Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Farmers get economic safety net, thanks to wind farms

wind-turbines-and-sheepHow wind farms provide a safety net for farmers, communities  http://www.examiner.com.au/story/4136408/wind-turbines-can-power-a-bright-new-era-for-rural-areas/?cs=97 Charlie Prell 5 Sep 2016, In the 1950s, Australia “rode on the sheep’s back”. Wool was commanding obscene amounts of money, and farmers experienced a period of prosperity that hasn’t been seen since. It helped make Australia one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Renewable energy promises to create a new “wool boom”. But, unlike the 1950s, the boost from the clean energy revolution will last decades, possibly generations.

Farmers, large and small, can grasp this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will breathe new life into struggling rural communities. That’s why I’ve signed up to host wind turbines on my sheep farm.

Wind farms offer both environmental and financial benefits. Turbines quietly produce clean, renewable electricity, replacing power from ageing, inefficient coal-fired generators that are driving climate change.

Each turbine generates a steady income of tens of thousands of dollars a year for the farmers who host them, as well as their neighbours. The community doesn’t miss out, with wind proponents promising thousands of dollars a year to projects like supporting local sporting teams, rejuvenating halls and providing community transport. This is on top of locals being employed to manage and maintain the turbines.

Despite record commodity prices, farmers are still doing it tough. As droughts and floods become more common, the stable income generated by turbines can make the difference between floating into sustainability or drowning in debt.

Instead of needing financial support from governments, farmers can become self sufficient for decades and generations.  Wind turbines do more than change the landscape – they reinvigorate the economic and social fabric of rural communities for the better. Charlie Prell is a fourth-generation farmer from Crookwell, NSW and organiser for the Australian Wind Alliance.

September 5, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | 1 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

Queensland’s Mt Emerald wind farm – construction to start in December

Construction Mt Emerald wind farm expected to start in Dec­ember The Cairns Post July 28, 2016  CONSTRUCTION on the Tablelands’ Mt Emerald wind farm is expected to start in Dec­ember, following the selection of preferred contractors for the $360 million project.

Developer Ratch Australia has awarded its wind farm contract to Dutch manufacturers Vestas and the Sydney-based Downer Group.

Vestas and Downer will share responsibility for the ent­ire 180MW project, including supply and construction of more than 50 turbines, a substation, cabling to the grid, civil and electrical works, and wind monitoring equipment.

The announcement follows Ergon Energy’s decision to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030……..http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/construction-mt-emerald-wind-farm-expected-to-start-in-december/news-story/09b600f1c8d9b6e2a4eb929d34b27768

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Queensland, wind | Leave a comment

Tough new guidelines for New South Wales wind farms

wind-farm-evil-1Tilting against windmills? Industry doubts NSW support for wind farms, SMH, Peter Hannam, 28 July 16  New wind farm guidelines are expected to impose tough requirements on developers to limit their visual impact in a move that proponents say will put NSW at a disadvantage to other states.

The proposed guidelines, requiring developers to prepare visual impact assessments according to the height of turbines, were disclosed by the planning department to a select group of prospective wind energy developers on the sidelines of a two-day clean energy summit in Sydney on Thursday. Continue reading

July 29, 2016 Posted by | New South Wales, wind | Leave a 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

Victoria to get record-breaking wind farm

WIND-FARMRecord-breaking, brolga-friendly, $650m wind farm gets government green light, The Age, July 19 2016 Benjamin Preiss    Victoria’s most productive wind farm generating enough power for 140,000 households will be built in the south-west after the state government approved the plans.

The $650 million wind farm, to be built near Dundonnell, will have 96 turbines.  Once completed, it will produce enough power to supply the combined populations of Ballarat and Warrnambool.

