Top News

Australia’s first compressed air energy storage facility gets go-ahead

The South Australian government has given its tick of approval for the development of a 5 MW/10 MWh compressed air energy storage facility, which will store excess solar and wind power at a closed underground mine.
Installations

Connection issues continue to hamper large scale solar PV projects

The 60 MW Kennedy Energy Parkhas been deprioritised by its developer Windlab due to “uncertainty around connection solution.” The move comes despite the fact the hybrid solar, wind and storage facility known as “Big Kennedy” was completed last De...
Installations

Old South Freo tip solar farm gets green light

The proposal to build a solar farm on the site of the old South Fremantle tip has been given final development approval. Construction on the former landfill site, for which various redevelopment plans had been submitted since 1985, finally looks set to m...
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Markets & Policy

Wind and solar cut rather than boost Australia’s wholesale electricity prices

Wholesale prices in the National Electricity Market have climbed significantly in recent years. The increase has coincided with a rapid increase in the proportion of electricity supplied by wind and solar generators. But that needn’t mean the increase ...
Manufacturing

ClearVue inks solar strip module supply deal with BeyondPV

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has signed a deal with Taiwanese thin-film solar module manufacturer BeyondPV to set up a dedicated production line for solar strip modules at its production facility in Tainan.
Energy Storage

Batteries well-suited to play valuable role in grid management in New Zealand’s energy transition

A report published by New Zealand's state-owned transmission grid operator Transpower finds the widespread uptake of distributed battery storage could play an important role in supporting the power system as rooftop PV and electric vehicles are increasin...
Markets & Policy

Future Super to invest $200,000 in RateSetter P2P solar, storage loans

Retail super fund Future Super is backing peer-to-peer (P2P) solar loans to the tune of $200,000. While only small change, the move is claimed to be the first investment of a retail super fund in P2P clean technology lending.
EV

Toyota gets serious in its move towards solar EV revolution

Toyota has announced plans to begin public road trials this month on a new Prius PHV demo car modified to include integrated solar panels. The announcement follows similar recent solar innovations in the EV industry which could accelerate the emerging fo...
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Press Releases

Floating solar: Philippines switches on it’s first hybrid floating photovoltaic hydro power project

The Philippines first 200kw floating solar power project by Ocean Sun, a leading solar energy company based in Norway, was recently switched on. The joint project is part of the partnership between Ocean Sun and GCL-SI, the leading provider of modules used for the construction of the floating solar facility.

JLL and Energy Estate appointed at financial advisors for EPS Energy’s 1GW South Australia Portfolio

JLL and Energy Estate have been appointed by EPS Energy to advise on the development and funding of a large portfolio of solar and storage projects in South Australia.

JinkoSolar awarded Frost & Sullivan 2019 Global Solar PV Technology Leadership Award

JinkoSolar, today announced that it was recognized for augmenting solar PV efficiency in a cost-effective manner with the Frost & Sullivan 2019 Global Solar PV Technology Leadership Award.

Noosa to declare climate emergency in a first for Queensland

Noosa Council is set to become the first Queensland local government to declare a climate emergency.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

IEEFA Energy Finance 2019: Coal pipeline shrinking, stranded asset risk ballooning, renewables ever cheaper

Coal fleets represent huge financial risk to shareholders and investors write Tim Buckley IEEFA’S Director of Energy Finance Studies, Kate Finlayson the organisation’s Senior Communications Strategist.

Is PERC still bankable?

Light-induced initial degradation in PERC modules is currently a subject of intense discussion, but tests at PI Berlin have shown that the problem is solvable. Founder and CEO Paul Grunow explains the effects, the approach, and the results.

An overview of the world’s largest solar power plants – 3

In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar power plants. In these articles, a ‘solar plant’ is defined as an individual generating station.

The sun rises on the bifacial module market

With market penetration exceeding expectations in 2018, bifacial technology is set to account for one third of global solar module production by 2022, writes Edurne Zoco, Research Director at IHS Markit. Bifacial and half-cell technologies are rapidly gaining momentum due to their improvements in power output, along with their low implementation barriers and minimal capex requirements.

An overview of the world’s largest solar parks – 2

In the second of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar parks. In these articles, a ‘solar park’ is defined as a group of co-located solar power plants.

