Solar microgrid to power South Australian produce market

4 February

The South Australian Produce Market will install 1600 solar panels and a large lithium-ion battery on their facility at Pooraka, in an investment set to save stallholders over half a million dollars a year off their power bills.

The $10.5 million microgrid, which will be constructed with the help of a $2.5 million State Government Energy Productivity Program grant, is understood to be the largest private solar PV system in South Australia.

The system will supply all of the wholesale market’s energy needs and will also feed surplus power into the broader grid, relieving peak demand and putting downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians.

The microgrid will comprise of a 4.2MWh lithium-ion battery, 2.5MW solar PV system and 2.5MW onsite generator and at full capacity will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4,500 homes.

The project will cut greenhouse gas emissions from the site by 2,637 tonnes each year and it is anticipated market stallholders will save up to $5.5M over the next 10 years compared to the current Retail offers available in SA.

The control system for the site is being developed by local South Australian company AZZO. The microgrid will be fully operational by late 2018 and will create about 40 jobs during construction.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the SA Produce Market microgrid project kicks of a week in which the State Government will make a range of major announcements on new renewable energy projects that will put downward pressure on power prices for South Australians.

Background

There are about 7300 businesses in SA with solar PV systems, with combined capacity of 102MW – roughly equivalent to the Tesla battery at Jamestown.

Almost 210,000 SA households have rooftop solar PV, with total capacity of 720MW.

The 2016-17 Mid Year Budget Review included $31 million over two years to help large South Australian businesses manage their electricity costs.

The funding was first available for businesses to undertake energy audits of their facilities to determine where efficiencies can be made. The audits made recommendations about technology or infrastructure upgrades that could be carried out to reduce cost and grants were made available to implement those recommendations.

A number of other recipients are in the process of having their grant funding finalised.

Source: South Australia Government

 

World’s largest ‘Virtual Power Plant’ to lower energy bills

4 February

The State Government has unveiled a plan to roll out a network of at least 50,000 home solar and battery systems across South Australia, working together to form the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.

Beginning with a trial of 1100 Housing SA properties, a 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed at no charge to the household and financed through the sale of electricity.

Following the trial, which has now commenced, systems are set to be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, and then a similar deal offered to all South Australian households, with a plan for at least 50,000 households to participate over the next four years.

A registration of interest will be opened today for members of the public who wish to participate in the program.

The Government will release a market notice later this week for a retailer to deliver the program, with a preference of bringing a new player into the market.

Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30 per cent.

Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with lower energy prices and increased energy stability.

The State Government is assisting the rollout with a $2 million grant and $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.

Background

Today’s announcement is the next phase in the State Government’s Energy Plan, which is already making South Australia more self-sufficient through the world’s largest lithium ion battery and the solar thermal plant.

The Virtual Power Plant will be the biggest of its kind in the world, easily eclipsing Canberra’s Reposit Power Virtual Power Plant, which connects 250 homes and businesses to the grid.

A recent report by the Australian Energy Market Commission said that energy prices in South Australia are expected to fall by approximately $300 over the next two years for the average household.

Source: South Australia Government

 

Goulburn Bioenergy Project commences commercial operation

5 February

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) has commenced commercial operation at the Goulburn Bioenergy Project.

Highlights

  • The Goulburn Bioenergy Project has achieved practical completion and commenced commercial operation.
  • Revenue flow from the project has commenced and will ramp up as biogas production increases.
  • $1.4 million of the $2.1 million ARENA grant has been received and the conditions precedent for the next milestone payment of $0.68 million are expected to be met in March 2018.
  • Supports ReNu Energy’s target of $2 million of EBITDA from operating projects by 30 June 2018.1

ReNu Energy is pleased to announce that the Goulburn Bioenergy Project (the Project), located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, NSW (the Facility) has reached practical completion and commenced commercial operation.

The anaerobic digester and biogas treatment plant have been commissioned and are operational. The digester is receiving the full waste flow from the Facility and biogas production is ramping up with high gas quality. The two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators have been operated on both natural gas and biogas.

Chris Murray, Managing Director of ReNu Energy said, “The commercial operation of the Goulburn Bioenergy Project is a significant milestone for ReNu Energy and for the bioenergy sector in Australia. The project will supply approximately 4,000 MWh of energy annually, representing over 50% of the Facility’s power consumption and a significant reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions for our customer, Southern Meats.

The Project would not have been possible without the support of Southern Meats, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). We acknowledge and thank Southern Meats and ARENA for their support.”

