Yarranlea Solar Farm Connects to The Grid

Yarranlea Solar Farm Connects to The Grid

PV Magazine – Australia Blake Match 23 January, 2020    Queensland’s Darling Downs region is set for its second large-scale solar project to gain grid connection in a matter of months as Risen Energy’s 100 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm connects to the grid for its staging procedures. Chinese PV module maker Risen Energy’s 100 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Pittsworth, Queensland, is now connected to the grid and undergoing the final staged commissioning procedures after achieving network registration with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in early January. The staging procedures help ensure network stability as large-scale solar is relatively new to the Darling Downs region. “The staged procedures we are performing allow us to currently generate 28 megawatts to the grid,” said Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia). In a month’s time this output will rise to 50%, and a further month after that output will reach 100%. “The commissioning regime ensures that there is minimal potential for disruptions for stable power supplies to the community,” assured Lee. In anticipation of Yarranlea Solar Farm’s imminent connection SunWiz included the project in its list of operational solar power stations in its 2019 Year in Review.Image: SunWiz Risen partnered with Ergon Energy and Powerlink to connect to the grid. Exisiting Ergon infrastructure near the site proved a great help, especially as Queensland has been one of the state’s most effected by transmission and connectivity issues for large-scale solar. APA Group’s nearby 110 MW Darling Downs Solar Farm and the 65 MW Rugby Run Solar Farm were two high-profile members of the long queue to Queensland’s grid last year. Both projects were eventually able to connect, although Rugby Run had to wait seven months for its opening. No such long wait for Yarranlea however as the project’s 360,000 mounted single axis tracking solar panels will be building their output to the grid in gradations over the next couple months, delivering renewable solar energy to the Darling Downs region. “We are very pleased that we have achieved this milestone by working closely with network providers and anticipate having a fully operational solar facility in a few months,” said Lee. The Yarranlea Solar Farm has been completely funded in-house by Risen Energy, quite a feat considering the prevalent trend toward Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) among large-scale projects. Although Risen’s demonstration of power in the Australian large-scale solar PV market is not limited to the Yarranlea project, indeed only last week Risen announced its 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm in the Western Australian Wheatbelt is nearing completion. The Chinese PV module manufacturer is picking up speed as it looks to achieve its ambitious goal of 2 GW of renewable investment in...

Read More

Arizona’s biggest utility says it will get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050

Arizona’s biggest utility says it will get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050

Washington Post Dino Grandoni and Steven Mufson Jan. 22, 2020 After spending millions of dollars to quash a renewable energy ballot initiative just two years ago, Arizona’s biggest electricity provider announced Wednesday that it will seek to produce all of its power from carbon-free sources by the middle of the century. Arizona Public Service laid out an ambitious plan to wean itself entirely off fossil fuels over the next three decades, with the intermediate goal of getting nearly two-thirds of its electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030. The commitment is an about-face for an electric utility that poured $37.9 million into a campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that would have required it to generate 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030 — a milestone similar to what the company laid out Wednesday. And it represents a detente between APS and billionaire Tom Steyer, whose 2018 campaign in support of the ballot measure, known as Proposition 127, brought the total amount spent on both sides to at least $62.8 million. Voters ultimately rejected the measure that would shift the state to renewables. “I am very encouraged by the news from Arizona Public Service this morning and I am also happy that our efforts behind Proposition 127 in 2018 are finally moving Arizona to a more clean energy future,” Steyer, who is now a Democratic candidate for president, said in a statement Wednesday morning. “The plan put forth by APS shows that when public interest advocates keep pushing energy companies, they can get real results.” The plan outstrips Arizona’s modest renewable requirements, set in 2006, that mandate that utilities rely on renewable energy for 15 percent of supplies by 2025. In a statement, APS said that after the ballot initiative fight, the utility “took a hard look at our generation mix and future plans” when setting its carbon-free energy goals, which are not legally binding. The plan is a “huge step forward without the official pressure of the ballot initiative that Steyer put forward,” said Dan Reicher, a Stanford Law School lecturer and former Energy Department official under President Bill Clinton who has consulted with APS. The decision comes just two months into the tenure of the utility’s new chief executive, Jeff Guldner, who also told state regulators last week that APS will not make political donations to candidates for the commission that regulates the utility. In 2016, the utility and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital, gave at least $4.2 million to a political action committee that promoted members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who were sympathetic to the company’s views. “As chairman and CEO of both APS and Pinnacle West, I can say under my leadership Pinnacle West and APS and...

