Kennedy Energy Park construction update

4 June

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) is pleased to provide an update on construction progress at its 50% owned Kennedy Energy Park, the first wind, solar and storage renewable energy generation facility to be construction on Australia’s National Electricity Network.

Kennedy Energy Park is a $160M project under construction near the town of Hughenden in Far North Queensland, some 350KMs inland from Townsville.

Kennedy Energy Park consists of 43.2MW Wind, 15MWac, single axis tracking Solar and 4MWh of Li Ion battery storage. The project is owned in 50/50 joint venture with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan.

The project commenced construction in December 2017 and major civil works are now largely complete, including access roads, solar farm preparation, sub-station and all twelve turbine foundation locations. Form work is well advanced and the first turbine foundation pour was successfully completed on May 31, 2018. Interestingly each foundation pour must be completed continuously, in one day with work usually starting at 3am in the morning. Each foundation requires some 600m3 of concrete and around 120 medium sized cement truck runs to deliver it from the on-site batching plant.

“Preparation and completion of foundations for the wind turbines is the single largest civil construction activity required to prepare the site for the delivery and installation of the projects’ major equipment”, said Roger Price, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Windlab. “All foundations are on track to be completed by the end of June, with turbine blades, towers and nacelles due to commence arriving at the Port of Townsville around mid-June 2018”. A community open day will be held in Townsville to coincide with the arrival of the first shipment of 67 metre blades.

Sub-station foundations, both on site and at the Cape River Substation are being completed in time for transformer and ancillary equipment delivery.

The solar plant site is prepared and more than 50% of all mounting posts required to hold the 55,000 solar panels are in place. The balance will be installed over the month of June, with cradle and panel assembly to commence in July.

Turbine tower installation is also scheduled to commence in July with turbine lifts scheduled for August. “At this stage the project is well positioned to complete construction and commissioning in the early part of the last quarter of 2018, contributing to 2018 revenue for Windlab”, added Roger Price.

Source: Windlab

 

Transformation is picking up speed in the power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport

178 GW of renewable power added globally in 2017

4 June

Renewable power accounted for 70% of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017, the largest increase in renewable power capacity in modern history, according to REN21’s Renewables 2018 Global Status Report (GSR). But the heating, cooling and transport sectors – which together account for about four-fifths of global final energy demand – continue to lag far behind the power sector.

The GSR, published today, is the most comprehensive annual overview of the state of renewable energy worldwide.

New solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached record levels: Solar PV additions were up 29% relative to 2016, to 98 GW. More solar PV generating capacity was added to the electricity system than net capacity additions of coal, natural gas and nuclear power combined. Wind power also drove the uptake of renewables with 52 GW added globally.

Investment in new renewable power capacity was more than twice that of net, new fossil fuel and nuclear power capacity combined, despite large, ongoing subsidies for fossil fuel generation. More than two-thirds of investments in power generation were in renewables in 2017, thanks to their increasing cost-competitiveness – and the share of renewables in the power sector is expected to only continue to rise.

Investment in renewables was regionally concentrated: China, Europe and the United States accounted for nearly 75% of global investment in renewables in 2017. However, when measured per

unit of gross domestic product (GDP), the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, GuineaBissau, and many other developing countries are investing as much as or more in renewables than developed and emerging economies.

Both energy demand and energy-related CO2 emissions rose substantially for the first time in four years. Energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.4%. Global energy demand increased an estimated 2.1% in 2017 due to economic growth in emerging economies as well as population growth.

Renewable energy uptake is not keeping pace with this increasing energy demand and the continuous investment in fossil and nuclear capacity.

In the power sector, the transition to renewables is under way but is progressing more slowly than is possible or desirable. A commitment made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels makes the nature of the challenge much clearer.

If the world is to achieve the target set in the Paris agreement, then heating, cooling and transport will need to follow the same path as the power sector – and fast. These sectors have seen:

Little change in renewables uptake in heating and cooling: Modern renewable energy supplied approximately 10% of total global heat production in 2015. National targets for renewable energy in heating and cooling exist in only 48 countries around the world, whereas 146 countries have targets for renewable energy in the power sector.

Small changes are under way. In India, for example, installations of solar thermal collectors rose approximately 25% in 2017 as compared to 2016. China aims to have 2% of the cooling loads of its buildings come from solar thermal energy by 2020.

In transport, increasing electrification is offering possibilities for renewable energy uptake despite the dominance of fossil fuels: More than 30 million two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles are being added to the world’s roads every year, and 1.2 million passenger electric cars were sold in 2017, up about 58% from 2016. Electricity provides 1.3% of transport energy needs, of which about one-quarter is renewable, and biofuels provide 2.9%. Overall, however, 92% of transport energy demand continues to be met by oil, and only 42 countries have national targets for the use of renewable energy in transport.

For these sectors to change, the right policy frameworks need to be put in place, driving innovation and the development of new renewable energy technologies in the sectors that are lagging.

