Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

World-first digital energy marketplace for rooftop solar launched by Australian consortium

text-community-energy

The consortium is launching two pilot projects in the ACT and on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, each involving around 5,000 households. The projects are also being overseen by a reference group that includes the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission and Energy Consumers Australia.

Australian consortium launches world-first digital energy marketplace for rooftop solar https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/23/australian-consortium-launches-world-first-digital-energy-marketplace-for-rooftop-solar

Pilot program will allow homeowners to tap into a network of ‘virtual’ power stations made up of smart grids of rooftop solar and batteries, Guardian, , 24 Feb 17, With that challenge in mind, in 2016, GreenSync got together with electricity network operators United Energy and ActewAGL, energy tech startup Reposit Power, and energy retailer Mojo under the auspices of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s A-Lab; an initiative that the Arena chief executive, Ivor Frischknecht, describes as an “innovation sandbox”. Arena contributed $450,000 towards the total project cost of $930,000.

What they came up with has yet to be done anywhere in the world: a network of “virtual” power stations made up smart grids of rooftop solar panels and batteries. Continue reading

February 24, 2017 Posted by | ACT, solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory prepares for role as clean energy hub and exporter of renewable technology

text-relevantFunding boost for renewable sector to prepare ACT for green future http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/funding-boost-for-renewable-sector-to-prepare-act-for-green-future-20170110-gtp8vm.html  Clare Sibthorp  11 Jan 17 

The ACT government hopes a funding boost to the local renewable sector will take the territory one step closer to a green future.

Two new grant programs launched by Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury aim to shape the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation and investment.

The new Direct Grants Stream will provide grants of more than $30,000 to businesses developing renewable technologies.

The Innovation Connect Renewables Stream will feed extra cash into the ACT government’s existing Innovation Connect grants program, allocating $120,000 to the development of innovative products and services in the renewable sector in 2017.

Mr Rattenbury said the programs would be financed from the $12 million industry-funded Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.

He said the ACT was on track to be fully powered by renewables by 2020. “The grants announced today are designed to grow the renewable energy industry, help organisations take the next step in commercialising their technology and reduce deployment costs of renewable energy and energy storage,” he said.

Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

January 12, 2017 Posted by | ACT, business, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Solar energy park is seeking co-operative venture with sheep farming!

solar and sheep
ACT solar farm announces new tender ….. for sheep, REneweconomy By  on 16 December 2016

The owners of the Mugga Lane Solar Park in the ACT are looking for one more addition to their almost complete 13MW power station – and it’s not battery storage.

Maoneng Group, who started building the solar farm in March after winning a tender in the ACT government’s first large-scale renewables reverse auction, has this week launched its own, rather unusual, tender – for a flock of sheep.  The company is seeking expressions of interest for a farmer or community group to graze 100-150 head of sheep within the Mugga Lane Solar Park – an area of around 46 hectares at the intersection of Mugga Lane and Monaro Highway in the ACT.

“Applicants must maintain the livestock inclusive of drenching, crutching, shearing, veterinarian costs and portable pens,” the tender says, adding that “weathers or non-lambing ewes are preferred.”

The owners of the solar park, which began generating power in mid-November, will provide and maintain fencing, two water troughs and a small holding paddock with all-weather accessibility.

Maoneng’s Shaun Curran said the deal, which would be a quid pro quo “cost neutral” affair, would provide a local farmer or community group with free and secure grazing, while for the Solar Farm, it would provide free lawn mowing and reduce the site’s fire risk…….

Curran also noted that sheep, while preferred, were possibly not the only livestock option.

“There was a large mob of kangaroos on site when it was first being developed,” he said. “So they could work too. They’re similar to sheep; not too destructive. They don’t want to rub up against the panels.”…… http://reneweconomy.com.au/act-solar-farm-announces-new-tender-sheep-19044/

December 16, 2016 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – jobs growth with renewable energy

green-collarRenewable jobs grow as ACT drives down emissions from government operations by 17 per cent in three years, Canberra Times, Katie Burgess, 13 Dec 16,  Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government’s action on climate change has revealed.

The Minister’s Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT’s renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

Ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting on Wednesday, climate change minister Shane Rattenbury said he would push other states and territories to take up their own renewable energy targets.