The project will create an estimated 300 jobs during construction, with 16 positions once it is built…….The wind farm’s layout was designed to accommodate brolga breeding and flocking habits, according to the government………http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/recordbreaking-brolgafriendly-wind-farm-gets-government-green-light-20160719-gq8o3t.html

July 20, 2016 Posted by | Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

83-Percent Of south Australia’s Electricity From Wind last weekend

Wind turbines in Azerbaijan. South Australia Just Produced 83-Percent Of Its Electricity From Wind Energy HTTP://WWW.HEXAPOLIS.COM/2016/07/16/ BYSUKANYA MUKHERJEE JULY 16, 2016

Thanks to a particularly windy weekend, South Australia recently saw nearly 83-percent of its total electricity coming solely from eco-friendly wind energy. Although the harsh weather conditions led to power outages in some of the places, its advantages far outweigh the temporary inconvenience. According to officials, wind turbines installed in the area captured much of the ambient energy, which was used to meet more than two-thirds of the region’s total electricity demands last Monday.

When it comes to renewable power, South Australia is one of the front runners, boasting both solar and wind energy. Investments of up $6 billion have resulted in the installation of as many as 638 wind turbines in the area. According to Alicia Webb of Australia-based Clean Energy Council, an organization dedicated to improving renewables and conversion efficiency, the industry has also generated “hundreds” of jobs. Given the current trend, the region will soon see wind and solar power overtaking conventional fossil fuels. Webb said:

Southern Australia…is in the midst of a remarkable transformation, with more than 40 percent of its power needs coming from renewable energy last year. It is clear that modern economies can run on increasingly higher levels of renewable energy, and it is clear from South Australia’s example that other mainland states can go much further with no loss of reliability.

With oil and volatile gas prices skyrocketing in recent years, wind turbines in South Australia actually help produce electricity at lower costs, especially during windy weather. As pointed out by Webb, the area’s total “installed solar capacity” will likely reach five gigawatts in the coming months. These steps are part of the government’s efforts to meet the targets declared in the Paris agreement. In addition to renewables, researchers in South Australia are coming up with new, innovative technologies that could in turn help reduce environmental pollution. Via: CleanTechnica

July 18, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

South Australian Liberals keen to obstruct wind energy projects?

Liberal-policy-1Libs pushing for wind farm changes
ALL new wind farm projects would have to undergo an assessment to see how they would affect the electricity market before being approved, if changes proposed by the Opposition were adopted…. (subscribers only )
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-liberals-pushing-for-all-new-wind-farms-to-be-assessed-for-their-impact-on-the-electricty-market/news-story/c52442ad2d7640d9b23ee4372b75eb6a

July 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

Queensland wind farm to ‘drought proof’ farm incomes and provide jobs

Wind park in Scotland. Author: Ian Dick. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.Queensland’s $500m Coopers Gap wind farm could be operational by 2020  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-04/hope-qld-500m-coopers-gap-wind-farm-project-operational-2020/7562124?section=environment  By Ellie Sibson An energy company planning to build Queensland’s largest wind farm is hoping to have the project operational by 2020.

AGL Energy’s proposed $500 million Coopers Gap wind farm would be constructed at Cooranga North, about 200 kilometres north-west of Brisbane in the state’s South Burnett region. It has a proposed capacity of 350 megawatts and could power 190,000 homes each year.

Under the plans, up to 115 turbines would be built across 11 properties.

Last month, the wind farm was declared a coordinated project and community consultation on the draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement is currently underway. Dozens of residents attended a recent public meeting at the nearby township of Bell to raise concerns and ask questions about the project.

Project manager Neil Cooke said most of the feedback had been positive. “Some of the community are concerned about the noise being too high and concerned about sleep,” he said. “We’re in the process of organising a second trip down to our wind farms in Victoria so people can actually get to see wind farms close up.”

Wind farm would ‘drought-proof property’  If the wind farm is approved, Cyril Stewart would have three turbines built on his cattle property. During times of drought, Mr Stewart has had to leave his land in search of a job. “It would be the greatest thing since sliced bread because it is drought-proofing the property,” he said. “This is something that rain, hail or shine, there’s an income.”

About 350 workers are needed for construction with ongoing employment for 20 people. South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said it would be a big jobs boost for the region. “Economic development is something our region really needs,” he said. “These sorts of things don’t come about often … employment driven by the economic outcomes is something that as a region we can’t ignore.” The environmental impact process is expected to take at least six months.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Queensland, wind | Leave a comment

Victorian government backing 2 new wind farms

Two new wind farms gain Victorian government support  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/two-new-wind-farms-gain-victorian-government-support-20160705-gpz37f.html   STATE POLITICAL REPORTER FOR THE AGE  TWO NEW VICTORIAN WIND FARMS WILL BE BUILT WITHIN TWO YEARS AND WILL RECEIVE AN EXTRA SOURCE OF INCOME FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT.

