Terregra moves forward with Moyhall Solar Farm

4 February

Terregra Renewables plans to start constructing its 5MW Moyhall Solar Farm within weeks and expand its growing pipeline of utility-scale solar projects in South Australia.

The Moyhall Solar Farm is located on unused land approximately 7km south of Naracoorte.

Terregra Renewables received planning approval for the project in August 2018 and now expects to commence site construction work in March 2019.

“The Moyhall Solar Farm is another addition to Terregra’s growing pipeline of solar projects,” said Graham Pearson, Director of Terregra Renewables.

This project comes after Terregra Renewables recently started construction of their 5MW Mobilong Solar Farm near Murray Bridge, South Australia.

“Terregra Renewables is committed to South Australia and focused on strategically developing highquality solar assets that add to grid capacity while helping the local region.”

The 5MW project will include approximately 16,100 PV modules and two containerized inverters. In total, Terregra Renewables will now be investing almost $16m in South Australia and will generate approximately 80 jobs during the construction of the Moyhall and Mobilong solar farms.

The Moyhall Solar Farm is expected to be completed in August 2019.

“At every step of the process we have received generous support from the South Australian government and the Naracoorte Lucindale Council. We are pleased that we can now start work and hope that our project provides a boost to the local economy.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan welcomed Terregra Renewables’ investment in South Australia, which further enhances the state’s burgeoning renewable energy sector.

“Terregra Renewables’ $7.6 million investment will increase South Australia’s energy supply, stimulate the local economy and create local jobs,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

Terregra Renewables is owned by the listed Indonesian company PT Terregra Asia Energy Tbk. They intend to have 35MW of projects constructed throughout 2019 and in Indonesia the company will develop, build and operate more than 500MW over the next 5 years.

Source: Terregra Renewables

 

Double happiness: planning go-ahead for two major solar projects

4 February

Pacific Hydro’s drive to increase renewable energy generation in Australia was significantly boosted last month, with planning permission granted for two major solar projects in Victoria and Queensland.

Prairie Solar Farm is a proposed 240MWac project located near Mitiamo in northern Victoria, and received planning permission from Loddon Shire Council on Monday 14 January. The Clarke Creek Solar Farm is located north of Rockhampton in Queensland, and received a Material Change of Use permit from Isaac Regional Council for the 315MWac project in the last fortnight.

“Together these projects represent 555 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity, forecast to generate enough electricity to power more than 300,000 Australian homes,” Pacific Hydro Australia CEO Rachel Watson said today.

“As a long-term builder, owner, and operator of renewable energy projects, being granted planning permission for two major projects simultaneously is a very significant achievement and is a testament to the skills and capability of our team,” she continued.

The planning applications received positive feedback from Loddon Shire Council, Isaac Regional Council, and referral agencies for their high quality, and consideration of a broad range of aspects.

Reflecting on the application processes, Ms Watson said that involving key stakeholders and communities from the very beginning is as important to Pacific Hydro’s success as technical and financial factors.

“We are grateful to all stakeholders for their involvement, interest and support; we are now looking forward to realising all the benefits that our renewable energy projects bring, particularly to regional communities”, she said.

Pacific Hydro can now commission detailed technical studies and analysis to progress both projects.

Source: Pacific Hydro

 

Federal Government creating major clean energy investment risk

4 February

The Federal Government’s latest statements that it is considering underwriting new coal generation as well as extending the life of existing coal generators has sent further shockwaves through the clean energy sector.

While the Federal Government has proven incapable of delivering a robust climate and energy policy, the Underwriting New Generation Investment program is appearing to favour high cost and high emissions winners and now risks undermining the current wave of new clean energy generation. Recent statements by the government have highlighted coal, gas and hydro submissions to the Underwriting New Generation Investments program and made no mention of the renewable energy submissions that the clean energy industry has submitted.

This is at distinct odds with the market’s view that wind and solar supported by batteries and pumped hydro are the lowest cost new generation and that new coal is entirely uneconomic.

In 2018 alone there were over $20 billion worth of large-scale wind and solar projects committed by private investors. An increasing amount of this 14 GW worth of generation capacity was hybrid – wind and solar – with battery storage. In addition, there are now over a dozen proposals for pumped hydro projects being progressed by investors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) original recommendation was for a technology neutral approach to address current challenges with project financing for new generators. The proposed program strays substantially from the ACCC’s intent in a way that is rushed, lacks transparency and appears to be picking winners.