Markets & Policy

Featured

More calls for review of Victoria’s Solar Homes Program

Following similar calls from other industry bodies, the Clean Energy Council has urged the Victorian government to review its landmark Solar Homes Program and warned about the serious effects its dynamics has on the industry.

Terregra switches on its first merchant solar farm in South Australia

The 5 MW Mobilong Solar Farm will run on a fully merchant offtake arrangement over its 30-year lifetime.

Smart meter time of use pricing to drive up household energy costs without the help of solar and batteries

New research released this week by The Australia Institute shows that ‘time of use pricing’ (ToU) facilitated by smart meters is likely to drive up household energy costs by $429 a year on top of already high prices. Analysis of national electricity market data suggests that demand for electricity in Australia is very inelastic, which makes ToU more likely to increase the profits of electricity companies than to assist consumers. Households with solar PV and batteries, however, are best suited to cope with this type of pricing. 

China auction allocates subsidies for 22.7 GW of solar with lowest bid of $0.0407/kWh

China’s National Energy Administration has given the greenlight to 3,921 ground-mounted and distributed generation projects. The approved energy price bids ranged from $0.0407 to $0.080, depending on system size, for an average price of $0.048.

Genex’s Kidston pumped hydro project lands $610 million federal loan

Australia’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store solar generated power, the Kidston facility in north Queensland, has landed a $610 million loan from the Federal Government’s the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

Global renewables investment fell in the first half of this year

While Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and Brazil attracted more funds than last year, China’s transition to an auction-based procurement system and slow performance overall in Europe saw worldwide backing decrease. BloombergNEF does expect investments to ramp up in the second half, however.

Installations

Featured

Cambodia approves four PV projects totaling 140 MW

The Cambodian government has decided to approve four new solar projects, ranging in size from 20 MW to 60 MW, in response to rising energy demand. It further announced that the 60 MW project that it tendered at the beginning of the year is planned to start commercial operations in August.

Long read: Pursuing a 20% bifacial boost

Research on bifacial solar panel performance has moved performance analysis closer to a standardized practice than ever before. More field tests are underway across the United States, and the first waves of data are expected this year. These tests will help standardize a predictive model for bifacial projects that is bankable.

High voltage interconnection in place, installation set to get underway at WA’s largest PV project

Chinese PV module maker and project developerRisen Energyis pushing its 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm in WA’s Central Wheatbelt  towards full scale installation. The company is hungry to meet its ambitious goal to develop 2 GW of large-scale solar PV projects in Australia.

Vicinity sets net zero carbon target by 2030, as $73 million solar program nears completion

On the back of a combination of its industry-leading solar program and energy efficiencies, Vicinity Centers has announced a zero net carbon target by 2030 for its 34 shopping centers.

UniSA research finds batteries make economic sense in South Australia

Under the right conditions, solar batteries are economically beneficial for South Australian homeowners and can pay for themselves off within the warranty period, a new research finds.

Grid data transparency vital to making the case for renewables in Vietnam

With a glut of solar capacity having come online this year, cheaper financing would help keep some of that momentum but policymakers cannot be persuaded of the economic benefits of clean energy unless state-owned utility EVN opens up.

Technology

Featured

Horizon Power’s Carnarvon DER trials picks up award

Western Australia utility Horizon Power’s Carnarvon Distributed Energy Resource (DER) PV trails have received the silver award in the Energy Smart Communities Initiatives (ESCI) Best Practice Awards in the category of Smart Grids. The award recognises the necessity of DER trailing in order to find better ways to integrate solar PV into regional locations. 

Curtin’s new thermal battery project brings on the midnight sun

An international research collaboration led by Curtin University is set to help decarbonise mining and other off-grid industry with concentrating solar power that delivers clean energy night and day.

Planet Ark Power smooths the way for urban solar farms

Voltage regulation creates challenges for grid operation, particularly at high penetration levels of solar and other distributed renewables. Fresh being recognised as energy transition pioneers at the recent Startup Energy Transition (SET) Awards in Berlin, Planet Ark Power and its behind-the-meter technology is looking to dynamize Australia’s, and the world’s, energy grids with distributed clean energy.

