Cohuna Solar Farm Commences Construction

The 34.2 MW Cohuna Solar Farm has commenced construction in Victoria after being chosen as one of the three winning tenders from the Victorian renewable energy auction.

Cohuna Solar Farm | Timeline, Investment, Jobs.

The 34.2MW Cohuna solar farm will be located in the shire of Gannawarra and will be built by Enel Green Power.

The solar project will consist of 87,000 bifacial modules mounted on single-axis trackers and will be connected to the grid via the Cohuna Zone Substation. Enel Green Power are investing ~US$42 million (AU$59 million) into the project, expected to commence operations by the end of this year.

Once completed, the project is expected to generate 77 GWh per year. The solar farm will be built in conjunction with local developer Leeson Group.

“Since EGP made its entry into the Australian renewable sector, we have already made great strides to expand our footprint in this competitive market,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power (who also own the Bungala Solar Farm, Australia’s largest online solar farm), in comments repeated in PV Magazine.

Whilst the Cohuna Solar Farm’s output is a little more modest, it’s still an important step forwards for solar power in Australia and the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET). Under the VRET, six projects will be developed (three wind and three solar). With these projects the Victorian government hopes to source 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

If you’d like to read the press release from Enel please click here

If you’d like to know more about the developer, here’s a blurb about their company taken from their website:

Enel Green Power, the global renewable energy business line of the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of over 43 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.

The other two winning projects which won the Victorian renewable energy auction are:

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John Hopkins University in Baltimore

John Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA has signed a PPA with energy company Constellation to provide solar power to its campus. 

John Hopkins University Solar PPA

John Hopkins University signed with Constellation to purchase energy and renewable energy certificates (called RECs) from a solar plant currently under development in Virginia. The contract is for 15 years of power and will begin in 2021.

John Hopkins has multiple campuses which will be powered via the new solar PPA – these include Homewood in North Baltimore, Peabody Institute in Mt. Vernon, Keswick in Hampden and Mount Washington.

This PPA will reduce carbon emissions by 123,000 metric tons in year one. This represents the equivalent of 26,115 cars off the road or planting more than 2.3 million trees, according to a press release by the university repeated in Technical.ly.

According to the official press relesase on the JHU website, the agreement will help the university reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 51% by 2025. 

“When we pledged to more than halve our carbon emissions by 2025, we knew it would require rethinking how we power and operate our university,” Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said. “This agreement demonstrates the seriousness of our commitment to sustainability for the good of our university and our planet.”

“The university’s Climate Action Plan committed us to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions drastically, developing academic programs that would train tomorrow’s leaders and scientists, and creating the technologies and policies the world needs,” said Professor Ben Hobbs, director of the JHU’s Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute.

John Hopkins Commitment to Solar (source: jhu.edu)

 

We have reported quite frequently on university solar over the past couple of years – many Australian universities have been working hard on neutralising their carbon footprint – if you want to learn more, some of the projects are listed below:

 

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Redeployable solar trial at shopping centres

Redeployable solar is a very interesting topic as the issue of solar panel recycling comes to the fore. This week ARENA have announced funding for redeployable commercial solar via Australian startup Solpod. 

Redeployable solar

Redeployable solar – on Friday the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced funding for an Australian start up (Solpod Pty Ltd (Solpod)) to trial the installation of movable solar panels on commercial and government building rooftops. 

According to a post on the ARENA website, the startup has undertaken trials with ARENA, ERM Power, GPT and Property NSW.

Redeployable Solar Solpod
Redeployable Solar Solpod (source: solpod.com

Arena CEO Darren Miller, who took over from previous head Ivor Frischknecht last year, was quoted discussing the redeployable solar and their partnership with Solpod:

“Solpod’s new way of installing solar will pave the way for businesses who were previously locked out of rooftop solar to take up renewable energy solutions and options under shorter term power purchase agreements.

“This Australian start up will help to accelerate solar PV innovation and allows for renewable energy alternatives in niche markets, providing a cost-competitive alternative to standard methods of fixed mounting for delivering rooftop grid connected solar PV,” Mr Miller said.