If the Federal Government cannot establish a robust and sensible enduring climate and energy policy, then it should at a minimum ensure that the way this program is managed does not further undermine investor confidence in the energy sector.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Epuron sells 33.7MWp Katherine Solar Farm to ENI Australia

4 February

Epuron is pleased to announce that Eni Australia, part of the global energy company Eni SpA, has acquired the 33.7MWp Katherine solar project.

The Katherine solar project is a joint development between Epuron and Island Green Power, a UK-based solar specialist. It is the first large scale solar farm in the Northern Territory and will make a material contribution to the NT Government’s 50% renewable energy target.

“We would like to acknowledge the ongoing involvement of Jacana Energy and Power & Water Corporation”, said Martin Poole, Epuron Executive Director.

Epuron Senior Project Manager Anthony Melov said "We are delighted to see Eni Australia continue with the Katherine solar project. Eni is an experienced energy company and is well placed to construct the project. This is an important milestone for the solar farm which, when completed, will be the largest in the Northern Territory".

The Katherine solar project is expected to enter construction in the next few weeks with commercial operation to commence before the end of 2019.

Electricity for the project will be supplied under a long term power purchase agreement which Epuron negotiated with Northern Territory electricity retailer Jacana Energy.

The project will include a battery energy storage system with a capacity of 6 MVA / 3 MWh and, to ensure optimum operational performance, Fulcrum3D’s innovative CloudCAM cloud coverage predicting technology will also be installed. Thanks to these technologies, the plant will be able to forecast its output and smoother variations in solar irradiation by taking energy from the storage system and minimize the impact to the grid.

Epuron will maintain an ongoing role in the project once it is operational.

Source: Epuron

 

NEW PROJECT

Carisbrook Solar Farm

Location: 6km east of Carisbrook in central Victoria

Capacity: 90 MW

Developer: ib vogt

LGA: Central Goldfields Shire

Expected cost: +$100mil

Description: Proposed on a 300 hectare site the project will feature 250,000 panels, battery storage. It will connect to the grid via an adjacent 66kV power line. Development application lodged with council in August 2018. The construction phase is scheduled to go for up to nine months, creating more than 240 jobs and injecting over $400,000 into the local economy.

Contact: Andrew Wilkinson

Project Development Manager

ib vogt

Email: andrew.wilkinson@ibvogt.com

 

Boom wins wind farm contract with Goldwind Australia

4 February

Boom Logistics Limited (“Boom”), Australia’s leading provider of crane logistics and related industrial services, is pleased to announce it has won a new wind farm construction contract. Boom continues to execute on its strategy to grow market share in the wind farm sector.

Boom has been appointed by Goldwind Australia to undertake the lifting, mechanical and electrical installation of 48 Goldwind wind turbine generators (“WTGs”) at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm, which is located on the eastern shore of Lake Echo in Tasmania.

Boom is embarking on its first wind farm construction project with Goldwind Australia with this contract, further strengthening the existing relationship. Boom currently provides crane lifting services to Goldwind Australia on scheduled maintenance programs at other wind farm sites as required.

The project will commence in February 2019 with revenue generated from this contract to be within a range of $13-$16 million and expected completion in late 2019.

Tony Spassopoulos, CEO of Boom Logistics, said: “We are delighted and proud to have been given the opportunity to work with Goldwind Australia, and provide the best possible crane lifting solution, on this important wind farm construction project. Our contract is a total lifting service that includes cranes, rigging, engineering, mechanical, electrical and project management on site.”

Boom is mobilising eight cranes to Tasmania, including two 750 tonne capacity cranes, to lift the 3MW Goldwind turbines to a hub height of 100 metres.

“We are pleased to be delivering on our strategy to strengthen our market position in the wind farm sector and to also work with Goldwind Australia to further build on our partnership”, said Tony Spassopoulos.

Project update: Coopers Gap, Queensland – 56 wind turbine generator installation

Boom is also pleased to report that the wind farm construction project with GE at Coopers Gap in Queensland is progressing well. As previously announced, Boom was awarded the contract to undertake the lifting, mechanical and electrical installation of 56 WTGs on the Coopers Gap wind farm project and is expected to generate approximately $14-16 million in revenue. The Coopers Gap wind farm of 123 WTGs will be one of Australia's largest wind farms upon completion in 2019.

