While the efficiency of solar cells will always be important, scaling innovation in sustainable cell technology and solar deployment, is the new game in town. With hydrogen exports and production of green metals in its sights, Australia has some breakthrough tech coming down the pike, as pv magazine Australia’s Natalie Filatoff reports.
With construction having commenced on the 39 MWdc second stage of the Mannum Solar Farm in South Australia, Epic Energy has revealed it is teaming with development partner Canadian Solar to investigate further expansion opportunities at the site, including the possible installation of a battery energy storage system.
Australia’s energy ministers have unanimously agreed to establish a capacity investment mechanism that they anticipate will unleash at least $10 billion (USD 6.7 billion) worth of investment and at least 6 GW of renewable energy generation and storage to stabilise the grid as the nation’s ageing coal-fired power plants exit the energy market.
Energy consultancy Xodus Group has announced plans to develop an export-scale green hydrogen project in the Mid-West region of Western Australia which will scale up to 1 GW of electrolyser capacity.
Authorities have provided developer CWP Renewables with the tick of approval for what will be the first big battery in Australia to be added to an existing wind or solar farm with the same connection point in the National Electricity Market.
With Australia’s energy system rapidly transitioning from a traditional dependency on coal-fired power generation towards a future built on renewables, the market operator has detailed the engineering roadmap required for the country’s main power systems to operate on 100% renewable energy more frequently and for longer periods.
Woodside says it has secured an agreement with the traditional owners for land on which it plans to build the first 50 MW stage of what could eventually expand to be a 500 MW solar power plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The Queensland government’s push for 70% of the state’s energy supply to come from renewables by 2032 has received a boost with the completed 162 MW Columboola Solar Farm in the state’s Western Downs region now sending renewable energy to the grid.
Australian renewables developer Energy Estate has signed a consortium of “globally recognised partners” to accelerate the development of a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production and export facility in north Queensland.
Resource-sector heavyweight Rio Tinto is planning to invest $600 million (USD 402 million) building two new solar farms and battery energy storage systems in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of the company’s efforts to decarbonise its iron ore operations.
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