The new wind farms will produce enough energy to power 80,000 homes. They will be located at Kiata near Horsham and Mount Gellibrand near Colac.  The Kiata wind farm will have up to 13 turbines, while Mount Gellibrand will host up to 44. Both projects are expected to be operating by 2018.

The government says it is using its purchasing power to support these wind farms through so-called renewable energy certificates. The state government has committed to purchasing some renewable energy certificates from these two wind farms, giving them an additional revenue stream. Certificates are allocated to wind farms as part of the national renewable energy target. Producers of renewable energy can also sell the certificates to energy retailers.

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the government was rebuilding much-needed confidence in the renewable energy industry. “We can build a strong, sustainable, renewable energy industry that powers our broader economy, creates well-paid jobs and reduces our environmental impact,” she said.

Last month the government committed to a renewable energy generation target of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.  Planning Minister Richard Wynne is also considering six applications to amend existing wind farm permits so they can increase their turbine size.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews’ ambitious plan for boosting wind energy

Wind farm boom looms as Premier Daniel Andrews looks to boost clean power, The Age, , 16 June 16, Senior Writer Victoria would have 40 per cent clean electricity in less than a decade – nearly tripling the current level – under an ambitious plan announced by the Andrews government.

Andrews, Daniel

The government has set targets to ramp up wind power and large-scale solar power, paid for through an increase in household and business electricity bills and spending from the budget.

With private spending on clean electricity largely stalled due to a lack of confidence in federal government support for a national renewable energy target, the Andrews government believes its policy will make Victoria the centre of a revitalised industry. It estimates that, at the peak of construction in the middle of the next decade, there will be about 4000 workers helping to build the target’s 5400 megawatts capacity of clean energy.

To put that in perspective, there are 18 wind farms with planning approval in the state, but not built.

The government says its target will improve the viability of the industry enough to build all of them – and nearly as many again – within nine years.

On top of this, one-fifth of the new generation capacity built would be solar plants in the state’s north.

In a statement, Premier Daniel Andrews said meeting the targets – 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, up from 14 per cent today – would bring about $2.5 billion of clean energy investment into the state.

“The world is shifting to renewable energy. It creates jobs, drives growth and protects our environment, and Victorians want to be at the forefront,” he said……http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/wind-farm-boom-looms-as-premier-daniel-andrews-looks-to-boost-clean-power-20160614-gpj3f9.html

June 17, 2016 Posted by | Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Record wind energy output last month kept electricity prices down

wind-nuclear-Wind energy’s biggest month, and how it keeps prices down REneweconomy,  EBy Giles Parkinson on 8 June 2016 Wind energy in Australia has enjoyed its biggest every month in May, producing nearly a quarter more electricity than its previous record month, and overtaking hydro to provide 8.5 per cent of electricity demand in the country’s main grid.

The record output came, coincidentally, in the same month that the last coal fired power station in South Australia was closed (May 9). And a new analysis from energy consultants Pitt & Sherry points to how wind generation is keeping a lid on wholesale electricity prices.

The Pitt & Sherry analysis notes that four states recorded record monthly totals in May – South Australia (where wind met 49 per cent of demand), Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. (There is only one very small wind farm in Queensland and Western Australia operates on a separate grid).

The 3.9GW of wind generation in the month of May operated at a capacity factor of 49 per cent, according to Pitt & Sherry, meaning that it produced 22 per cent more than it did in its previous record month (July, 2015). (See this story for more details, and how most wind farms in NSW operated at a higher capacity factor than some of the biggest coal plants).