Two top solar innovators honoured at national engineering awards

Two UNSW affiliated solar engineers have been honoured as some of the country’s most innovative engineering minds at the annual Engineering Australia award ceremony this week for their work on ground-breaking solar solutions.

AEMO: Australia will need 15 GW of utility-scale storage by early 2040s

Increased storage and strategic transmission development will be needed to ensure the lowest cost and risk transition of Australia’s energy system, the Australian Energy Market Operator states in its latest study. In 20 years time, the need for storage will be at a scale not seen before in the NEM, and both pumped hydro storage and distributed storage are set to play major roles in lowering wholesale electricity prices and building a reliable and resilient power system.

2019 shaping as watershed year for renewables in resource sector

As one of the most energy-intensive industries, the resource sector is getting serious about integrating cheap wind and solar energy into its mix to boost bottom lines. Although still predominantly underpinned by gas or diesel, mine operations are increasingly deploying hybrid solutions pointing to the potential of the sector transitioning to 100% renewables – particularly as momentum builds for green hydrogen to play a role in future microgrids.

Manufacturing

ABB exits solar inverter business

This Swiss giant is following a trend as large multinational high-tech companies see their role as redesigning infrastructure rather than supplying inverters at ever lower margins. Schneider Electric has pulled out of large scale solar, Siemens’ Kaco acquisition and Junelight launch show increasing interest in the C&I and residential markets, and GE is likely to divest its power conversion business due to low profit margins in that sector.

Long read: Patently disruptive

Australia has become the latest front in South Korean company Hanwha Q Cells’ legal battle against three competitors – JinkoSolar, Longi Solar, and REC Group – that it claims have infringed its patent on a particular aspect of passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology. Among many speculations is the idea that the case splits layers with an indefensible claim, perhaps seeking to strategically impose a slowdown on Hanwha’s rivals.

Solar Juice becomes REC Group partner

Solar Juice has signed an agreement to distribute REC Group modules in Australia – in particular to target commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. The announcement last week, made no note of the patent lawsuit that Hanwha Q Cells has brought against REC Group in Australia, which includes two of its distributors.

Cell and module prices falling in China

Taiwanese analyst Energytrend saw prices for high power products fall over the past week, but so far only in China. That trend could be replicated around the world next week, however.

Roth: Huawei exits U.S. solar inverter market

Roth Capital Partners reports that the inverter maker ceased U.S. sales last Friday, laying off all of its U.S. citizen staff, amid rising tensions between the Trump Administration and China.

Longi to spend $349m on new 5 GW module fab in Taizhou

The world’s number one mono silicon module manufacturer will add another 5 GW to its annual panel production capacity in 2020 as it pursues 16 GW of output this year and 25 GW next year.

Energy Storage

WA government looks to bolster battery minerals sector

The McGowan Government is continuing to forward WA’s Future Battery Industry Strategy with the launch on a new early-stage funding initiative. On Wednesday, the government announced a new online Funding Assistance Register, a further boost to the state’s ambition toward a world-leading, sustainable, future battery industry by 2025.

Smart Energy Council pushes for a NO vote on Battery Standard AS/NZS 5139

Standards Australia has progressed AS/NZS: 5139 draft battery standard to the ballot stage for committee voting. The Smart Energy Council (SEC) believes the draft standard, while required to meet the needs of the fast growing battery segment, is not sufficiently thorough in addressing safety concerns.

Queensland government opens funding for new hydrogen projects

Applications are now open for the Queensland government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, which will support sustainable and renewable hydrogen projects across the state.

Battery sector heeding findings of independent testing

Intensive testing has exposed a range of faults in both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries and battery management systems. ITP Renewables shares some key findings from its testing program and findings and how its program is providing valuable feedback to suppliers and the wider industry.

ZEN Energy readies to build 2.3 MW rooftop solar array at Tonsley

The first phase of a 6 MW solar array planned to power a former car manufacturing site at Tonsley in Adelaide will be delivered by ZEN Energy. The solar installation will ultimately work in conjunction with on-site battery storage and smart technologies as part of Enwave Australia’s Tonsley District Energy Scheme.

Victoria’s solar PV rebate out of stock for July

The July quota for solar PV rebates under Victoria’s Solar Homes program has been filled within days. The next release will be available in August.

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