“We must not allow the federal government’s inaction to limit what we can achieve at a state and territory level. The ACT is a great example of what subnational governments can achieve. We are on track to meet our 100 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020 and to become Australia’s first zero emission jurisdiction by 2050,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Emissions from government operations have fallen 17 per cent since 2012-2013, the report also revealed. The ACT government is aiming to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2020……http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/renewable-jobs-grow-as-act-drives-down-emissions-from-government-operations-by-17-per-cent-in-three-years-20161213-gta1ha.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | ACT, employment, energy | Leave a comment

Canberra shows off its renewable energy success

renewable-energy-pictureCanberra’s renewable energy facilities host open day, Canberra Times, Stephen Jeffery , 5 Dec 16  Canberra’s renewable energy providers threw their doors open on Saturday to showcase the ways the ACT and southern NSW are helping to reduce carbon emissions.

The Renewable Energy Trail, celebrating 2016 Renewable Energy Day, took Canberrans and tourists to sites across the ACT and surrounding areas of NSW. The day kicked off, under appropriately sunny skies, at the Mount Majura Solar Farm, which began operations this year.

A bus took visitors to Canberra Institute of Technology’s Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence and Renewables Battery Test Centre, before moving on to the “Big Dish” at the Australian National University, a display of electric vehicles in Tuggeranong, and Googong Dam’s mini hydroelectric facility.

A separate bus ventured into NSW, touring the Woodlawn Bioreactor and wind farm.

ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman and Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury officially opened the event…..The Renewable Energy Trail was held in the same week a report found the ACT well ahead of other Australian states and territories in emission reduction targets.

The ACT also won the Carbon Disclosure Project’s award for “Best Renewable Target” during the week. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/canberras-renewable-energy-facilities-host-open-day-20161203-gt39xt.html

December 4, 2016 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Public submissions on renewed call for ACT Jupiter wind farm

Wind turbines in Azerbaijan. Second time lucky? Jupiter wind farm application lodged again, Canberra Times, 4 Dec 16 Katie Burgess 

The company behind the controversial Jupiter wind farm has taken another swing at getting the green light to build 88 wind turbines near Canberra, a year after NSW officials sent them back to the drawing board.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment struck out EPYC’s application to build the wind farm five kilometres out of the Tarago township last October, after it found the company had not sufficiently addressed environmental and community concerns.

But the joint Australian-Spanish venture has come back to the NSW Department of Environment and Planning with a revised proposal, which has now opened for public consultation.

While the original Jupiter wind farm proposal was to build 100 turbines across 25 rural properties, the new one outlines plans to build 88 turbines across 23 rural properties.

EPYC project manager Ibrahim Eid said the revised environmental impact statement included consultation with community members up to three kilometres away.

But residents of the surrounding regions have vowed to once again fight the proposal, which EPYC has been trying to get off the ground since 2014………

The wind farm will be within 15 kilometres of two operational wind farms, one approved wind farm and a solar farm.

The environmental impact statement acknowledged there could be wind turbines within two kilometres of properties not part of the farm.

It also stated there were 43 threatened fauna species, including the glossy black cockatoo and the spotted-tail quoll, however the turbines, substations and other ancillary buildings would be built on cleared paddocks.

The company will carry out targeted ecological surveys to determine where each wind turbine will sit.

Public submissions on the proposed wind farm close in February. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/second-time-lucky-jupiter-wind-farm-application-lodged-again-20161130-gt1f9j.html

December 4, 2016 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

Canberra’s renewable energy leadership at risk, as Federal govt demonises renewables.

The solar industry already employs more people than coal-fired generation across the country. In 2014 the solar industry employed more than 13,000 people and even with the uncertainty and watering down of the renewable energy target this is likely to have grown. By comparison, according to the 2011 census 8,000 people worked in fossil fuel electricity generation.

A clean energy transition is already happening, but it is at risk, Guardian, Alexander White, 11 Oct 16  The transition to a low carbon economy is already happening, but is at risk when residents of Australia’s capital go to the polls in local elections.

The transition to a low carbon economy is already happening … in theAustralian Capital Territory, where the local Labor government has legislated for a 100% renewable energy target by the year 2020.

But this major achievement is at risk on Saturday when residents of Canberra go to the polls for territory elections. Continue reading

October 11, 2016 Posted by | ACT, politics, solar | Leave a comment

Australia’s first sun-tracking solar farm opens at Majura, Canberra

Majura solar farm set to power more than 600 homes after four years of planning, The Age, Clare Sibthorpe, 6 Oct 16, Hundreds of Canberra homes are set to be powered by one of Australia’s first sun-tracking solar farms which opened in Majura on Thursday.The 2.3MW solar farm adjacent to the Mount Majura winery will generate 4,300 MW per hour within a year, which equals about 600 houses.

