Expression of Interest for solar farm to help power Eastern Treatment Plant

30 October

Melbourne Water has released an Expression of Interest (EOI) as part of a plan to develop a new solar farm at the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) in Bangholme.

The proposed solar farm is planned to be located on Melbourne Water land opposite ETP and generate renewable electricity to help meet the power needs of the treatment plant.

The Expression of Interest document is also calling for proposals to help establish a second solar farm at the Winneke Water Treatment Plant near Christmas Hills.

Melbourne Water is committed to reducing its net carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

The proposed solar farms are one initiative designed to help meet this ambitious goal and will play a role alongside other projects including hydro-power stations and the transition of Melbourne Water’s car fleet to zero emissions vehicles.

The establishment of a new, onsite solar farm to help power ETP is a practical way for Melbourne Water to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, and tackle climate change.

Both solar farm projects are still in the planning stage and the EOI process will assist with the development of designs.

The Expression of Interest period will close on 27 November 2018.

Melbourne Water will apply for permits under the relevant local Council planning schemes which will include an opportunity for public comment before any preliminary works can commence at either site.

The community will be provided with an update regarding the outcomes of the EOI process including the details of any proposed development at ETP and Winneke when further information is available.

Melbourne Water’s ETP opened in 1975, is situated on 1100 hectares of land in Carrum Downs and treats approximately 330 million litres of sewage a day - 40 per cent of Melbourne’s total sewage.

For further information please go to www.melbournewater.com.au/solarprojects/carrum-downs

Interested parties can contact Melbourne Water on call 1800 931 978.

Source: Melbourne Water

 

One million solar panels

30 October

Nelson-based power company NextGen Energy has today announced its commitment to long-term, large-scale solar power generation in NZ with details of a $300m private investment program over the next 10 years to build solar and energy storage assets around the country. NextGen has brought together skills and funding from an international consortium and this program represents the largest investment in renewables in NZ for many years.

NextGen Energy has tried in vain to engage with central government over the past 5 years, and this announcement clearly identifies NextGen Energy as the only power company in NZ deeply committed to large grid-scale solar energy generation.

“NextGen Energy is creating disruptive opportunities within the NZ electricity sector, and actively pursues the adoption of new technologies.” says Mark Binskin, COO. “NextGen is already supplying retail power across a number of lines company regions, but our underlying strategy requires us to generate that electricity ourselves in order to guarantee low-price power.”

NextGen has entered into multi-year strategic supply and logistics programs with major global partners to support the rollout of one million solar panels, constructed in distributed, decentralized farms across the country. Typical solar farm sized are in the order of 1-2MW (3 – 6,000 panels). Resource consents applications for the first 10,000 panels in two locations across the Top of the South are now under way.

Binskin says “The ability to guarantee price affordability into the future and to fix those prices against spot market volatility is core to NextGen’s social and equitable programs. The company is seeking to engage with central and local government and lines companies to develop community-owned generation assets, as well as supporting businesses to transition to low-carbon electricity by purchasing their own ‘solar farm’.”

Retail customers are also able to purchase solar panels in these ‘off-site’ farms and have the power delivered directly to them at substantial discounts compared to the traditional rooftop solar model.

All surplus power will be used to support the work of social agencies working with those families most affected by rising power prices. The social enterprise company operates as a not-for-profit, uniquely donating all net profits to local schools and charities.

Source: NextGen Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

McLaren Vale Solar Farm

Location: Southern Region Waste Resource Authority (SRWRA) site at McLaren Vale, South Australia

Capacity: 2.3 MW

Developer: LMS Energy

Expected cost: $3.5mil

Description: No earthworks are required for the proposed solar farm. The solar panels are connected in small arrays and are able to be placed directly on the ground. The proposed solar modules do not have any supporting posts or elevated frames. At their highest point, they are up to 600 millimetres high. The development will utilise 5B’s Maverick technology, a modular pre-fabricated PV system built up from 12 kW array blocks. The solar panels are expected to produce approximately 4.4 MWh per annum which will be exported to the grid. The proposed development comprises:

- the installation of 8,096 ground mounted photovoltaic panels

- 46 photovoltaic inverters

- 2 high voltage transformers

- electrical cabling (linking solar modules), and

- underground powerline connecting the solar panels to the grid.