There were also some comments from founder and CEO of Solpod James Larratt, who discussed the new ‘game-changing’ tech:

“Despite rooftop solar being cheaper and more sustainable than the grid, many businesses have made the rational decision to not adopt solar because of other factors such as length of commitment, disruption on site and damage to buildings. Solpod is the game-changer that removes these barriers and enables businesses to capture the savings in energy costs.”

“Solpod’s solution can adapt to meet individual business needs. For businesses that rent their premises, Solpod can offer short-term contracts to match lease terms. For landlords, Solpod allows flexibility for changing site use and will not damage the roof,” he said.

You can learn more about Solpod’s relocatable commercial solar via their website.

 

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Floating Solar Power in Lithuania

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania is the next big thing as a grant has been given for a floating solar photovoltaic power plant to be built alongside the 900MW Kruonis hydroelectric plant. 

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania – this will be the first floating solar power plant in the Baltics and is an exciting step in the right direction for the small country. The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LSBA) granted €235,000 (~$370k AUD) for construction of an experimental floating solar photovoltaic power plant at the 900-megawatt (MW) Kruonis hydroelectric plant in Lithuania. 

“The floating solar power plant at Kruonis is one of the ideas that could help Lithuania to become an international leader in renewable energy solutions,” said Darius Maikstenas, chairman and CEO of LEG.

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania
Floating Solar Power in Lithuania (source: Worldbank.org)

Renewable Energy in Lithuania represented 27.9% of the country’s overall electricity in 2016. With wind capacity of 178 MW installed in 2016 and average power usage of 1.1 GW, Lithuania was the EU member state with the highest level of new wind capacity installed in 2016 (relative to its power consumption).

According to an article on DW.com, over 65% of the current existing floating solar in the EU is located within the UK, with the Netherlands in second place. 

A world bank report entitled “Where Sun Meets Water” from November last year shows that our current floating solar capacity is 1.1GW – which could grow to up to 400GW if things go in the right direction. 

“Floating solar technology has huge advantages for countries where land is at a premium or where electricity grids are weak,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank. “Governments and investors are waking up to these advantages, and we are starting to see interest from a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

If you want to read the report please click here to download: Where Sun Meets Water: Floating Solar Market Report (PDF)

If you’re interested in the technology, we have written plenty more about floating solar power here! 

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Bundaberg is the rooftop solar capital of Australia.

A press release from the Queensland Government notes that Bundaberg is now the rooftop solar capital of Australia. Let’s read more into solar power in north Queensland.

Bundaberg is the rooftop solar capital of Australia.

On the back of the Clean Energy Council report released today, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham praised Queensland for its rapid update in solar power compared to the rest of Australia:

 “Queensland fills six of the top 10 rooftop solar postcodes in Australia, by number of installations.

“And sitting at the top is Bundaberg with 12,620 installations with a capacity of 47,500kW.

“In fact, Queensland has four of the top five places with Hervey Bay at No 3, Caloundra at No 4 and Toowoomba at No 5,’’ Dr Lynham said.

Queensland’s $2b Affordable Energy Plan means that the state now has the lowest ‘typical’ household power bill of the mainland states, according to a separate press release on Dr Lynham’s site.

North Queensland solar is going really well at the moment, with the government trialling grants for landlords to install solar in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville.

“Bundaberg people are embracing the financial and environmental benefits of solar,’’ Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland is leading the way on renewables as the Palaszczuk Government heads towards its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“Palaszczuk Government initiatives, encouraging the take-up of rooftop solar and batteries and creating an environment that has been embraced by the solar industry across the state, particularly in regional areas, is paying dividends across-the-board for Queenslanders.

“In Bundaberg seven applications for the Queensland Government’s solar-only loan package have been approved  and a further 35 applications for battery assistance packages also have been approved.’’ Dr Lynham continued.

Dr Anthony Lynham - Bundaberg the rooftop solar capital of Australia
Dr Anthony Lynham – Bundaberg the “rooftop solar capital of Australia” (source: Wikipedia)

Media enquiries: David Potter 0428 411 617

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