 Four years since planning began, the 5000 panels at the $6.5 million farm are finally helping the ACT reach its 100 per cent renewable energy target.
Solar-Farm-Canberra

The farm has one of the first self-powered and single axis tracking technology to be used in Australia, which increases output by up to 40 per cent…..

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the completion of Canberra’s fourth solar farm – with the others in Mugga Lane, Williamsdale and Royalla – helped ensure Canberra’s future renewable power supply was guaranteed…….

He said the ACT government had contracted 640 megawatts of power which exceeded the amount needed to make the territory entirely renewable by 2020.http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/majura-solar-farm-set-to-power-more-than-600-homes-after-four-years-of-planning-20161006-grw501.html

October 7, 2016 Posted by | ACT, solar | 1 Comment

Australian Capital Territory Liberals back ACT govt’s targets of 100 per cent renewables by 2020 and zero net emissions by 2050

text politicsrenewable-energy-pictureEnvironmental groups urge ACT to commit to carbon neutrality by 2040, Canberra Times, Christopher Knaus, 1 Sept 16 Environmental groups have urged the ACT government to reach zero net emissions a decade earlier than its current target, while praising the territory’s newly-realised bi-partisanship on climate change.

The ACT government’s targets of 100 per cent renewables by 2020 and zero net emissions by 2050 were backed by the Canberra Liberals at an election forum on Monday night. Liberal leader Jeremy Hanson confirmed his party would continue to pursue Labor’s climate change policies if elected.

The position has drawn praise from the ACT Conservation Council and climate change action group 350.org, which said the approach of the Canberra Liberals “sits in stark contrast to the federal party’s ongoing support for the coal, oil and gas expansion industry and paltry emissions reduction targets”.But both groups have urged the ACT to speed up its transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Conservation Council ACT executive director Larry O’Loughlin said the ACT should seek to achieve zero net emissions by 2040 to maintain its status as a nation-leading jurisdiction on climate change. Mr O’Loughlin said the government should also set an interim target at some point between 2020 and 2040, to ensure it stays on track to the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

He said speeding up the transition to a carbon neutral economy, if adopted across the globe, would help limit global warming to two degrees. The emerging evidence, he said, may even prove that target to be inadequate. “It may be that [2040] is soon unambitious. We might need to do more,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

The Conservation Council has also recently released its election policy document, which sets out the priorities for both major parties ahead of the October election……..

Climate change action group, 350.org, issued a statement on Wednesday congratulating the Canberra Liberals on adopting the existing climate change and renewable energy targets.

350.org Canberra spokesperson Josh Creaser said the ACT had been a leader in fighting climate change, but said more must be done. “Whilst the ACT Liberals have taken an important step by matching the ACT Government’s policies it’s clear that a transition to net zero emissions must happen sooner than 2050,” he said.

“This should also include the ongoing divestment of ACT Government shares in fossil fuel companies.” http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/environmental-groups-urge-act-to-commit-to-carbon-neutrality-by-2040-20160830-gr4i5d.html

September 2, 2016 Posted by | ACT, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Canberra heads to 100% renewable energy, helped by wind power from South Australia

Wind turbines in Azerbaijan. Wind farms in Crookwell, South Australia ‘final piece’ in ACT’s renewable plan  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/wind-farms-in-crookwell-south-australia-final-piece-in-acts-renewable-plan-20160823-gqys5x.html   Christopher Knaus, 23 Aug 16 A local wind farm has won a bid to supply 41,600 ACT homes with energy, while a third successful bid from a South Australian project means it will provide a major chunk of Canberra’s renewable power by 2020.

Environment Minister Simon Corbell on Tuesday announced what he described as the “final piece” in the government’s plan for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. A 91MW $200 million Crookwell wind farm, to be built by Spanish-owned company Union Fenosa Wind Australia, has won the right to be paid feed-in tariff grants under the government’s reverse auction process.

The project, due to be completed in September 2018, will build 28 turbines able to power 41,600 Canberra homes.

Mr Corbell said the Crookwell farm would be paid $86.60/MWh for the energy it feeds into the grid, which he said was a record low for a NSW wind farm. The other successful bidder was the Hornsdale Wind Farm, being built by Neoen International SAS and Megawatt Capital north of Adelaide.

