Top News

NSW to get first ‘big battery’ with ARENA backing

Transgrid is on track to deliver improved reliability and stability to the New South Wales electricity networkafter securing federal and state government funding to install a $61.9 million big battery at its Wallgrove substation in western Sydney.
Markets & Policy

CEC slams AEMC transmission access reform proposal

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has taken aim at the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) transmission access reform proposal, declaring it will raise costs and stifle investment.
Installations

Construction underway at twin merchant solar farms in the Riverina

Photon Energy has commenced construction on two Australian solar farms which will deliver a combined capacity of 14 MW in the Riverina region of New South Wales.
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Covid-19

Melbourne solar installers back to work as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Rooftop solar installation figures in Victoria have plunged dramatically in recent months but an easing of Covid-19 restrictions has provided a welcome boost for the state’s small-scale solar installers.
Manufacturing

A stress test for all seasons

Scientists led by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new stress testing protocol for PV modules, one designed to simultaneously expose modules to multiple stresses, as they likely would be in the field. Putting modules ...
Manufacturing

Update of the ITRPV roadmap shows three wafer formats will prevail

In an update to its International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics, the German engineering association the VDMA said that solar module sizes of up to 4.0m² may be brought to mass production in the future.
Markets & Policy

AEMO reports record-low demand across the NEM

New records for minimum electricity demand have been recorded across the nation as Australia’s uptake of rooftop solar systems continues to climb.
Installations

X-Elio to build 200 MW Blue Grass project, signs PPA with Salesforce

Spanish solar EPC X-Elio has confirmed its arrival in the Australian market, announcing a “landmark” power purchase agreement for the output of the 200 MW Blue Grass solar farm in Queensland.
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Press Releases

Industry Contribution Award winner announced  

Endeavour Energy Deputy Chief Executive Officer and industry veteran Rod Howard has received the Energy Networks Australia (ENA) Industry Contribution Award for 2020.   

Wärtsilä awarded energy storage system order totaling 90 MW/90 MWh from Southeast Asia

The technology group Wärtsilä has received a repeat energy storage system order totalling 90 MW/90 MWh from an existing Southeast Asian customer. The solution will provide much needed flexibility and reliable grid support and will allow the further integration of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power.

Clean Energy Open Day powers on

Renewable energy is powering on in spite of COVID-19 restrictions and this Sunday, you can get a unique look at how these vital infrastructure projects work through recorded tours of wind and solar farms as Clean Energy Open Day goes virtual in 2020.

Sterling and Wilson to build solar storage hybrid power plant in Niger

Sterling and Wilson Pvt Ltd (SWPL), India’s leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, today announced that it’s Hybrid & Energy Storage division (HES), in consortium partnership with French EPC company Vergnet and SNS Niger, has signed an EPC contract to construct a Solar PV Battery Storage and Diesel Genset based hybrid power plant in Agadez, Niger.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

ASEAN’s looming renewables revolution

Southeast Asia, when taken as a whole, is a global laggard in the uptake of renewable energy, but some countries are leading the way, such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Myanmar. And as ‘Angry Clean Energy Guy’ Assaad W. Razzouk argues, policymakers in the region cannot hold back the tide of solar and wind for much longer.

Power play under way Down Under

Economics and common sense have to win out over a climate-denying, pro-fossil fuel government, says John Grimes, the chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council. And in the absence of renewable energy targets, he argues that the power of the people seems to be leading the way.

Constraints loom for booming Aussie rooftops

Within this decade, the capacity of solar systems on rooftops in Australia will likely exceed the generating capacity of coal. It is now evident that solar in conjunction with other customer-side technologies of batteries and demand management will become the dominant factor in the evolution of Australia’s energy system, writes Tristan Edis, the director of analysis for Green Energy Markets. He adds one caveat, however: For this to occur, batteries must become cost competitive.

APAC Energy Buzz: Could coal and renewables put the squeeze on gas? 

Rising gas prices, increased energy security and economic recovery at all costs pose risks to Asia’s power sector gas demand growth.

Bigger and better: Technology

The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.

Australian Hydrogen Council supports emerging export market

The move by Standards Australia has set the stage for Australia to play an important role in the growing hydrogen economy. Eight international standards for hydrogen were adopted in the process. The time is now, argues the Australian Hydrogen Council Fiona Simon, for these standards to be adopted into regulations to enable a new hydrogen export industry.

Covid-19

Featured

CEFC annual report glowing with ‘prudent investment’

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has published its annual report this week, a report glowing with the hue of 'prudent investment' according to the CEFC Chair. The report emphasises the prudence and efficacy of the green bank's mandate despite attempts by the Morrison Government to siphon off funds for fossil-fuel investments.

Iberdrola highlights potential for green recovery in breaking ground on Australia’s largest hybrid wind and solar farm

Spanish giant Iberdrola has broken ground on its 317 MW Port Augusta hybrid wind and solar farm, set to be the largest in Australia. The global energy company stressed its desire to increase its renewable presence in Australia on the day, betting on Australia’s potential for a green recovery from the economic strife of Covid-19.