Boom delivered a new LG 750 tonne mobile crane for this project to do the major lifts, which are over 115 metres high. In addition to the main crane, this project utilises five other mobile cranes on site.

Tony Spassopoulos, CEO of Boom Logistics, further comments: “We have a great team on site, focused on customer service, project delivery and safety always. We continue to expand our wind farm projects business and demonstrate our capability as the leading Australian crane lifting solutions provider in this market segment.”

These contracts bring Boom closer to achieving its target of $30 million in wind farm revenue for FY19 and Boom is pleased to report it remains on track to reach this target.

The wind farm sector remains an exciting growth opportunity for Boom with a sales pipeline of $390 million over the next 2 years.

Commenting on the sector, Tony Spassopoulos, CEO of Boom Logistics, said: “The renewable energy market is thriving. We see continued growth in the wind farm sector, with a strong pipeline, as we actively pursue additional wind farm maintenance and construction opportunities for FY20 and beyond.”

Source: Boom Logistics

 

Eni enters the Australian renewable energy market

5 February

Eni Australia Limited has completed the acquisition of a construction-ready solar photovoltaic (PV) project near Katherine, in the Northern Territory of Australia, from Katherine Solar Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Australia’s Epuron and the UK-based Island Green Power.

Once completed, the project will be the largest PV farm in the Northern Territory, consisting of the installation of 33.7 MWp (Mega Watt peak) of ground-mounted PV panels, as well as a battery storage system with a capacity of 5.7 MVA/2.9MWh (Mega Volt Ampere and Mega Watt hour). To ensure optimum operational performance, an innovative cloud coverage predicting technology will also be installed. Thanks to these technologies, the plant will be able to forecast and compensate for possible variations in solar irradiation by taking energy from a storage system so as to minimize the impact to the grid.

Epuron will have an active role in managing the PV farm once it is operational. Construction is expected to start in the next few weeks, with an expected commercial operation date in the fourth quarter of 2019.

This project will contribute to the Northern Territory’s government goal to procure 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Once operational, the PV farm will avoid around 63.000 tonnes/year of CO2 equivalent emissions.

This initiative marks Eni’s entry in the Australian renewables market and compliments the company’s existing assets in the region’s oil and gas sector. Eni has been present in Australia through its subsidiary Eni Australia Ltd since 2000. It is the operator and 100% owner of the Blacktip Gas Project and has a non-operated interest in the Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field and in the associated Darwin LNG plant.

Source: Eni

 

Solar Pile International contracted for the 175MW Finley Solar Farm project

5 February

The Solar Pile International (SPI) team is proud to announce, our appointment to supply the total piling needs of the 175 MW Finley Solar Farm project in NSW, Australia.

SPI, one of the world’s largest specialised piling manufacture and supply companies has partnered with global EPC, Signal Energy, to provide 65,000 piles that will support and manage the applied loads from the single axis solar trackers.

The project covers 1,000 acres near Finley, NSW with approximately 500,000 modules producing enough electricity to power 59,000 NSW homes and very importantly, remove 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment annually.

We are excited to be working with major solar utilities EPC, Signal Energy and we look forward to contributing our part in the rapidly changing environmentally cleaner world.

Our recyclable piling technologies are determined and tuned to the specific needs of a given solar farm site to ensure optimum performance and minimal site disturbance at a cost that adds value.

Source: Solar Pile International

 

NEW PROJECT

McIntyre Wind Farm

ACCIONA Australia has submitted development applications for meteorological measurement towers at a potential wind farm site in the Warwick area. ACCIONA expects to begin community consultation activities on the project soon.

 

Elliott Green Power finalises construction of Susan River Solar Farm

5 February

Elliott Green Power (EGP) is pleased to announce it has finalised construction of its 95MW Susan River Solar Farm.

Connected to the National Electricity Market, the 176ha solar farm will generate 180,000MWh of renewable energy per annum from 290,000 ground mounted solar panels.

Elliot Green Power Chief Executive Umberto Tamburrino praised the work of local construction and engineering crews and said that Elliot Green Power was looking forward to investing further into renewable energy projects across the country.

“Elliott Green Power is proud to be investing in renewable energy projects across regional Australia and we’d like to thank the construction and engineering teams who are working to ensure their smooth delivery,” said Mr Tamburrino.