The Hornsdale project has already been successful in the first and second rounds of ACT wind auctions, and is building the capacity for 309MW in total. That means the South Australian project will provide a large chunk of the ACT’s renewable energy by 2020. Continue reading

August 24, 2016 Posted by | ACT, South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

Secretive Pine Gap remains an integral part of USA’s nuclear ‘star wars’ plans

text-relevantStrategic US Military Intel Base in Pine Gap, Australia, By Richard Neville Global Research, April 30, 2008 PINE GAP MIND GAP: A TERROR CELL THAT NEVER SLEEPS. “…..This is Pine Gap, a US military base built on the traditional land of the indigenous Arrernte people, which started life in 1966. Australians were told the facility was to be a weather station. Later the official cover was a “Space Research Centre”. Our citizens remained in the dark until 1975, when Prime Minister Whitlam revealed that Pine Gap’s boss, Richard Stallings, was an agent of the CIA.

Up till then, according to former Minister Clyde Cameron, politicians had regarded the base as “a pretty harmless sort of operation”. Whitlam demanded a list of all CIA agents in the country. This infuriated US spy masters, who put pressure on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to shut him up. CIA fears over the leaking of Pine Gaps’ secret activities helped to trigger the murky events that toppled the Whitlam government.

Map-Pine-Gap

Pine Gap’s first generation of satellites was designed to monitor Soviet missile developments and for espionage in South East Asia, especially Vietnam, and later to spy on China. Since then, both its mission and capabilities have expanded dramatically. The base is believed to have provided targeting information for Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon.

Pine Gap is one of largest and most sophisticated satellite ground stations in the world. Its 26 antennas suck information from the sky and distribute it to US commanders in the field, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it is used to co-ordinate air strikes…….

If Australia wishes to regain its reputation as a fair minded nation, the government will need to take a closer look at this secretive installation, an integral part of the US National Missile Defense scheme, or Star Wars.

It aims to put satellite based weapons in space to shoot down any incoming missiles. New radomes (radar + dome) to accommodate the system have already been installed.

The majority of Pine Gap’s 1000 staff are Americans drawn from branches of the US military, including the National Security Agency, Army and Navy Information Operations Command, US Navy and Combined Support Group, Air Intelligence Agency, US Air Force, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade, 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Marine Cryptologic Support Command, etc. The base is described as a “joint facility”, although key areas are out of bounds to Australians. While visiting US lawmakers are taken on tours of Pine Gap, Federal MP’s are denied entry. (Members of Congress have collectively invested up to $US196 million in companies with Defense Department contracts, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq invasion. Until May 2007, Hillary Clinton held holdings in Honeywell, Boeing and – yes – Raytheon).

In 2000, the Howard Government rejected calls by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Treaties for a classified briefing on its operations. There is no public debate on the role of Pine Gap, despite its unbending support of all US military actions, regardless of legality or morality. As for the media, they’re asleep at the wheel……..http://www.globalresearch.ca/strategic-us-military-intel-base-in-pine-gap-australia/8858

August 19, 2016 Posted by | ACT, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Canberra solar project co-located with wind farm

solar-wind-turbineGullen Range Wind Farm adds solar project in Australian first, Canberra Times  John Thistleton 27 July 16

Australia’s first large-scale solar farm to be co-located with wind turbines will be built near Canberra, saving money and creating a more reliable, cheaper renewable energy model.

The 10 MW solar photovoltaic plant near the existing Gullen Range Wind Farm, 28 kilometres north west of Goulburn, will likely be followed by more co-located generators, says the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which is providing $9.9 million for the $26 million project.

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said under the co-location model developers could save money on grid connection, approvals and site development costs including access tracks by co-locating wind and solar plants, while also reducing environmental impacts. Proponents expect savings of about $6 million.

Mr Frischknecht said solar and wind were complementary sources of renewable energy that produced power at different times of the day and year.

“Co-location provides more continuous energy generation, as wind farms tend to generate more energy overnight while solar only generates during the day. Gullen Wind Farm generates more power in winter and the new solar farm will generate more in summer,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“It could also unlock new markets for medium-scale solar PV projects, because scale isn’t as important for competitiveness when plants are co-located.”……http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/energy/gullen-range-wind-farm-adds-solar-project-in-australian-first-20160726-gqdqqh.html

July 27, 2016 Posted by | ACT, solar, wind | Leave a comment

Canberra’s solar farms with sun- tracking technology

Mr Han says the ACT’s solar projects are small, but internationally the industry is indebted to Australia.

“In China scales are much bigger, ultimately the solar voltaic cell is actually Australian technology that was originally developed out of the University of NSW,” Mr Han said. “That technology was commercialised in China as well as Europe. A lot of the technology and breakthroughs we still owe to Australia research and development.”

The proponents say the ACT is Australia’s front -runner in solar projects.

