CEC: ‘Unlikely and difficult’ new solar installs classified as ‘essential’

With the Australian solar industry fast heading towards a significant downturn, the Clean Energy Council has reported that it will be “unlikely and difficult” for new rooftop solar installations to be classified as an essential service if restrictions are tightened. Despite the apparent gloom, industry experts advise that there are opportunities as householders look to invest in their homes during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Interview: sonnen Australia goes local

German residential battery supplier sonnen has wasted no time in getting deeply involved in all aspects of the Australian solar market – from VPP programs, rolling out its “flat” electricity pricing scheme, to providing batteries for bushfire impacted homes. But its setting up battery assembly at a defunct Holden factory in South Australia and achieving Australian Made status truly sets it apart, says sonnen Australia’s CEO Nathan Dunn.

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AE Solar enters Australian market, introducing new module features

German-headquartered module manufacturer AE Solar is looking to enter the Australian market in 2020. It has begun accrediting its module range with the Clean Energy Council and believes its Supreme module series, which are shade and hot spot resistant, will attract installers.

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Long read: Nothing simple about GPS

Changing rules mean that many utility-scale PV projects in Australia are facing long delays in achieving full generation – known as “obtaining GPS.” The consequences can be costly.

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Greenough River stage two back on schedule

The second stage of the Greenough River Solar Farm is set for completion in the second quarter of 2020. Its developer has reported that module installation is well underway at the site.

Long read: What broke at Oakey

With its high wholesale power prices, attractiveness to capital, wide open spaces and abundant sunshine, there is every reason to believe Australia is a PV project developer’s nirvana. However, as the wreckage at the 55 MW Oakey 2 site in Queensland reveals, challenges under the Australian sun should not be taken lightly.

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Yates Electrical deploys dispatch control tech to respond to price signals

Yates Electrical Services, through its newly-formed retail arm YES Energy, is using automatic dispatching technology on its 40 MW solar fleet to avoid export during periods of negative prices. German monitoring provider Meteocontrol has introduced its new Remote Power Control feature to Australia, with YES Energy reporting that it has allowed it to “seamlessly” curtail production when required.

Hornsdale “big battery” to get 50% bigger, upgraded to provide system inertia

The capacity of Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve is being expanded by 50%, through the addition of 50MW/64.5 MWh of Tesla batteries. Having attracted an $8 million ARENA grant, $15 million in state funding, and $50 million in project financing from the CEFC, owner Neoen expects the $71 million battery expansion and upgrade project to be completed by mid 2020.

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A guided tour of Australia’s solar and storage market; Part 1: Victoria

Abundant sunshine, favorable policy settings and high power prices have long placed Australia at the cutting edge of rooftop solar uptake. The more recent utility-scale boom has further enhanced its status as a PV leader. Battery adoption, microgrids, EVs and green hydrogen are all taking shape, yet what should be an Aussie smart energy no-brainer continues to be dogged by mounting investment uncertainty and a toxic debate on the national level.

Hornsdale Power Reserve appears set for expansion

Reports from, of all places, Youtube indicate that the Hornsdale Power Reserve is set for a major expansion. Tesla Powerpacks have been spotted being hauled to the battery site, with the reported volume of the deliveries totaling some 500-600 Tesla Powerpacks – indicating that the battery’s capacity is being ramped up.

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