1 On an annualised run-rate basis.

About the Project

The Goulburn Bioenergy Project is located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, NSW.

The Project includes an anaerobic digester, which is supplied with waste water from the Facility, biogas treatment plant, two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators and electrical interconnection to the Facility. The electricity generated is supplied to the Facility at peak times of the daily billing cycle to reduce the Facility’s overall electricity costs. To be able to meet the peak demand periods, the generators can be operated on dual fuel, blending biogas with natural gas. Dual fuel blending is a novel and innovative application in the field of bioenergy, enabling projects to better meet the demand cycles of customers and enhance project viability through the addition of natural gas.

ReNu Energy owns and operates the project under a Build Own Operate Maintain (BOOM) model whereby ReNu Energy owns and operates the equipment and Southern Meats purchases the electricity supplied under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The Project will generate Large Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LGCs) and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) which will be to ReNu Energy’s account. ReNu Energy has a contract for the supply of ACCUs with the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Projects is supported by a $2.1 million grant funding agreement with ARENA.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

PROJECT BRIEF

Merredin Solar Farm’s proposed action to clear native vegetation to establish a 100 MW capacity solar farm approximately 5km south-west of Merredin in Western Australia was declared “Not a controlled action” by the Federal Government’s Department of the Environment & Energy.

 

World’s largest virtual power plant a game changer

5 February

South Australia is preparing to step up its renewables and energy storage game, with the state announcing plans to rollout the world’s largest virtual power plant.

Climate Council Acting CEO and Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice said the South Australian Government and Tesla initiative was a ‘game changer’ for the national energy market, and would cut rising household power bills.

“This announcement shows that the transition to a 21st Century grid, made up of clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and battery storage is inevitable and it’s happening now,” he said.

Dr Rice said South Australia is home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in Australia, which is also among the highest in the world.

“South Australia is leading the charge, from the most powerful battery, wind and solar plants, to upcoming solar thermal and now the world’s largest virtual power plant,” he said.

“The state is doing its bit to slash pollution levels and to tackle climate change, now we just need the Federal Government to do the same for the nation.”

The announcement details low income households, Tesla and the state’s electricity grid will share the benefits. The initiative will see around 50,000 homes in South Australia receive solar panels and battery storage installed, with the cost of the project financed in part through the sale of electricity generated from the solar panels installed. The system can also provide power to the grid at time of peak demand.

Dr Rice said the announcement also follows the release of ReachTel polling, commissioned by the Climate Council in South Australia last week. The results showing SA residents polled are proud of the state’s leadership on renewables and storage.

“The results show that no matter what the age, around 60% of people polled are proud of the state’s clean energy leadership,” he said.

“Almost 60 percent of people polled (33.5% Liberal, 83.3% Labor, 54.3% SA Best) said the rest of Australia should follow SA’s lead on renewable energy and storage within the next five to ten years.”

Source: Climate Council

 

Strategic realignment in juwi Australia

6 February

juwi, a global renewable company founded in 1996 and has since delivered over 4.4GW of solar and wind projects worldwide with a total investment volume of >$10billion. juwi entered the Australian business in 2014 with the acquisition of Qi power focusing on a niche hybrid/offgrid segment resulting in successfully executing the world’s largest solar diesel battery hybrid reference project Sandfire Degrussa in Western Australia.

As part of the strategic initiative to expand project development activities beyond the offgrid/hybrid segment into utility scale PV projects, the juwi board has decided to strengthen the project development expertise in the management team.

The leadership position will be taken over by Cameron Garnsworthy, who brings with him a wealth of experience in the Australian Solar and Wind development space. In this latest role, he was the Managing Director of a market leading player in Australia and successfully closed 250 MW of solar PV projects. He has also served as a non-executive director at the Clean Energy Council providing guidance and input on wide ranging issues affecting the development of the clean energy industry in Australia. Prior to that, Cameron was heading the Renewables arm of Energy Australia – a leading electricity generator and retailer in the Australian market. Cameron also has prior experience on the buy side with juwi and was involved in various transactions in Germany for the purchase of wind farm projects that were built by juwi.

Source: juwi Australia

 

Fraser and Matiri rivers set to generate more power for the local regions

5 February

The Fraser River has a long association with power generation and irrigation and this valuable resource is soon to be sending even more energy back into the community as Pioneer Energy gets ready to begin their latest hydro project.

In the 1980s, the potential was identified for further hydro generation on the river, upstream of the Fraser Dam. In 2015 Pioneer Energy obtained the necessary consents to construct a new scheme upstream of the Fraser Dam. The natural ‘fall’ of the river upstream of the Fraser Dam creates potential for high energy generation. It will be a ‘run of river’ scheme and will be entirely dependent on natural inflows.