“Equating ‘electricity’ with ‘energy’ is leading to complacency,” said Rana Adib, Executive Secretary of REN21. “We may be racing down the pathway towards a 100% renewable electricity future, but when it comes to heating, cooling and transport, we are coasting along as if we had all the time in the world. Sadly, we don’t.”

Arthouros Zervos, REN21 Chair, added: “To make the energy transition happen there needs to be political leadership by governments – for example by ending subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear, investing in the necessary infrastructure, and establishing hard targets and policy for heating, cooling and transport. Without this leadership, it will be difficult for the world to meet climate or sustainable development commitments.”

Source: REN21

 

Golden Plains Wind Farm project inquiry

An Inquiry has been appointed to consider the Environment Effects Statement and planning permit application associated with the Golden Plains Wind Farm.

The Proposal

WestWind Energy is proposing to build a wind farm on 16,739 hectares of land located to the south, south east and west of Rokewood (approximately 60 kilometres north west of Geelong), within the Golden Plains Shire.

The Golden Plains Wind Farm includes the construction of 228 turbines, foundations, overhead powerlines and underground cabling, four electrical collector stations, an electrical terminal station, battery energy storage, temporary quarry and other associated works. Construction of the approximately 1000MW wind farm is anticipated to take four years.

WestWind energy has prepared an Environment Effects Statement, to assess potential effects on the environment.

The planning permit application is to use and develop a wind energy facility and associated infrastructure, buildings and works; use and develop a utility installation and associated infrastructure, buildings and works, remove, destroy or lop native vegetation, alter access to a Road Zone 1 and business identification signage.

An Inquiry will be appointed to consider the Environment Effects Statement and planning permit application to the Golden Plains planning scheme and public submissions. Submissions are invited from 4 May to 18 June 2018.

Exhibition

You may inspect the EES and planning permit application and related documentation can be viewed on the WestWind Energy webpage, draft planning scheme amendments on the WestWind Energy Pty Ltd webpage.

Submissions may be made from 4 May to 18 June 2018. In order to lodge a submission, please complete the online submission form below.

Directions Hearing

The public is invited to attend the Directions Hearing, which will be held:

Friday 6 July 2018, 11.00am

Bannockburn Shire (Golden Plains Shire) Hall

12 High Street, Bannockburn

The purpose of the Directions Hearing is to:

- consider any preliminary or procedural issues and give directions about the conduct of the Hearing including the exchange of any expert witness reports

- make arrangements for the Hearing, including the Timetable and Hearing venue

- answer any questions people may have about the Hearing.

You should attend the Directions Hearing if:

- you are unfamiliar with the process and wish to participate in the Public Hearing process

- you have questions about the process or wish to raise any procedural issues.

Public Hearings

Any individual who provides a submission also has the opportunity to be heard at the Public Hearing following the submissions process. The Pubic Hearing is open to the public and a timetable will be prepared on the information collected.

The Inquiry will hold public hearings that are expected to commence the week commencing 30 July 2018.

More information available here.

Source: Victoria Government

 

Australia’s largest renewable energy microgrid powers ahead

4 June

- Contracts awarded for Onslow renewables project

- Microgrid to deliver high penetration of renewable energy for Onslow community

The Pilbara town of Onslow is set to become the home of Australia’s largest energy microgrid with the awarding of major renewables-focused infrastructure contracts.

Horizon Power recently received State Government approval to progress the next phase of its distributed energy resources (DER) project in Onslow which will provide the town with a high level of renewable energy to meet their electricity needs.

The initial part of the project which includes a new gas fired power station is nearing completion and this new infrastructure is providing the platform for the next phase of the project, which includes the development of a large solar farm and battery storage system.

Under its State Development Agreement, the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project has provided a substantial financial contribution for Horizon Power to build the power infrastructure for both project stages.

The solar farm contract has been awarded to Complete Power Systems (CPS) National, with the farm to be located adjacent to the new power station approximately 18 km from town and designed to harness solar energy - saving money spent on fuel and maintenance at the power station.

To optimise the use of renewables in the town, a utility-scale battery will be built and installed by Contract Power Australia within Horizon Power’s new zone substation about 3 km from the town centre.

The battery will be available to help manage events such as overcast conditions and peak electricity demand, ensuring a smooth supply of power to the Onslow community.

Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor explained the significance of the project to the State’s energy future.

“This is demonstrating our capacity to deliver the safe and reliable integration of renewable energy into our existing systems throughout regional and remote Western Australia,” Mr Tudor said.

“Together with these central energy assets, we’re also developing technology and infrastructure platforms to ultimately enable our customers to easily and efficiently connect, generate, store and sell their own electricity.

“Our DER microgrids will deliver more affordable and sustainable electricity to communities, giving customers more choice over how they receive their energy and greater ability to lower their power bills.”

Completion of the solar farm and battery storage is expected in the first half of 2019.

Source: Horizon Power

 

Green light for $1 billion Central Queensland wind farm

5 June

Queensland is hosting wind farms at a rate of knots, with the Palaszczuk Government providing development approval for up to 195 wind turbines at Clarke Creek, 150 kilometres north west of Rockhampton.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the $1 billion Lacour Energy wind farm project would involve approximately 350 jobs during construction.

