Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Premier announces Solar thermal power plant for Port Augusta

Solar thermal power plant announced for Port Augusta ‘biggest of its kind in the world’,  ABC, 15 August 17, A 150-megawatt solar thermal power plant has been secured for Port Augusta in South Australia, State Premier Jay Weatherill has announced.

Construction of the $650 million plant will start in 2018.

Concentrated Solar Power Simple Explanation

Aurora facts:

  • 150-megawatt solar thermal power with eight hours of storage
  • Plant will deliver 495 gigawatt hours of power annually, or 5 per cent of SA’s energy needs
  • Equivalent to powering more than 90,000 homes
  • Located 30 kilometres north of Port Augusta
  • Company says it is “completely emission free”

Mr Weatherill said the Aurora Solar Energy Project would be ready to go in 2020 and would supply 100 per cent of the State Government’s needs.

The Government will pay a maximum of $78 per megawatt hour.

Mr Weatherill said the solar thermal plant was “the biggest of its kind in the world”.

“Importantly, this project will deliver more than 700 jobs, with requirements for local workers,” he said…….

A 150-megawatt solar thermal power plant has been secured for Port Augusta in South Australia, State Premier Jay Weatherill has announced.

Construction of the $650 million plant will start in 2018.

Mr Weatherill said the Aurora Solar Energy Project would be ready to go in 2020 and would supply 100 per cent of the State Government’s needs.

The Government will pay a maximum of $78 per megawatt hour.

Mr Weatherill said the solar thermal plant was “the biggest of its kind in the world”.

“Importantly, this project will deliver more than 700 jobs, with requirements for local workers,” he said.

Mirrors to direct sunlight onto tower

Solar thermal uses heliostats, or mirrors, to concentrate sunlight onto a tower that heats molten salt. The heat created is then used to generate steam.

Solar Reserve said the plant will be able to provide between eight and 10 hours of storage and had no requirement for gas or oil generated electricity as a backup.

It is expected to employ 50 full-time workers on an ongoing basis once it is operational.

The company said the power station will operate in a similar fashion to a coal or gas station, meaning many of the jobs would “require the same skill sets”.

Mr Smith said he looked forward to supporting “federal and state renewable energy targets”. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-14/solar-thermal-power-plant-announcement-for-port-augusta/8804628

August 16, 2017 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Port Augusta local community welcome greenlighting of solar thermal power plant

Solar thermal power plant supporters and locals welcome greenlighting of Port Augusta project, ABC North and West , By Khama Reid  14 Aug 17 The Port Augusta community and its clean energy supporters have welcomed the news that the world’s largest solar thermal power station will be built in the region.

It was announced yesterday that US operator Solar Reserve would build the 150 megawatt power station known as the Aurora Solar Energy Project at Carriewerloo Station, about 330 kilometres north of Adelaide……

The Government and company attended a public meeting at Port Augusta where they were met with applause and cheering…..

Local Aboriginal leader Malcolm ‘Tiger’ McKenzie said he could see many opportunities in the project to boost employment for Aboriginal people.

“We’re 30 per cent of the population but we don’t participate in the workforce as much,” he said.

Mr McKenzie said he wanted to work with the Government and Solar Reserve to get the best employment outcomes.

“It’s a modern Australia now. We as Aboriginal people have got to maximise opportunities to live in this country and that’s having a job, having an education and contribute.”……
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/port-augusta-welcomes-solar-thermal-power-plant-announcement/8810394

August 16, 2017 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Adelaide Advertiser (!) applauds decision for Port Augusta solar thermal power plant

The Advertiser Editorial, August 15, 2017: Solar plant can take heat off our power http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/the-advertiser-editorial-august-15-2017-solar-plant-can-take-heat-off-our-power/news-story/6387fb2661ae5f0795d675d893e22b7c?nk=ba26857f63080120cbd5fc74c94d3959-1502867091

August 16, 2017 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Solar company to Deliver More Than 500MW in Australia over the Next 12 Months

First Solar Awarded 241MW module supply contract for edify energy solar projects in Australia http://reneweconomy.com.au/first-solar-awarded-241mw-module-supply-contract-edify-energy-solar-projects-australia-32835/  Company to Deliver More Than 500MW in Australia over the Next 12 Months

BRISBANE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 11, 2017– First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it has been awarded a 241 megawatt (MW)DC module supply contract by RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR) as engineering, procurement and construction contractor for Edify Energy’s Daydream (180.7MWDc) and Hayman (60.2MWDC) solar projects in Queensland, Australia.

