehicle of funds managed by Federation Asset Management Holdings Pty Ltd (“Federation”) and Squadron Wind Energy Development Pty Ltd (an Australian based energy and natural resources developer and explorer privately owned by the Minderoo Group of Companies) (“Squadron”) (together the “Consortium”) under which the Consortium will acquire 100% of the outstanding ordinary shares in Windlab by way of a Scheme of Arrangement (“Scheme”).

Under the Scheme, Windlab shareholders would receive cash consideration of $1.00 per Windlab share (“Scheme Consideration”), subject to all applicable conditions being satisfied or waived and the Scheme being implemented.

The Scheme is subject to shareholder and court approval in accordance with the requirements of Part 5.1 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Unanimous recommendation of the Board

The Board of Directors of Windlab (“Board”) unanimously recommend that Windlab shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme, in the absence of a Superior Proposal and subject to an Independent Expert concluding in the Independent Expert’s Report (and continuing to conclude) the Scheme is in the best interests of Windlab shareholders.

Subject to those same qualifications, each director of Windlab intends to vote all the Windlab shares held or controlled by them in favour of the Scheme.

In making this recommendation, the Board considered several factors, including:

  • Premium: the Scheme Consideration of $1.00 per share represents a:

o 38.9% premium to the closing share price of Windlab shares on ASX of $0.72 on 17 January 2020

o 40.1% premium to the 30 trading day VWAP of $0.71 per share; and

o 30.0% premium to the 6-month VWAP of $0.77 per share;

  • Certainty of value: Windlab’s shareholders will receive 100% cash consideration at a certain cash price; and
  • Limited Conditionality: the Scheme is subject to customary conditions for a transaction of this nature, including (but not limited to) regulatory, court and Windlab shareholder approvals and no material adverse change occurring in relation to Windlab.

Charles Macek, Lead Independent Director and Chairman of the Independent Board Committee commented: “Federation, who currently own approximately 18.7% of Windlab’s shares on issue, has been a supportive shareholder. The Consortium shares the Company’s vision of harnessing the significant opportunity for wind energy across Australia, South and Eastern Africa. We are excited about the opportunity of accelerating our development activities and continuing to identify new project opportunities using our proprietary Windscape technology.”

“In the discussions to date, we have been impressed by the Consortium’s grasp of Windlab’s assets and development portfolio and our strategic potential.”

Andrew Forrest AO, chairman of Squadron Energy, said: “We’re pleased to be part of the Consortium investing in Windlab. The unique technical capabilities of the team and the strong portfolio of project opportunities give Windlab a leading position in wind generation in Australia. Alongside our recent investments in solar projects, this investment also underscores Squadron Energy’s vision for a sustainable energy future.”

Federation’s Head of Renewable Energy, Stephen Panizza said: “Windlab is a natural fit for Federation and our investment partners. We believe that Windlab is the clear leader among Australian wind energy developers, with great management, unique IP and a portfolio comprising some of the best wind projects in the National Electricity Market. Our Consortium brings not only deep experience in renewables, but the capital necessary to develop the portfolio and capture Windlab’s full potential.”

Source: Windlab


Telstra has a responsibility to act and we are

4 March

Telstra is one of the largest consumers of power in the country. Powering networks to cover a continent this big so that millions of Australians stay connected requires something in the order of 5.9 petajoules of energy each year and last year that resulted in nearly 1.3m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

As businesses, governments, communities and all of us as individuals increasingly adapt and adopt new digital technologies, the volume of data on our network grew by 26 per cent last year alone and is expected to triple by 2025.

The good news is many of the digital initiatives that sit behind this massive increase in the consumption of data are having their own positive impact on the environment. Sensors deployed in their millions are creating previously undreamt-of efficiencies through smart cities with connected wheelie bins and traffic lights, smart manufacturing with connected robots and tooling and even smart agriculture with connected farm gates and farm animals.

These all have the potential to achieve major environmentally positive efficiencies but, at the same time, they also drive more data requirements over the internet thereby increasing the energy needed to power telecommunication networks.

At Telstra we have been working hard to ensure that this does not lead to an increase in our greenhouse gas emissions and we are on track to meet our target to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions intensity in the three years to June 2020 by 50 per cent.