“In addition to building the turbines, associated infrastructure will include substations, temporary workers’ accommodation, staff and operational facilities and powerlines,” Mr Dick said.

“This means jobs for the region over the project’s 36-month construction period and more clean energy that our State can tap into.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the new wind farm was part of Queensland’s $20 billion pipeline of energy projects – with projects worth almost $4.5 billion underway or financially committed.

“Queensland is focused on reaching its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, with more than 20 projects currently either underway or financially committed, creating more than 3500 construction jobs across the state.

“And as we progress to a renewable future, the Palaszczuk Government continues to deliver reliable supply and our two-year guarantee that electricity prices will not rise above inflation.”

“Lacour Energy has worked closely with the department to assess acoustic impacts of the wind farm as well as impacts on fauna and vegetation,” he said.

“The Queensland Government looks forward to bringing more job-creating, economy-boosting projects to central Queensland.”

Once constructed, the wind farm will be one of the largest in Australia.

Director of Lacour Energy Mark Rayner said the Clarke Creek wind farm would have a power output of more than over 800 megawatts of electricity.

“It is a unique renewable energy project which combines excellent wind and solar resources at a location directly adjacent to the backbone of the Powerlink 275 kV transmission network,” Mr Rayner said.

“The wind farm development approval is a significant milestone for the project.

“We look forward to completing the feasibility study by the end of the year so that construction can begin early next year,” he said.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Agreements signed to fast track Townsville Battery Plant

5 June

- New project partners to join Imperium3 consortium to assist with project delivery – additional parties include SIEMENS, Celgard, Probuild, Norman Young & Disney, Ausenco and WT Partnership.

- $3.1 million committed in funding from the Queensland Government towards feasibility study - Agreement executed by Imperium3 representatives with the Townsville Mayor and witnessed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a signing ceremony in Boston on 3 June 2018

- Feasibility Study has commenced – will be completed by project partners prior to the year end

- Stage 2 funding is progressing well – discussions are underway with multiple parties in the private and public sectors

Magnis Resources Limited (“Magnis” or the “Company”) (ASX: MNS) is pleased to advise of a signing ceremony at the BIO Conference in the United States to fast track the Townsville Lithium-ion Battery Plant.

Furthermore, the Company is pleased to announce that it has secured commitments from new partners including SIEMENS, Celgard, Probuild, Norman Young & Disney, Ausenco and WT Partnership.

Signing ceremony and Queensland Government Stage 1 funding

A signing ceremony hosted in Boston, Massachusetts on 3 June 2018 included Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill and senior representatives from Siemens, Celgard and Imperium3. An agreement was signed to help fast track the Townsville Battery Plant.

To further highlight the level of importance of the project, Townsville City Council have hired a highly experienced dedicated resource to wholly focus on facilitating the fast tracking of key milestones and the Qld State Government is in the process of making a similar pledge on top of its commitment for $3.1 million in funding.

Agreements signed to fast track Townsville Battery Plant

The committed funding allows for a feasibility study and detailed engineering work programs to begin immediately. The work will be carried out by key project partners that are also expected to be involved in the subsequent construction of the project, enabling the development to be fast tracked once an investment decision is made.

Additional project partners secured

Magnis is pleased to advise that Imperium3 has also secured the commitment of multiple new project partners to assist in the delivery of this project. These partners include SIEMENS, Celgard, Probuild, Norman Young & Disney, Ausenco and WT Partnership.

The new partners are in addition to the existing Imperium3 consortium which consists of Magnis, C4V, Boston Energy and Innovation, Eastman Kodak Group and C&D Assembly.

Collaboration with Siemens

The collaboration, which has started with the Imperium3 project in New York, will be extended to all further projects, as well as to the Gigafactory in Townsville.

Siemens will play a major role in Digitalization & Automation of the next generation of lithium-ion battery plants, by using the unique Siemens digital enterprise portfolio.

QLD Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “Queensland has long been the powerhouse of Australia.”

“Now as we move towards our 50% renewable energy target, storage solutions are a vital part of enhancing our natural strengths in renewable generation.”

“Storage is fundamental to making renewable energy reliable, and that’s why my Government has already committed more than $3 million towards assessing the feasibility of this project.”

Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill said: “This battery plant has the potential to transform Townsville and charge the city’s economy for decades to come.”

“It was great to meet the members involved in the US and to hear the plans first hand from the partners involved. We are throwing all resources required to help fast track the project.”

Probuild Group Managing Director, Simon Gray said: “The Townsville battery plant is unquestionably a significant project for the Northern Australian region. Probuild is excited to be involved in the delivery of this project that will underpin the smart technology hub.”

Imperium3 Chairman, Dr Shailesh Upreti said: “These are exciting times for Imperium3 with today’s ceremony along with the great progress being made in New York.”

“Prices of Nickel and Cobalt continue to rise which gives our technology a huge advantage in the marketplace and that is coming through with the large OEM’s that we are currently in discussions with.”