Contact: Oliver Scheidegger

LMS Energy

Tel: (08) 8291 9044

Email: compliance@lms.com.au

 

HZI Consortium signs 20-year waste supply agreement with City of Cockburn

2 November

The City of Cockburn, a local government area of Perth, Western Australia (WA), has signed an agreement with a consortium led by Hitachi Zosen Inova to supply waste to the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) for a minimum of 20 years. The contract bolsters WA’s long-term waste management strategy, under which Energy from Waste is regarded as an integral part of sustainable resource recovery.

On November 2nd, a consortium led by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) signed an agreement with the City of Cockburn (Cockburn) for the supply of waste to the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility for a minimum of 20 years.

The agreement comes after the HZI consortium was named as preferred tenderer to process residual waste from the Perth Metro Area at an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in March this year.

Cockburn has undertaken a rigorous process to evaluate the best possible waste treatment technologies available worldwide and also to identify the best contracting models available for local government.

The HZI technology was chosen based on numerous international credentials as well as the contracting model, which allows Cockburn the flexibility to revise and improve waste management practices continually going forward.

EfW as Integral Part of WA’s Draft Waste Strategy

The finalization of the waste supply agreement (WSA) coincides with the release of WA’s Draft Waste Strategy 2030, through which the WA Government acknowledges for the first time that energy recovery from residual waste is a legitimate resource recovery process after all attempts to reuse and recycle have been exhausted.

Enzo Gullotti, Chairman of New Energy Corporation (New Energy), a Perth-based waste-to-energy company and member of the consortium, which has been developing the East Rockingham site since 2013, noted, “Waste to Energy projects should not and need not impede higher-order recovery processes for waste streams. Our contracting structure allows councils to recover as much resources from waste as they can and to educate communities on minimizing waste generation.”

Waste Supply Contract Cost-Saving and Compliant with Local Waste Reduction Schemes

Under the terms of the agreement, the City of Cockburn will supply its residual waste to the RRF on a “waste arising basis”, i.e. it will only pay for capacity it uses. This means there is no penalty for implementing waste reduction schemes, such as waste avoidance, reduction, and introducing a third bin for compostable organic waste.

City of Cockburn Waste Manager Lyall Davieson said the WSA represented significant savings for ratepayers and would furthermore divert greater volumes of waste from landfill. He went on: “Waste disposal at landfill sites attracts an ever-increasing State Government landfill levy, which is currently $70 per tonne. The State Government has determined that no further landfills will be approved on the Swan Coastal Plain. The EfW process is environmentally favorable to landfill in that calorific materials are converted for energy production.”

The East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility will convert approximately 330,000 tonnes of waste per year into clean, renewable energy, producing 29 megawatts of baseload electricity. This is enough to power 36,000 homes. The project represents a $400 million private sector investment in the Perth metro area, creating 300 jobs during construction and 50 full-time jobs throughout its 30+-year operating life.

Strong Consortium for Integrated Waste Treatment Solutions

The consortium that has developed and will deliver the project is led by HZI, a global leader in EfW technology and turnkey delivery of waste-to-energy projects. HZI’s partners in the project are New Energy Corporation and Tribe Infrastructure Group, an international advisory and investment firm specializing in the development and financing of complex infrastructure transactions. HZI will act as the technology provider, engineering and construction contractor and will execute a long-term operations and maintenance contract for the project as a joint venture with New Energy.

HZI Managing Director Australia, Dr. Marc Stammbach, emphasizes the company’s considerable experience in developing, constructing, and operating waste-to-energy plants worldwide. “We have successfully delivered projects in major global capitals such as London and Paris. Importantly, we stay with the project from conception through construction, and, once the project is commissioned, we then lead the operations and maintenance activities for the life of the plant. This continuity will ensure that the East Rockingham Resource Recovery Facility is successful.”

Mr. Gullotti from New Energy commented, “This is the second successive contract awarded to our consortium. Councils are acknowledging that the HZI consortium has the right credentials on which to base a 20-year relationship.”

The consortium is now working through pre-engineering and the update of the site environmental approval. The project is scheduled to start construction in March of 2019.