However, I believe we need to do even more.

The defining challenge of the 2020s

In a recent speech on responsible business I said climate change would be the defining challenge of the 2020s. I stand by that comment, conscious there will be other issues to challenge us. Events including Australia’s Black Summer of bushfires have raised urgent questions in the community about what climate change means and, more importantly, what must be done. The science is clear. Climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is creating risks that impact our economy, our environment, our communities and each of us individually.

I also said that it can be popular to comment on what others should be doing, particularly government. However, what I am more interested in is what we are doing at Telstra and what I am doing to make a difference as an individual. There is a collective and increasing sense of responsibility and urgency to act. Everyone has a role to play. The biggest risk to climate change is believing it’s someone else’s problem to fix.

Against this background, at Telstra we are today announcing a significant acceleration in our response to reducing our impact on climate change.

Simply put, we have three key goals:

  1. To be carbon neutral in our operations from this year, 2020 – This means that we have to build on the great work we have already been doing to improve the efficiency of our energy consumption in our networks through the implementation of more efficient infrastructure and counteract the balance of emissions from our business via investment in carbon offsets. Offsets will be sourced largely from renewable energy projects both in Australia and the countries where we operate. This also builds on the certification last year of our sub-brand Belong as Australia’s first carbon neutral telco.
  2. To be renewable leaders by enabling renewable energy generation equivalent to 100 per cent of our consumption by 2025. In an inter-connected energy grid, new renewable generation has the effect of decarbonising the grid for everyone. To support this, by 2025 Telstra will own or contract renewable energy generation in Australia and our other business locations for output equivalent to 100 per cent of the energy we consume in all of our operations, including our networks, buildings and data centres by 2025. This will have the effect of helping to decarbonise the Australian electricity grid for Telstra and everyone else. It builds on our work to date in underwriting Australian renewable energy generation via Power Purchase Agreements including solar and wind projects. We will continue to invest in Australia and also tap into offshore certificate markets.
  3. Reduce our absolute emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030, an ambitious target based on our commitment to the Paris Agreement that we announced last year and consistent with the associated ICT sector ambition. We will achieve this reduction through a range of initiatives including increasing investment in our energy efficiency program, advancements in new technology, building climate change considerations into long term business planning as well as the progressive decarbonisation of the electricity grid as the uptake of renewables grows.

We recognise that we do not have all of the answers on how we will achieve this but our intent is clear, our ambition is set and we are committed to achieving it.

To deliver against these ambitious and important goals, there are five key areas we are focusing on.

First – we will lead by example. We will hold ourselves to account in terms of our own targets and the support we offer other businesses on their climate emission management journeys. We also want to contribute to the broader discussion on climate, adding our technical expertise and advocacy to a discussion that is factual, science-based and focussed on supporting outcomes that accelerate carbon emission reduction.

Second – we will actively reduce our emissions on an absolute basis. We have reviewed the sources of our emissions and have scoped a major program of work to reduce our energy consumption over the next decade. This includes upgrading inefficient equipment and accelerating decommissioning of equipment that is no longer needed.

Third – we will drive change from the inside out including assisting our employees to understand and manage their own carbon footprint as well as encouraging and supporting our suppliers on their own de-carbonisation journeys and will reach out to our top 100 suppliers to identify opportunities to drive emissions reduction.

Fourth – in order to maximise the positive role we can play in decarbonising the Australian economy, we will enable our customers and the community by providing lower greenhouse gas emissions products and services as well as investing in energy and emissions management initiatives. This builds on our work to date in enabling other major corporates to access renewable Power Purchase Agreements.

Fifth – climate change will continue to impact on our business and the resilience of our networks and services will remain a top priority. Our customers rely on us to keep them connected with the best technology and the best experience on the best network and we will continue to focus on that responsibility while addressing climate concerns. That is our purpose – to build a connected future so everyone can thrive.

Source: Telstra


Australia’s first offshore wind project starts underwater studies

6 March

Underwater investigations are kicking off on Australia’s first offshore wind project – the Star of the South – off the south coast of Victoria.