Magnis Chairman, Frank Poullas, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for Imperium3, as well as Magnis shareholders. We are pleased that the Queensland Government, as well as our new project partners measure this project at such high importance.

“We look forward to working alongside the government, as well as our new and existing project partners to ensure key deliverables are met in the most efficient manner possible.”

Imperium3 Director, Corey Cooney said: “Today marks yet another milestone that has been achieved for Imperium3. After months of negotiation with the Queensland government we will now be working toward securing stage 2 funding and completing our feasibility study. Our new strategic partners will be providing their expert knowledge to complete the feasibility study, fast track delivery and optimise an investment decision outcome”

Stage 2 Financing

Stage 2 financing discussions are currently underway with various members of local, state and federal government along with government funds, super funds and private groups.

The Company advises that the feasibility study is seen as an essential requirement for this next stage of funding. The feasibility study is expected to be completed during the calendar year.

To date, there remains serious interest from parties for funding and involvement in ownership of the project and the Company looks forward to updating shareholders as these developments materialise.

Source: Magnis Resources

 

Network modernisation will deliver customer benefits

6 June

Australia’s energy networks’ role in securing a more reliable, affordable and stable energy system has never been more critical, Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said at the Energy Network 2018 conference opening in Sydney this morning.

Mr Dillon said the opportunities for network businesses and benefits to customers presented by the transformation and modernisation of the energy system were significant.

“Our generation sector has already started the transformation from a coal-based fleet to one powered primarily by renewables. This must be accompanied by timely and strategic investment to better link electricity from renewable energy zones to our customers,” he said.

“We also have to look at complementary technologies to manage the transition. Recent developments, here and overseas, open up the exciting prospect of using electrolysis to convert excess renewable electricity into hydrogen and then store it in gas networks.

“Remarkably, our existing gas systems have a storage capacity that’s equivalent to 12 billion Tesla Powerwalls.”

Mr Dillon said the network sector was changing dramatically and the evolution of home energy storage and generation required a modernised platform that needed further development.

“We know that today’s grid already incorporates more than just large-scale renewables. Australians love household solar like no other country,” he said.

“However, our grid can’t just absorb endless local generation electricity – networks have limits. When these limits are reached, fuses may blow or systems overheat, causing reliability and safety issues.

“Effective management or ‘orchestration’ of these renewable sources is needed to support their safe and reliable integration into the grid and unlock the true value of household solar and storage.”

Work on this is underway and national guidelines for network businesses to support the fair and efficient connection of solar and batteries to the grid have also been released recently.

Mr Dillon said another crucial area of reform was in pricing structures. The energy sector, government and regulators had a shared responsibility to ensure customers we take advantage of the opportunities for integrating new technologies in ways that lead to reduced costs for all consumers.

“Our current pricing structures are fundamentally unfair and in desperate need of reform. We need governments to step up and work with us to deliver this,” he said.

“We have to innovate and collaborate to deliver the services our customers want and need today – and into the future.”

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

Here comes the sun

6 June

For Victorian Businesses, it’s alright.

Flow Power, one of Australia’s fastest growing energy retailers, has today announced its second renewable PPA to be launched to its wholesale client market, this time adding solar to its offering. The landmark agreement will see Flow Power contract 50MW of the output from Victoria’s largest solar project, the 200MWac Kiamal Solar Farm near Ouyen, until 2030.

This deal builds on the success of Flow Power’s Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which we introduced to the Australian market in 2017 with Ararat Wind Farm, Australia’s third largest wind farm.

Last year, we announced the availability of our Renewable Corporate PPAs with the view to giving local businesses the opportunity to directly tap into an energy source that lowers energy costs, secures long-term price security, and simultaneously benefits the environment and economy.

Kiamal Solar Farm is Flow Power’s first solar offering and first major contract with a renewable generator since announcing our change in ownership. In February 2018, Canadian pension trust OPTrust took an ownership stake in Flow Power as part of our ambitious plans to expand our portfolio for corporate clients.

Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director of Flow Power, comments, “The market has proven that there is an appetite in Australia for renewable PPAs. We are pleased to welcome Kiamal Solar Farm into our portfolio and look forward to bringing a new solar offering to local businesses.”

He continues; “Australian businesses need a solution that can offer cost-effective energy prices and long-term security. We hope to continue to deliver these solutions and are actively looking to grow our portfolio to include additional sources of renewable generation. This agreement secures our solar output for Victoria and we are also in final negotiations with projects for additional wind output in Victoria. New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland should follow soon after, completing our first phase of projects and seeing us out for the year.”

The 200MWac Kiamal Solar Farm is the first Australian investment from Total Eren, a leading French developer and independent power producer of renewable energy and has the potential to be sized up to 350MWac.

Michael Vawser, Regional Director of Total Eren, comments, “We have been working with Flow Power now for more than a year looking to create the most efficient way of structuring such an innovative solution for corporates. With the addition of the sophisticated investor OPTrust into the team at Flow Power, the deal received the boost it needed to get to execution and we are proud to be part of a new wave of power purchase agreements”.