Source: HZI

 

FRV signs Power Purchase Agreement for its sixth solar project in Australia

5 November

- FRV has reached an agreement with Snowy Hydro, one of the main electricity generation and retailing companies in Australia.

- Goonumbla Solar Farm will produce enough clean energy to supply more than 45,000 homes and avoid the emission of 140,000 tons of CO2 per year.

- The construction of the solar farm will begin in April 2019, and will start operations in June 2020

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a leading global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, has announced the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro, for the production of the 67.8 MW AC of the Goonumbla Solar Farm project that will be developed in the state of South New Wales.

The PPA was awarded to FRV within the Snowy Hydro Renewable Energy Procurement Program launched earlier this year and successfully concluded this month.

Located approximately 10km west of the town of Parkes and 280km North West of Sydney in New South Wales, the plant will connect to the national grid, producing approximately 195,000 MWh of clean energy per year. This power output is enough to supply energy more than 45,000 Australian households and avoid the emission of around 140,000 tons of CO2 annually.

With an approximate extension of 385 ha, it is expected that construction will begin in April 2019 and will start operations in June 2020. Its construction and operation will contribute to the economic development of the area, since FRV foresees the creation of up to 150 jobs during the construction phase of the plant, up to 5 of which will remain once it is operational.

According to Daniel Sagi-Vela, CEO of FRV, “with this agreement we want to continue leading the production of renewable energy in Australia, a country that is showing a great commitment to boost renewable energy projects. The Goonumbla Solar Farm will enable us to develop our expansion plans in the country, while contributing to a more sustainable future in Australia”.

Carlo Frigerio, FRV Managing Director Australia also added, “We are pleased to be working with Snowy Hydro on this important project contributing to the ongoing diversification of the electricity generation resources in NSW and Australia”.

Snowy Hydro’s CEO, Paul Broad, said it was great to sign a solar offtake agreement with FRV for the Goonumbla Solar Farm.

“Snowy Hydro’s Renewable Energy Procurement Program was massively oversubscribed. More than 17,600 megawatts of projects were submitted through the competitive process and 888 megawatts across eight contracts were signed”.

“Snowy Hydro selected those projects that offered competitive pricing and had credible pathways to commissioning in the next few years, and enabled Snowy Hydro to construct an optimal portfolio of renewable offtakes”.

This is FRV´s sixth project in the country apart from Winton Solar Farm, (85 MW AC) in Victoria, Royalla (20 MW AC) in the Australian Capital Territory, Moree (56 MW AC) in New South Wales and Clare (100 MW AC) and Lilyvale (100MW AC) in Queensland.

Source: FRV

 

Delay to Lakeland financial close

6 November

Windlab Limited (ASX Code: WND) advises that its exclusive equity investor for the Lakeland Wind Farm project, InfraRed Capital Partners of the UK(InfraRed), has withdrawn from the project, citing its inability to price risks associated with the project’s grid connection, including risk of network losses and risk of curtailment.

InfraRed’s exclusivity arrangement has been terminated and Windlab has re-engaged with alternative equity partners.

Lakeland is an advanced 106MW wind farm project in far north Queensland. With a high-quality wind resource and full development approvals, Windlab remains confident in the Lakeland project and will continue to work towards financial close of Lakeland as quickly as possible. However, given this unexpected development, it is likely that financial close of the project will be delayed into early 2019.

Source: Windlab

 

PROJECT NEWS

Biala Wind Farm

Subcontractor and employment opportunities

Biala Wind Farm will be constructed by a large civil and electrical construction company. The process of selecting this company is still underway. If you are a local contractor or a local tradesperson who would like to be involved in the Biala Wind Farm, you can register your interest on our website (www.bialawindfarm.com). This information will be provided to the main construction contractor when appointed.

 

BayWa r.e.’s largest ever solar plant starts energy generation in Northern Victoria

7 November

Victoria’s largest solar plant has now started generating energy into the national grid.

The 664-acre 112MW solar farm will be fully completed towards the end of this year but has already started generating power. The project is being developed by global renewable energy developer, service provider and wholesaler, BayWa r.e. and is being constructed by Melbourne-based Beon Energy Solutions.