Seabed and marine mammal studies are part of a program of site investigations that are helping to understand the site conditions and plan for an offshore wind farm off the coast of Gippsland, connecting into the Latrobe Valley.

Specialists are deploying from Lakes Entrance today to study the seabed using the local vessel the Silver Star. Over two weeks, a crew will complete 24-hour seabed investigations including, mapping the seafloor, measuring water depths and identifying any buried infrastructure such as cables or shipwrecks.

Data collected from these studies will help determine the type of support structures needed for the wind turbines.

Acoustic monitoring is also being undertaken to understand the number and type of marine mammals in and around the project area. Equipment that is similar to a microphone is on the seabed floor recording the sounds of marine mammals such as whales and dolphins – capturing sounds up to 20 kilometres away.

To complement the acoustic monitoring, aerial surveys of the project area are underway to visually identify marine mammals.

Aerial bird surveys are also being undertaken by flying a light plane off the coast near Port Albert to identify the number and type of birds in the area seasonally. This data is being supported by migratory bird tagging to understand the flightpaths of various species.

Onshore bird surveys started last month and involve tagging and counting birds in the dunes. Soil testing is also underway to understand the local ground conditions.

Wind and wave monitoring equipment has been out at sea since November 2019, collecting data on the wind profile and wave conditions and will continue for several years to inform the wind farm design.  

Like a power station out at sea, the Star of the South would involve wind turbines in the ocean generating electricity and connecting into the grid in the Latrobe Valley via underground cables and substations.

It has the potential to power up to 2000MW of electricity, providing a consistent and reliable source of energy and powering hundreds of thousands of Victorian homes. 

Offshore wind is a proven diver of jobs and investment overseas including in the UK, Denmark and Germany. Australia has a unique opportunity to kick start its own booming offshore wind industry with the Star of the South, delivering economic benefits to Gippsland, Victoria and Australia.

Quotes attributable to Star of the South Chief Development Officer, Erin Coldham:

“We’re undertaking underwater investigations to collect important data to help inform the wind farm design, including the number and type of wind turbines.”

“Mapping the seabed and collecting baseline information on the ground conditions is an important part of understanding the site and planning for an offshore wind project off the south coast of Gippsland.”

“The Star of the South would provide a reliable and consistent source of power, supplying around 18% of Victoria’s electricity needs and helping to prevent against blackouts in summer.”

“Offshore wind is a proven technology in Europe where there is a booming industry, we’re excited about the opportunities the Star of the South could create for jobs and investment in the Gippsland region and broader economy.”

Source: Star of the South



Canterbury-Bankstown Council Solar Farm

Canterbury-Bankstown Council has identified land in the Salt Pan Creek Area as potential development site for a Solar Farm. Council’s selected delivery is development and (if feasible) construction of the Solar Farm under a single contract.

Council is seeking Expression of Interest ("EOIs") from suitably qualified and experienced Respondents for design, investigation, approvals and construction of a solar farm on a former landfill site (of approx. 30,000m2) in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA. This includes options for maintenance and operation of the constructed solar farm and may include options for electricity offtake.

Successful respondents will be placed on a short list to receive an invitation to tender for this project once Council is ready to proceed (early 2020).

Contact: Gary Soo

Tel: (02) 9707 9678



Brazilian renewable energy company chooses Victoria

6 March

The Andrews Labor Government is adding to Victoria’s renewable energy credentials with one of Brazil’s leading renewable energy consultancies to establish its Australian/New Zealand HQ in Melbourne.

Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Dimopoulos today announced that energy services firm Grupo Energia will create up to 70 new local jobs as part of its investment in Victoria including technical, commercial and engineering roles.

Founded in 2004 in Brazil, Grupo Energia is focused on delivering complete solutions to wind, solar, hydro and other alternative power sources and energy storage systems.

The company is a leader in Brazil and across Latin America, delivering advisory, management and operation support for solar, wind, hydroelectric and other renewable power generation projects.

The company is also a market leader in energy storage and power transmission management.

It is the latest company to invest in Victoria’s renewable energy industry, following in the footsteps of Mainstream Renewable Power, Total Eren, Tilt Renewables, Acciona Nordex, BayWa re, X-Elio and Iberdrola.