This contract takes First Solar’s delivery pipeline to over 500MW in the next 12 months, cementing it as the leading module supplier for large-scale solar in Australia.

Located across two sites north of Collinsville, the projects will utilize an optimized technology solution that includes single axis tracking technology from Array Technologies, Inc., and more than 2,026,565 First Solar advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules, to produce approximately 531,000 megawatt-hours of sustainable energy each year.

 The First Solar Series 4 modules chosen for the projects are ideally suited to the hot and humid environmental conditions of the Whitsunday Region, due to a superior temperature coefficient, and better shading and spectral response.

“First Solar’s unique energy yield advantage enables our solar projects in North Queensland to produce more energy per MW installed than other available PV technology,” said John Cole, Edify Energy’s Chief Executive. “This is of significant importance for asset owners and operators looking to maximize energy production.

The First Solar team has been very supportive and a key enabler of these projects.”

On completion, the projects will provide significant environmental benefits, producing enough sustainable energy to displace 429,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year combined.

This will serve the needs of approximately 73,000 average Queensland homes, the equivalent of taking approximately 115,000 cars off the road.

Construction on the projects is scheduled to commence in Q3 2017, with module delivery in Q4 2017 and Q1 2018.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Across Australia, rooftop solar continues its record year

Rooftop solar continues record year, even as STC price fall kicks in http://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-continues-record-year-even-stc-price-fall-kicks-11833/ By Sophie Vorrath on 7 August 2017, One Step Off The Grid

Another 93MW of solar PV was installed on Australian homes and business in the month of July, as booming markets in every state continue to deliver the nation’s best year to date, with a total of 568MW installed so far in 2017.

In its latest monthly market update, solar analysts Sunwiz said the solar PV market had maintained the record-breaking momentum of the previous two months, painting a picture of “a market that is level – at exceptionally high levels.”

According to Sunwiz, this July marked the second highest ever for registrations in that month, maintaining the record solar tally for any year to date that has put the market 47 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

The report notes that part of the reason for this sustained PV market momentum is that every state is doing so well at the same time, not least Western Australia, which is having its best ever start to the year.

Of course, one significant down-side to the booming installation market has been the sudden drop in small-scale renewable energy certificate (STC) prices – which, as we reported here, caught many PV installers off-guard and pushed up the cost of installing solar by around 10 per cent for households and small business.

According to Sunwiz, STC prices – which last month fell from around $40 to as low as $26 – are likely to keep falling as long as the STC creation rate continues to exceed the target, “something we feel is very likely to happen,” it says.

“So expect a soft STC price that will only turn north in early 2018.”

Elsewhere, the report notes that commercial solar systems of larger than 10kW notched up record high monthly and tri-monthly figures, with 33 per cent of volume in June down to commercial installations.

In July the proportion of commercial fell slightly to 31 per cent, as the volume in the 6-10kW range expanded to 20 per cent of the market.

NSW again led the pack on commercial installs, although it was briefly overtaken by Victoria and then Queensland, “but rounded out July on top again” after Victoria stalled and then Queensland fell, the report says.

In the residential market, average rooftop solar system sizes remained steady at and average of 6.5kW, sustaining a new record.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Wandoan solar farm – Australia’s largest, planned for the middle of Queensland’s gas country

Equis plans 1,000MW solar farm in heart of Queensland’s gas country, REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson on 7 August 2017 Singapore-based renewable energy developer Equis Energy has announced plans to build a 1,000MW solar farm – which would be Australia’s largest – in the heart of Queensland’s coal and gas region in the Surat Basin.

The Wandoan solar farm, to be built near the town of the same name, adds considerably to the huge pipeline of wind and solar projects in Queensland, which now stands at more than 4,000MW.

Wandoan won approval from the Western Downs Council late last week and will begin construction when the first of several negotiations on off-take agreements is complete.

The $1.5 billion project is expected to be built in stages, and Equis could go bigger – this plant is likely to cover 1,400 hectares but is has more than 5000 hectares available.

