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One in a million, solar drives smart meters past the million milestone

Smart metering services provider Intellihub cracked the million meter mark this week as the smart meter market in Australia and New Zealand surges off the back of continuing solar uptake.
Markets & Policy

Regulator ranks AGL Australia’s biggest climate polluter

Australia’s largest energy retailer, AGL, is working towards net-zero emissions by 2050 but it can not come soon enough for some with new government data revealing the energy giant is the nation’s biggest polluter, emitting more than 42 million tonne...
Technology

Renewable energy ‘tidal wave’ tipped to wipe out coal-fired power stations

A “tidal wave” of new solar and wind energy in Australia is poised to wipe out several coal-fired power stations in the National Electricity Market (NEM) with a new report suggesting the financial viability of the fossil-fuel generators will be so se...
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Have your new product or service recognized in the pv magazine 2021 Annual Awards.

 

Entries are currently being accepted for the awards across six categories: Modules, Inverters, Balance of System (BoS), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), Sustainability, and Manufacturing. Enter free today to go in the running to be a 2021 winner!

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Three phase solutions in residential PV

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Packed with Power: High-powered solutions for agile utility-scale solar projects

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A good pairing – Inverter and storage compatibility in a changing European residential market

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Our February Edition is out!

Get your hand on our new edition here!

 

What to expect:

 

  • Energy Storage
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  • Solar vs coal

 

 

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Energy Storage

Neoen completes financing for 300 MW Victorian Big Battery

Construction has commenced on the 300 MW / 450 MWh Victoria Big Battery storage facility near Geelong after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) provided French renewable energy developer Neoen with a $160 million funding injection.
Manufacturing

AEMC announces new standards for rooftop solar

With rooftop solar installations numbers hitting record highs right across the nation, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has announced new technical standards for inverters will be introduced to help the electricity grid cope with the influx...
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Manufacturing

Interview: Inverter smarts to tackle integration issues

With rooftop solar surging, smart power electronics will be required to secure system strength and ensure that new limitations on rooftop PV don’t put a break on growth. Italy-based power electronics supplier FIMER believes its new range of string inve...
Energy Storage

Trina Solar enters storage business

The module manufacturer’s new storage unit, Trina Storage, aims to create innovative solutions for the combination of photovoltaics and storage, grid services and other applications.
Energy Storage

Vehicle-integrated PV reduces EV charging time in sunny regions by 40%

Dutch scientist Bonna Newmann spoke with pv magazine about the present and future of vehicle-integrated PV from a technological and economic perspective. Solar panels installed on cars could have a payback time of only three or four years and ensure 10,0...

Press Releases

Top eight tracker companies approve full compatibility with 210 modules, accelerating PV industry into grid parity era

The world’s eight leading photovoltaic tracker makers - Arctech Solar, Array Technologies, GameChange Solar, IDEEMATEC, Nextracker, PVH, Soltec, TrinaTracker -have issued compatibility approvals for 210 Ultra-High Power solar modules, significantly promoting industry collaboration to further reduce levellised cost of energy (LCOE) and thus accelerate the pace of entry into an era of grid parity.

Northern Territory selected for renewable hydrogen trail

A major step in the development of an off grid renewable hydrogen project trial is set to begin in Tennant Creek.

Blueshore appointed as asset manager for Royalla Solar Farm

Blueshore, the Sydney based renewable energy asset manager has announced that it has been appointed by the DIF Capital Partners (DIF) to take over asset management responsibility for the Royalla Solar Farm in ACT.

The future is bright for Australian craft brewery choosing Fimer to power its site

FIMER helps Moon Dog Brewing save 240 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year thanks to its PVS-100 inverter.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

UNSW flicks the switch on 100% renewable electricity

UNSW Sydney researchers pioneered the development of solar photovoltaic technology, which is now helping the University achieve net zero emissions from energy use.

