Flow Power, Ararat Wind Farm Ink Australia’s First 50MW Corporate Power Purchase Agreement

Wind Farm

The agreement indicates to provide 50MW of renewable energy but Matthew van der Linden, the Founder and Managing Director of Flow Power said, “We will go well beyond that. We would like to get to thousands of megawatts over the coming years.”

He added, “We’ll hopefully be able to establish more of Ararat and the numerous other wind farms and solar farms around. The advantage of Ararat is that it is operating now. Customers can get a chunk of that today, and that is very important for customers who are trying to resign [contracts for electricity] at double or triple the price they were previously on.”

As Ecogeneration reported on its website, Flow Power also claims that the renewable corporate PPAs can guarantee energy supply at rates up to half the present retail rates.

This is the first time customers will be able to sign up in order to access a part of a large-scale renewable energy project. Van der Linden also said that drawing the generator away from the more lucrative spot market is one of the challenges of crafting such offer.

“They are getting huge revenues off the spot market at the moment, but the reason they are doing it [the PPA] is it is a long-term contract, they get surety of price over a 10-year period, and that is what they are after they get better lending rates and maximise their return.”

Renewable PPAs are already recognised by top companies around the world as they provide both long-term price security and are also one of the fastest methods to attain sustainability goals. PPAs will also enable the clients to be aware of the variability of renewables and Flow Power will inform its customers on demand response technologies and battery storage.

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Geelong Sustainability CORE Gives Updates on its Renewable Energy Projects

Solar Panels

CORE was founded in order to establish an “energy democracy” and to guarantee that renewable energy is available and accessible to all residents of Geelong. The group has also concentrated on aged care primarily because of the sector’s high energy usage and bigger facility roof spaces. Two years ago, CORE has successfully finished a 9.25 kW crowdfunded solar system project located at the South Geelong Primary School.

A report published on Energy Matters website stated that the group has recently shared updates on its website regarding its present solar and renewable projects in the region. The projects of the group include the following:

* Installation of a 150 kW community-owned solar power system on an aged care facility. The project will be opened for investment early next year and has an expected completion until mid-year of 2018.

* A solar power feasibility assessment for an organisation that manages three aged care facilities. The study presented potential savings of over $50,000 p.a. And a 6-7 year payback.

Furthermore, a community solar and battery bulk-buy pilot project is currently in progress. Members are participating in the bulk-buying of solar panels and/or energy storage batteries in order to try the group-purchase model.

Another CORE strategy is having a Public Sustainability Fund to help households with low-income install solar systems and a solar advisory for expert advice on battery storage and solar power is also provided.

The solar-for-renters method of CORE will study how landlords and tenants could save money through solar installations on rental establishments or estates. A community solar financing model for 30-100 kW behind-the-meter solar systems is also available and this is anticipated to create better-than-bank returns for investors.

Negotiations with the local government on the development of a community solar system project model is also in progress and it intends to assure 10 to 15 years of funding for community sustainability programs.

View this link for more details.

Report Shows Renewables Can be a Substitute to Liddell Coal Station

Wind Farm

The report also stated that 3,600 megawatts of new solar and wind farms are available to replace the 1,680 megawatts capacity of the Liddell power station when it shuts down in 2022. More than 1,000 megawatts of solar and wind farms are also under construction in New South Wales with additional 2,600 megawatts of solar and wind projects approved and waiting to be built.

AWA Coordinator Andrew Bray stated that renewables can fill the energy vacuum that will result from Liddell’s closure. “Cheap renewables combined with modern solutions like batteries and demand management will keep the system reliable and lower power bills. New wind and solar farms will be spread across the state and generate power at different times so their output is highly predictable and dependable.”

He added, “Speedy 1-2 year construction periods mean these projects can be up and running by 2022. The biggest danger of blackouts we face is the inability of the government to deliver policy that supports the transition to clean energy that is already happening.”

To date, there are five wind farms and five solar farms under construction while there are 11 wind farms and 17 solar farms approved.

Bray further remarked, “The government’s obsession with coal and schoolyard name calling is putting politics ahead of Australian households, while power bills continue to rise. Liddell is the oldest and least reliable plant in Australia’s energy grid. It broke down when we needed it most at the height of the February New South Wales heatwave.”

As of May 2017, the 5,600 megawatts of solar and wind capacity being built in Australia is sufficient to replace Hazelwood’s yearly output 1.3 times.

You can view the full report here.

Innovation Energy Summit Highlights Energy Future in Australia

Solar and Wind Energy

The said event was held at Parliament House with approximately 400 audiences. The summit had Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Chief Executive Kane Thornton as a keynote speaker. Some of the speakers also include Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, ARENA CEO Ivor Frischnekt, and CSIRO Research Scientist Wes Stein.

According to a report published on the website of Energy Matters, the goal of the summit was to provide opportunities for policy-makers, professionals in the clean energy sector, and the public in order to come up with new energy ideas that can be used in the future.

ARENA’s Frischnekt also highlighted that the organisation has $700 million ready to invest in new and potential renewable energy projects.

Thornton said that Australia is in the midpoint of a so-called energy revolution and that the switch to renewables is inevitable. He further remarked, “The reality is the vast majority of our coal-fired generation that we’ve relied on for much of last century is old and is getting older.”

He also added, “It is starting to close down. And just like an old car, the older they get, the more expensive they become to run and the less reliable they become. The reality is that whether we like it or not, we are going to have to replace these generators with new forms of energy generation.”

In addition, Thornton stated that the lowest-cost energy plants to establish to replace coal are solar and wind power and that the amount of generating energy via these methods are fast reducing. This is supported by policy certainty and bipartisan support for the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The CEC Chief Executive also reiterated that the commitment of Australia to lessen emissions by at least 26-28 percent by 2030 aids in raising the momentum in the renewable energy industry.

To view the full report, click this link.

New Report Promotes Implementation of Clean Energy Target

Bulb

The report titled “Next Generation: The Long-Term Future of the National Electricity Market” asks for preliminary work on a “capacity mechanism” to promote investments in new electricity generation and lessen the possibilities of blackouts and power shortages.

However, the report states that the costs would definitely fall on consumers through more expensive electricity prices. A new capacity structure should be presented only if all other market alternatives have been utilised and supply is still under threat.

Based on an article published on the website of Grattan Institute, via a capacity mechanism, generators would be paid not only for the electricity they generate to satisfy the present demand but for ensuring to provide power in the future. Market retailers could contract for adequate electricity to meet the demand in the coming years, to assure new generation and storage is built in time.

Tony Wood, the Energy Program Director at Grattan Institute, said, “Australians have endured a decade of toxic political debates about climate change policy, South Australians suffered a statewide blackout last year, consumers across the country are screaming about skyrocketing electric bills, and energy companies are shutting down big coal-fired power stations.”

He added, “It is understandable that governments feel the need to ‘do something.’ But the danger is they will rush in and make things worse. What Australia needs now is perspective, not panic.”

The report presents a three-step policy in order to encourage investment:

  1. Implement all June 2017 Finkel review suggestions including the Clean Energy Target (CET).
  2. Work with current organisations to evaluate the market’s reliability framework.
  3. Present a “capacity mechanism” if the expected shortfalls cannot be met.

Wood concludes, “This pragmatic, planned approach offers the best prospect of affordable, reliable, secure, and sustainable power for Australians.”

Read the full report here.