Equis is taking advantage of existing infrastructure, including new transmission assets, which has been built to support the gas industry. Demand for energy is highest in the region because of the gas export industry.

Equis is also planning to build the 127MW Tailem Bend solar project in South Australia, to be built near a 28M diesel plant owned by Snowy Hydro.

That solar farm will begin construction when negotiations for contracts are concluded, and Equis also has an interest in the 150MW Collinsville north solar farm, where PPAs are also under construction, and other projects in the pipeline in South Australia and NSW.

All project are considered to be “battery storage ready”…….

The Wandoan project will include 3 million solar PV panels and generate 1.8 million MWh of electricity a year, equivalent to the annual needs of around 255,000 homes. http://reneweconomy.com.au/equis-plans-1000mw-solar-farm-heart-queenslands-gas-country-90246/

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Governments should help poor households to get green energy

Why doesn’t this otherwise excellent article mention green energy supplied by Powershop?  I’m poor and I use renewable energy, (on  scheme that supports community projects, too) from Powershop.

Poor households are locked out of green energy, unless governments help, REneweconomy, By Alan Pears on 7 August 2017, The Conversation

report released this week by the Australian Council of Social Service has pointed out that many vulnerable households cannot access rooftop solar and efficient appliances, describing the issue as a serious problem.

It has provoked controversy. Some have interpreted the report as an attack on emerging energy solutions such as rooftop solar. Others see it as exposing a serious structural crisis for vulnerable households.

The underlying issue is the fundamental change in energy solutions. As I pointed out in my previous column, we are moving away from investment by governments and large businesses in big power stations and centralised supply, and towards a distributed, diversified and more complex energy system. As a result, there is a growing focus on “behind the meter” technologies that save, store or produce energy.

What this means is that anyone who does not have access to capital, or is uninformed, disempowered or passive risks being disadvantaged – unless governments act.

 The reality is that energy-efficient appliances and buildings, rooftop solar, and increasingly energy storage, are cost-effective. They save households money through energy savings, improved health, and improved performance in comparison with buying grid electricity or gas. But if you can’t buy them, you can’t benefit.

In the past, financial institutions loaned money to governments or big businesses to build power stations and gas supply systems. Now we need mechanisms to give all households and businesses access to loans to fund the new energy system.

Households that cannot meet commercial borrowing criteria, or are disempowered – such as tenants, those under financial stress, or those who are disengaged for other reasons – need help.

Governments have plenty of options…….http://reneweconomy.com.au/poor-households-are-locked-out-of-green-energy-unless-governments-help-32097/

August 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | 1 Comment

22 July REneweconomy news

  • North Queensland to be Australia’s first major exporter of solar power
    As Conservatives push for new coal generator in north Queensland, the region is about to become Australia’s first significant solar power exporter.
    Australia’s Greatcell signs MOU with JinkoSolar for perovskite cells
    Under a non-exclusive MOU with JinkoSolar, Greatcell will make developmental perovskite cells available for further evaluation.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

World’s first solar-powered train – for Byron Bay

Byron Bay to get world’s first solar-powered train, courtesy of a coal baron http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/byron-bay-to-get-worlds-first-solarpowered-train-courtesy-of-a-coal-baron-20170702-gx31yo.html Marcus Strom,  A coal baron is delivering the world’s first solar train to Australia.

And while bringing solar to Byron Bay might be a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, that’s just what the Byron Bay Railroad Company is doing. “I think this is a world first,” said John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, which is not connected to the project.

“There is a train in India that has solar panels to power lights and fans, but not a whole train.” The Byron Bay Railroad Company, operated by mining executive Brian Flannery, expects to have its two-carriage heritage train running before Christmas, said Jeremy Holmes, a spokesman for the company.

It will operate on part of the disused Casino-to-Murwillumbah line, which closed in 2004.

Dan Cass, a renewable energy specialist at the Australia Institute, said: “This is the first we have heard of a train this size that is literally solar powered, with PV modules on the roof.”