The scheme’s powerhouse will be three kilometres upstream of the Fraser Dam, near where the inflow from Rough Creek joins the Fraser and the water intake is a further three and a half kilometres up river from this. .

The power scheme will be located on Earnscleugh Station, and will be largely unseen with most of the three and a half kilometres of pipeline buried.

Due to the altitude and topography of the area, the construction is unable to take place during the winter but some of the track construction and upgrades will begin in February. The main construction of the intake, powerhouse and pipeline is scheduled to start in September 2018.

Part of the scheme will include the upgrading of the existing four-wheel drive track, up to the head of the Fraser Dam, which provides access to the Shek Harn walking track, and the walking/mountain-bike track known as Prospect Hill. A new access track will be installed from the head of the Fraser Dam on privately-owned land following the true right of the Fraser River. It will be located to avoid any impact on the river, and to stay clear of the many historic mining remnants along the banks of the Fraser River.

The work will be carried out using local contractors where practical, and the benefits will also flow back into the region via Pioneer Energy’s owner, the Central Lakes Trust.

The Upper Fraser is expected to generate approximately 30 GWh of power annually (enough to supply around 4000 households) and should be supplying the local region with power by March 2019.

Simultaneously and similarly scaled to the Upper Fraser project, the development of the Matiri Hydro scheme in the Tasman district has also been approved for construction. The Matiri scheme will add approximately 28 GWh into the Murchinson area by October 2019.

Once commissioned, Pioneer Energy will sell these schemes to one of their joint-venture partnerships, the Southern Generation Limited Partnership. The Upper Fraser and Matiri schemes will join SGLP’s current stable of two South Island wind farms and the North Island’s Aniwhenua hydro-scheme. The Southern Generation Partnership is a 50/50 partnership between Pioneer Energy and the Roaring Forties, with the Roaring Forties shareholding equally shared between Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company.

Source: Pioneer Energy

 

PROJECT BRIEF

Sydney-based PowerAsia’s replacement prospectus, seeking to raise $9mil through the issue of 45mil shares at $0.20 each, was lodged on 2 February with the offer closed on 9 February. Admission to the ASX and trading of shares is targeted for 16 February 2018. One of PowerAsia’s foundation projects is the 20.6 MW Paget Solar Project in Mackay in Queensland, for which it has signed an option deed to acquire from Bosso Holdings and Maggiolo Holdings.

 

Tilt Renewables announces two exciting new energy projects for South Australia

7 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables has today announced advances in two new renewable energy projects for South Australia.

A new 300 MW, 1350MWh pumped hydro energy storage project at Highbury is moving to the approvals phase; and a grant of more than $7 million has been announced from SA’s Renewable Technology Fund to support development of the Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.

“Together, these projects will make a meaningful contribution to the State’s renewable energy and security of supply targets and economic priorities,” said Tilt Renewables Chief Executive Deion Campbell.

The projects also reinforce Tilt Renewables’ long term commitment to the South Australian electricity market and associated support of local communities.

“We have already invested close to $1B in SA and are well placed to help the State continue to lead the world in integrating large scale intermittent renewable generation technology,” Mr Campbell said.

At an event hosted by Tilt Renewables today at the site of the Highbury project, South Australia’s Energy Minister, the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis congratulated Tilt renewables for the success of their application to the Renewable Technology Fund and for their vision in the development of these cutting edge renewable energy projects.

Approximately 200 site staff will be employed during the 12-month construction of the Snowtown facility and up to 300 people over 30 months at Highbury.

“Clearly today Tilt Renewables has taken two steps towards achieving its vision to be a leading developer and owner of renewable electricity generation assets and I am proud of the team that has worked to get the business to this stage with these projects,” added Deion Campbell.

Tilt Renewables is looking forward to working with its project partners, the South Australian Government and the local communities to bring these two exciting projects to life.

Highbury Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project

Tilt Renewables is entering the planning approval phase for the pumped hydro facility on the site of a decommissioned quarry in Highbury, 14km north east of the Adelaide CBD.

The site at the old Highbury Quarry is currently owned by project partner Holcim Australia and ceased quarrying operations in 2009. The site offers a number of attributes making it ideal for a pumped hydro development, including existing reservoir and road infrastructure, and straight forward connection to the grid.

