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Fly me to the sun, Melbourne Airport’s record solar farm

As Covid-19 decimates the aviation industry, Melbourne Airport is set to make significant savings on its energy costs with the installation of a 12.4 MW solar farm, one of Australia's largest behind-the-meter arrays, which will be able to power all four of the airport's terminals.
Covid-19

CEFC to shift focus from renewables to grid, hydrogen projects

The Australian government’s green bank intends to move beyond solar and wind investment over the coming year and put its capital to work in the nascent green hydrogen industry and grid projects.
Markets & Policy

All-Energy 2020 cancelled as Covid-19 crisis continues

Australia’s leading solar industry event will not take place in 2020. The organisers of the All-Energy Australia show announced the decision today, noting that the decision was made “with everyone’s health and safety as our number one priority.”
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Solar for parking machines

New Zealand researchers have proposed a way to assess the technical and economic feasibility of PV-powered parking machines. Solar might be an ideal solution, but the siting of the machines is critical and should be planned in advance, in line with avail...
Markets & Policy

Shareholders call on AGL to accelerate coal station closures

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCA), a shareholder advocacy group, has filed a Shareholder Resolution to AGL Energy calling for the expedited closure of its Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal-fired power stations. ACCA says that AGL's ...
Markets & Policy

SMA Sunny Boy Storage now compatible with BYD’s Battery-Box

The German PV inverter manufacturer's multi-string storage solution is now in sync with BYD’s latest battery system.
Installations

FRV’s Goonumbla Solar Farm fully operational despite market challenges

The Spanish developer has successfully completed the 69.75 MW solar farm in New South Wales which is contracted under a power purchase agreement with government-owned retailer Snowy Hydro.
Energy Storage

AEMC opens consultation on DER integration, solar export charges

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is calling for submissions on proposed rule changes that would address the integration of distributed energy resources, including enabling export charges as a pricing tool.
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Press Releases

Q CELLS to acquire Geli, expanding its offerings in integrated energy storage solutions

Q CELLS, a renowned total energy solutions provider in solar cell and module, energy storage, downstream project business and energy retail, announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 100% stake in San Francisco-based energy storage solutions company Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (Geli).

$8.2 million in COVID-19 recovery funding for resources exploration

Premier Mark McGowan and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston today announced an additional $5 million for the Exploration and Incentive Scheme (EIS) and the provision of $3. 2 million for a new ion microprobe for Curtin University.

Murra Warra II Wind Farm to commence construction following successful completion of development phase and financial close

The consortium comprising RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) announced today the completion of the development phase of the second stage of the Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham in Western Victoria, and the sale of its interests to global private markets investment manager Partners Group (acting on behalf of its clients).

JA Solar Supplies Modules for Malaysia’s First Bifacial-Plus-Trackers Project

JA Solar recently announced that it supplied 43. 8MW bifacial double-glass modules for the Malaysia's first solar project that combines bifacial double-glass modules with trackers.

Opinion & Analysis

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COVID-19 vs Renewables: How the pandemic is impacting Australia’s solar curve

With Australians spending more time at home during the day as a result of COVID-induced restrictions, many are questioning the impact of shifting energy demand patterns on the solar curve. Byron Serjeantson, Regional Manager at Flow Power considers the potential outcomes of these changes.

The new standards that underpin our renewable future

As new forms of renewable energy mature, strong standards governing safety, storage, transport and more help to build confidence in each industry sector. Here Daniel Chidgey, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Standards Australia outlines the latest guidance for hydrogen, energy storage and ocean energy.

Farm to table, the energy way

The emergence of the prosumer has been a feature of the rise of rooftop solar. But it can go far beyond the individual household or business, argues Frédéric Gastaldo, CEO of Tiko Energy Solutions. Gastaldo says that by connecting PV and other renewable arrays, true energy communities can emerge – accelerating clean energy uptake.

A closer look at hydrogen infrastructure

Momentum is building for a new era of the hydrogen economy. Green hydrogen production is decreasing in cost, as greater levels of renewables are being integrated into the grid, and countries are developing hydrogen plans. Shayne Willette from Navigant sets out how, as a result, hydrogen is increasingly recognized as a potentially significant contributor to the decarbonization of the energy sector.

Record shipments push global solar PV inverter market past $9 billion in 2019

The PV inverter market achieved record shipments in 2019, writes IHS Markit’s Miguel de Jesus, driven by booming shipments in key markets such as the United States, Spain, Latin America, Ukraine and Vietnam. Revenue rose rapidly, surpassing the $9 billion mark in 2019 for the first time.

Looking gloomy at Oakey 2 Solar Farm again?

Yesterday I received a call from the people at pv magazine who were preparing for the ‘Virtual Roundtables Europe 2020’ event on this week in Germany – i.e. Tuesday evening (now!) and Wednesday evening ‘NEM time’. I’m told the event will be recorded, with the recording available later to those who have registered, so get your skates on if interested.