July 8, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

Solar Panels on One-quarter of Australian homes

One-quarter of Australian homes now have solar http://reneweconomy.com.au/one-quarter-of-australian-homes-now-have-solar-70886/, By Sophie Vorrath on 6 July 2017, One Step Off The Grid   New data has confirmed the effects of a second rooftop solar boom taking place around Australia – driven by falling technology costs and increasingly volatile electricity prices – with nearly one quarter of all Australian households found to have invested in solar panels. The survey, published by Roy Morgan on Thursday, shows that on average almost one in four Australian households (23.2 per cent) own a “Home Solar Electric Panel”, as at March 2017. Uptake is shown to be strongest in South Australia, at 32.8 per cent; then Queensland, at 30.2 per cent; and Western Australia, at 26.6 per cent.

The numbers are in keeping with the findings of May 2017 data from SunWiz, which suggested Australian households – and businesses – were installing rooftop solar PV at a rate not seen since 2012.

In its May 2017 report, SunWiz said that a total of 5.7GW of rooftop PV had been installed on 1.7 million households and businesses at the end of May, capping off a record first five months of installs in any year in Australia’s history.

The survey, published by Roy Morgan on Thursday, shows that on average almost one in four Australian households (23.2 per cent) own a “Home Solar Electric Panel”, as at March 2017. Uptake is shown to be strongest in South Australia, at 32.8 per cent; then Queensland, at 30.2 per cent; and Western Australia, at 26.6 per cent. The numbers are in keeping with the findings of May 2017 data from SunWiz, which suggested Australian households – and businesses – were installing rooftop solar PV at a rate not seen since 2012. In its May 2017 report, SunWiz said that a total of 5.7GW of rooftop PV had been installed on 1.7 million households and businesses at the end of May, capping off a record first five months of installs in any year in Australia’s history.

And in Western Australia – as we reported here – the residential PV uptake has resulted in a dramatic reduction in both the scale and the timing of peak demand in the state, reducing peak demand by 265MW, or 7.2 per cent in the last summer. Continue reading

July 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Solar hot-water panels, split, burst in cold, leave people with huge bills

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbournes-frosty-winter-blast-sees-solar-hot-water-panels-burst-around-the-city-20170703-gx3dfd.html

July 5, 2017 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

New South Wales largest solar energy farm to go ahead

Sunraysia solar farm, largest in NSW, gets planning approval  http://reneweconomy.com.au/sunraysia-solar-farm-largest-in-nsw-gets-planning-approval-64560/ By Giles Parkinson on 26 June 2017  The 200MW Sunraysia solar farm project near Balranald in western New South Wales has become the largest solar project in the state to receive planning approval.

Solar farm developer Maoneng, which has built the smaller 13MW Mugga Lane solar farm in the ACT (pictured below), said it received the planning approval last week nd hopes to begin construction by the end of the year and to be complete by the summer of 2018/19.

Maoneng says the solar farm will be located in one of the sunniest parts of NSW and is expected to produce around 530,000MWh of electricity a year. It is considering adding storage at a later date.

According to RenewEconomy data, a total of six solar farms have already begun construction in NSW – on top of the four already completed – and Sunraysia is one of at least 21 aspiring solar projects

“The development approval will be followed by further consultation with various stakeholders in developing detailed construction management plans,” Maoneng vice president Qiao Nan Han said in a statement

“This process will run in parallel to our current contractor selection process to ensure that all conditions of consent are correctly adhered to. We are looking to start construction by the end of the year with an anticipated construction period of 12 months.”

 

 

June 28, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

Battery storage project Victoria. 2 more solar farms Queensland

Victoria
$660m battery project to give business new power options
A new large-scale solar and battery storage project in Victoria, involving 2.3 million solar panels, is touted as a possible solution for businesses struggling with Australia’s volatile energy market.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-20/new-solar-battery-storage-project-for-nowingi/8632628 
 
Belectric completes second solar farm, plans two more
Germany solar and storage developer Belectric says it plans to complete two more solar farms in Australia by the end of the year, after finishing a 4.77MW solar plant at Goondiwindi , Queensland, using a new, low cost installation system.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/belectric-completes-second-solar-farm-plans-two-more-65632/

June 21, 2017 Posted by | energy, solar | Leave a comment

Finkel Review not much help for solar and storage home customers

Finkel Review: What’s in it for solar and storage customers like Jenny? REneweconomy By Dominic Adams on 14 June 2017 The focus of this piece is about what the Finkel Review delivers for a Mojo customer, Jenny. Jenny has solar on her roof and a smart battery in her garage.