A pumped hydro storage scheme works by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir during periods of low energy prices. It can then generate power when electricity demand is high, by releasing gravity-fed water from the upper reservoir through generators and back to the lower reservoir, for the cycle to begin again.

Tilt Renewables Deion Campbell says pumped hydro has always been a key component of an electricity system because it allows renewable electricity to be stored and used when required, without introducing carbon into the equation.

“We see this project as a real winner for the South Australian community. Not only will we be able to support energy security and contribute to reducing power price volatility, we’ll also have the option to open up some of the 350 hectare site for public recreational use with potential for walking trails, picnic areas and outdoor activities.”

Snowtown Solar and Storage Project

The grant of $7,125,000 from the SA Renewable Technology Fund will support development of Tilt Renewable’s Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.

The $90 million project will be built alongside Tilt Renewables existing wind farms at Snowtown and deliver a new 44MW solar farm and a 21 MW, 26 MWh battery energy storage system. The energy generated will be injected into the national electricity grid via the existing 100MW Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.

The new solar energy farm will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and will be located on 100 ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.

Deion Campbell said the Snowtown development demonstrates that the integration of the right mix of existing technologies in a modern renewable electricity system, can provide flexibility and security of supply and that co-location can greatly increase asset utilisation and overall system efficiency.

“When complete, the new infrastructure will be part of the biggest co-located wind, solar and battery facility in Australasia.”

“By combining wind energy (with typically an evening peak at this site) and solar energy (with a daytime peak), the two assets can combine to better match daily electricity demands, with the battery reducing the effect of short term variability from the two renewable generation technologies” Mr Campbell added.

Mr Campbell welcomed the grant from the South Australian government, “with this solar and battery project, Tilt Renewables will be able to increase the utilisation of existing infrastructure at Snowtown and clearly demonstrate how we see the potential for various components of a renewable generation based electricity system to work together, improving energy security, reliability and efficiency”.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

Lakeland Wind Farm approved

7 February

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) announces that the Lakeland Wind Farm in Far North Queensland has received development approval from the Queensland Government’s Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

The Lakeland Wind Farm will be located 60 km south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula, adjacent to the town of Lakeland. The wind farm has been approved for up to 30 wind turbines and all necessary electrical infrastructure to connect the project to the national electricity network. It is expected to have a name plate capacity of around 100MW subject to final turbine type selection and site optimisation.

“Receiving approval for a wind farm is perhaps the single most important milestone in the development process.” stated Roger Price, Executive Chairman and CEO of Windlab Limited. “With work on the connection agreement and EPC selection well advanced the focus is now on financing to allow the project to reach financial close as planned.”

The wind farm will generate sufficient power to supply more than 50,000 average Australian homes. Construction is anticipated to commence in the 2nd half of 2018.

Source: Windlab

 

GFG Alliance commits to funding Middleback Pumped Hydro Study

7 February

On the back of completing a successful concept study, today Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has committed to spending $1.7m on pre-feasibility studies for its Middleback Range Pumped Hydro Project.

Targeted for ultimate delivery in 2022, this project’s critical next step should take 6 months to complete and will include high level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.

The pre-feasibility studies will be conducted by local South Australian company SIMEC ZEN Energy, which became part of the GFG Alliance in September 2017. The project forms part of SIMEC ZEN Energy’s strategic plan to establish 1 Gigawatt of additional dispatchable renewable energy generation in South Australia, which will provide access to lower cost, reliable, and low emission energy for both GFG’s own steelworks at Whyalla and other industrial and commercial users across Australia.

The Middleback Range Pumped Hydro Project represents a new approach to increasing Australia’s energy security by converting a depleted iron ore pit into energy infrastructure. Based on current estimates of potential size, its 90MW, four hour storage technology is estimated to represent a $170m investment in South Australia’s energy future.

The study costs are being partially supported by a $500,000 grant from the SA Government’s Renewable Technology Fund. The GFG Alliance is grateful for this funding which is speeding the way for Australia to reach a more economic, secure, reliable and sustainable electricity network.

With its unique industry focus integrating energy with mining,GFG Alliance is unlocking new value from legacy mining projects that can be passed on for the benefit of Australia’s future generations.

Commenting on this commitment, Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance said: “The cost of solar and wind is rapidly declining globally with the evolution of technology and economies of scale. However, without a viable large-scale storage solution‎ this revolution is incomplete and unsustainable.

“Pumped hydro has the prospect of being a macro solution to power storage. We at GFG Alliance are very proud and excited to be playing a key role in the development of this breakthrough. Using the empty mining pits from our SIMEC Mining division in South Australia as reservoirs for storing hydro power, and the using the specific expertise of SIMEC ZEN Energy to develop this technology, we will balance power generated by our large-scale solar projects in Whyalla with dispatchable hydro power generated in the Middleback ranges.