Victoria’s renewable energy targets will increase the share of electricity generated by renewables to 25 per cent by 2020, 40 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.

These targets are expected to create around 24,000 jobs by 2030 and drive an additional $5.8 billion in economic activity in Victoria.

Victoria also has a strong and competitive financial services sector ready to support new energy technology investments, providing an ideal base for expansion into the Asia Pacific region.

The Labor Government supports investment from South American based companies such as Grupo Energia through Invest Victoria and its Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Santiago.

Quote attributed to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“The fact that yet another global company has chosen to invest in Victoria’s thriving renewable energy industry speaks volumes about our strong credentials in this sector.”

Quote attributed to Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Dimopoulos

“This investment by a leading Brazilian energy company is a further example of strengthening ties between Victoria and Latin America’s growing economies.”

Quote attributed to Grupo Energia’s CEO Rubens Brandt

“The Victorian Government’s support was instrumental to our decision to locate the company’s Australia & NZ headquarters in Melbourne.”

Source: Victoria Government


Port of Newcastle a powerful link for renewable energy in NSW

6 March

Newcastle has again demonstrated its role as a critical trade gateway for Australia’s take-up of renewable energy technology, with the latest batch of wind farm components set to arrive in the next week.

More than 200 wind turbines have been imported through Port of Newcastle over the past four years and this number is set to grow a further 25% this year with the arrival of another two shipments aboard specialist project cargo ships, Industrial Strength and BBC Coral.

The 54 Vestas V117-4.2 MW turbines blades will arrive in three pieces and be stored at the Port for several months before being transported almost 500 kilometres by truck to the project site in Collector, located about halfway between Goulburn and Canberra.

The on-site storage – a unique advantage at Port of Newcastle compared with other ports – reduces double-handling of cargo and unnecessary truck movements in regional NSW.

Construction on the 226.8MW Collector Wind Farm began in May 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2021, with the supply chain a product of collaboration between turbine manufacturer Vestas, heavy haul logistics group Rex J Andrews, independent power producer and project owner RATCH-Australia and Port of Newcastle.

Upon arrival at the construction site, each turbine will be assembled to its full height of 150 metres to the tips of the blades.

Collector Wind Farm will produce enough safe, clean, reliable electricity to power up to 80,000 homes on average each year.

RATCH-Australia’s Collector Wind Farm is one of many renewable energy developments under construction across the state as the Berejiklian Government pushes towards net zero emission energy by 2050.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the growing wind farm import trade was one element of the Port’s sustainability plans.

“Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential,” Mr Carmody said.

“We have further grown the wind farm importation trade since receiving components for the White Rock Wind Farm in late 2016.

“When the Collector project comes online, Port of Newcastle will have helped facilitate the import of 269 wind turbines, generating enough renewable energy to power about 374,000 homes each year.

“This important trade is only possible due to the work of specialist heavy haul logistics providers, who have the complex task of transporting oversized components from the country of manufacture to wind farms across regional New South Wales.

“Port of Newcastle is pleased to be providing the ocean gateway for this trade, which is aligned with our vision to remain a world-leading energy port through facilitating new and existing forms of energy.”

Vestas’ Australian Wind Technology Project Manager Construction, Ajay Pancholi, said the company selected Port of Newcastle because the ample amount of storage space required for turbine components was available close to the arrival berth.

“The Collector Wind Farm project is progressing well and will commence installation of turbines by end of March 2020,” Mr Pancholi said.

Rex J Andrews Operations Manager Warrick Andrews said the company was proud to be contributing to the take-up of renewable energy through its logistics support for the Collector Wind Farm development.

“The Rex J Andrews and Port of Newcastle teams both pride themselves on being able to offer flexible, tailored logistics services for customers that support the supply chain needs of large-scale infrastructure projects such as the Collector Wind Farm,” Mr Andrews said.

According to the Climate Council, 17.3%* of NSW energy was generated from renewable sources, including solar and wind in 2018.

To date Port of Newcastle has welcomed two shipments of turbine components destined for Collector, with another four shipments expected between now and May.

Source: Port of Newcastle

View PDF