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Bifacial solar panels enter the commercial shopping basket

One of the two largest managers of Australian retail property, Vicinity Centres, has invested $73 million in a solar program set to provide 31 MW of clean energy to 22 shopping centres and their retailers by end 2019. An early-stage trial of Trina bifacial panels will see Vicinity increase its solar yield mid-rollout.

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Long read: Necessity mothers innovation in Aussie solar PPAs

Having observed early adopters negotiate renewable energy contracts for financial and sustainability gains, the next wave of Australia’s commercial and industrial energy consumers is ready for offtake. A raft of flexible new solar PV contract models and services is rising to meet their ambitions.

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NSW dared to dream of a RET — now its vast renewable pipeline relies on Gladys

In the lead-up to the NSW election last Saturday, the difference between Labor and Liberal candidates’ support for renewable energy was stark. Now as the State waits for Gladys Berejiklian to form a cabinet, the planned large-scale renewables pipeline — some 16 GW of solar, wind and battery assets — begs for a co-ordinated approach to connection and distribution of the state’s future sources of power and prosperity.

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Solar researching: 3 new revelations

In research breakthroughs announced over the past few days, an ultrathin graphene film soaks up the sun, a renewable thermal solution provides a novel source of industrial heating (think hot rocks!) and the Future Grid Homes project reveals Airbnb as a potential model for excess-energy sharing between consumers.

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Solar PV and batteries to provide 24-hour power for Santos oil pumps

Santos’s Cooper Basin oil production is set to be transformed by a trial using solar PV and a CSIRO-developed hybrid battery to replace diesel generators powering the pumps that deliver oil from underground 24/7. Early success suggests the trial will serve as a proof point for the reliability of renewables in many more off-grid applications.

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Insurer issues cyclone warning for Queensland solar farms

Last year, Sun Metals insurer FM Global proposed cyclone testing the company’s 125 MW solar infrastructure near Townsville in Queensland, to better understand the risks involved in covering the asset against damage. The insurer today called for standardised testing of solar-farm designs proposed for the country’s north east, and the application of clear building guidelines that safeguard vital renewable infrastructure.

Proof of C&I energy savings is in the PPA

New-generation energy retailer Flow Power will today release figures that show its high-use energy customers have collectively saved $14 million with power purchase agreements since the start of 2018. Such powerful testimony signals a new maturity in Australia’s renewable-energy PPA market.

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NSW Labor’s $100-million solar schools promise

Labor’s Sunday solar schools announcement may not be the last renewables pledge it makes to win the hearts and minds of the NSW electorate. It takes into account the voice of climate-striking students, and every disaffected-teenage contribution to conversations around the dinner table.

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Batteries stacking up in anticipation of Australia’s May election

Analysis released today by independent energy and consulting firm, Rystad Energy shows an incredible reserve of energy storage has been added to Australia’s ongoing boom in solar and wind projects during the first two months of 2019 — confidence, perhaps, that an energy-transition policy will finally triumph at the Federal polls!

DC coupling for batteries on SMA inverters will let utility-scale solar farms play at night

In 2021, the settlement period for the supply of energy into the NEM will decrease from 30 minutes to five minutes, creating market conditions for batteries to start being deployed in the solar utility market. One of the world’s most respected inverter manufacturers is currently shipping central inverters that enable anytime integration of battery storage. Retrofits for already installed systems are on the next boat.

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