“The Susan River Solar farm will provide various long-term benefits to the community and we are looking forward to continued investment into the renewable energy sector,” Mr Tamburrino added.

The Susan River Solar Farm is the first of Elliott Green Power’s three solar farms to complete construction. The nearby 75MW Childers Solar Farm south of Bundaberg is nearing completion and the 132MW Nevertire Solar Farm located near Warren in north-west New South Wales, is under construction.

The three projects will deliver a combined 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power, or 570 GWh of green power per year, which is enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 80,000 homes across south-east Queensland and north-west New South Wales.

More than 900 jobs have been created throughout the construction phase of all three sites with local labour hires amounting to approximately 75% of the workforce. Construction has made use of local quarries, concrete suppliers, contractors, surveyors, geo-technical engineering firms, hire equipment, fuel supplies and on-site amenities.

Construction of all three projects is being undertaken by Biosar, through its Australian arm.

Source: Elliot Green Power

 

NSW Emerging Energy Program

About the program

We are encouraging private sector investment to support the next generation of large-scale electricity and storage projects in NSW.

The Emerging Energy Program is technology neutral and eligible projects must demonstrate that they can provide dispatchable or on-demand energy to help meet the state’s energy needs.

Funding

There are two funding streams to help speed up the development of projects to provide dispatchable, on-demand electricity now and into the future.

Capital projects: Funding to assist with the construction of a dispatchable electricity project.

Pre-investment studies: Funding for activities that will lead to development of a dispatchable electricity project.

Applicants intending to apply for joint funding through ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program and the Emerging Energy Program will need to submit separate applications. We highly recommend you consult with ARENA as soon as possible.

How to apply

Registrations are now open and can be submitted through the online grant system. Please note that each project application will require a separate registration.

You must register for the program before submitting an application. Once registered, you will be notified when applications open. 

Full applications for the pre-investment study stream and expressions of interest (EOI) for the capital project stream are expected to open in the first quarter of 2019. Registrations will remain open throughout the application submission period.

Further information

The full program guidelines will be released when applications open in the first quarter of 2019.

To receive further information and updates about this program, please register your interest by emailing emergingenergy.program@planning.nsw.gov.au

Further information is available here.

Source: NSW Government

 

PROJECT NEWS

Cherry Tree Wind Farm

John Laing said construction has started at its 57.6 MW Cherry Tree Wind Farm in Victoria. Financial close for the project was reached in December last year after John Laing acquired it from original developer Infigen 100%. Once operational, the project, located approximately 15 km south east of Seymour in Victoria, is expected to generate output to power 37,000 average Victorian households, avoiding the emission of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The Cherry Tree Wind Farm is also expected to contribute an estimated 80 jobs during construction and five further permanent jobs during its operating life, creating significant economic activity in the local region.

 

Gold fields’ Granny Smith mine to install mega solar and battery power facility

5 February

Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine is set to install one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids, powered by more than 20,000 solar panels and backed up by a 2 MW /1 MWh battery system.

The mining company has contracted mobile and modular power company Aggreko to design, build and operate the 8 MW solar power generation system along with the battery system at Granny Smith, which is located east of Laverton in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia, Stuart Mathews, said the renewable energy microgrid is part of Gold Fields’ vision of leadership in sustainable gold mining:

“We are thrilled to reach an agreement with Aggreko for the design, installation and operation of this innovative source of renewable energy which will generate nearly enough power to run the mine’s processing operations,” Mathews said.

“We expect the renewable power microgrid will be up and running at Granny Smith by Q4 2019 and it will be a welcome addition to our suite of on-site energy solutions across other operations which will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.

Construction of the renewable energy system is planned to commence in May and, when completed, will be one of the world’s largest hybrid off-grid microgrids and integrated with Aggreko’s existing 24.2 MW natural gas generation.

Aggreko AusPac Managing Director, George Whyte, said the solar, thermal and battery storage assets will be seamlessly integrated and managed by Aggreko’s control software platform – maintaining full system availability and optimising the lifetime of existing thermal assets: “The solar-plus-battery system is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 10-13% – the equivalent of removing 2,000 cars from the road – and produce about 18 GWh of clean energy per year,” Whyte said.

“Gold Fields understands the performance, cost and environmental advantages for their operation, as well as the need to integrate this resource into their system without compromising power supply reliability or mining productivity,” he said.