“A dramatic reduction in power price is the most important ingredient needed for an industrial renaissance in Australia, which GFG is entirely committed to effecting. Solar and pumped hydro together is the combination that can achieve this. This can be a game changer for our highly energy intensive industries such as steel and aluminium”.

Source: GFG Alliance

 

Limestone Coast bioenergy hotspot

7 February

Moves are underway to turn a major Limestone Coast food manufacturer into a bioenergy hotspot. Blue Lake Milling has developed a plan to convert cereal husks into power as part of an ambitious project designed to reduce energy costs and provide a positive impact on the energy market in South Australia.

The Tatiara company is one of the first in South Australia to take advantage of the State Government’s Bioenergy Roadmap Program designed to unlock potential biofuel resources and stimulate investment in innovative power-generating technology. The program, which is being administered statewide by Regional Development Australia – Limestone Coast (RDALC), lays the groundwork for new projects by providing mentorship and feasibility funding for applicants.

“There is real scope for utilising a waste or residual resource to provide energy solutions for South Australia, and the search is underway for new feedstocks for bioenergy production,” explains RDALC senior project officer Roger Babolka. “Funding is available to help guide applicants through the conceptual stages to try to get these projects off the ground.”

Blue Lake Milling’s proposal has now progressed to a full feasibility study in recognition of the anticipated environmental and economic benefits. Each year, the company’s Bordertown plant processes approximately 24,000 tonnes of husk as a by-product of its cereal oat production. The husk is sold to stock feeders to be used as a bulk filler in feed pellets, but BLM chief executive officer, Ben Abbot, says it would be more valuable as a fuel source.

“We are a 24-hour 5-day-a-week operation, and while this time last year our monthly power bill was $50,000, it has since jumped to $80,000 per month,” he says. “With the system that we are looking at, we would generate more than enough power ourselves; two thirds of it would go to the mill, and the remaining third could be put back into the grid, which is an added bonus.”

Through a process of anaerobic digestion, the discarded oat husks would be placed in a tank of water with bacteria added. The methane gas subsequently produced by the organic breakdown process would be channelled to an engine to generate power, using technology that is already in widespread use across Europe.

“It’s proven technology, and a West Australian company has also successfully adopted a similar system to process food waste,” Mr Abbot explains. “We already have the fuel and the site, with the equipment expected to cover a 40 x 40-metre area.”

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “The opportunities that exist in the renewable energy and storage sector are incredibly diverse. The State Government recently announced the support of four projects through the Renewable Technology Fund that includes battery storage, hydrogen fuel cells and thermal storage using biogas from sewage.

“We are also pleased to fund this feasibility study in bioenergy generated from oat husks at iconic South Australian company Blue Lake Milling. By harnessing industrial by products such as these, we can lower power prices for businesses and also reduce the overall demand on the electricity grid” says Minister Koutsantonis.

The Bioenergy Roadmap Program will remain open for applications through to 30th June 2018, or until the funds are expended, with applications assessed as they are received. Applications are available at: www.rdalimestonecoast.org.au

Source: Regional Development Australia

 

Wind farm generates jobs now, energy soon

7 February

Construction is officially underway on Australia’s largest wind farm on Queensland’s Darling Downs, generating 200 construction jobs in 2018, and clean energy in 2019.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today joined AGL to turn the first sod on the almost $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm midway between Kingaroy and Dalby.

“This is the second large-scale renewable project in the Western Downs to get underway,” Dr Lynham said.

“Coopers Gap will bring $850 million of investment, 200 construction jobs, and up to 20 ongoing operational jobs to the Western Downs.

“The Western Downs is fast becoming Australia’s renewable energy capital, with Coopers Gap and 10 approved solar projects.

“Together, they represent more than 2000 megawatts of renewable energy that will help power Queensland’s electricity grid and its regional economies, and help us meet our international emissions reduction commitments.

“Combined, these projects would represent more than $5 billion of investment, and more than 3000 construction jobs for the Western Downs.  

The 453 megawatt (MW) Coopers Gap Wind Farm is about 250 km west of Brisbane, will produce approximately 1,510,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually. This is sufficient to power more than 260,000 average Australian homes when fully operational in mid-2019.

The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 123 turbines will also reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.

The project is also a coordinated project, a special status which allows the State’s independent Co-ordinator-General Queensland’s to use his powers to cut red tape and help deliver project.