South Australia has the biggest share of wind farms, with 1.5GW, and this accounted for 49 per cent of its electricity demend in the month. On some occasions, wind energy provided more than 100 per cent of electricity demand in the state.…….http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/wind-energys-biggest-month-and-how-it-keeps-prices-down-69687

June 10, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

Hi-tech renewable energy jobs reviving south-west Victoria’s economy

solar,-wind-aghastHigh-tech, clean energy jobs key to future of Geelong, south-west Victoria, ABC News, 5 June 16 By Cameron Best Steve Garner understands how important his wind farm manufacturing business is for the town of Portland in south-west Victoria.

As the state’s traditional manufacturing base continues to decline, jobseekers and the wider economy are looking for the jobs of the future.

Six months ago, Mr Garner’s Keppel Prince Engineering facility lay idle under the Federal Government’s freeze on new wind energy investment and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s desire to reduce the growth rate of what he labelled as “visually awful” wind farms.

Now, under a new Clean Energy Finance Corporation mandate, the production line at Keppel Prince is back up and running with about 300 workers making towers for a project near Ararat.

It has come just in time for Portland, which is facing the possibility of life without its major employer……

“the stronger we can grow something like this [facility], that actually does create a lot of jobs, the better off we’re going to be.

“And if we get government support to do that, we’ve then got a sustainable business for a long period of time.”…

New-wave tech replacing manufacturing of old

High-tech industries are springing up to utilise some of the skilled workers coming out of the automotive industry but in order to remain globally competitive, this new wave of advanced manufacturers cannot afford to be as labour-intensive as the companies of old…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-05/high-tech,-clean-energy-jobs-the-key-to-geelong-future/7476816

June 5, 2016 Posted by | business, Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Queensland wind farm creating jobs, powering a city

green-collarWind farm at Mount Emerald, near Cairns, set to create 150 jobs  http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/wind-farm-at-mount-emerald-near-cairns-set-to-create-150-jobs/news-story/6ddd2419660c8f1666822dfde3024a8f May 27, 2016  A WIND farm to be built in far north Queensland will generate enough renewable energy to power a regional city. Ergon Energy and proponents Ratch Australia and Port Bajool on Friday signed a power purchase agreement to build the 170 megawatt Mount Emerald Wind Farm, near Cairns.

About $400 million in total expenditure is projected during the project’s two-year construction phase and 25-year operational period.

The project is also expected to boost the region’s economy by $900 million through direct and indirect flow-on impacts.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the project would mean the state’s wind energy production, which sat at 12 megawatts, would be increased by 15 times.

 “It will not only create 150 jobs in far north Queensland … it will also generate enough power to power a city the size of Mackay,” Mr Bailey said.

May 28, 2016 Posted by | Queensland, wind | Leave a comment

South Australia runs over 50% on renewable energy

Map-South-Australia-windSouth Australia runs mainly on renewable energy following coal map solar south-australiaplant closure, The Independent,  Gabriel Samuels 12 May 16  Majority of energy comes from solar and wind but the transition has been fraught with difficulties  South Australia now gets the bulk of its electricity from wind and solar power, following the closure of its last coal-fired power station.

The state, which includes the city of Adelaide,  exclusively has gas generators, solar panels and wind turbines serving a population of 1.7 million.

More than 50% of the region’s electricity stems from wind and solar with the remainder coming from energy efficient combined cycle gas plants.

The final coal station still in operation in Port Augusta closed down on May 9 after operating for 31 years. It generated 520 megawatts of power from coal but failed to compete with the falling price of clean renewable energy. Its closure produced a brief faltering in wholesale energy prices across the state.

The RenewablesSA transition initiative was established by the state govenment in late 2009 with a promise of $10 billion invested in low carbon generation by 2025…….

The state plans to become Australia’s wind and solar capital and is working towards complete reliance on natural sources

The state’s leading electricity provider, SA Power Networks, yesterday announced it will undertake Australia’s largest trial of storage batteries in solar homes in a bid to defer a $3 million network upgrade.

Meanwhile, last week Portugal ran entirely on renewable energy for four consecutive days between Saturday and Wednesday, in a bid to become completely reliant on natural resources.

The Independent has contacted RenewablesSA for comment. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/south-australia-runs-entirely-renewable-energy-following-coal-plant-closure-a7037646.html

May 21, 2016 Posted by | solar, South Australia, wind | Leave a comment