Once fully operational its 330,000 photovoltaic cells will generate enough power to supply 65,000 Australian homes.

Daniel Gäfke, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Pte Ltd. “We are delighted that this landmark project for Australia, the state of Victoria and BayWa r.e. is now generating green energy. It’s a tremendous achievement and means our Karadoc solar farm is now contributing directly to Australia’s renewable transition and sustainability goals.”

A large part of the power generated by the Karadoc solar farm will be used by major Australian brewer, Carlton & United Breweries, following the signing of a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) earlier this year.

The brewery, who has committed to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables, will draw 74,0000 MWh of solar energy from the plant once fully completed.

Source: BayWa r.e.

 

Victorian Labor targets more clean energy investment and jobs

8 November

Extending the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 2030 will provide the certainty the renewable energy industry needs to deliver thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in investment for the regional economy, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said delivering 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 is achievable and can be delivered at a lower cost than any other comparable option to modernise Victoria’s electricity sector.

The Victorian Government announced today that it would extend the Victorian Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030.

“The national Large-scale Renewable Energy Target essentially stops encouraging new renewables from 2020. The industry is not calling for new subsidy, but we do need investment certainty. Victoria has now introduced an impressive and comprehensive suite of policies to encourage the transition to clean energy, and is setting the pace for other states to follow,” Mr Thornton said.

“Federal energy policy remains in chaos following the demise of the National Energy Guarantee, and the renewable energy industry is now looking for leadership at the state level beyond the end of this decade.

“Building new low-cost clean energy such as solar and wind before our ageing coal-fired plants retire is the most effective way to drive down power prices for Victorian energy customers.

“Energy projects are assets with long lives which typically operate for 15 years or more. While the industry continues to wait for certainty at the federal level, extending the VRET to 2030 provides the certainty that renewable energy companies need to invest in new wind, solar and storage projects across the state,” he said.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Minimising the risk of price shock by making generators give three years’ notice of closure

8 November

The Australian Energy Market Commission has made a new rule that requires large electricity generators to provide at least three years’ notice before closing. The rule is based on one of the recommendations in the Finkel Panel review.

Unexpected generator exits, like the recent closure of Hazelwood power station in Victoria, can lead to a sudden increase in wholesale electricity prices. To help avoid this, the new rule requires generators with scheduled or semi-scheduled generating units to give the Australian Energy Market Operator at least three years’ notice of an intention to close, and regularly update AEMO about any changes.

This information will help market participants respond to possible future shortfalls in electricity generation, for example by building replacement capacity.

AEMO must consider and include information about generator exits as part of its annual long-term forecast process - the Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO). An up-to-date list of expected closure dates for generating units will be available on AEMO’s website.

If a closure is likely to have a significant effect on system reliability in the short or medium term, AEMO will be required to publish an interim Electricity Statement of Opportunities report that considers the impact of the closure on overall system supply.

The AEMC has recommended new civil penalties, enforced by the Australian Energy Regulator, if generators fail to comply with the new obligations.

The rule includes an additional role for the AEMC’s Reliability Panel that gives the Panel discretion to identify specific scenarios when energy shortages could arise. AEMO must then consider these scenarios and their impact on generation adequacy when preparing its Energy Adequacy Assessment Projection reports.

To support implementation of the new rule, the AER will be required to develop a guideline by 31 August 2019 specifying how generators should provide information about closures to AEMO, and when exemptions may apply. In the meantime, generators can voluntarily provide information about closures to AEMO.

This rule change request is part of the Commission’s broader system security and reliability work program.

Source: Australian Energy Market Commission

 

PROJECT NEWS

Vales Point Solar Farm

The New South Wales Department of Planning & Environment has approved Sunset Power’s application to build a 55 MW solar farm at Mannering Park, on a portion of the ash dam from the 1320 MW coal-fired Vales Point Power Station. The project will include approximately 220,000 solar modules, 12 inverter units, and a new 33kV transmission line connecting to Ausgrid’s Vales Point Zone Substation within a 80ha development footprint. The development is expected to cost $117mil and create up to 100 fulltime equivalent construction jobs and five operational jobs.

