Susan River solar farm opened by Elliott Green Power.

US Hedge Fund backed Elliott Green Power have successfully opened the Susan River solar farm. The 95MW farm adds to their current portfolio and is another great step in the right direction for solar farms in Australia and Esco Pacific.

Susan River solar farm

Construction on the Susan River solar farm commenced in mid-January last year and about 150 workers helped finish the farm, which occupies 176 hectares and has 350,000 solar panels. Construction was handled by Esco Pacific, who have plenty of experience in the field, being responsible for projects such as the Finley Solar Farm.

Esco chief executive Steve Rademaker said the project has created five to ten full-time jobs post-construction.

“Choosing a location came down to the suitable size identification and proximity to the electrical grid, among other factors,” Mr Rademaker said.

“The Fraser Coast ticked all these boxes. It’s a good location to build a project like this.”

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham attended the opening of the Susan River solar farm and didn’t miss the opportunity to play politics:

“Elliot Green Power’s $175 million investment is another demonstration of industry’s confidence in the sector and further evidence that consistent energy policy from this Palaszczuk government drives generation investment,” Lynham said in a statement.

“That’s in stark contrast to what the Morrison government’s policies are doing to investment in new generation.”

RenewEconomy are reporting that another of Elliot Green Power’s farms is almost complete (Teebar Solar Farm), and a third (North Aramara Solar Farm) which will be finished later this year.

They also report that Elliot Green Power’s Childers Solar Farm and Susan Rivers Solar Farm were the two first farms to sign up for a ‘proxy revenue swap’. This is a hedging product Nephila Holdings Ltd provided, which protects both farms from varations in output (click here to read more) 

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Moyhall Solar Farm built by Terregra in SA.

Indonesia’s Terregra Renewables is set to construct a second solar farm in South Australia – with the Moyhall Solar Farm to commence construction in March for an August 2019 completion date.

Terregra and the Moyhall Solar Farm

Indonesian renewable company Terregra are set to construct a second solar farm in South Australia – with the Moyhall Solar Farm set to join the previously announced Mobilong solar farm as Terregra’s second Australian solar project. 

According to their official website, Terregra Renewables are hoping to have 300MW of operating renewable power by 2023. They work on delivering off grid solar power to Indonesia’s remote arreas, and they are also create energy on a utility scale for urban/industrial areas. 

“The Moyhall Solar Farm is another addition to Terregra’s growing pipeline of solar projects,” Graham Pearson, Director of Terregra Renewables, told PV Magazine Australia.

The 5MW Moyhall Solar Farm will include 16,000 PV modules and two inverters, installed inside containers. According to PV Magazine, the $16m Terregra has invested in South Australian solar will create approximately 80 jobs during the constructions of the Moyhall Solar Farm and the Mobilong Solar Farm. These ‘smaller’ type utility-scale investments are often very interesting for investors so Terregra shouldn’t have much trouble finding interest in the solar farms. The Mobilong Solar Farm has appointed Balance Utility Solutions to carry out EPC work on the farm, according to PV Magazine

“Balance is delighted to be working with Terregra Renewables on the delivery of their first solar project in Australia,” said Rod Hayes, Managing Director of Balance Utility Solutions.

“We expect this approach of close developer and EPC early collaboration, and a focus on portfolios of smaller scale projects, to be a growing trend through the next few years as the utility scale solar market continues to mature.”

SA Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan discussed the impact Terregra’s investment will have on the community:

“Terregra Renewables’ $7.6 million investment will increase South Australia’s energy supply, stimulate the local economy and create local jobs,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

You can learn more about Terregra Asia Energy by viewing their company profile below.

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Kondinin project (wind/solar/battery) approved in WA

Renewable energy developer Lacour Energy has been given the green light for its hyrid West Australia based $250m Kondinin project. Let’s take a look!

Kondinin project

Kondinin Project Location Site (source: http://www.kondininwindandsolar.com.au/)
Kondinin Project Location Site (source: http://www.kondininwindandsolar.com.au/)

The Kondinin project will have 120MW of wind energy, 50MW of PV solar and also battery storage (specifics not yet released). The hybrid system will mean that the grid connection costs can be shared between the wind and solar farm. 

“The Kondinin project location ticks all the boxes to be one of the lowest cost projects in Western Australia,” Lacour director Mark Rayner said.

“There is a strong wind resource located on the Western Power network with plenty of ability to connect the project via an existing substation.”

Mr. Rayner was also quoted in Renews.Biz discussing the future of the project, which could undergo some alterations over the coming year as planning and cost benefit analyses continue:

“Wind is likely to be 120MW, solar 50MW. All of the different components of the project are independent, however, and it may be that the wind farm proceeds alone without the solar or battery or vice versa depending on the outcome of the final feasibility work,” Rayner said.