While the solar PV will reduce the need to run thermal generators, the battery plant will provide essential services such as spinning reserve displacement, PV ramp rate control and transient voltage/frequency support.

Source: Aggreko

 

PROJECT NEWS

Waddi Wind and Solar Farm

Tilt Renewables is seeking federal government approvals for its Waddi Wind and Solar Farm, near Dandaragan, in south-east Western Australia. Public comment has been invited on the referral for the project, which proposes to construct & operate:

  • Up to 57 turbines, with an installed capacity of up to 145MW (approximate figures dependent on exact specifications of an appropriate wind turbine that will be selected for use)
  • Up to 3 permanent on-site wind monitoring masts
  • A Solar Plant up to 50 MW
  • An 8-kilometre 132 kV overhead powerline from the on-site substation to the existing Cataby substation

 

Contracting electricity reserves to cover emergencies at the lowest cost

7 February

The Australian Energy Market Commission today released a draft rule to boost the power system’s strategic reserve mechanism so it has the flexibility to effectively protect the reliability of the national electricity market at the lowest cost possible to consumers.

The reliability and emergency reserve trader (RERT) is a safety net which enables the system operator, AEMO, to pay a premium for ‘out of market’ generation or demand response to be on standby when it forecasts supply shortages ahead.

We are calling for public submissions on our recommendations to tighten the rules so they set clear requirements for industry to step up and offer least-cost supplies to the market so the RERT can be an effective tool in keeping the lights on during extreme weather events and emergencies.

AEMC Chairman John Pierce AO said more needs to be done by governments and the power sector as a whole to improve reliability. Procuring emergency reserves is only one part of a comprehensive framework that is designed to provide enough capacity to meet the reliability standard, he said.

“Emergency reserves are just that – for emergencies. Price signals through the spot and contract markets, along with forecasts and notices from AEMO, give the market incentives and information to supply longer-term generation and demand response when and where it is needed.”

“Emergency reserves are more expensive, which is why we need to keep them to a minimum. That’s why we also need a well-functioning market with clear price signals and information, backed up by policy certainty from governments, with tools like the retailer reliability obligation which is being developed by the Energy Security Board right now.

If approved by the COAG Energy Council as planned, the retailer reliability obligation could be in place mid year.

The Energy Security Board is conducting public consultation on the obligation in the weeks ahead – it is a long-term solution that will be designed to encourage investment in dispatchable generation which the system has to have to meet its reliability standard.

Mr Pierce said the draft rule released today would help address risks to power system reliability that are being caused by the changing characteristics of the power system as lower emission and non-synchronous, weather-driven generation like wind and solar connects to the grid while synchronous generators are closing. 

“The national electricity market today is a far more complex interconnected system of renewable and non-renewable energy generation sources that need to interact effectively to provide essential power supply to households and businesses,” Mr Pierce said.

“Different arrangements are needed by AEMO to stabilise the system and manage emergency reserves as the transformation of the power system accelerates.

“Today’s draft rule is designed to minimise the cost of emergency reserves. It also directly links the level of strategic reserves to the reliability standard, which is set by an independent panel of experts including large energy users, consumer groups and industry,” said Mr Pierce. 

The electricity market is designed to supply enough power to meet consumer needs 99.998% of the time - the reliability standard. Price signals from electricity spot and contract markets, along with information from AEMO’s forecasts of demand, tell generators and demand response providers when, where and how much power supply or demand response is needed. 

But there are times when the power system’s capacity falls short – typically when extreme weather events are forecast. To fill the gap, AEMO uses a range of emergency mechanisms including the RERT to buy emergency reserves to be on standby.

Today’s draft rule makes a range of enhancements to the RERT process to lower procurement costs and improve transparency. Key changes include:

- improving incentives for customers to reduce demand to minimise the need for emergency reserves: we want incentives for demand response – for example, retailers encouraging their customers to reduce energy use during heatwaves. So costs of emergency reserves will be recovered, where possible, from customers who caused the need for the RERT.

- increasing transparency and awareness of options for emergency reserves supply: AEMO would provide regular updates on how the RERT is procured and how much emergency reserves cost. 

- clarifying the trigger:  the RERT can be triggered if AEMO forecasts a breach of the reliability standard which requires enough generation to service 99.998% of consumer demand. This clarity helps the market plan operations and budgets. 