‘Solar is the new king of energy markets’

The advance of PV has been lauded by the International Energy Agency as it launched the latest edition of a flagship World Energy Outlook 2020 report overshadowed by the Covid-19 crisis and uncertainty over how long the economic recovery could take.

Smart Energy’s protean culture helped solar to shine through Covid-19

Smart Energy is one of Australia’s most creative and fastest growing solar companies, largely thanks to a compassionate business plan which came into its own since the outbreak of covid-19. The various lockdowns and increased electricity bills have driven an accelerated uptick in residential solar and Smart Energy co-founder Elliot Haynes sat down with pv magazine Australia to talk about this unprecedented period.

US residential solar set for a record-breaking year — despite, and because of, 2020

With folks housebound by Covid-19 restrictions and more conscious of their home energy needs, April proved a banner month for companies generating digital leads through their own accelerated transition to a new way of working.

Another bumper year sees green bonds push through $1tn mark

Sustainability-linked debt financing is experiencing ever increasing popularity and the success of green bonds has driven other products linked to social performance and other sustainability criteria. The total volume of such investments to date passed the $2 trillion point this year.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Australia still finding its feet on the coveted path to digitalised data

While the desire for data to support smarter grids is clear, actually digitalising said data to make it communicable around Australia is proving a thornier operation. Ultimately, it requires Australia's grid operators to undergo nothing short of a metamorphosis – transitioning from operating networks to becoming network operators.

Australian scientists shed high-intensity light on pestering perovskite problem

A group of Australian researchers have made a significant discovery in the fight against light-induced phase segregation in next-generation solar cells, a somewhat counter-intuitive solution encapsulated in the famous final words of German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “More light!”

Vietnam opens 450 MW solar plant as utility-scale solar era dawns in SE Asia

Ho Chi Minh City-based construction company Trungnam Group said its army of labourers took just 45 days to perform site clearance for a project which took shape within 102 days. The 450 MW solar plant signals a new era in utility-scale solar for Vietnam, which is already seeing significant growth in its rooftop solar markets.

Australia a key player in new Global Power System Transformation team of 6

This week will see the official launch of a global taskforce that aims to support worldwide uptake and integration of renewables and achieve at least 50% reduction in emissions over the coming decade.

WA Govt approves 15 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub, whole project now expanded to 26 GW

The Western Australian Government has given environmental approval to the first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 15 GW hybrid solar and wind plant. The approval is a massive step forward for the project, which will eventually reach 26 GW, and an even larger step forward for green hydrogen development in Australia for domestic use and export.

GEV to develop compressed hydrogen ship for Australia’s green hydrogen exports

Global Energy Ventures announced to the ASX yesterday its design for the H2 Ship, a compressed hydrogen ship capable of transporting 2,000 tonnes of hydrogen from green hydrogen hubs in northern Australia to trading partners such as Singapore, Korea, China, and Japan.

Installations

Featured

Floating solar plant with LCOE of $0.051/kWh comes online in Malaysia

The 13 MW array was deployed in the Selangor state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The plant is selling power to local utility TNB under a 21-year PPA. The project’s levelized cost of energy is MYR 0.21608 ($0.051).

WA Affordability Experiment home applauded for innovation but limited in solar scope

In an effort to glean insights into the cost efficiency of sustainable housing, the Western Australian government in conjunction with private partners this week launched an Affordability Experiment home.

ARENA helps fund project to demonstrate energy efficient housing at scale

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is chipping in over $700,000 to help Frasers Property Australia build 51 energy efficient homes complete with a solar embedded network. The idea is to demonstrate to the wider housing sector that energy efficient homes can be built at scale and be cost-effective to the customer.

Solar Professionals completes Australia’s largest PPA rooftop project

The largest rooftop solar Power Price Agreement (PPA) installation yet undertaken in Australia has been completed with more 1,876 modules installed across Blacktown City Council facilities in Western Sydney.

Ikea Adelaide constructing unique microgrid on its way to 100% renewable energy

Ikea Adelaide is leading the way for the Swedish giant’s global aspirations towards 100% renewable energy through what is being touted as Australia’s largest grid-connected commercial microgrid. The two stage project boasts a range of unique features which could lay the foundations for a new sustainable energy model for Australia.

Nobel Prize-winning auction geniuses want to apply their findings to renewables

Stanford professors Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in economics for developing a new auction theory and new auction formats for goods and services. Their findings were already successfully used in the electricity energy sector and may now meet the challenge on how to better shape clean energy procurements.

Technology

Featured

No-flow zinc-bro batteries set USyd campus aglow with solar energy

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer has taken his reimagining of zinc-bromine battery chemistry to the point of commercial launch; a new installation at the University of Sydney demonstrates the Gelion battery’s utility and appeal.

Solpod-engineered, Australian-manufactured solar rooftop mounts launched under the Schletter brand

A locally designed and made range of versatile solar mounting products offers Australian installers of commercial and industrial rooftop systems smart solutions backed by global company Schletter’s sales and support network.

Interview: The latest on solar module degradation

Solar system power losses due to degradation can be a hidden destroyer of PV value. Researchers from the UNSW are conducting world-leading research into degradation phenomena such as Light and Elevated Temperature Degradation (LeTID) and have found the problem widespread. Encouragingly, UNSW’s Alison Ciesla says that mitigation in production is possible.  

