Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian clean energy businesses launch power-trading platform using blockchain

Business News 23rd March 2018, A group of small and medium-size South Australian businesses plan to launch a first-of-its-kind power trading platform using blockchain technology in an attempt to save money and buy and sell local clean energy.

Blockchain-based microgrid developer LO3 Energy, of New York, is working on the project with solar and electrical firm Yates Electrical Services, of Paringa, South Australia, a region known for its vineyards, almond and fruit orchards — and incredibly high electricity prices.

The blockchain, perhaps best known as the technology behind the digital currencies Bitcoin
and Etherium, is a decentralized ledger that enables and tracks all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. The technology uses encryption to ensure that transactions and data are secure, and provides verification and validation to users.
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3029020/south-australian-businesses-launch-blockchain-app-to-cut-costs-trade-local-clean-energy

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March 23, 2018 Posted by | business, energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Floating solar array included in South Australia Water’s big move into solar power

SA Water set to add another 5MW solar, including floating PV array http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-water-set-add-another-5mw-solar-including-floating-pv-array-85781/  By Sophie Vorrath on 22 March 2018   One Step Off The Grid   

South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier, SA Water, is set to install another 5MW of solar PV, including a floating solar plant, after local outfit Enerven was awarded the tender for the job.

Enerven said on Wednesday that it had won a Stage 1 contract to design and construct ground-based solar installations at facilities in Hope Valley, Christies Beach and Glenelg, and to develop a floating solar PV array.

SA Water, which has targeted zero net energy by 2020, began its shift to solar last year, with a tender to install 100kW solar and 50kWh battery storage at its Crystal Brook Workshop site.

The utility, which manages more than 27,000km of water mains, including 9,266 km in the Adelaide metropolitan area, said it was installing the solar and storage system to manage periods of high electricity prices, and to ensure safe and sustainable delivery of water to customers.

Ultimately, the company aims to get its on-site renewable energy generation to the point where it is equal to the total annual amount of energy used by SA Water’s buildings and desalination operations.

And it is not alone in its quest. As we have reported on One Step Off The Grid, a number of Australian water utilities are turning to solar and/or wind energy to lower costs and help guarantee supply.

In Queensland, Logan City Council has installed an off-grid solar and battery storage system as part of a micro-grid powered “electro-chlorinator” that will help maintain local drinking water quality 24 hours a day.

The solution – delivered by the Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance and solar installer CSR Bradford – combined a 95kWh Tesla Powerpack with 323 PV panels at the site of the relatively new 20 Megalitre Round Mountain Reservoir, which provides drinking water for residents in Flagstone, Yarrabilba, North Maclean, Spring Mountain and Woodhill.

In the regional Victorian city of Portland, Wannon Water has installed a 100kW solar system on a water tank at its treatment plant at Hamilton that was expected to cut the plant’s grid electricity consumption by 25 per cent.

In NSW, a community-funded 100kW floating solar array has been installed at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant in NSW.

And Queensland’s City of Gold Coast is proposing to install a series of floating solar PV arrays on its network of wastewater ponds – both to help power the city’s wastewater treatment plants and to cut evaporation from the ponds.

Enerven says design of the SA Water solar project has commenced, and is due for completion in September 2018.

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Solar energy poised to take off in a big way in New South Wales

NSW, the sleeping giant of rooftop solar, is about to awake http://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-sleeping-giant-rooftop-solar-awake-68621/   By Giles Parkinson on 22 March 2018 

March 22, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall carrying out the Liberal agenda – Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households.

SA’s New Premier Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households. Gizmodo, Hayley Williams Mar 19, 2018 

Incoming South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has today revealed that the Liberal government will not continue with Jay Weatherill’s plan to install batteries in thousands of low-income households. The new government’s plan will instead focus on means-tested subsidies for battery systems, and on the grid scale a focus on interconnectivity with NSW.