 

John Laing closes 2nd solar project in Australia

8 November

Leading international infrastructure investor, John Laing has underlined its commitment to the renewable energy sector with the financial close of the 174.9MWp Finley Solar Farm in New South Wales.

The announcement comes within a few months of the Group’s close of another solar investment in the region, the Sunraysia Solar Farm, also in New South Wales and on-track to be the largest solar farm in the country. Together they add to the two wind farm projects already in John Laing’s growing, Asia Pacific renewable energy portfolio, representing over 750MW of generating capacity.

John Laing, which owns 100% of the project, and developer Esco Pacific, expect the project to reach commercial operations in late 2019. Located 6 km west of Finley, this project will further support Australia’s ambition to reach 50% renewables by 2025, ahead of other industrialised nations.

Justin Bailey, John Laing, Regional Managing Director - Asia Pacific, said:

“With two solar investments secured in Australia in as many months, we are underlining our commitment to the region and to socially responsible projects that support in-country ambitions. John Laing has a growing track record in this sector and, together with Kiata Wind Farm in Victoria and Hornsdale Wind Farm in Southern Australia, we are pleased to support Australia’s goals to meet its environmental commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than a quarter.

‘We are delighted to have worked with Esco Pacific to reach this milestone on an investment that reflects our goal of creating   sustainable value through the successful delivery of greenfield infrastructure.”

Steven Rademaker, Chief Executive Officer of ESCO Pacific, said:

“Achieving financial close on our Finley Solar Farm is a fantastic outcome for ESCO Pacific, bringing our developed capacity to nearly 500MWp of solar in Australia and cementing our position as one of the leading developers in the market. We are delighted to be working with our equity partner on this project, John Laing, and further extending our existing relationships with Westpac and ANZ.”

Esco Pacific will provide asset management services to the asset during construction and operations, playing a relevant role in the successful delivery and ongoing operations of the project.

Source: John Laing Group

 

A quarter full of records: AEMO’s latest QED report

The third quarter of 2018 (Q3 2018) was one of records for the energy sector, according to AEMO’s latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics (QED) report.

The report provides energy market participants, businesses, consumers, governments and other interested parties with information on the market dynamics, trends and outcomes during each quarter.
The National Electricity Market (NEM) recorded its highest ever quarterly variable renewable energy (VRE) output with over 1,200 megawatts (MW) of new large-scale solar and wind capacity commencing generation during the period. The amount of large-scale solar capacity that commenced generation during the quarter was higher than the NEM’s entire large-scale solar capacity at the start of the year. Q3 2018 was the first quarter on record in which wind output exceeded gas-powered generation (GPG) and AEMO also observed the highest hydro generation output across a quarter since 2013. 

Over on the west coast, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) reached over 1 gigawatt (GW) of rooftop PV and solar farm capacity installed, resulting in an increase in the occurrence of negative prices due to the high amounts of small-scale PV causing a drop in minimum daytime demands.
Q3 2018 was also the quarter that South Australia recorded its lowest minimum demand on Sunday 30 September 2018 however as previously noted on Energy Live, that record was broken three weeks later on Sunday 21 October 2018.  

Separation of Queensland and South Australia from the rest of the NEM, following a trip of the Queensland to New South Wales interconnector (QNI) on 25 August 2018, resulted in approximately 1,110 MW of under-frequency load shedding in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania; and more than $10 million in Frequency Control Ancillary Service (FCAS) costs on a single day, which was a key contributor to the highest quarterly FCAS costs since 2008.

Wholesale electricity prices were a mixed bag across the NEM and Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) when compared with Q2, with Victoria and South Australia experiencing a small reduction, and New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia observing a slight increase in the average price over the period. 

Wholesale gas prices increased across all markets when compared to the previous quarter and Q3 2017. This uplift in price coincided with reduced supply from production, an increase in deliveries to Curtis Island for LNG export, and increasing international oil and gas prices.

Read the full report for more in-depth analysis of the quarter that was.