Work has already started to connect the wind farm to the grid. Queensland’s high voltage transmission provider Powerlink is building a new 275kV substation at Cooranga North, with commissioned expected by the end of this year.

Dr Lynham said ongoing private sector investment, like AGL’s, was concrete endorsement of Queensland’s renewable energy policy.

“Our 50 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030 has encouraged an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment in 23 large-scale projects that are currently financially committed to or under construction right across the State.

“When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland’s renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power around 987,000 homes.”

Source: Queensland Government

 

$7.5m Northam Solar Farm debt financing

7 February

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that progress continues on WA’s first merchant utility solar project, the 10 MW Northam Solar Farm, with the completion and execution of the detailed transaction documentation for the $7.5 million construction debt finance with the Perth based private investment group Asymmetric Credit Partners Pty Ltd. The first draw down will now be completed and subsequent funds will be transferred to the project mid-February.

Works are now underway at the Northam Solar Farm site and the project is on track to complete in the second half of 2018 when it will begin selling power into the Western Australian grid. Upon completion of project construction and commissioning Carnegie plans to refinance the debt facility. The Company plans to likewise refinance its 2MW Garden Island Microgrid at the completion of construction.

As part of securing the construction finance facility, Carnegie undertook a corporate debt restructure including the wind up of its $2.8million unlisted convertible note, first previously announced to the ASX on 9 October 2017. Under the terms of the convertible note conversion and wind up, upon successful execution of the detailed documentation for the Northam Solar Construction Finance facility, Carnegie will now issue to the convertible note holders 19.6 million ordinary shares and 35 million unlisted five-year options with an exercise price of 6.0c. Additionally, Carnegie has now restructured its $5m EMC unlisted convertible notes, to remove the general security arrangements associated with these notes, in return for lowering the exercise price to 4.0c per share.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

Western Australia’s largest on-grid battery win

8 February

Highlights:

  • Carnegie’s wholly owned subsidiary Energy Made Clean (EMC) and JV partner Lendlease Services awarded the design and construction of a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for WA State Government utility Western Power.
  • This BESS will integrate with wind, solar and the grid at Kalbarri to form the largest microgrid in Western Australia.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin late-2018 and commence operation in mid-2019.

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that its 100% owned subsidiary, leading Australian battery and solar engineering company, Energy Made Clean, and its Joint Venture partner, Lendlease Services have been awarded a $6.8 million contract for the Supply, Delivery and Installation of a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility located in Kalbarri, 500km north of Perth for Western Power. The BESS will have a 4.5MWh energy capacity and a minimum 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services.

With a capacity of a 5MW, and overload capacity to 10MW, the BESS will form part of the largest microgrid in Western Australia. The system will be supported by a trailing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) contract, serviced by the EMC Lendlease JV’s dedicated maintenance team.

Currently, Kalbarri is solely supplied with electricity via a 140 km, 33kV radial Kalbarri feeder from Geraldton. This feeder is exposed to environmental factors including wind-borne marine salt and dust pollution, and combined with its length and remoteness, can lead to extended outages on the line.

With two modes of operation for the BESS facility, Kalbarri will now be able to be supplied reliable energy through Island Mode, capable of operating in isolation from the South West Interconnected Network, and also have access to energy through Grid Mode, which will provide network stabilisation services with regards to voltage and frequency to other generation sources.

Carnegie Clean Energy CEO & Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said the awarding of this project demonstrated its capability to deliver innovative utility-scale solar and microgrid solutions for customers across Australia.

“We’re excited to have won an extremely competitive, global tender using the latest in storage and control technologies. This reinforces Carnegie’s leadership in the design and delivery of innovative energy solutions in Australia.”

“This BESS will deliver energy security to Kalbarri, a regional area of Western Australia which has previously had its energy supply disrupted because of its remote location.”

“This contract award comes just over 12 months after the establishment of the EMC/Lendlease JV which has secured $25m in orders in the last 4 weeks with Kalbarri and our Northam Solar Farm. With tender cycles running in excess of 12 months, and a clear focus on delivery of high value projects for utility grade customers, we are just starting to see the results of our hard work over the past year.”

Speaking at the announcement of the contract, West Australian Energy Minister, Ben Wyatt said: “This is a great outcome for the Western Australian economy and the Kalbarri community.”

“It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages. The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.

“This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/LendLease JV also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia's biggest 100% renewable microgrids.”