Covid-19

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Enphase Q2 micro-inverter revenue falls despite demand ‘rebound’

Coming off a strong, profitable first quarter, Enphase sees the second-quarter results of Covid-19 in compressed revenue and a swing to a loss. Gross margins remain strong.

CEFC takes stock of the future, backs Australian Climate Transition Index

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is set to become the cornerstone investor in a BNP Paribas’ issuance $140 million in new Australian green bonds through its Australian Climate Transition Index, an index for investors to parse the companies that will survive and thrive into a decarbonised future from those who will decay and die.

Kalgoorlie high school set to be first in Schools VPP pilot project

The Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot project, part of the WA Government’s $66.3 million investment in solar and batteries in its WA Recovery Plan from the impacts of Covid-19, will see ten schools transformed into VPPs. The two year trial is expected to bring reduced electricity bills to schools, improved grid stability, and increased solar uptake in the local community.

CSIRO report shows flightpath to hydrogen fuelled commercial aviation

With the disruption of Covid-19 highlighting the climatic impact of the aviation industry, a recent report from the CSIRO funded by Boeing shows that hydrogen fuel’s technological momentum could see clean hydrogen used in airports by as early as 2025, and a full transition from conventional jet fuel by 2050.

Solar dreaming in Broome, WA Recovery Plan for Kimberley revealed

The Kimberley Recovery Plan spells out in regional focus the renewable energy investments heading to the Kimberley from the Western Australian Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan. The Kimberley region is set for an injection of funds to help fortify a sustainable renewable energy sector, particularly for the uptake of residential rooftop solar and energy storage systems.

The sun shines on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, but can it shine for them?

Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council has installed its largest solar array to date, a 265 kW rooftop system atop the Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Aquatic Centre in Manly. Council is revving up its solar capacity on its way to a goal of having renewable energy power all suitable Council sites by 2030, an ambition it hopes will inspire more local residents to take up solar too.

Markets & Policy

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Shell Australia acquires carbon farming business Select Carbon

The Anglo-Dutch power company will buy Perth-based environmental specialist Select Carbon as part of a broader ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Sterling and Wilson: Europe will be our next stop

Having bagged large orders in the U.S. and Australia, Indian multinational engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services provider Sterling and Wilson Solar is bidding for tenders in new regions, Europe among them. Kannan Krishnan, S&W’s chief operations officer for solar in India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation area, speaks to pv magazine about the impact of Covid-19 on the solar EPC business and the company’s expansion plans.

How solar is securing rural bushfire ‘last resorts’

The Hepburn Recreation Reserve has been recently fitted out with a solar installation accompanied by a Tesla Powerwall 2. The combined system is not only a great result for the local sports clubs, it also helps Hepburn Shire on its way to 100% renewables, and what is more, also secures the important facility as a ‘last resort’ for the community during a bushfire.

Making solar + batteries work for all 

Trials of large-scale battery capabilities in Australia are showing great promise; behind the meter, households are buying into state-based battery programs and subsidies. Here, ANU’s Dr Lachlan Blackhall talks about the exciting potential for mid-scale community battery storage, future EV storage capacity, and more.

Chevron turns to renewables to power Western Australia facilities

The oil and gas giant has announced it will build 500 MW of renewable energy projects to power some of its global facilities under the four-year agreement with Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities.

U.S. utility giant invests in 5B to accelerate use of solar energy

AES, one of the world’s largest power companies, has made a strategic investment in Sydney-based pre-fabricated solar array manufacturer 5B to meet the growing needs of its customers for solar.

Installations

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Solar yields 80% reduction in Pilbara health-service power bills

Known as iron-ore central, the town of Newman in the far north of Western Australia is also the regional centre for a large Indigenous population which has just opened a health care hub dedicated to its own needs. Solar on the building's broad, gently arcing roof will significantly reduce the costs of running this much needed facility.

Relocatable solar mounts to reduce big-solar install costs by 30%

A Perth-based innovator has designed a secure solar-panel mounting system that enables super-fast installation of medium-to-large-scale projects, and lets them be relocated as needed.

AEMO’s 2020 ISP: A roadmap to the world’s fastest energy transition

If it was designed with a focus on reliability, security and the lowest cost for consumers, Australia’s main electricity grid would see periods in which nearly 90% of demand is met by renewable generation. A diverse portfolio of distributed energy resources and large-scale solar and wind generation supported mainly by pumped hydro and batteries would ensure the least-cost transition as the nation’s coal plants retire. Adequate investment in transmission infrastructure will be instrumental in making this a reality.

Hornsdale posts big first-half revenue for Neoen, solar remains consistent despite poor conditions 

Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve has gone to work in the first half of 2020, virtually tripling the French renewables developer’s storage revenue on comparative 2019 levels. However, this growth was largely caused by a one-off event, and a slower Q2 highlights the need for FCAS policy renewal. Neoen’s Australian solar revenues could also achieve little more than consistency thanks to poor conditions.