- increasing the lead time to buy reserves from nine to twelve months:  with a longer lead time, AEMO can get better deals from a larger pool of providers, including demand response providers. This would ultimately lead to lower costs for consumers.

- providing a price guide for emergency reserves:  the price should typically be less than the cost of load shedding. AEMO will use the AER’s assessment of the value customers place on reliability as an input.

- encouraging a lower-cost competitive market response: by only letting providers enter into contracts for emergency reserves if they have not been in the market for the past 12 months. This avoids a more expensive ‘RERT-only market’ developing. 

On very rare occasions – only a few days in the last decade, and most recently last month in Victoria – there is a shortage of supply even with emergency reserves. On these occasions, AEMO directs network businesses to interrupt supply to some customers to bring supply and demand into balance and help avoid a system-wide blackout.

“This controlled load shedding is regrettable and put in place as a last resort. Blackouts can be very distressing for customers, particularly on extremely hot days, and will impact some people and businesses more than others,” said Mr Pierce. 

The AEMC is underway with an extensive system reliability and security work program which was started before South Australia’s system black event in 2016.

Submissions on the draft determination are due by 21 March 2019.

Source: AEMC

 

NEW PROJECT

Bells Mountain Pumped Hydro

Location: Bells Mountain, near McCullys Gap in NSW

Capacity: 250 MW/8hrs

Developer: AGL Energy

Estimated cost: ~$450mil

Description: AGL and Muswellbrook Coal owner Idemitsu working on a separate but linked proposal to use a mine void below the mountain for the lower section of a pumped hydro storage power plant. AGL has secured an option for the upper reservoir site. Potential project could be completed in FY2026.

 

First Goldwind wind turbine installed at Stockyard Hill Wind Farm

8 February

Goldwind Australia announced today it has successfully installed the first Goldwind wind turbine at Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.

The wind turbine is the first of 149 Goldwind wind turbines to be installed at the project site, with the remainder to be installed throughout 2019.

Goldwind Project Director for Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, Andrew Monahan, said the significant milestone was a collective team effort by many employees and contractors.

“Our civil and electrical contractors, logistics contractors, installation contractor and the global Goldwind team have worked together in the detailed planning stages for this milestone for around six months. It’s been a substantial team effort to ensure the first installation was carried out safely and smoothly.

“All 149 of the Goldwind wind turbines installed will be up to 180 metres in height at the blade tip. The tower for each turbine is made up of five sections and will be 110 metres in height. The three blades positioned at the top of the tower are 68.5 metres long.

“Construction at Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is progressing well, and the wind turbine installations will now be ongoing. Construction is due for completion in 2020” said Andrew.

Construction of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm project commenced in June 2018. Approximately 250 staff are currently on site, with up to 300 staff expected during construction peaks. Six of the permanent maintenance staff for the project have already been engaged, with up to 25 permanent maintenance staff required once the wind farm is complete.

Once operational, Stockyard Hill Wind Farm will produce clean energy to power approximately 391,000 Victorian homes.

Source: Goldwind

 

PROJECT NEWS

Biala Wind Farm

Approval for the Biala Wind Farm transmission line was granted at the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) public meeting, which took place at the Goulburn Mulwaree Council Chambers on 17 January 2019.

The underground transmission line will transmit the electricity generated by Biala Wind Farm across to our existing substation at Gullen Range Wind Farm, where it will be placed onto the electricity grid.

A minor extension will occur at the substation as part of the approved works.

The approved transmission line route is approximately half the length of the original proposed route.

The cabling will be underground rather than overhead, which will reduce visual impact, as well as bushfire and other safety risks. The extension of the existing substation will preserve 8.5ha of agricultural land, which would have been disrupted if we were to have constructed a new substation.

BJCE is committed to ensuring the transmission line is installed in accordance with the development approval and that the impacts and any inconvenience to nearby residents is minimised.

We would like to thank everyone who has attended the public meetings throughout the determination process. BJCE is now finalising plans for construction of the wind farm.

Source: BJCE

 

PROJECT NEWS

Lower Wonga Solar Farm

SolarQ has received AEMO's 5.3.4A letter for the Lower Wonga Solar Farm – Stage 1 for 462MWp/350MWac Solar PV. A significant step forward with only a little way to go to finalise and convert into an “Offer to Connect”.