The EMC Lendlease JV presented an optimised configuration of lithium-ion batteries and grid-forming battery inverters using its containerised BESS platform.

Design work for the project commences immediately, with construction scheduled to commence in November 2018 and operation by June 2019.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

State Government backs new pumped hydro projects for Upper Spencer Gulf

8 February

The State Government has backed four new pumped hydro energy storage projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf with almost $9 million in grants from the Renewable Technology Fund.

The projects, located at reservoirs and disused mine sites near Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Germein, would add a total of about 750MW of generation capacity to the South Australian grid. If all projects are progressed, the companies will invest a combined total of about $1.5 billion, creating about 550 jobs during construction.

Altura Group

Secured a $4.7 million grant towards $9.4 million for development phase activities before a final investment decision can be made for the pumped hydro energy storage Goat Hill Project, 12km west of Port Augusta. The 230MW/1840MWh project would require an investment of approximately $410 million and would create about 200 jobs during construction. The project is being developed with project partner Delta Electricity.

Rise Renewables

Received a $3 million grant towards $6.3 million in accelerated engineering, design and development activities in support of their pumped hydro energy storage project, adjacent to high voltage transmission lines and the existing Baroota Reservoir, north-east of Port Germein. The $406 million project, delivering up to 200-230MW/1600MWh 8 hour supply, would create about 100 jobs during construction.

EnergyAustralia

Secured a $500,000 grant towards $8 million in engineering and design activities to support their pumped hydro energy storage project at Cultana, north of Whyalla. The 225MW/1770MWh facility would require an investment of $477 million and create 200 jobs during construction.

GFG Alliance

Secured a $500,000 grant towards $1.7 million in pre-feasibility work on their pumped hydro energy storage proposal at Iron Duchess mine site in the Middleback Ranges. The $170 million, 90MW/390MWh facility would create 100 jobs during construction.

Source: South Australia Government

 

NSW leads nation for solar farms

8 February

The number of solar farms approved in NSW doubled in 2017 and another already approved this year, with future capacity to support more than 1,800 jobs and power about half a million homes with sustainable energy.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the state’s planning system gave the green light to 10 projects in 2017, twice the number of projects approved the year before, and has approved NSW’s first solar plant for 2018.

"Once the 10 solar projects are up and running, they will have a combined solar capacity of nearly 1,200 megawatts and collectively reduce carbon emissions by over 2.5 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking around 800,000 cars off the road," Mr Roberts said.

"The projects are all located in regional NSW and will support around 1,800 construction jobs.

"Sunny Central West NSW proved to be a hotspot in 2017, with six of the 10 proposals coming from the region.

"It may be early in 2018, and yet we’ve already approved another 170MW solar project in the Riverina, known as the Finley Solar Project.

"Our state already benefits from three operating solar farms in Nyngan, Moree and Broken Hill. There are another seven solar projects currently under construction across regional NSW in Parkes, Yoogali, Manildra, Dubbo, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Forbes.

"The Nyngan Solar Plant in the state’s North-West is the largest operating solar farm in Australia and is visible from outer space."

Minister for Resources and Energy, Don Harwin, added that the popularity of solar power was clear.

"The NSW Government has now approved 22 solar projects in total and we have more renewable generation capacity under construction than any other state, at around 1,000 megawatts," Mr Harwin said.

"These projects will ensure our energy security and with many more in the pipeline, NSW is in a stronger position than other states.

"Balancing energy generation remains very important. We need to harness a diverse range of technologies for energy affordability, reliability and security."

The NSW Government assesses all applications on their merits, under planning legislation and clear official policies to consider any potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community.

NSW Solar Farm Fact Sheet

Solar farm proposals approved by the NSW Government in the last 12 months:

Limondale Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (250 MW)

Sunraysia Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (200 MW)

Coleambally Solar Farm, Coleambally, Riverina Murray NSW (150 MW)

Nevertire Solar Farm, Dubbo, Central West NSW (120 MW)

Hillston Sun Farm, Hillston, Central West NSW (100 MW)

Metz Solar Farm, Armidale, New England North West NSW (100 MW)

Gilgandra Solar Farm, Gilgandra, Central West NSW (40 MW)

Walgett Solar Farm, Walgett, Central West NSW (30MW)

Beryl Solar Farm, Gulgong, Central West NSW (95MW)

Hay Solar Farm, Central West NSW (100MW)

Finley Solar Farm, Central West NSW (170 MW)

Total solar power capacity: 1,355 Megawatts

NOTE: Search by individual project names here.