Source: Flow Power

 

Pumped and primed for Battery of the Nation

6 June

Tasmania has taken another step towards doubling its clean energy and securing the lowest possible power prices.

Hydro Tasmania has identified 14 options as the state’s best pumped hydro storage opportunities.

Analysis also confirms Battery of the Nation is an extremely viable and cost-competitive option for supporting Australia’s future energy needs.

These outcomes further strengthen the case for more interconnection across Bass Strait, which would also unlock Tasmania’s untapped wind energy potential.

Pumped hydro

The 14 identified options would provide up to 4800 megawatts of reliable cost-effective pumped hydro potential - significantly more than the 2500 megawatts initially anticipated.

Hydro Tasmania will now investigate the 14 options in detail, to narrow them down to a smaller number of sites, equivalent to about 2500 megawatts of potential. There’ll be regional community information sessions in coming weeks to provide more details.

The options, across eight locations, are:

Site                                        Location                               Pumped hydro options

Lake Cathana                     Mersey-Forth                   5 options

Lake Parangana                                Mersey-Forth                    1 option

Lake Rowallan                  Mersey-Forth                   1 option

Lake Murchison                                West Coast                         2 options

Lake Margaret                  West Coast                        2 options

Lake Rosebery                 West Coast                        1 option

yingina/Great Lake          Poatina                                1 option

Lake Echo                           Central Highlands             1 option

The options are clustered around Hydro Tasmania’s existing hydro assets, providing a big advantage in practicality, cost and speed of construction. Hydro Tasmania will be ready to progress executable projects in coming months.

NOTE: Identifying these high-potential options doesn’t preclude investigating other options in future. But it lays a platform for pre-feasibility work on those opportunities over the next 12 months.

Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation analysis is built on detailed modelling, and concludes:

There’s a unique opportunity to use Tasmania’s existing hydropower system in a more interconnected national power system, to benefit both Tasmania and the national market.

Pumped hydro in Tasmania is extremely cost competitive. There’s ample opportunity, and most sites have an estimated cost of between $1.05m and $1.5m per megawatt to build.

Tasmania has a high-quality and diverse wind resource. It would generate electricity at different times to mainland wind farms, filling a vital gap in the future market.

As a whole, Battery of the Nation is cost-competitive against all other realistic options for meeting Australia’s future energy needs, including when the cost of more interconnection is taken into account.

Hydro Tasmania will work closely with TasNetworks, AEMO and other key stakeholders on the next stage of analysis.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) supported Battery of the Nation with funding of $2.5 million.

“Battery of the Nation is about locking in our island’s energy security and giving Tasmanians the lowest possible power prices. It offers a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable,” Mr Davy said.

“Doubling Tasmania’s clean energy would also create a surplus, beyond our own needs, to support mainland Australia. That’s crucial to replace the coal power that’s being phased out.

“Two things are now official: Battery of the Nation stacks up very well; and we can deliver it.

“More interconnection makes all of this viable - allowing Tasmania to get its product to market. Even with that interconnection cost, our analysis confirms Battery of the Nation is a front-runner that’s extremely competitive and cost-effective.

“Battery of the Nation is not just a Hydro Tasmania initiative; it’s a Tasmanian initiative. It’s designed to serve and support our communities, and will involve opportunities and contributions from right across the renewable energy sector,” he said.

Modelling shows Battery of the Nation and other Tasmanian renewable development opportunities would create up to $5 billion of dollars of investment and 3000 jobs in regional Tasmania over 10 to 15 years.

Battery of the Nation was recently nominated for Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments have committed to pursuing the next stage of a business case for more Bass Strait interconnection.

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

Salt Creek Wind Farm energisation and first production

Tilt Renewables Limited (“Tilt Renewables”) is pleased to announce that the 54MW Salt Creek Wind Farm (“SCWF”) located in Western Victoria was successfully energised on 4 June 2018 and today achieved its first generation of electricity which was exported into the grid. Further testing and commissioning will continue over the coming weeks with full commercial operations targeted for July 2018 from which time full production is expected from SCWF.

During the commissioning and testing process, turbines will be producing electricity and Largescale Generation Certificate (“LGC”) revenues while the 15 turbines (which are all fully erected) are progressively brought into operation.

The electricity produced by SCWF has been contracted with Meridian Energy Australia, with a fixed price for 50% of production up until 31 December 2018, and 100% of production from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2030. The remaining 50% of energy production in 2018 will generate wholesale (spot) market revenues based on the Victorian Regional Reference Price determined by AEMO. The LGC production from SCWF will be managed as part of Tilt Renewables’ broader LGC portfolio, of which a large proportion of calendar 2018 and 2019 LGC production have been sold via LGC forward contracts.

SCWF was constructed under an Engineer Procure and Construct contract with Vestas and Zenviron. AusNet Services has constructed, and will own and operate the 66kV connection assets. Once the project moves into the operational phase, Vestas will have day-to-day site responsibility for SCWF under a 25-year operations and maintenance contract that covers all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activity and includes a comprehensive turbine and balance of plant availability warranty.