This strategic project avoids the risks identified in AEMO's Integrated System Plan (ISP - 2018) and is designed to avoid the significant risks of very high network transmission loss factors and binding constraints, and with scale, will deliver lower cost electricity and energy management to the significant number of nearby customers (High – customer Demand MWs / km of Transmission).

The project will in addition provide higher levels of environmental benefit due to the minimised energy lost in transmission (High - Carbon Dioxide displacement / MWh of produced).

SolarQ in the near-term will amend and optimise the connection and initiate the initial stage of the high-speed battery storage development, 800MWh/200MW (of the Development Approved 4,000MWh/1,000MW) battery storage.

The Gympie Regional Energy Hub has an ultimate design of +1,000MW(ac) Solar PV plus 4,000MWh of Battery Storage - combining energy supply, high speed management and security of supply services.

Source: SolarQ

 

Australia streaks ahead to be renewables world champion

8 February

The installation of renewables in Australia last year really ramped up compared to these other major economies, and we expect that trend to continue this year and beyond.

Research from The Australian National University (ANU) has found that Australia is installing renewable power per person each year faster than any other country, helping it to meet its entire Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets five years early.

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers said Australia was installing renewable power per capita several times faster than the European Union, Japan, China and the United States, based on preliminary data available for installations globally last year.

"The installation of renewables in Australia last year really ramped up compared to these other major economies, and we expect that trend to continue this year and beyond," said Professor Blakers from the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering (RSEEME). 

"The electricity sector is on track to deliver Australia's entire Paris emissions reduction targets five years early, in 2025 - without the need for any creative accounting.

"Australia is on track to reach 50 per cent renewable electricity in 2024 and 100 per cent by 2032. The Australian renewable energy experience offers real hope for rapid global emissions reductions to preserve a living planet."

Co-researcher Dr Matthew Stocks said the net cost of achieving the 2030 carbon emission targets set in the Paris Agreement would be zero because expensive fossil fuels were being replaced by cheaper renewables.

"The price of electricity from large-scale solar PV and windfarms in Australia is currently about $50 per Megawatt-hour (MWh), and steadily falling," Dr Stocks said.  

"This is below the cost of electricity from existing gas-fired power stations and is also below the cost of new-build gas and coal power stations. Nearly all of the new power stations are either PV or wind. We anticipate that this will continue into the future, provided that energy policy is not actively hindering development."

Co-researcher Bin Lu said stabilising a 100 per cent renewable electricity grid would be possible with technology that is already widely used in Australia, in addition to new smart energy systems that are being developed for electricity grids.

"We can do this with energy storage, demand management and strong interstate connection using high-voltage transmission lines to smooth out the effect of local weather," Mr Lu said.

"By far the leading storage technologies are pumped hydro and batteries. Australia's coal power stations are old and are becoming less reliable, and transition to a modern renewable energy system can improve grid stability."

Pumped hydro energy storage sites such as Snowy 2.0 require pairs of reservoirs at different altitudes, in hilly terrain and joined by a pipe with a pump and turbine. Water is pumped uphill when wind and solar energy is plentiful, and electricity is available on demand by releasing the stored water through a turbine.

A report on the team's findings is available at: http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/news/2019-02-06.php

Source: ANU

 

Research shows Australia on track to meet Paris Agreement targets

8 February

Independent research into Australia's Paris climate target shows that we are on track to meet our Paris target five years early.

According to research undertaken by Australian National University (ANU) Professor Andrew Blakers, the electricity sector is on track to deliver Australia's entire Paris emissions reduction targets by 2025.

The ANU research confirms the Government's position: that we will meet our Paris target in a canter.

Australia's emissions projections 2018 showed we will meet our 26 per cent target in the National Electricity Market (NEM) as early as 2022.

According to latest figures from the Clean Energy Regulator, over $25 billion will be invested in 18.8 GW of new renewable generation in the Australian energy sector over the years 2018-2020.

The research also recognises the need for investment in new, dispatchable generation and storage.

Despite record investment in renewables, we have seen significant supply and demand pressures in the NEM this summer.

Conditions experienced in January in New South Wales, South Australia and particularly Victoria where 200,000 customers experienced blackouts, reinforce the need for more investment in reliable 24/7 generation.