In a radio interview with ABC RN Breakfast this morning, Marshall talked briefly about his focus for South Australia in the upcoming years, including the direction he was planning to take with Jay Weatherill’s many renewable initiatives. Marshall confirmed that the party would be continuing with a $100 million home battery subsidy outlined mid campaign, rather than following through on the Labor campaign that would have installed Tesla batteries in South Australia’s Housing Trust homes at no cost to their occupants.

While on the surface Marshall’s plan sounds similar, promising batteries in 40,000 homes where Labor had aimed for batteries and rooftop solar on 50,000 houses, the Liberal plan cuts low income earners out of the equation. “[Jay Weatherill] was doing it for Housing Trust homes in South Australia. That’s not part of our agenda,” Marshall clarified. “Our agenda is the 40,000 homes and we’re going to do 10,000 a year.”

While the grants – around $2,500 per home – will be means tested, they are intended for houses with existing rooftop solar, and still require an upfront payment that low income earners will not be able to afford. The cheapest battery available in Australia is the Ampetus Super Lithium at $2,300 for 2.7kWh of usable storage, but this doesn’t include the cost of installation, a separate inverter and the solar panels to go with it.

Disappointingly, Marshall has said he will not be upholding Weatherill’s promise of a 75 per cent renewable target for South Australia. “We don’t believe in state-based renewable energy targets,” he explained. “We do support a national approach.” Yet experts have said that the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee sets too soft a target for the electricity industry to pull its weight on meeting Australia’s emission targets under the Paris Agreement, making it all the more disappointing that South Australia will now be doing even less to help……..https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/03/sas-new-premier-cuts-access-to-solar-batteries-for-low-income-households/

March 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

India’s solar parks – a good system for Australia, too

Farming the sun’s rays: Should Australia follow India’s lead and create solar parks?   http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-21/farming-the-suns-rays-australian-farmers-should-follow-india/9526812 NSW Country Hour By Michael Condon, 21 Mar 18, [Excellent graphics] 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

South Australia’s new Premier vows to kill the Tesla battery storage plan

Marshall’s first promise as SA premier: Kill Tesla battery plan  http://reneweconomy.com.au/marshalls-first-promise-as-sa-premier-kill-tesla-battery-plan-68601/  By Giles Parkinson on 19 March 2018 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia, storage | Leave a comment

Can Stephen Marshall stop South Australia’s transition to clean energy? Probably not

Speed of Australia’s energy transition hostage to Marshall law http://reneweconomy.com.au/speed-of-australias-energy-transition-hostage-to-marshall-law-65325/By Giles Parkinson on 19 March 2018 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s renewable energy future hanging by a thread

 http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australias-renewable-energy-future-hanging-thread-81721/   By Giles Parkinson on 15 March 2018 

March 15, 2018 Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Queensland premier backs renewables over Adani

 https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-premier-backs-renewables-over-adani-20180302-p4z2l1.html

Queensland’s premier has talked up gas and renewable energy when asked about the Adani coal mine, on her first day back from a trade mission to the United States.

Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten this week cast further doubt on Adani’s ability to raise funding for the project and whether a future Labor government would support the project.

Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday said she hadn’t spoken to Mr Shorten since returning from the US, but reiterated the $16.5 billion mine had to stand up by itself without taxpayer money.

“There are other resource industries investing in Queensland, the gas industry is investing in Queensland, we have $20 billion worth of renewable energy on our books,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane

“I hope a lot of resource company’s projects go ahead, but money talks, and the money is talking by investing in renewables.”

Ms Palaszczuk deflected questions about the proposed coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, instead pointing to interest from US investors in her government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target.

The premier said she had also met with the CEOs of a number of gas companies in the US as part of her government’s push to use gas as a transition fuel between coal and renewables.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Nick Xenophon’s SA BEST party promises community electricity co-op.

