Woolworths becomes world’s first retailer to issue green bonds

The Australian supermarket giant is issuing green bonds to fund the development of low-carbon supermarkets and the installation of solar at its stores and distribution centres.

WA battery research facility secures $25m of federal funding

The Perth-based Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) will address industry-identified gaps in the battery industry value chain, support battery deployment and optimise the circular economy for battery recycling.

CEC warns jobs, projects at risk as Queensland introduces new solar rules

The Queensland government has laid down regulations for solar farms that will allow only licensed electricians to install or remove PV panels. But the new rules will put hundreds of local jobs at risk and could bring some projects to a standstill, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has warned.

Victorian government to cap solar rebates in response to overwhelming interest

Due to the immense success of the program — and with rebates now almost fully subscribed — Solar Victoria will accept a final 2,000 applications before the end of June, the state government has announced. New solar rebates will be available in the next financial year.

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Inverter suppliers go digital

More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.

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Northern Territory rolls out 10 MW of PV to power remote communities

Construction has been completed on the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), which has been touted as Australia’s largest rollout of solar power to remote communities to date.

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Australian researchers to develop new tandem PV cell measurement equipment

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Adelaide-based laser supplier Lastek are developing equipment and procedures to accurately measure the performance of multi-junction solar cells with the help of an LED-based solar simulator.

Flinders University to roll out more solar on rooftops, shelters and walkways

Building on its existing PV fleet, South Australia’s Flinders University has announced a fresh investment of $1.45 million to source one-third of its electricity needs from solar.

SolarReserve fails to secure funding for Aurora solar thermal plant

The Port Augusta concentrated solar power project billed as the world’s biggest has ground to a halt. Although it was granted additional time, U.S. firm SolarReserve failed to achieve financial close and proposed selling the 150 MW project to a third party.

AEMO’s VPP integration trial, decentralized energy exchange secure funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will underpin two innovative distributed energy projects – a trial to integrate a virtual power plant trial into the National Energy Market and a digital marketplace for grid services provided by rooftop solar arrays, batteries and EVs owned by Australian homes and businesses.

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