The Government is backing 24/7 reliable power by underwriting new electricity generation. This will improve competition, increase supply and reduce wholesale prices.

The very strong response to the Government's Underwriting New Generation Investments program demonstrates there is no shortage of willingness to invest in Australia's future energy supply.

The Government's 26 per cent target is sensible and balanced, whereas Labor have committed to reckless economy-wrecking targets that will slash industries, wages and jobs.

As the Business Council of Australia has stated: "The emissions target of 26 per cent is appropriate and achievable. 45 per cent is an economy wrecking target".

Source: Federal Government

 

Record clean energy momentum won't continue without planning and policy: industry

8 February

The idea that Australia’s record level of renewable energy investment will continue in the current federal policy void is an exercise in wishful thinking, the Clean Energy Council said in response to reports today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said a study released by the Australian National University (ANU) is welcome, but the idea that the energy sector will deliver our entire Paris climate commitments would require renewable energy to maintain or improve on the record levels of activity in 2018.

“The reality is that the Federal Government’s current approach to the energy sector is undermining confidence in future investment, which is essential to reduce emissions across the energy sector and the entire economy,” Mr Thornton said.

“The clean energy sector has the potential to make a huge contribution to reducing both emissions and power bills, as suggested by the ANU. But one of the biggest drivers of investment – the national Renewable Energy Target – has now been achieved. There is nothing to replace it.

“We need credible bipartisan policy to give investors confidence and to continue the record levels of clean energy investment we are currently seeing.

“We need investment in the electricity network to most efficiently connect the best renewable energy zones across the country and create more capacity to allow new projects to connect.

“And we need batteries and pumped hydro storage from private and public projects such as Snowy 2.0 and Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation.

“None of this will happen by accident. It needs planning, consultation and political leadership. The current lack of federal government climate policy, combined with ad-hoc market interventions, risks squandering the amazing opportunities outlined by the ANU,” he said.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

South Australian zinc mine to be converted into Australia’s first compressed air facility for renewable energy storage

8 February

On behalf of the Australian Government, The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $6 million in funding to Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd for Australia’s first energy storage project using compressed air.

Hydrostor will construct the 5 MW / 10 MWh fuel-free Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility which will re-purpose the Angas Zinc Mine in Strathalbyn, 60 kilometres southeast of Adelaide, currently in care and maintenance.

The $30 million commercial demonstration project will use the existing mine to develop a below-ground air-storage cavern that uses an innovative design to achieve emissions free energy storage. The facility will provide synchronous inertia, load shifting, frequency regulation and support for grid security and reliability.

Utilising the existing mine will help to increase renewable energy supply to the South Australian and national energy grid while also converting a brownfield site into a clean energy hub.

Hydrostor’s project also received $3 million in funding from the South Australian Government through its Renewable Technology Fund.

The technology works by using electricity from the grid to produce compressed air, which is stored in a purpose-built underground cavern kept at constant pressure using hydrostatic head from a water column.

During charging, heat from the compressed air is collected and stored before the cooled air displaces water out of the cavern up to a water reservoir on the surface. To discharge, water flows back into the cavern forcing air to the surface under pressure where it is heated with the stored thermal energy and drives a turbine to generate electricity.

 

As a fuel-free storage technology, A-CAES has similar applications to pumped hydro. Most notably, it can provide the dispatchability required to ensure reliability of the power system as more solar and wind power is installed.

 

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the pilot project could open up a new form of renewable energy storage in Australia, which helps to support ARENA’s investment in delivering security and reliable electricity.

“While being a commercial demonstration at this stage, Hydrostor’s innovative way to store energy with air could add to Australia’s grid-scale storage capability, complementing pumped hydro and batteries.

“Compressed air storage has the potential to provide similar benefits to pumped hydro energy storage, however it has the added benefits of being flexible with location and topography, such as utilising a cavern already created at a disused mine site,” Mr Miller said.

“It’s always exciting to see old brownfield sites given a new life and utilised for our transition to a cleaner and renewable future,” he said.

Hydrostor CEO Curtis VanWalleghem said: “Hydrostor is very appreciative of the contributions from ARENA and the Government of South Australia for its first Australian A-CAES project.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate the significant benefits of adding our flexibly-sited, low-cost, bulk energy storage to the diverse range of technology helping Australia transition to a lower-cost, high system strength, cleaner electricity grid.”

Source: ARENA