The FY19 EBITDAF guidance range of $120 to $127 million given at the time of the FY18 results assumed the financial contribution from SCWF for full operations from July 2018. Any commissioning production from SCWF in June will be included in the June Quarter 2018 Production information expected to be released in mid-July.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

Sustainability fuels growth and transparency builds trust

7 June

Unilever Australia has today revealed its Sustainable Living Plan continues to fuel growth as cross-sector leaders highlight the importance of transparency in building trust.

Unilever Australia has unveiled its seventh year of global and local progress towards its Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) targets, revealing a fourth consecutive year of growth globally for its ‘sustainable living’ brands, which grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of the company’s turnover growth.

Unilever hosted 150 leaders across the business, NGO, academic and government sectors for a discussion on the importance of business leading for trust and how better cross-sector collaboration can drive more progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Australia.

Launched in 2010 the USLP set ambitious targets to decouple Unilever’s growth from its environmental impact, while increasing the company’s positive social impact. Today, Unilever is on track to meet around 80% of its commitments, which include improving health and wellbeing for 1 billion people, reducing environmental impact by half and enhancing livelihoods for millions.

Unilever reported it is on track in Australia to meet key commitments including:

- Sourcing 100 per cent of all grid electricity used in manufacturing from renewable sources by 2020.

- Becoming carbon positive in its manufacturing operations by 2030.

- Making 100 per cent of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable, and increasing the recycled plastic content in its packaging to 25% by 2025.

Transparency & trust

A panel including Jess Miller, Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Sydney; Andrea De Almeida, Executive Director, B Lab Australia & New Zealand; Dermot O'Gorman Chief Executive Officer, World WIDE Fund for Nature, Australia; and Clive Stiff, Unilever ANZ CEO, discussed the importance of transparency and trust as business looks to drive better collaboration and more progress on the SDGs.

Unilever Australia and New Zealand CEO, Clive Stiff said: “We have made good progress against our ambitious targets in Australia and globally, and the continued strong growth of our sustainable living brands tells us the USLP is making a difference, and that consumers are increasingly aware of the impact the products they are purchasing have on the environment.”

“We also want to be transparent about how much more work there is still to do. This is critical when we are witnessing a crisis of trust in institutions in Australia and across the world. We believe business must play a leading role in restoring trust, and that at the heart of trust lies transparency.”

“We also know that the biggest challenges facing our nation and our world can’t be addressed on our own. There is an ever-increasing need for us to work in partnership to drive transformational change across our value chain. To do so will require a new level of transparency across the board and business must be part of the solution.”

Source: Unilever Australia

 

PROJECT NEWS

Orange Grove Solar

Overland Sun Farming’s proposed 110 MW Orange Grove Solar Farm in Gunnedah in northern NSW placed on public exhibition as part of state government approvals process. The project will consist of 330,000 solar panels connected to TransGrid’s 132 kV electricity distribution network. There is also provision of land area within the development footprint for a possible future energy storage and network support devices. The project may include the installation of battery and energy storage devices within a secure compound within the development footprint. The rated capacity of future battery and energy storage devices has not been determined at this stage of project development.

 

PROJECT NEWS

Suntop Solar Farm

Photon Energy’s EIS for the proposed Suntop Solar Farm in Wellington, in central west NSW, placed on public exhibition. The proposal is for a 200 MW DC project consisting of up to 550,000 PV panels installed on a single axis tracking system on a 472 hectare site on cleared land which is currently and has historically been used for grazing of livestock and cropping agriculture. The project proponent, Suntop Solar Farm Pty Ltd, is owned by Photon Energy NV, Canadian Solar Energy Holdings Singapore 4 Pte Ltd and Polpo Investments Ltd.

 

NEW PROJECT

Silverleaf Solar Farm

Location: Narrabri, northern NSW

Capacity: 120 MW

Developer: ENGIE Renewables Australia Pty Ltd

LGA: Narrabri Shire Council

Expected cost: $118mil

Description: The proposal site is located about 5km north-west of Narrabri, and has an area of approximately 450 hectares currently used for agricultural purposes, with the primary use being grazing with some cropping. The proposal site would also include the alignment of a transmission line between the solar farm site and the substation located about 3.7km away. The project includes provision for a step-up substation and battery energy storage system.

Contact: Marcus Dowling

Business Development Manager

ENGIE Renewables Australia Pty Ltd

Email: marcus.dowling@engie.com

 

Energy Zones

The New South Wales Government is working to develop a transmission strategy to support a transition to a reliable, affordable and modern energy system for New South Wales households and businesses. The strategy will help us prepare for any transmission infrastructure that may be needed to connect new power generators to the grid, especially as traditional generators retire over the coming decades. This includes developing options for new priority Energy Zones in regional New South Wales.

Why we need a strategy

New South Wales is currently well-placed in terms of having enough supply to meet the state’s energy needs. However, over the coming decades, a number of our major traditional energy generators will reach the end of their lives and are likely to retire. This has the potential to lead to energy supply shortfalls.