Source: NSW Government

 

EOIs sought for Winton Solar Farm

FRV are proposing an 85 MW solar farm in central north Victoria. Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2018 and be completed approximately 12 months later. Winton Solar Farm is located around 25km south-west of Wangaratta, near the town of Winton, in the shire of Benalla. The site covers approximately 250Ha of agricultural land. 

The Winton Solar Farm will be connected to the national electricity grid via the existing Glenrowan Terminal Station and will consist of the following infrastructure:

  • Solar Panels - Approximately 300,000 solar panels (modules), installed in regular parallel arrays.
  • Mounting structures - each panel would be fixed to a metal mounting structure.
  • Above ground DC cabling – this is fixed to the mounting structure, connecting each module in strings to combiner boxes.
  • Underground AC and DC cabling Power conversion units - inverters, step up transformers and switchgear located within 40ft steel containers or on container skid pads.
  • Internal access tracks to allow for light vehicle traffic during maintenance period.
  • Perimeter fencing around the site, with an associated security system. Small site office and maintenance shed.
  • Temporary infrastructure associated with site construction, including a site construction compound and temporary storage and laydown areas.
  • Landscape screening around certain boundaries of the site.      

FRV will be using local content to support the delivery of this project wherever possible. We are looking to proactively partner with local suppliers and community groups/stakeholders ahead of the delivery of this project to maximise this opportunity.

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought from suppliers and contractors for work packages including:

  1. Civil Works
  2. Electrical Substation Works
  3. Electrical Works
  4. Mechanical Installations

More information is available here.

 

Work packages for the Horsham Solar Farm

Expressions of Interest for detailed work packages will be released later this year for the Horsham Solar Farm, a $200 million project in Victoria managed by ESCO Pacific. The Horsham Solar Farm is a utility scale renewable energy project with an output measuring up to 130 MW. The $200 million dollar project is located approximately 5km east of Horsham CBD in the Rural City of Horsham in Victoria. The site is currently used for agricultural purposes, mainly cropping activities, and was chosen as it has proximity to the AusNet Services network, good road network access and relatively flat land.

The solar farm will cover an area of approximately 196 hectares and comprise approximately 340,000 solar photovoltaic modules dispatched to the local electricity distribution network via AusNet Services transmission network.

Works Required

Some of the works required for this solar farm project will include:

  • Civil Works – earth moving, track building, installation of pilings, concrete slabs, fencing, etc.
  • Electrical Works – Substation, transformer, (mostly underground) cabling, connection of inverters, etc.
  • Mechanical assembly – Assemble PV panels on frames and other tasks
  • Steel supply (pilings, racking/mounting hardware, rebar, etc.)
  • Temporary construction buildings (office, plumbing, security, etc.)

More information is available here.

 

Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park - Stage 2

DP Energy Australia Pty Ltd is seeking consent to undertake the construction of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park – Stage 2. The development will comprise the staged construction of a solar photovoltaic (pv) farm (with up to 5,000,000 solar PV modules) with an installed capacity of up to 500MW (AC), up to 400MW (AC) of battery energy storage via one or more energy storage facilities and up to 3000 MW of synchronous condenser capacity via one or more synchronous condenser facilities on two sites (east and west).

Associated works will include: PV inverter/transformer stations, PV interconnector substations, switching station, overhead/underground transmission and internal cabling connections, access tracks, security fencing, site clearance, viewing area and service infrastructure. Temporary development components include the establishment of construction compounds and laydown areas.

Contact:

Gabrielle Powell

DP Energy

Tel: (07) 4095 2877

Email: gaby.powell@dpenergy.com

 

PROJECT BRIEF

Gannawarra Solar farm Pty Ltd is applying for a licence to generate, sell and supply electricity from its Gannawarra Solar Farm (GSF). GSF is a 59.7 MWp DC (55 MW AC with maximum connection capacity of 50 MW AC) single axis tracking project located west of Kerang in north-west Victoria. It consists of tier 1 equipment:

- 22 SMA 2.5MW inverters,

- 170,636 JA Solar 350/355 Wp modules; and

- a single axis tracking system by Array Technologies, Inc.

GSF Pty Ltd appointed RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd (RCR) to construct the solar farm and its associated substation under a fully wrapped Engineering, Construction and Procurement Contract.

GSF is GSF Pty Ltd’s principal asset and carries on no other business. GSF Pty Ltd is ultimately majority owned by Wircon Gmbh as to 94.9% (Wirsol), with a minority (5.1%) shareholding retained by Edify Energy Pty Ltd (Edify).

Source: SA Essential Services Commission

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