The US jumps on board the electric vehicle revolution, leaving Australia in the dust

“Australians should be able to choose the type of car they drive,” said the Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor on Friday when he released a national plan to reduce carbon emissions from Australia’s road transport sector — a plan without a target, without incentives, and with relatively meagre investment in bringing about essential change.

Climate Change Commission calls on New Zealand government to take ‘immediate and decisive action’ to cut emissions

New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission today released its long-anticipated advice to the government on how to reshape the economy to meet the country’s domestic and international climate change obligations. The document sets out three emissions budgets, covering 15 years to 2035 in five-yearly plans. It also provides advice on the direction policy should take to achieve the country’s 2050 net-zero goal.

How to cut emissions from transport: ban fossil fuel cars, electrify transport and get people walking and cycling

For the transport sector, which is responsible for half of New Zealand’s energy-related emissions, the commission suggests a sweeping set of changes to electrify the country’s car fleet and to replace imported fuels with local renewable electricity. It’s exciting to see a national-level plan that actually cuts emissions. But it raises two questions: is it feasible, and is it the best or only option?

Are Japan’s upstream players heading for the exit? 

Moves by Japan’s trading houses to de-risk their upstream portfolios make sense. Faced with falling domestic oil and gas demand and an accelerating energy transition, future E&P investment is far less certain. Strategy reviews are switching focus to new growth areas – covering everything from fintech to pork bellies – with the increasingly diverse businesses of Japan’s trading houses challenging upstream for future capital.   

Biden’s Senate majority doesn’t just super-charge US climate action, it blazes a trail for Australia

An aggressive US climate policy rollout could provide a much needed dose of reality to the climate discourse in Canberra. It may also prompt Australia’s major parties to acknowledge the inevitability of a transition to a zero carbon economy.

Covid-19

Featured

BHP nickel refinery hooks up with the largest solar farm in the West

BHP has started the year by signing a PPA that will halve emissions at its Nickel West Kwinana refinery and double its green cred as a supplier to environmentally conscious lithium-ion battery manufacturers.

2020 Year in Review

Soon 2020 will only be a worry to future high-school history students. But when they ask us if anything good at all happened in 2020, remember this review and tell them that solar PV shone in the darkness. Despite the mess of it all, 2020 has been another good year for Australian solar. The industry has demonstrated resilience, and significant progress has been made in the fields of energy storage, green hydrogen and others.

LG Chem breakaway launches 16 kWh modular resi battery, plus plus

The performance and warrantable 10-year capacity of LG Energy Solution’s third-generation Prime series are among features designed to turn homeowners’ heads.

Asian Development Bank provides more than $1bn finance for renewables power lines

The development lender has followed up a $600 million loan for distribution infrastructure in eastern Indonesia with a $430 million credit line for installations in India.

Molong Solar Farm nolonger in development, successfully energised 

GRS has passed the 550 MW mark in its Australian portfolio with the energisation of its 39 MW Molong Solar Farm in Central West New South Wales. The project is now on the verge of grid connection tests and thereby closing in on full-fledged generation.

Spanish tracker giant STI Norland expands to Australia with a keenness to compete

Spanish tracker giant STI Norland has expanded to Australia with a new subsidiary office in Melbourne. The company is arriving on our shores with a keenness to compete with tracker suppliers who already have their foot in the door. With no solar farm too big or too small, STI Norland Australia CEO Alan Atchison sat down with pv magazine Australia to talk about how the company plans to make tracks Down Under.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Gransolar plans 13 big batteries for SA, Victoria, and NSW

Gransolar’s battery division, E22, will reportedly develop 13 large-scale batteries in South Australia, Victorian and NSW.

‘Counterintuitive’ union sees electricity retailer subsidise fast-growing Aussie energy management platform

Blue NRG, a business-only electricity retailer, has decided to partner with Melbourne-based energy management platform carbontrack in a union that Spiros Livadaras, carbontrack’s Managing Director, admits is somewhat surprising. “Obviously people are saying, why would a retailer join forces with an energy management technology company that helps them reduce their energy consumption – it’s kind of counterintuitive,” he told pv magazine Australia.

State-owned coal company seeks large-scale renewable projects to transition portfolio

The Queensland Government-owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation, has announced it is from today seeking expressions of interest from renewable energy projects to incorporate into its fossil-fuel heavy portfolio.

Bluescope says climate action is ‘not optional’, while opting not to take climate action

On the same day as Bluescope Steel announced massive profits and the creation of a new Chief Executive Climate Change, the steel giant also conceded that it was not fully committed to investing in ‘green steel’ solutions in the near future.

BloombergNEF expects up to 209 GW of new solar for this year

A new report from the U.S.-based analyst predicts that new PV additions for 2021 may range from 163 to 221 GW next year and from 179 to 240 GW in 2023. According to BloombergNEF, the current supply bottlenecks for glass and polysilicon will unlikely halt the global PV market.

WA deploys stand-alone power systems at properties affected by Perth Hills bushfire

Western Australia has officially extended the reach of its new darling: stand-alone power systems, or SAPS. In a state first, Government-owned network services provider Western Power has deployed units at two Perth Hills properties following bushfires earlier this month.

Installations

Featured

New shingled PERC solar module from Hyundai

The South Korean manufacturer has brought, to Europe and Australia, its recently launched shingled PERC panel, with an output ranging from 460 to 480 W and an efficiency of up to 20.5%. The products come with a 25-year linear power output guarantee and a 25-year product guarantee.

Australians paying the price for cheap, abundant solar

Faulty or failing rooftop solar systems are behind one in five enquiries made to Sydney-based retailer Solaray Energy, according to the company’s co-founder and director, Jonathan Fisk. “And it’s going to continue to accelerate,” Fisk told pv magazine Australia.

Independent MP proposes $483 million Local Power Agency to anchor benefits of renewables in regional communities

Helen Haines, MP for the Victorian electorate of Indi, will today put a Bill before Parliament that would underwrite and provide technical support to community renewable energy projects in regional areas, and mandate the opportunity for community to buy in to large-scale projects.

100 MW Springdale Solar Farm Project springs to life with IPC approval

Negotiation, community consultation, and ultimately an IPC approval that clearly addresses local concerns, gives the green light to this RES Australia development in southern New South Wales.

Re-juwi-nating Jabiru: solar-hybrid contract awarded

In the middle of Australia’s most iconic natural landscape, the township of Jabiru has begun its transition from uranium-mine support community, to Indigenous cultural hub and tourism centre. The local arm of German renewable energy pioneer, juwi brings its deep experience in off-grid power systems to the project.

Silver renewable lining to Abra’s rich new silver mining project in WA

Hybrid energy systems are blooming in Australia’s remote locations, as renewables are increasingly partnered with gas or diesel to advance the greening of desert industries and communities that operate far from the grid.

Technology

Featured

Old Mate Barnaby Joyce attempts to hijack CEFC with ‘tedious proposals’ 

Former leader of The Nations, Barnaby Joyce, has put forward an amendment to the Coalition's legislation for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) which would allow the $10 billion "green bank" to invest in "high intensity, low emissions coal-fired power."

Record number of renewables entered grid in 2020, record number joined the queue too

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s second State of the System update, a sort of ‘Around-the-Grounds’ of the National Energy Market, has revealed that 2020 set new records for both number of new projects connected and new megawatts of generation.

Historical wholesale price trend bucked thanks to renewables

January normally sees a spike in the average wholesale electricity price. This year, however, increased solar PV and wind generation have seen this traditional trend bucked.

UNSW researchers to develop roadmap for using excess renewables to power industry

The University of New South Wales along with several other universities and the CSIRO are embarking on a feasibility study into how New South Wales can utilise excess renewable energy to make fuel, chemicals and feedstocks for industry. The aim is to develop a plan for how fuels and chemicals such as green hydrogen and ammonia produced from renewables can decarbonise industry and grow manufacturing.