Source: AEMO

 

143.5MW Metz Solar Farm secures PPA with Snowy Hydro

8 November

Clenergy (Xiamen) Technology Co. Ltd (Shanghai Stock Exchange: SHA: 608628) (“Clenergy”), a leading high-tech company specialising in solar PV power stations(project business, development, investment and EPC) and ancillary solar products, today announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with Snowy Hydro Limited for the 143.5MW Metz Solar Farm in New South Wales.

The Metz Solar Farm will have a generation capacity of 115 MWAC(143.5 MWDC), and will use single-axis tracking, SMA inverter stations and Tier-1 Solar panels to generate enough clean, renewable energy to supply up to 40,000 Australian homes on average. That’s nearly two-thirds of the households in New England, New South Wales, where the project is located. The Metz Solar Farm received Planning Approval in July 2017, and AEMO and Transgrid grid-connection approvals were secured in July 2018. Clenergy is in the final stages of awarding EPC and O&M contracts, and it is planned for construction to commence in early 2019, with commercial operation occurring in Q1 2020.

The project will deliver significant benefits to the New England area and to the wider New South Wales community. During the construction period, it is estimated that the project may provide new jobs for over 150 workers annually.

“Securing such a prestigious offtake agreement with Snowy Hydro is an outstanding result, and we are pleased to work with Snowy in delivering sustainable clean energy for Australia”, said Daniel Hong, CEO of Clenergy.

“Clenergy has a long-term commitment to the Australian market, and this will further establish our project business activities and market present in Australia and around the world”, Mr. Hong added.

Snowy Hydro’s CEO, Paul Broad, said it was great to sign a solar offtake agreement with Clenergy. “Snowy Hydro’s Renewable Energy Procurement Program was massively oversubscribed. More than 17,600 megawatts of projects were submitted through the competitive process and 888 megawatts across eight contracts were signed. “Snowy Hydro selected those projects that offered competitive pricing and had credible pathways to commissioning in the next few years and enabled Snowy Hydro to construct an optimal portfolio of renewable offtakes.

Source: Clenergy

 

Nexif Energy partners with Fluence to deliver debt-financed wind+storage project in South Australia

8 November

Nexif Energy, an independent power producer in Australia and Southeast Asia, announced today the signing of an agreement with Fluence, a Siemens and AES company, to deliver a 10 MW battery-based energy storage system at its Lincoln Gap Wind Farm (LGWF), located near Port Augusta in South Australia.

The LGWF project’s energy storage system will reliably integrate the wind farm’s output into Australia’s National Energy Market (NEM) and is one of the first projects in Australia to secure non-subsidised debt financing for an energy storage system. Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will provide the project debt. This successful financing is indicative of the growing acceptance of energy storage as a robust and reliable technology for Australia.

“We are very excited to work with Fluence on the 10 MW storage system that is integrated with our Lincoln Gap Wind Farm Project. Fluence was selected after a rigorous evaluation process, because they bring to the table a combination of market and technical expertise and the capability to deliver a robust solution with a full turnkey scope, along with providing expert guidance drawn from their long experience in the field, which strengthened the case for this project,” said Srinivas Rao, Executive Vice President, Projects and Operations for Nexif.

The new Lincoln Gap Wind Farm will utilise Fluence’s industrial-grade Advancion energy storage platform to provide improved Fast Frequency Response (FFR) capabilities, helping the project to meet new interconnection requirements for renewable generation projects in South Australia. Furthermore, the LGWF will be able to deliver critical flexibility—in the form of Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS)—directly into the NEM. The energy storage system is targeted for completion by May 2019.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the project continues to demonstrate the strong interest from the private sector in developing grid scale storage projects in South Australia.

“Congratulations to Nexif and Fluence on partnering to deliver the 10MW battery at Lincoln Gap wind farm,” Mr. van Holst Pellekaan said. “The addition of a battery will help to provide important grid stability services to the network and better integrate intermittent renewable energy into the grid. It will contribute to the orderly transition to clean energy in South Australia, and aligns with the South Australian Government’s goal of providing South Australian consumers with an electricity system that is affordable, reliable and secure.”

With a capacity of 212 MW, the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm, which will house the energy storage system, is located 15 kilometres west of Port Augusta in South Australia and interconnects through ElectraNet’s transmission system to access to the NEM.