Having your attention though (and also my cake and eating it) I’d like to start by noting that we should think carefully before opposing the Clean Energy Target (CET), the big ticket item in the Finkel Review designed to reduce emissions in the power sector.

It’s become more important to put the carbon wars behind us for a time than to find the perfect policy.

The CET is far from perfect. It’s all carrot and no stick. It’s a political and environmental compromise. But it’s our last best hope of ending the lost years of uncertainty in the generation sector that are now leading to wholesale electricity price rises that will start flowing through to customers like Jenny in a few weeks.

 The CET can also form the bones of a scheme that can evolve over time to sweeten the carrot for renewables or add a cane for fossil fuels, when the political will returns.

Mojo’s mission is to drive down the costs of energy for its customers (including Jenny), and we think that ending the uncertainty in the policy environment is an essential step in that direction.

The CET however makes up just a fraction of the 212 page report. It’s a few paragraphs out of the 7 pages packed with recommendations 1.1 through 7.14. It’s fair enough to ask the question, what’s in all those recommendations for Jenny?

The answer is somewhat unclear at this stage, but the signs aren’t great for Jenny in the short to medium term.

The big problem that the Finkel Review is charged with solving is how to decarbonise the energy sector while keeping the system secure and inexpensive for consumers.

A key focus however is on the security of the system in the wake of a particular storm in South Australia (plus more than a few in teacups in Canberra). The security issue is summed up well in the Review:

“Because [system security services such as inertia, system strength and voltage control] were historically plentiful, as essentially a by-product of power supply from synchronous generators, they were not explicitly valued in the [National Electricity Market (NEM)]. With their growing scarcity, the hidden value of these services has emerged. New mechanisms will be needed to source these services, or appropriate alternatives, from synchronous machines and a range of other technologies.”

As more renewable energy pushes into the NEM, driven initially by policy, but increasingly by sheer economics, system security services are in decline. The same process contributes to reliability issues, where the lights go out because available supply can’t meet demand in the NEM.

People with batteries and controllable devices behind their meters (the so called prosumers, or Jenny) can provide system security services to the market as well as help supply meet demand in the NEM.

The key issue in the Finkel Review for Jenny is what the mechanisms for sourcing these services will be, and whether she will be able to benefit from the value that her assets provide……..

What it ultimately means for Jenny is that her solar system and battery are less valuable. Her assets can’t access all the value in providing security and reliability services because initially the markets don’t exist for those services.

In the longer run, when the markets may exist after the long process of review and policy development, the value may not be there anymore. The lions share of the value could be taken by the grid scale batteries and other devices that were required to be built in the non-market phase.

We think a better approach is to fast-track the development of market based solutions to these issues. Doing so will not just increase the benefits for Jenny, but also reduce costs for other consumers not fortunate enough to afford solar and a battery.

At Mojo we will keep up the fight for Jenny and our other customers, because they have better things to do than read the Finkel Review.

Dominic Adams is Regulatory Strategy Manager for energy retailer Mojo Power  http://reneweconomy.com.au/finkel-review-whats-solar-storage-customers-like-jenny-79674/

June 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar, storage | Leave a comment

Pipeline of solar farms across Australia to begin from Western Australia

WA, UK team announce $200m big solar pipeline for Australia, REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath on 13 June 2017 Western Australian large-scale solar start-up Stellata Energy has joined forces with UK based renewables investment specialist, Ingenious, to build what they say is a $200 million pipeline of solar farms across Australia, starting with a flagship 120MW ground-mounted project in their home state.

The companies said in a join announcement on Tuesday that they were seeking approval to build a 120MW ground-mounted solar plant in the regional town of Merredin, roughly half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

The partnership signals the arrival of yet another European investor into the Australian market, in the rush to meet the remainder of the 2020 renewable energy target as technology costs continue to fall.

Stellata, which has been around for roughly one year, says it is well placed to deliver large-scale solar in Western Australia, with an executive team with extensive previous experience developing more than 600MW of ground-mounted and rooftop solar across Europe.

Ingenious, meanwhile, has raised and deployed more than £9 billion, including £500 million in renewables projects across the UK and Ireland, the companies said……http://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-uk-team-announce-200m-big-solar-pipeline-for-australia-58923/

June 14, 2017 Posted by | solar, Western Australia | Leave a comment