Xenophon’s SA BEST unveils community electricity co-op plan http://reneweconomy.com.au/xenophons-sa-best-unveils-community-electricity-co-op-plan-11721/ By Sophie Vorrath on 27 February 2018 

February 28, 2018 Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

A renewable energy jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia

Renewable energy: powering Australia in more ways than one http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5229330/renewable-energy-is-powering-jobs-in-the-regions/?cs=97 James Wright  18 Feb 18  A jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia and there’s one industry to thank – the renewable energy sector. From places like Gordon in southern Tasmania to Pindari in north-east NSW, new solar installations, windfarms, battery arrays, solar towers and pumped hydro facilities are springing life into regional towns. How are they doing this? By injecting desperately needed investment and job opportunities into remote locations.

February 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, energy | Leave a comment

New schemes may help renters get solar panels on their roof – Australia’s solar energy boom

Solar boom: New schemes may help renters get solar panels on their roof,  ABC Science, By Anna Salleh, 18 Feb 18,  

 

February 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

South Australia a global leader in clean energy: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

IEEFA: South Aust among world leaders in transition to wind, solar, ECO News, By David Twomey -February 14, 2018 

February 16, 2018 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

In Australia solar farm approvals and record rooftop installations expected to ‘turbo-boost’ production

Australia’s solar power boom could almost double capacity in a year, analysts say https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/11/australias-solar-power-boom-could-almost-double-capacity-in-a-year-analysts-say

Solar farm approvals and record rooftop installations expected to ‘turbo-boost’ production, Guardian,  Naaman Zhou, 11 Feb 18 

A record-breaking month of rooftop installations and a flood of large-scale solar farms could almost double Australia’s solar power capacity in a single year, industry analysts say.

A massive solar energy boom is being predicted for 2018, after an unprecedented number of industrial solar farms were approved by the New South Wales and Queensland governments last year.

Last month also became the biggest January on record for rooftop installations, according to the renewables website RenewEconomy and industry analysts SunWiz

With 111MW of new panels, it saw a 69% rise compared with the same month last year and became one of the top five months ever – largely driven by low installation costs and a boost in commercial uptake.

At the same time, nearly 30 new industrial solar farms are scheduled to come on line.

NSW approved 10 solar farm projects last year – twice as many as the year before – and has approved another in 2018. Queensland currently has 18 large-scale projects under construction, which is the most in the country.

The new farms could be operational within the year, according to John Grimes, the chief executive of the Clean Energy Council.

“These solar farms can be built within a matter of weeks,” he said. “They’re really quick and simple.”

Together, the new large-scale projects could add between 2.5GW and 3.5GW to the national grid and rooftop installations could add another 1.3GW, according to the Smart Energy Council’s estimates. This would nearly double the nation’s solar energy capacity, currently 7GW, in a single year.

“The train tracks are about to converge,” Grimes said. “Rooftop installations and utilities are both booming and could turbo-boost the solar numbers overall.”

In Queensland, residential solar panels are already the state’s largest source of energy, producing more combined than the 1.7GW Gladstone power station. Just under a third (30%) of residential homes in the state have solar installed – the most in the country.

With the completion of the new solar farms, solar will provide 17% of the state’s energy. “We’ve turned the sunshine state into the solar state,” Queensland’s former energy minister Mark Bailey said in October.

In New South Wales, the planning minister, Anthony Roberts, said the 10

new solar farms would generate 1.2GW of energy and reduce carbon emissions by more than 2.5m tonnes – the equivalent of taking about 800,000 cars off the road.

Grimes said the solar boom “was only going to grow” in future.

“Solar is the cheapest way to generate electricity in the world – full stop,” he said. “It’s not unusual for grid pricing to be north of 20c per kilowatt hour in a majority of jurisdicitions. A solar array, at an average size for an average home, if you amortise the cost over 20 years, the effective rate is 5c per kilowatt hour. That’s called an economic no-brainer.”

He said the rush to install rooftop panels could have been sparked by January’s warm weather and rising energy prices.