“The Fluence team is proud to support Nexif on this project and support them as they bring clean, low-cost renewable energy to South Australia,” said Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Asia Pacific for Fluence. “Nexif is transforming the energy industry by bringing advanced renewable projects with storage to the market and in the process, showcasing energy storage’s maturity and financeability in Australia.”

The project’s announcement comes just as Fluence opens a new Asia Pacific office in Melbourne, enabling Fluence to service customers like Nexif from a local team. The LGWF energy storage system marks Fluence’s second large storage solution installation in the Australian market this year, following the inauguration of a 30 MW energy storage system in Ballarat, Victoria.

Source: Fluence Energy

 

Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm now operating, adding 170MW of renewable generation to the National Grid

9 November

  • WIRSOL adds 170MW DC of additional large-scale solar to its Australian portfolio.
  • Gannawarra Solar Farm (60MW) in north-west Victoria – has reached project completion, having successfully passed all commissioning tests.
  • Wemen Solar Farm (110MW) now connected and generating power during commissioning – positioning the project amongst the largest solar farms in operation in Victoria.
  • The two projects will power the equivalent of approximately 52,100 Victorian homes over the course of the year with clean, sustainable electricity.

WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd (WIRSOL), the Australian arm of the WIRCON Group, announces project completion at the Gannawarra Solar Farm. The 60-Megawatt (MW) solar farm is now operating at full capacity, having received approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for successfully passing all commissioning tests.

Additionally, WIRSOL’s largest solar project to date, Wemen Solar Farm, has achieved first generation in an impressive 11 months – creating over 600 jobs in various capacities during this time.

RCR Tomlinson, the EPC Contractor responsible for constructing Wemen Solar Farm, achieved the first-generation milestone on schedule and will continue commissioning with the goal of achieving completion by year end.

At 110MW DC, Wemen Solar Farm has approximately 319,000 modules installed across an area of close to 700 acres, becoming one of the largest solar farms in Victoria to be generating clean, renewable electricity.

The two projects combined will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of approximately 52,100 Victorian households with clean, sustainable electricity, whilst preventing the emission of approximately 390,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Victorian government consciously committed to re-establishing the state as a front-runner in renewable energy, with targets of 25% by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 if re-elected – Wemen and Gannawarra Solar Farm lead by example and signify the commitment made to provide a clean energy future.

Furthermore, Gannawarra Solar Farm’s retrofitted 25MW/50MWh Tesla powerpack battery, Gannnawarra Energy Storage System (GESS), has reached its own project milestone, completing the construction phase ahead of schedule.

This is a significant milestone for WIRSOL, highlighting their position as a leading renewable energy developer within the Australian market.

GESS’s owners, WIRSOL and Edify Energy, have overcome some unique regulatory and technical challenges to become the first battery storage system that has been retrofitted to an existing solar farm. The facility holds great significance and further demonstrates the great opportunity for integrating large-scale battery storage with solar projects.

Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL comments, “We are delighted to reach two crucial milestones at Gannawarra Solar Farm. The overall project and how it has evolved is unique to the industry which in turn sets a benchmark for future projects, which enables the ability to optimise the delivery of energy at peak times supporting demand throughout the daily cycle.

We are proud to be a major contributor towards Victoria’s renewable energy target, with two of the state’s largest projects now operating. This also underwrites our own personal mission of deploying greater than one gigawatt of solar energy by the year ending 2020 in Australia. Maintaining the deployment of solar, coupled with storage where appropriate, is a cornerstone in attaining sustainable and affordable clean energy, which is evidently now within reach on a global scale, specifically within Australia.”

Mr Bruce James, Interim CEO and Executive Director of RCR Tomlinson said, “RCR is proud to have delivered the Gannawarra and Wemen Solar Farm projects on time and has helped add to WIRSOL’s Victorian energy projects. These projects continue RCR’s track record of delivering state of the art solar generation facilities.”

Source: WIRSOL

 

Implementation of Community Co-Investment for the Sapphire Wind Farm

With construction and commissioning of the Sapphire Wind Farm nearing completion, the implementation of community co-investment for Sapphire is about to proceed.

A series of “Open House” events has been organised in Glen Innes, Armidale, Wellingrove and Inverell in early December, to allow local residents to learn more about the co-investment opportunity, to meet the organisers and to apply in-person.