“The long term off-take agreements, or power purchase agreements, mean it has a reliable and predictable revenue stream for owners and investors, ” Mr Crockett said.

diagram solar tracker“The ACT has proved how efficient, effective and cheap it is to transition your electricity sector, you are seeing now the Victorian Government is going to do something very similar,” Mr Crockett said.

Mugga Lane and Williamsdale solar farms to begin tracking sun by year’s end http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/energy/mugga-lane-and-williamsdale-solar-farms-to-begin-tracking-sun-by-years-end-20160718-gq8lrg.html July 21 2016 John Thistleton
A GPS-guided pile-driver sinking steel posts into the ground is swiftly changing the landscape in South Canberra for a new solar farm. Continue reading

July 22, 2016 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

Canberra’s community- owned solar farm to be largest in Australia

text-community-energy‘Largest community-owned’ solar farm in Australia taking root in Canberra vineyard June 28, 2016  Canberra Times reporter There are two reasons Canberra’s David Osmond puts his money into solar panels rather than stockpiling it in the bank.

“The returns are better plus it’s going towards a cause I’m very passionate about,” he said.

The latest solar project Mr Osmond will invest in will be the largest community-owned solar farm in Australia – and it will be right here in Canberra.

Mr Osmond is one of the first investors in the SolarShare Community Energy Majura Solar Farm, a $3 million solar plant that, when built, will generate enough electricity to power 250 Canberra homes.

SolarShare project leader Lawrence McIntosh said more than 5000 solar panels will be mounted on three hectares leased from the Mount Majura Vineyard, producing 1.9GWh of electricity each year.

“Wine grapes are best grown on slopes, which leaves the flatter land at the bottom of the valley with not much interest for grape growing but great for a solar project,” he said.

While only 5 per cent of the size of the Royalla Solar Farm south of Canberra, this one will be owned by the community, investors pledging $50 to $10,000 each towards its construction and maintenance.

About 400 people have registered as investors so far and more are being welcomed, Mr McIntosh said.

The flagship farm is predicted to earn more than $360,000 a year in revenue from selling electricity to the energy networks, its profits shared among the project’s investors…….http://www.smh.com.au/environment/energy-smart/largest-communityowned-solar-farm-in-australia-taking-root-in-canberra-vineyard-20160620-gpnu4k.html

June 29, 2016 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

Carbon Disclosure Project lists Canberra as a global climate change leader

Canberra ranked as a global climate change leader,  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-ranked-as-a-global-climate-change-leader-20160408-go1utu.htmlJames Hall  Canberra’s ranking as a global climate change leader by the Carbon Disclosure Project is an “important acknowledgement”, Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie says.

The CDP placed the capital among the top 10 cities in the world for its “quality and completeness” of environmental risk reporting.

“It’s not just that one area of the policy is doing well [to be ranked so highly],” Ms McKenzie said. “Reducing emissions, adequately reporting and disclosing internationally, a renewable energy policy, a risk assessment of what the climate change impact will be and have a plan to adapt to those consequences.”

Despite the ACT being significantly smaller than other states and territories and not having coastal environmental concerns, she said the city had substantial environmental elements affecting its climate.

She said Canberra’s recognition by the CDP is significant because its size is more common globally and it provides a more realistic comparison on how to implement sustainable technologies and processes. “Our view is that it is a very good example of how you transition a community that has previously been reliant on fossil fuels and moving towards more renewable energy,” Ms McKenzie said.

ACT Environment and Climate Change Minister Simon Corbell​ said the government had shown Canberrans and the world it was committed to tackling climate change. “In doing so we are also showing the world that moving to a low-carbon economy is not only achievable and affordable, but also can be a benefit to both the community and our economy,” he said. “By attracting renewable energy companies to Canberra and fostering a positive environment for renewable energy operation, research and development through our progressive policies we have positioned the territory to take advantage of growth in the renewable energy industry”.

Much of the sustainable energy being harnessed by the nation’s capital is being supplied by interstate facilities, but Ms McKenzie said it was the implementation of the energy being produced which is both environmentally responsible and economically innovative.

“It depends on why those projects have been built and if Canberra has played a significant role in making those projects get off the ground,” she said.  “And then if the electricity is then being used by Canberra, the ACT has then brought in the investment for plants.”

“That is also reflected in some of the local businesses that now exist in Canberra, like Reposit Power for instance, businesses are being attracted to Canberra because it is a better investment environment for renewable energy than other parts of the country.”

April 11, 2016 Posted by | ACT, climate change - global warming, energy | Leave a comment