Fotowatio Renewable Ventures Australia’s 90 MW (AC) solar farm outside Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, has reached the commissioning phase after less than a year of construction. Barring no obstacles, the project should start exporting solar energy to the grid in a matter of months.
Rooftop solar drove two negative demand events in South Australia on Sunday, November 21, events which analysts are describing as a world-first for a gigawatt-scale power system.
After a controversial beginning, the Victorian Solar Homes Program recovered and is now setting new records. From the early days when solar installers were forced to protest due to the unintended effects of the policy’s first iteration, to today when more than 165,000 homes have solar as a result of the program, it is fair to say that Victoria is headed into a bright summer.
The town of Marble Bar in Western Australia’s remote East Pilbara region is famed for at one time recording 100 consecutive days of temperatures exceeding 37 degrees Celsius. So it’s no wonder the town’s residents have excess solar and nowhere to put it. That is, until now, thanks to the installation of a battery energy storage system beside the town’s centralised solar farm.
Following a funding announcement from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), a $3 million feasibility study led by Port of Newcastle and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group is set to determine whether Newcastle, the world’s largest coal exporting port, has the potential for a green hydrogen hub.
After another year of record rooftop solar installations, and despite Covid-19 related lockdowns and federal political ineptitude on a level comparable to self-sabotage, Australia has soared past the three million mark and the numbers are only accelerating.
Embarrassing Australia on the world stage is one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s favourite marketing ploys. But while the federal government continues to fail its constituents, particularly those in rural communities, those rural communities themselves are taking the energy transition into their own hands, along with the ownership of their own solar generation.
Lithium-ion batteries are a fantastic crutch for the renewable energy transition. It’s not all roses, though: Short duration limits, and potentially dangerous thermal runaway in rare circumstances, means the hunt continues for alternative electrochemical batteries. However, alternatives will largely complement lithium-ion batteries, rather than supersede them. Blake Matich looks at promising options to keep an eye on.
Less than a year ago and energy market analysts Cornwall Insight Australia projected a battery energy storage pipeline of 7 GW. This week the firm has updated its outlook and puts Australia’s current pipeline of proposed projects at over 26 GW. What is more, the technical lifetime of these assets is increasing too.
A team of engineers from Newcastle University have patented a thermal storage material capable of storing large amounts of renewable energy as heat over long periods. These thermal energy storage blocks are now being manufactured by MGA Thermal with ambitions to act as storage for large-scale solar systems and to repurpose coal-fired power stations.
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