Tesla battery protects Malmsbury Fire Station from power outages

Malmsbury Fire Station in Victoria has been generously donated a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery, a gift that allows the Malmsbury Fire Brigade to remain operational and vigilant despite power outages. 

World’s largest solar project for on-site consumption

Utility Iberdrola will provide solar power to the Spanish site of Saudi petrochemical company Sabic, which has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement. The electricity will be generated by a €70 million, 100 MW solar park.

Technology

Featured

$245,000+ in AMGC funding accelerates the prospects of home-grown Li-ion battery manufacturer

COVID-19 has enhanced the conviction that Australia will benefit from advanced manufacturing and sovereign supply. Homegrown battery manufacturer Energy Renaissance is poised to drive home that advantage.

Understanding the fate of end-of-life modules

Scientists in India have taken a close look at the potential impact of growing volumes of PV waste, and have conducted surveys that suggest a lot more work is needed from manufacturers and policymakers to develop management systems for end-of-life PV products.

A ‘just transition’ just about the only transition worth having

A team of international researchers featuring ANU’s Prof Frank Jotzo has published a study on the ‘just transition’ from coal to renewable sources of energy. The paper looks at comparative examples of transitioning economies, taking account of political realities, and ultimately shows that a ‘just transition’ is just about the only transition worth having.

1 GW of solar projects in North Queensland could be curtailed to zero

New system strength challenges have been identified in North Queensland putting the output of nearly 800 MW of additional solar projects at risk.

WA Recovery Plan to invest $66.3m in solar and batteries

The Western Australian Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan was released yesterday, the plan features $66.3 million in renewable energy investment, most of that to go on solar and batteries, along with a significant top up of the Clean Energy Future Fund.

Solar lights a pathway through lockdown

Thanks to the Covid-19 many of us find ourselves in lockdown with little reprieve other than a morning potter or an evening stroll. In Goulburn, thanks to what is being called Australia’s largest solar lighting installation, locals can now more easily walk and cycle their way to the salutary effects of a daily jaunt.

Manufacturing

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Sungrow signs 150 MW distribution agreement with Solar Juice

The new deal with one of the leading solar wholesalers in Australia will make Sungrow's suite of products available to a greater number of residential and commercial customers.

Monash University gets ARENA funding to investigate renewables integration into weak grids

Researchers at Monash University will conduct a desktop study to explore issues and strategies associated with connecting inverter-based generation such as batteries, solar, and wind into weaker parts of the National Electricity Market.

Jinko claims 24.79% efficiency for n-type monocrystalline cell

The Chinese manufacturer has claimed a world record for a large-size, contact-passivated solar cell. The result, certified by Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin, betters the company’s previous record by almost 0.6%.

Trina reveals 600 W module

The Chinese giant has leapt ahead of rivals who recently announced their intent to work towards the next generation of mega panels by pledging to have its 600 W Vertex product on sale by the end of March.

SA Water large-scale solar and native revegetation need each other

SA Water’s highly ambitious $300 million solar uptake is proving a golden goose as a partnership with Succession Ecology to revegetate almost a tonne of native seedlings under large-scale solar arrays proves a win-win. The ground-mounted modules mean native vegetation can return to formerly agricultural land, and the native scrub itself protects PV panels from soiling.

Techno-economic analysis of PV-powered golf carts

Danish researchers have shown that adding 250 W solar panels to all of the buggies in a 50-cart fleet is a profitable investment. With an upfront investment of around €75,000, annual benefits of around €15,000 are possible, they claim.

Energy Storage

Featured

A residential vanadium flow battery

Flow battery manufacturers typically pursue utility scale storage projects but German start-up VoltStorage is targeting the household market.

PG&E, Tesla start building world’s biggest battery

The 182.5 MW/730 MWh Moss Landing energy storage system could eventually be expanded to 1.1 GWh – putting it on track to overshadow Tesla’s massive Hornsdale project in Australia.

Federal government awards major project status to Sun Cable’s 10 GW solar plan

The Australian federal government is fast-tracking the world’s biggest solar and storage project in the sun-drenched Tennant Creek region that aims to power Darwin and export solar from the outback to Singapore and eventually Indonesia via a submarine transmission link.

Parkes transmitted the moon, now it’s transmitting the sun

The New South Wales town of Parkes, famous for its involvement in the Apollo 11 Moon landing, is set to play a part in another scientific wonder, the transition to renewable energy, after the NSW Government approved the development of the 80 MW Quorn Park Solar Farm. A small step in the plan , but a giant leap for the planet.

Iberdrola locks in improved takeover offer for Infigen

Infigen Energy on Friday continued to unanimously recommend a revised offer from Iberdrola to its shareholders, after the Spanish renewable energy giant locked in an $893 million offer.

Redflow batteries to add VPP capabilities

Brisbane-based battery supplier Redflow has joined forces with smart energy system company carbonTRACK to add virtual power plant functionality to its flow batteries.

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