Clough and Elecnor joint venture appointed EPC for SA-NSW Interconnector

A 50/50 joint venture between Clough Group and Spanish infrastructure giant Elecnor has been selected as EPC for the 700km NSW section of the SA-NSW Interconnector, Project Energy Connect. The big jobs require the big guns, and it seems as though the big guns have been called in on this occasion, with Project Energy Connect deemed integral to the energy future of both states.

Salt of the earth Deakin Uni researchers win global prize with innovative sodium battery

A group of Deakin University researchers have won a top gong at Climate Launchpad 2020 with their innovatory sodium battery which they expect to electrify Indonesia’s enormous scooter market within three years and outcompete lithium ion batteries in the near future.

Scania develops solar cell-clad trailer

The 18-meter long solar cell-clad trailer is said to enable fuel savings of 5-10% in Sweden. Swedish thin-film manufacturer Midsummer is a partner on the project.

Manufacturing

Featured

Hanwha Q-Cells moves to enforce recall of products found to infringe IP in Germany

The Korean manufacturer has announced that it wants to enforce the recall of products made by rivals Jinko Solar, Longi Solar and REC Group that were deemed by the regional court of Düsseldorf in June to have infringed a passivation technology patent. The recall applies to products sold since January last year in Germany.

SNEC 2020 CEO Series – Interview with Vice President of International Sales – GoodWe

GoodWe is a rapidly expanding inverter manufacturer that recently went public on the Shanghai Stock Market. The company is a major player on the international stage and has increased its market share in every major PV market. What new products and solutions did GoodWe showcase at SNEC 2020 in Shanghai? What is GoodWe’s international marketing strategy? Ron Shen, Vice President of International Sales, addressed these questions during an exclusive interview with PV Magazine.

Trump pulls tariff exemption for bifacial panels – again

The U.S. president issued a proclamation on Oct. 10 that cites the impact of imported bifacial panels on U.S. solar manufacturing, while also raising the scheduled fourth-year tariff rate from 15% to 18%.

Energy Renaissance lithium-ion gigafactory breaks ground in Tomago, NSW

In less than a year from today, Australia will be producing its own renewable-energy-storing lithium-ion batteries in the Hunter Region. A new $28 million Energy Renaissance facility will embed itself in the learning, hard-working, adaptable culture around the port of Newcastle, manufacturing exports that are expected to contribute some $3 billion to Australia’s GDP and advance the country’s energy transition.

Agrivoltaic project with vertically mounted bifacial panels goes online in Germany

German developer Next2Sun has completed a 4.1 MW solar plant built with roughly 11,000 bifacial panels provided by Chinese manufacturer Jolywood.

Nextracker’s bifacial tracker selected for 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub

Nextracker’s NX Horizon has delivered some pretty impressive results in testing, results that caught that eye of Neoen and EPC contractor Sterling & Wilson to incorporate the bifacial tracking system into what is to be Australia’s largest solar power plant in Queensland’s Western Downs.

Energy Storage

Featured

Rooftop PV set to shine in WA’s energy future despite growing gas cloud

The Western Australian Government's Energy Transformation Taskforce has revealed its first blueprint for the isolated state's energy system transformation over the next two decades. The blueprint, which features four separate models, sees rooftop solar and accompanying battery storage excel in the coming years, although it suggests coal-fired power will still have a large presence.

The South Australian renewable energy crucible – perspectives from macro to micro

One of the few benefits of COVID-19 is the ability to virtually attend conferences that may previously have been a plane ticket too far. Tomorrow’s South Australian Renewable Energy Conference is a window of opportunity …

Labor’s Albanese envisages a nation rewired for rebound from recession

Australia needs more transmission and network capacity to efficiently use its vast, distributed renewable-energy resources, and to enable transition to a low-cost, zero-carbon electricity supply. In the Australian Opposition’s Budget in Reply it aims to make Australia’s inherent wealth work better for the nation, and puts transmission infrastructure upgrade at the centre of the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

Islands on the horizon of hope: Canopy Power’s solar microgrid helps another island toward a sustainable future

Singapore-based solar plus storage microgrid expert Canopy Power has helped the Batu Batu resort on Malaysia’s Tengah Island reduce its dependence on diesel fuel through the installation of an integrated system which will cover a quarter of its energy needs.

Granny Smith gold mine receives one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids

In a move which is sure to pan out well for Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia, Aggreko has installed one of Australia’s largest renewable energy microgrids comprising 7.7 MWp of solar energy generation which will integrate with the site’s existing power station. pv magazine sat down with Aggreko’s Managing Director of Microgrids and Storage solutions, Karim Wazni, to discuss how microgrids and energy storage can help transition Australia’s resource sector.

Off-grid solar solution provides water security breakthrough for remote communities 

Solar and energy storage play an essential role in Project Gilghi, an off-grid water security innovation that has the potential to help a great many Australians, particularly Indigenous Australians, and people around the world who are struggling with poor access to potable water and sanitation.

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