Electricity networks to manage EV charging in ARENA funded trial

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is funding Jemena to the tune of $1.6 million toward a new trial in which various electricity networks in Victoria, ACT, and Tasmania will manage residential EV charging to better prepare the grid for a time when mass charging will take place at peak periods.

South Australian trial provides blueprint for VPP integration

Australia’s record-breaking uptake of small-scale rooftop solar and growing interest in home battery systems almost guarantee virtual power plants (VPP) will play a key role in the nation’s energy system into the future and Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has identified the “blueprint” for their successful integration into the grid.

Manufacturing

Featured

Intellihub calls for change to metering services framework

Smart metering services provider Intellihub has outlined a series of targeted reforms – including strengthening testing requirements – in its submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) review into the sector’s regulatory framework, cautioning that unless changes are made Australia risks being left behind.

Suntech to launch new inverter in Australian market

Long-standing solar PV manufacturer Suntech is set to expand its offerings in the Australian market with the imminent release of sister company Sunways’ range of single-phase inverters.

Baotou City set for 10 GW of renewables

The tide of clean energy facilities planned under the city’s next five-year strategy was revealed by Hong Kong-listed polysilicon maker Xinte Energy, which has signed a framework agreement to construct 200,000 tons of manufacturing capacity near Inner Mongolia’s largest city.

Assessing the impact of large-wafer modules

Energy consultancy DNV GL has published new results comparing the performance of modules based on 166mm, 182mm and 210mm silicon cells. The assessment compares Trina Solar’s Vertex modules, which use the largest cell dimension, with unnamed competitors utilising the other two sizes. Results from system simulations show a clear advantage for the two larger sizes, with 210mm edging ahead in terms of levelised cost of electricity.

Sungrow launches second generation inverter in Australia

Chinese solar inverter giant Sungrow has taken the first step towards increasing its Australian market share in 2021 with the launch of its second generation three-phase residential inverters.

Q Cells Australia extends reach across Tasman

The Australian arm of South Korean solar technology giant Hanwha Q-Cells has extended its reach, launching into the New Zealand energy market.

Energy Storage

WA government makes $259 million worth renewable promises ahead of state election

With a state election looming and a Liberal Opposition eager to embrace renewables, Western Australia’s McGowan government has announced a $259 million renewables-focussed package in a bid to retain power and primacy in the progressive space.

Australian assets prove pivotal for Neoen’s strong 2020 results

Renewables developer Neoen has released its 2020 results, announcing an 18% increase in revenue from 2019, a significant portion of which materialised from its Australian assets including the Hornsdale big battery.

Regulator credits renewables for continuing fall in electricity prices

The Australian Energy Regulator has released its Default Market Offer for 2021-2022, and it is another fall in electricity prices, especially if you live in South Australia, New South Wales or south-east Queensland. The regulator says one of the main factors driving the now continuous fall in electricity prices is the investment in renewables, in particular the estimated uptake of rooftop solar.

Solar and storage to take over from uranium mine for Kakadu rejuvenation

The Ranger Uranium Mine, completely enclosed within the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, ceased production in January 2021 after years of financial losses. Now, as part of a multi-million dollar rejuvenation of the Park, a solar and battery storage hybrid project is set for development at the town of Jabiru, a project which will help the town replenish itself as a tourist hub for one of Australia’s greatest treasures.

Ausgrid launches Sydney’s first community battery, with more to come in two-year trial

New South Wales network operator Ausgrid yesterday launched its first community battery in Beacon Hill, north of Sydney. It is one of three community batteries being installed across Sydney allowing solar customers to store their extra energy at no additional cost.

CEFC invests $75 million in decarbonising Ingenia lifestyle and holiday communities

With 7,600 residents and many more travellers recharging at its holiday properties each year, Ingenia Communities Group is set to lead the retirement and affordable-travel-accommodation sectors towards solar uptake following a major investment by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.