Sapphire Community Co-Investment is a first-come first-served opportunity which is only open to residents located in the Federal Division of New England. Priority is given to wind farm neighbours and residents of the Inverell and Glen Innes Shires.

The Community Co-Investment initiative has been created by CWP Renewables, which also developed the Sapphire Wind Farm and is overseeing the project through construction and long term operations. CWP Renewables and the investment fund manager Partners Group are co-owners of the project through a joint entity Grassroots Renewable Energy.

Construction of the Sapphire Wind Farm commenced in January 2017, and the final turbine was installed in October. Testing and commissioning activities are expected to complete in coming months.

CWP Renewables tested the local community’s interest in co-investment in late 2017, and was pleasantly surprised at the level of interest. The Community Co-Investment at Sapphire will be an Australian first, allowing local community members to invest alongside institutional investors.

CWP Renewables and Partners Group have selected DomaCom (www.domacom.com.au) as their partner in the implementation of the community co-investment initiative. DomaCom has developed a “fractional investment” platform which allows multiple investors to aggregate their investments into an asset, typically a real estate asset but now also renewable energy projects such as the Sapphire Wind Farm.

Andrew Dickson from CWP Renewables said “DomaCom is a great fit for the community co-investment initiative. Their online platform makes it very easy for people to establish and manage their investment.”

“With over $7.3m of pledges received so far from the local community, we are pleased to now be delivering on our promise to the community, to open up the project for co-investment.”

Ben Haan from Partners Group said “Community investment is integral to our Grassroots Renewable Energy business. What we are pioneering at Sapphire will be applied to future Grassroots projects, allowing our communities to share the benefits and to invest in Australia’s renewable energy future.”

Ross Laidlaw from DomaCom said “We are very excited to be partnering with CWP Renewables and Partners Group in the Community Co-Investment Sapphire Wind Farm. DomaCom has been a pioneer in fractional investment in Australia now in its 5th year of operation. The Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund is a clear demonstration of the vision of DomaCom taking large institutional assets and breaking them down into fractional components to allow retail investors to obtain exposure to an asset class not previously available.”

Interested community members are invited to attend the Open House events in Glen Innes, Armidale, Wellingrove and Inverell in December to find out more and start the process to make a formal investment.

To book places at the Open House events, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sapphirecommunity-investment-roadshow-tickets-51386223578 or email investment@sapphirewindfarm.com.au.

Source: CWP Renewables

 

Leading-edge battery energy system launches in Alice Springs

9 November

Territory Generation has officially showcased its $8.3 million Battery Energy Storage System in Alice Springs.

The leading-edge 5MW system is one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia and is an important step in ensuring reliability in a controlled transition to renewable energy for the Northern Territory.

Territory Generation Chief Executive Officer Tim Duignan said the system will enable greater uptake of solar in Alice Springs, which already has the highest solar penetration in Australia.

“The Battery Energy Storage System is an important milestone in the Northern Territory’s transition to renewable energy and a critical piece of infrastructure to support the Northern Territory Government’s Roadmap to Renewables strategy,” he said.

“Reliability and stability of the power system is a critical barrier in the uptake of renewable energy across Australia, and I am pleased that we are at the forefront of tackling this issue right here in Alice Springs,”

“The cutting-edge technology in our Battery Energy Storage System will reinforce Alice Springs as the solar capital of Australia by enabling greater solar penetration whilst maintaining grid stability.”

The 5MW battery provides a near-instantaneous response to variation in solar load, particularly during cloud cover, and will improve power system stability for the region by helping to smooth the output of solar power.

The system has a 5MW capacity, combined with a half an hour storage capability, and it is capable of flexing to 8MW for 6 seconds and 7.5MW for 60 seconds.

The battery underwent off grid testing and online commissioning in 2018 and was showcased to industry professionals on Friday 9 November 2018.

The system was supplied and installed by Vector Energy with technical and advisory support to TGen from Aurecon.

The project was completed safely and on budget, and modelling has determined that the cost of the battery system is expected to be recouped within four to five years due to efficiencies and savings.

Source: Territory Generation

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