“I think people are acutely aware of energy prices. People are running air conditioning and thinking, ‘hooley dooley I’m going to get a bill’.”

2017 saw a record 1.25GW of solar power added to the grid nationally, counting both large-scale solar farms and rooftop panels. The predicted rate of rooftop panels alone in 2018 is expected to be 1.3GW.

February 11, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

New South Wales Liberal Premier Berejiklian is approving a solar energy revolution

The Berejiklian government has approved 11 large-scale solar energy plants in the past 12 months, clearing the way for NSW to join a “tsunami” of new renewable energy capacity across the nation.

The 170-megawatt Finley Solar Project in the Riverina, which will include half a million solar panels, is the first to get approval in 2018.

The 10 to get the go-ahead in 2017 doubled the number in the previous year, and alone supported 1800 construction jobs, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said.

Those 10 “collectively reduce carbon emissions by over 2.5 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking around 800,000 cars off the road”, he said.

NSW had more renewable generation capacity under construction than any other state, Energy Minister Don 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,” he said.
Energy security remains a contentious issue in Australia, with the Turnbull government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee yet to secure sign-on by states and territories unsure about the fine detail.

John Grimes, chief executive of the Smart Energy Council, a group promoting solar energy and storage, described the acceleration of solar approvals in NSW as “fantastic”.  The Coalition-led state government was “one conservative group that’s not working against renewables, and that’s got to be good thing”, Mr Grimes said.

In 2017, large-scale and roof-top solar added about 1.3 gigawatts nationally, a record for the industry.

On current trends, roof-top panels could alone add 1.4 GW of new capacity this year, with solar farms soaring by 2.5-3.5 GW, the Smart Energy Council estimates.

Together the 2018 tally may come close to doubling existing capacity in a single year as firms rush to supply the Renewable Energy Target that has to be filled by 2020.

“We’re about to get this giant, enormous tsunami, and nobody knows about it,” Mr Grimes said. “Wind [energy] used to be big and solar was small – now solar’s big, and wind is small.”

Officials in various approval agencies are struggling to keep up with approvals as companies flood them with applications, he said.

“With some of the best sunshine anywhere in the world and lots of good locations available, it is not surprising that NSW is up there with Queensland as one of the national frontrunners for new large-scale solar power projects,” Kane Thornton, chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, said.

At present, Queensland is ahead of NSW in terms of projects with finance or under construction, although the two states have similar numbers of approved ventures.

Renewable energy projects to be built under the Renewable Energy Target in the next couple of years add up to more power than the original Snowy Hydro project, which took a quarter of a century to complete, Mr Thornton said.

Solar projects can typically be developed, approved and built faster than wind ventures.

“And with the cost of new solar power continuing to plunge, they can also be built for a very competitive price which is substantially lower than either new coal or new gas,” Mr Thornton said.

An example of other states’ development includes a plan by Tilt Renewables to spend almost $500 million to integrate two projects – a solar farm and battery venture, and a 300-megawatt, pumped hydro storage project in a disused quarry – with its wind farm interests in South Australia.

Tilt’s $90 million Snowtown North solar and storage project includes a 180,000-panel farm with 44-MW capacity and a 26 MW-hour battery. It is forecast to have an operational life of around 25 years and offset around 85,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent.

“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,”  Tilt chief executive Deion Campbell said, adding that “with the battery reducing the effect of short-term variability from the two renewable generation technologies”.

One area where NSW is a relative laggard is the penetration of rooftop solar, with roughly half the 30 per cent rate of South Australia and Queensland. “There’s a lot of ground to make up,” Mr Grimes said.

Beyond the big solar farms, though, is a jump in demand from companies looking to install smaller systems – such as between 400 kilowatt to 10 MW capacity – without power purchase agreements to offset the output.

“They are doing it to offset their own electricity use” and to get price certainty, Mr Grimes said.

 

February 10, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment