Top News

SMA networks its most influential dealers

Last night, 25 rooftop-solar dealers from around Australia gathered on the edge of Sydney Harbour to celebrate their initiation into the SMA PowerUP Program. A new supported-network approach to serving the booming residential and commercial rooftop markets, PowerUP has been devised by the Australian arm of longstanding German inverter manufacturer SMA. It recognises the importance of developing deep expertise, and of knowledge and kudos sharing in a competitive environment.
Highlights

Australia’s first solar-panel recycler plans to help green the full life cycle of components

South Australian-based company Reclaim PV estimates it will open Australia’s first commercial solar-panel recycling plant in mid 2019. Its high-energy founders also have a broader mission — to inform better environmental practices throughout the sola...
Manufacturing

Energytrend: Stockpiles down, utilization and prices recovering

The Taiwanese market research company has published its latest price trend data for PV modules, cells, wafers and silicon. Across the value chain, rising demand is causing stockpiles to dwindle and utilization rates to rise. Prices are rising in China as...
Installations

CER confirms 2018 smashed records

With more than 360 power stations accredited with a cumulative capacity of 3,376 MW, the Clean Energy Regulator says 2018 was a record year for Australia’s large-scale renewable capacity additions.
Energy Storage

South Australia welcomes 30 MW/8 MWh battery

Another big battery has gone live in South Australia with the goal to contribute to energy security and reliability as a heatwave puts grid under pressure. The $30 million energy storage system is developed and owned by ElectraNet, as the first battery i...
Installations

Sunseap acquires minority stake in Todae Solar

Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap has taken a minority stake in Todae Solar, one of Australia’s largest solar commercial and industrial EPC companies.
Markets & Policy

Canadian Solar acquires 30 MW SA solar project

The Chinese-Canadian solar manufacturer has bought a South Australian large-scale solar farm from renewables developer Tetris Energy. A PPA has been inked with electricity retailer Flow Power to power some of the local agricultural business.
Installations

Two solar farms to increase Northern Territory’s renewables share to 10%

Two 10 MW solar farms at Batchelor and Manton Dam developed by Tetris Energy will soon enter the construction phase and boost the NT share of renewable energy from the current 3% to 10%. The $43 million solar projects have signed PPAs with Jacana Energy ...

Press Releases

SENEC steps up activities in Australia and invests in subsidiary

SENEC GmbH has been active on the Australian market for a long time, according to industry experts the most important growth market in the coming years for the still young storage sector. Last year, the company based in the German city of Leipzig delivered the first German-built power storage units to the fifth continent.

LONGi Solar sets new bifacial mono-PERC solar cell world record at 24.06 percent

LONGi Solar has announced that it has achieved a new monocrystalline silicon PERC world record conversion efficiency using commercial wafer (M2) dimensions that exceeds 24 percent for the first time, according to tests carried out by the National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Solar Photovoltaic Product Quality (CPVT) in China.

Herbert Smith Freehills advises on financing for Australia’s largest solar PV farm

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation on the project financing of Darlington Point Solar Farm, to be located approximately 10km south of Darlington Point in western New South Wales.

Canadian Solar to provide EPC services and supply solar modules for 333 MWp Darlington Point Solar Farm in Australia

Canadian Solar Inc. today announced that it has been selected by Edify Energy and Octopus Investments to be partnering with Signal Energy to provide Engineering, Procurement and Constructions (EPC) services and supply solar modules for the 333 MWp/275 MWac Darlington Point Solar Farm in New South Wales, Australia.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Victoria: Renewable energy policy brief

Climate change means more storms, bushfires and extreme weather events. Our energy system must adapt to this changing climate. Victoria is well on the way to meeting its renewable energy targets thanks to a range of policy measures.

Renewables momentum continues, despite political chaos

As 2018 draws to a close, it is worth reflecting on another extraordinary year for the Australian renewable energy industry.

Two million PV systems – solar a political power

We owe a lot to John Howard. He may not have realised it in May 2007, but when he doubled the Photovoltaic Rebate Program value to $8000, our second longest serving prime minister set in motion a chain of events that would lead to Australia hosting 2 million rooftop solar power systems.

IEEFA Australia: Thermal coal export sunset looming closer

Coal miner Glencore is failing investors in its latest forecasts.

The least wrong – rapid change in the energy station difficult to predict

While much has been made of the ‘trilemma’ facing the Australia electricity network, Ray Wills from Future Smart Strategies argues that rapid change of energy technology, business models and social changes is resulting in rapid and difficult-to-predict changes.

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Octopus, Edify Energy provide finance for 333 MW Darlington Point solar farm

In the UK investor's first deal since entering the Australian marketplace, Octopus Investments and Australian renewables developer Edify Energy have arranged more than $450 million to finance one of Australia’s major PV projects - a 333MW DC (275MW AC) solar farm, which has an approval to be collocated with a 100 MWh energy storage facility at Darlington Point, NSW.

Genex Power releases new details on Kidston project

After releasing the December quarter update for the 50 MW Kidston Solar Project Stage 1, which showed strong revenues and a big boost in generated power, Sydney-based Genex Power has shared a research paper on the term sheet signed with electricity provider EnergyAustralia for the 250 MW Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Hydro Storage development.

Follow the sun: Deeper data from OpenNEM

Melbourne University’s Energy Transition Hub has released an update on its popular OpenNEM data tool, adding historical data to the searchable stream of information on where Australia’s energy is coming from, how we use it and what it costs.

Obton enters Australian PV marketplace through JV partnership

Danish renewables investor and asset manager Obton has set up a joint venture with Australian developer Torus with the goal to buy, develop and build solar projects Down Under. With several projects already in its pipeline, the company says it has faith in the market despite policy uncertainty.

Solar PV capacity additions triple in 2018 amid utility-scale boom

Australia’s solar PV capacity additions tripled in 2018, as its rooftop solar fleet continued to set new records high and big PV experienced an unprecedented growth. While stabilization in electricity prices could lead to a slowdown in the rooftop solar segment in all states except Victoria, it is unlikely to result in a noticeable decline in sales in 2019. Large-scale solar PV is in line for over 3 GW this coming year, while small power stations up to 5 MW will also get their time to shine.

Victoria’s Solar Homes program boosts jobs and businesses

In addition to its primary goal of driving down energy bills, the Victoria Labor government’s major push for the rooftop solar deployment across the state in the form of rebates and interest-free loans granted under a $1.24 billion Solar Homes program has had a positive effect on local industry in the brown coal-dominated Latrobe Valley.

Installations

Featured

900 MW solar farm approved for Riverina region

In the final days of 2018, the NSW government gave its tick of approval for the construction of the state’s largest solar farm to date. The approval rounded off a year that saw a flurry of utility-scale solar construction activity and an unprecedented number of big solar additions in the state.

5 MW Mobilong Solar Farm moves into construction phase

A newcomer to Australian solar, Indonesia’s Terregra Renewables, has appointed Balance Utility Solutions to carry out EPC activities on a 5 MW solar farm north of Murray Bridge in South Australia.

Canadian Solar picks up EPC for 175 MW Finlay Solar Farm

Canadian Solar will provide EPC services, under a JV partnership with Singal Energy, for the 175 MW Finlay Solar Farm in southern NSW. The Chinese manufacturer will also supply modules to the project – which is notable for having signed the largest single PPA in the Australian marketplace.

Flow Power contracts Bomen Solar Farm output for wine, munchies producers

Commercial electricity retailer Flow Power has signed an offtake deal for more than a half of the production from the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga to power one of the nation’s largest vineyard owners, Australian Vintage, and a major snack food manufacturer, Snack Brands.

Wind, solar cheaper than coal, and responsible for falling energy price outlook

Major reports from Australia’s chief energy institutions point to the importance of wind and solar not just because of their climate credentials, but also the economic benefits they bring. A report from the energy market operator and the CSIRO finds based on analysis of LCOE that renewables are the cheapest new-built power. A separate report from the Australian Energy Market Commission shows that wind and solar will give a typical household a saving of $55 a year in next two years.

140 MW solar farm approved for Mulwala, NSW

With NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin drawing a line on energy and climate policy between the state Liberals and the feds, the NSW government continues to pursue its renewables agenda waving through another large-scale solar project.

Technology

Featured

MagniX powers forward with electric light commercial aircraft plans

Solar PV is boosting regional economies by providing cheaper electricity to off-grid or edge-of-grid communities and industries; soon it could power cheaper electric aviation services. In three years, Gold Coast company MagniX expects to be selling a commercially available certified electric aircraft engine that will reduce the cost of flying light commercial aircraft by between 50% and 80% per operating hour.

Fraunhofer IKTS unveils alternative for PV home storage based on sodium-nickel-chloride

At an energy storage fair in Dusseldorf, researchers will present a ceramic high-temperature battery. Storage costs using sodium-nickel-chloride battery cells are said to be 50% lower than those of lithium-ion.

Volkswagen is all set to become a green energy supplier

The German car giant has created Elli, a subsidiary that will provide green power and charging solutions for the EV sector. Volkswagen – still haunted by the diesel emissions scandal – says it wants to make mobility sustainable.

COAG energy ministers backs development of national hydrogen strategy

The December meeting of the COAG Energy Council has grabbed headlines as NSW attempted to push for a zero-emissions policy only to be blocked by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor. But, in a rare substantive outcome of the meeting, the energy ministers agreed to develop a national hydrogen strategy.

ANU researchers eliminate interlayer in tandem solar cells

Engineers from the Australian National University, in collaboration with researchers from and the California Institute of Technology, have developed a way to combine silicon PV material with perovskites to achieve higher efficiencies and lower production costs.

Pumped hydro: Snowy Hydro 2.0 approved by board, NSW plans 24 projects totalling 7 GW

The New South Wales government has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back the rising level of wind and solar in the energy mix. Meanwhile, the board of government-owned energy provider Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0.

Manufacturing

Featured

OK Google, what is SolarEdge’s energy vision?

SolarEdge has recently purchased an Italian EV system manufacturer, a South Korean battery maker, an Israeli UPS producer, internally developed a virtual power plant grid service, and now they’re working with Google to integrate energy management tools into Google Assistant.

Long read: Delaying derating

High solar irradiance and few cloudy days are ideal for solar. Fine dust and extreme heat is not – particularly when it comes to power electronics. As the distributed generation market segment emerges in the MENA region, it’s a challenge that inverter suppliers are grappling with.

14 PV trends for 2019

Crystal-ball gazing is dangerous in a sector as fast moving as PV. But that hasn’t stopped pv magazine’s international team of solar reporters from compiling a list of the top 14 solar PV and energy storage trends expected to characterize 2019. What do you think? Have we missed anything?

2018 pv magazine Annual Award winners announced

pv magazine is pleased to announce the winners of our inaugural Annual Award. Winners will be recognized in a ceremony alongside the Middle East Solar Industry Associations’ Solar Awards, during the World Future Energy Summit.

SMA announces over 400 job losses, China closure

SMA Solar technology AG has announced that around 425 full time jobs or 12.8% of its global workforce will be lost as part of its restructuring efforts. The PV inverter manufacturer will also discontinue operations in China, preferring to refocus its efforts on Germany.

First Solar sees a doubling coming in 2019

The U.S. module maker projects 5.4 to 5.6 GW of solar module shipments next year, more than double its current projected 2018 volumes of 2.6 to 2.7 GW.

Energy Storage

Featured

Interview: Senec aims to build retailer, installer relationships in Australian expansion

Seeing the Australian residential battery storage market as poised to take off, Senec's Jaron Schächter, one of three Managing Directors of Senec Germany says that it looks to build "strong partnerships" as it continues to expand into market.

Tesla begins construction of Shanghai gigafactory

The EV and battery maker wants to start production of its Model 3 for the Chinese market by the end of the year. Next year, according to high-profile CEO Elon Musk, mass production of electric cars will start there, and this is expected to include their batteries as well.

NREL publishes U.S. large scale solar plus lithium ion storage cost study

NREL has released an report which, for the first time, highlights utility scale energy storage costs with various methods of tying it to solar power: co-located or not, and DC- vs AC-coupled.

Genex Power partners with EnergyAustralia on Kidston solar-pumped hydro project

Sydney-based publicly listed Genex Power has signed an agreement with electricity provider EnergyAustralia to begin construction on the 250 MW pumped hydro project as part of the Kidston renewables hub in north Queensland. Genex is now looking to secure financing for a 270 MW solar component of the project.

Victoria announces hydrogen program, community renewables grants

The Andrews Labor government is investing $2 million to boost the development of clean hydrogen energy technologies, and $1.1 million to support renewable energy projects in local communities across Victoria.

Santos to power oil well operations with solar+storage

In what is being billed as Australia’s first off-grid, 100% renewable energy project in the oil and gas sector, Santos will power 56 crude oil pumps into solar and battery storage. The project has won a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

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