Chinese wind power specialist Goldwind will supply up to 46 of their wind turbines and also manage the construction of the project, which is expected to run from 18-24 months. 

Goldwind managing director John Titchen was quoted in Renew Economy discussing the project and its impact on Western Power network connectivity:

‘A number of new wind farms are expected to be built in Western Australia over coming years as a result of the progressive reforms of the Western Australian Government and the Western Power Interim Access solution currently being rolled out.”

Construction on the farm is expected to commence at the end of the year and will create around 400 solar jobs for Western Australian Solar. Please click here to view the official website of the project. 

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Bright Acre Energy – Solar IPO, 2019 Plans

European solar project developer Wirsol Energy have an Australian arm known as Bright Acre Energy. The company has been working on a $500m IPO of their Aussie solar portfolio, but news is thin on the ground lately. Let’s take a look at what to expect from BAE in 2019.

Bright Acre Energy $500m Australian Solar IPO

Bright Acre Energy Gannawarra Solar Farm
Bright Acre Energy Gannawarra Solar Farm (source: brightacreenergy.com.au)

Bright Acre Energy have ten projects in various stages of completion, situated in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. According to the Australian Financial Review, the projects are set to fully connect to the national power grid by the end of 2019. These five projects will total over 1100MW, which is enough electricity to power 350,000+ houses. The official site names the farms as currently having 397MWp of nameplate capacity, with half of this commercially operational and the other half ‘almost there’. 

Former Australian rugby union player Bill Calcraft was the CEO last year, and along with Gerard Dover the site has them listed as ‘Proposed Management’ – so not sure what this means for 2019 – and there hasn’t been any specific news on their potential IPO. We’ve reached out to the team and will keep you updated if we find out anything about Bright Acre’s plans for the rest of the year. 

Bright Acre Energy are currently responsible for the following projects, as per their website:

  • Hamilton Solar Farm (Collinsville, QLD) (Operational) (69MWp)
  • Whitsunday Solar Farm (Collinsville, QLD) (Operational) (69MWp)
  • Clermont Solar Farm (Clermont, QLD) (Near-term Operational) (89MWp)
  • Springdale Solar Farm (Springdale, NSW) (Pipeline) (120MWp)
  • Bomen Solar Farm (Bomen, NSW) (Pipeline) (120MWp)
  • Hay Solar Farm (Hay, NSW) (Pipeline) (140 MWp)
  • Buronga Energy Station (Buronga, NSW) (Pipeline) (400MWp)
  • Wemen Solar Farm aka Wemen Sun Farm (Wemen, NSW) (Near-term Operational) (110MWp)
  • Gannawarra Energy Storage System (Kerang, VIC) (25MW/50MWh)
  • Gannawarra Solar Farm (Kerang, VIC) (60MWp)

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Finley Solar Farm | Canadian Solar KuMax Modules

Canadian Solar have announced that the Finley Solar Farm will be using their KuMax modules and EPC services for the $170m project in New South Wales.

Finley Solar Farm | Canadian Solar KuMax Modules

Finley Solar Farm
Finley Solar Farm (source: FinleySolarFarm.com.au)

The Finley Solar Farm will use almost half a million Canadian Solar CS3U-P Kumax Panels with single axis tracking, according to SolarQuotes. The modules are ‘split cell/half cut’ with 144 cells per module. Canadian Solar don’t have a huge presence in Australia yet, and it looks like they are going to focus on commercial solar installations for the time being. The farm will cost around $170m and will be built 6km west of Finley (which is located around 140km west of Albury, which is a city in southern New South Wales with a population of around 51,000).  According to their website, the 175MW farm will be developed by ESCO Pacific, one of Australia’s leading renewable energy developers, with construction being managed by Signal Energy Australia.

Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Shawn Qu discussed their input in the project:

“We are delighted to be selected by ESCO Pacific to provide EPC (Engineering, procurement and construction) services together with Signal Energy and to supply our 1500V crystalline module to this large-scale solar power plant,” said Dr. Qu in a statement on the official Canadian Solar website. 

The farm has started construction (which started in December 2018) and the Finley Solar Farm is expected to be completed in Q3 this year, so not long at all! The energy has already mostly been spoken for, with a 7 year PPA signed last July by ESCO Pacific and Bluescope for the Finley Solar Farm to sell 66% of its output to Bluescope – with the PPA (Power Purchasing Agreement) the biggest corporate PPA of its kind in Australia at the time. 

John Nowlan, the head of Australian steel at BlueScope, said the contract will be a step in the right direction while they continue to support the National Energy Guarantee and rely less and less on non-renewable energy:

“(The contract) will help keep downward pressure on our energy costs, and will support the gradual transition to renewable energy,” Mr Nowlan told the Australian Financial Review.

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