The government is being proactive in undertaking planning work today to ensure that all households and businesses across the state have access to affordable and reliable electricity well into the future.

New South Wales has a significant pipeline of over 14,000 megawatts of private-sector proposals for new renewable generation projects that are either in our planning system or already approved. If built, these projects would produce enough energy to power every home in New South Wales and help to meet any potential future supply shortfalls.

However, most of these projects face network connection limitations because the existing transmission network was built around 50 years ago to connect traditional energy generators, such as coal and gas. Many of the new opportunities are remote from the existing network or are in areas where the network is already over-subscribed. This is limiting the private sector’s ability to deliver generation to replace retiring generators.

Identifying new priority Energy Zones

In May 2018, the New South Wales Government made a submission to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan consultation, outlining its vision for three priority Energy Zones in the state’s New England, Central-West and South-West regions.

These locations benefit from outstanding energy resources, have reduced environmental and planning constraints, and are close to existing network infrastructure and energy load centres. They also align with the government’s regional growth priorities.

Energy Zones would help unlock the pipeline of generation projects, capitalising on our significant energy resources. This would support more competition in the energy market and help deliver low-cost energy for New South Wales consumers.

NOTE: To see a map visit https://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-supply-industry/legislation-and-policy/energy-zones

Source: NSW Government

 

UQ to set world standard with 100 per cent renewable energy

7 June

The University of Queensland is set to become the first major university in the world to offset 100 per cent of its electricity usage through its own renewable energy asset.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the University would become energy neutral by 2020 with the establishment of a $125 million solar farm to offset its annual electricity needs.

“The 64 megawatt (MW) solar farm located just outside of Warwick, on Queensland’s Southern Downs, will provide research, teaching and engagement opportunities in addition to its environmental and financial benefits,” Professor Høj said.

“We are already the largest solar generator among Australian universities, and this initiative will complement the 50,000 existing solar panels on our campuses.

“This project makes a clear and bold statement about UQ’s commitment to leadership in renewables and demonstrates UQ is prepared to make a meaningful investment in creating a sustainable future.”

The proposed solar farm will generate about 154,000 megawatt hours of clean energy each year – enough to power 27,000 average homes – more than offsetting UQ’s current and projected future annual electricity usage.

Construction is planned to start by the end of this year, directly creating more than 100 jobs, with an expected build time of 12 months.

The cost of the project will be recouped within the life of the project through energy cost savings.

“The solar farm will offset UQ’s current $22 million annual expenditure on grid electricity once it is fully operational in 2019,” Professor Høj said.

The project received development approval from Southern Downs Regional Council on 6 June and a formal connection agreement is now being finalised.

Following construction, the site is expected to support six to seven ongoing full-time positions in operations and maintenance.

Professor Høj said the Warwick solar farm would offer a range of further research and teaching opportunities.

“It will leverage UQ’s existing clean energy strengths and provide the potential to venture into emerging research and industry partnerships.

“Public engagement with the facility could be as varied as student field trips through to live data streaming that can be used for interactive market simulations.

“In addition, UQ will install several electric vehicle ‘fast chargers’, and the site will include a visitor’s centre, helping to position the Southern Downs as a renewable energy hub.”

UQ has more than seven years of experience managing large-scale solar PV assets of almost 50,000 solar panels at campuses in Brisbane and Gatton.

UQ will take ownership of the project from renewable energy developer Terrain Solar once construction starts, and will own and operate the plant over its expected life.

Source: University of Queensland

 

Call for public submissions

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) has released a draft position statement on renewable energy facilities for public comment.

The draft statement outlines key planning and environmental considerations for the location, siting and design of renewable energy facilities.

It aims to facilitate appropriate development of renewable energy facilities while minimising any potential impact upon the environment and valued landscapes. It also encourages informed public engagement early in the renewable energy facility planning process.

This statement, once finalised, will replace the existing Planning Bulletin 67 Guidelines for Wind Farm Development (2004).

More details available here.

Source: WA Government

 

First-ever shipment of wind turbine blades through Port of Townsville

7 June

Massive 70 metre wind turbine blades, bound for the Kennedy Energy Park in Hughenden, were imported through Townsville port this week for the first time in history.

The shipment of 36 blades and 3,500 tonnes of cargo from China will form part of the world’s first hybrid large-scale power plant.

The $160 million project combines twelve 200-metre-high wind turbines, 55,000 solar panels, and 4MW of lithium Ion Tesla battery storage.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the delivery of the blades and tower sections demonstrated the Port’s state of the art capabilities.

“The logistical coordination of such enormous cargo involves many parties, from the importer, shipping line, to stevedores and transport companies. It’s an incredible team effort,” he said.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the arrival of the wind blades marked a significant moment for not only Townsville, but the entire state.

“Queensland is experiencing a renewable energy boom, and it’s great to see our state owned ports playing a role,” he said.

“This is another example of how the Palaszczuk Govenrment is helping to tansform the state’s energy network and achieve 50% renewables by 2030.”

The project is being developed by Canberra-based Windlab Limited and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, with Vestas providing the wind turbines and control software and Quanta Solar and Vestas delivering the engineering, procurement and construction of the project.

Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand, Peter Cowling, said the arrival of the blades in Townsville was another milestone achieved in this fast-moving project, scheduled to commence operations toward the end of 2018.

“We are committed to working with our customers and partners to bring cutting edge hybrid solutions to Australia and Queensland, and working with local communities to contribute to Australia’s renewable future,” Mr Cowling said.

The Kennedy Energy Park will create around 110 jobs during construction, including contracts with 18 local businesses, power the equivalent of 30,000 homes and decrease 185,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.

KEP co-owner, Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, said the project could export up to 60MW of power into the existing Ergon network, via two new substations at KEP and Cape River near Pentland.

"Stage 2 of the project, 70km north of Hughenden, will potentially inject $2 billion into North Queensland; a vitally important wind resource for the state," Mr Price said.

Quanta Solar President, Charles Wright, said preparation for the large structures is currently underway in Hughenden.

“Each turbine requires 600 cubic metres of concrete footing, which is equivalent to around a quarter of an Olympic swimming pool,” Mr Wright said.

“Pours for each footing will take between 8-10 hours to complete,” he said.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Our Climate Your Say: Consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill

Each year, we are seeing more and more extreme weather events. Seas are rising. Our regions, businesses and communities have already seen costly damage and disruption. We are paying more to repair our roads and railways and to keep other vital infrastructure running. These costs will continue to increase over time.

The Zero Carbon Bill is an opportunity for New Zealand to decide how it delivers its part in the global effort while encouraging action by others. The Bill puts a new target in legislation that gives us certainty about our long-term goals. It creates the institutions to help us get there and to hold us to account. It can also put in place the plans we need to respond to the growing impacts of climate change.

We want New Zealanders to help us decide the shape and form of this Bill and seek your feedback on the specific proposals in the Zero Carbon Bill.

Make your submission.

Submissions close at 5.00 pm on 19 July 2018.

More information available here.

Source: NZ Government

 

SACOME Joint Electricity Purchasing Group awards long-term supply contract to Sanjeev Gupta’s SIMEC ZEN Energy

8 June

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) has awarded an eight-year electricity supply contract to renewable energy retailer SIMEC ZEN Energy, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, to significantly bring down the cost of electricity for their members.

- SIMEC ZEN Energy has been awarded SACOME Joint Purchasing Electricity Buyers’ Group contract

- Significant cost savings across the buyers’ group

- Supports new dispatchable renewable energy generation to replace the Northern Power Station

The contract represents a successful outcome for the bulk-buying consortium masterminded by SACOME for its members in 2016, in the face of soaring energy costs and supply reliability concerns in the state.

Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman of SIMEC ZEN Energy, said,

 “This outcome demonstrates what can be achieved when businesses decide as a collective that the status quo is not acceptable

“Ultimately what is needed to fix the energy market in this state is more competition in wholesale generation and retailing – this result delivers both.

“While delivering SACOME members with electricity at a price below what could be achieved through a standard market tender, this contract also allows SIMEC ZEN Energy to fast track our own plans to replace the capacity lost when the Northern Power Station closed two years ago.

“This capacity will be a mix of generation assets suited to the new energy landscape, such as the Cultana Solar Power Station and our other projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“The contract also continues the recent successes of SIMEC ZEN Energy – adding to the South Australian Government awarding us its electricity supply contract in late 2017 – as we continue to look for other large energy users to add to our portfolio.” Mr Gupta said.

South Australia has the most volatile and expensive wholesale electricity market in Australia and is one of the most expensive electricity markets in the developed world. This agreement brings electricity prices down significantly for members of the SACOME group. This is a landmark deal – a first of its kind- and is expected to inspire a host of similar initiatives across the country.

The SACOME bulk buying consortium arose out of discussions amongst its members on how to respond to the doubling in electricity costs experienced after the closure of the Northern Power Station. This consortia approach made sense; by aggregating load, members improved their individual bargaining position. The platform provided an aggregated and definite load, enabling SIMEC ZEN to back this demand with its anticipated new renewable power generation, hence making it possible to offer lower pricing.

With electricity representing up to 40 percent of input costs for members of the group, the redistribution of these savings will flow through to new investment opportunities for the South Australian economy.

SACOME CEO Rebecca Knol said,

“This cross-sectoral collaboration has delivered affordable power to some of South Australia’s largest energy users and underpinned the development of new supply for the collective benefit of State.

“Following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) green light in May 2017, SACOME’s flagship joint-purchasing electricity group banded together to leverage their strength in numbers and bring down electricity prices for their businesses.

“Following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) green light in May 2017, SACOME’s flagship joint-purchasing electricity group banded together to leverage their strength in numbers and bring down electricity prices for their businesses,” Ms Knol said.

“The group’s approach to this complex commercial negotiation in a fast-changing electricity environment has been inspirational. The outcome is a credit to the stamina and commitment of our participating members* who represent a diverse slice of South Australian business,” said Mrs Knol.

Source: SACOME

View PDF