Read More

Why the Star of a Big Hollywood Development Is the Sun

Why the Star of a Big Hollywood Development Is the Sun

New York Times / California Today Jill Cowan 2 December 2019   Monday: A new office building — soon to be occupied by Netflix — is a demonstration of “what’s possible” with solar power. Also: More cold weather on the way. Today, we’re starting off a new week and a new month with this dispatch from Brooks Barnes, who covers Hollywood for The Times, about a big new building: At last count, there were 34 major construction projects in Hollywood, which Los Angeles officials are determined to turn into a high-density area. But one new building stands out amid the glut, and not just because of its name — the Epic — or the company that will soon occupy all of its 13 floors: Netflix. [Read more about how Netflix’s lobby has become “the town hall of Hollywood.”] The just-completed Epic is the first office tower in L.A. to embed solar energy-generating panels (“building integrated photovoltaics”) into its facade, according to Hudson Pacific, which owns the property. Put simply, the structure will use its walls to capture and convert sunlight into electricity. “Vertical panels are extremely uncommon, and part of the reason is just physics — they’re less efficient than if you have them on the roof,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association, a trade group. “So I’m not sure how much energy they will generate. But it’s still...

Read More

Qatar to build new solar power plant

Qatar to build new solar power plant

Aljazeera 20 January 2020   Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi says the project will help meet a tenth of the country’s peak energy demand. Qatar has signed an agreement with French energy giant Total and Japan’s Marubeni to build a solar power plant capable of producing 800 megawatts, a tenth of country’s peak energy demand, according to the country’s energy minister. The Al Kharsaah plant near the capital Doha comes at a cost of 1.7 billion riyals ($467m) and is expected to be complete by 2022 when the country hosts the FIFA World Cup. “Today is the commencement of the project itself and we expected by the first quarter of 2021 to have half of the [plant’s] capacity up and running,” Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi told a news briefing on Sunday. “It will generate about eight times the size of the solar energy Qatar had pledged to build, helping the organisation of a carbon-neutral event,” al-Kaabi continued, referring to the 2022 tournament. Qatar’s Siraj Energy, a joint venture owned by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), will hold a 60 percent stake in the solar plant. The remaining 40 percent will be owned by both Marubeni and Total. Marubeni will take 51 percent of the minority stake, while Total will have 49 percent. Patrick Pouyanne, Total’s chief executive, said the solar plant, once complete, will be the largest ever built by the French conglomerate. Gulf states, heavily dependent on oil and gas, have invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects, mainly in solar and nuclear. But critics say many such projects are slow to get off the drawing board. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said last week its first nuclear power plant would start operating within months after repeated delays to meet safety and regulatory conditions. The UAE will have the first operational nuclear reactor in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude oil exporter, has said it plans to build up to 16 nuclear reactors, but the projects have yet to materialise. Critics say the addiction to oil is hard to kick, particularly when supplies remain abundant and the high costs of investment in infrastructure needed to switch to...

Read More

Trump and the Teenager: A Climate Showdown at Davos

Trump and the Teenager: A Climate Showdown at Davos

New York Times Mark Landler and Somini Sengupta 21 January 20202 DAVOS, Switzerland — Neither uttered the other’s name. But President Trump and the Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg took unmistakable aim at each other on Tuesday at this conference of business and government figures, reprising their roles as antagonists on the global stage. The 73-year-old president and 17-year-old activist dominated the first full day of the gathering, painting starkly different visions of the future, and staking out opposite poles on the signature theme of this year’s forum: how best to manage a world of increasing temperatures, rising seas and catastrophic wildfires. ‘Nothing Has Been Done,’ Thunberg says Greta Thunberg rebuked leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for promises that she said would do too little. I’m not the person who can complain about not being heard — I’m being heard all the time. But in general, the science and the voice of the young people is not being — it’s not in the center of the conversation. And it needs to be, because this is about — I mean, of course, it’s about us and our future and future generations. And of course, those who are already being affected today, but especially we also need to bring the science into the conversation, because that is what this is all about. The climate and environment is a hot topic right now and lots thanks to young people pushing, but of course, if you see it from another perspective, pretty much nothing has been done since the global emissions of CO₂ has not reduced. And that is, of course, what we are trying to achieve, among other things. Greta Thunberg rebuked leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for promises that she said would do too little.CreditCredit…Manuel Lopez/World Economic Forum Mr. Trump implicitly criticized Ms. Thunberg and other activists, saying they peddled warnings of doom at a time when his policies had ushered in a bright new era of economic prosperity for Americans. “They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers,” the president said. “They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, a mass starvation in the 70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s.” “This is not a time for pessimism,” Mr. Trump declared, adding, “Fear and doubt is not a good thought...

Read More

Australia to add 3.6GW of new solar and wind to grid in 2020

Australia to add 3.6GW of new solar and wind to grid in 2020

Renew Economy Sophie Vorrath 21 January 2020 The sting of the newly confirmed dive in large-scale renewable energy investment that hit Australia in 2019 could be soothed somewhat with a record number of new solar and wind farms forecast to be completed in 2020. Industry statistician Rystad Energy on Tuesday said it expected utility wind and solar projects totaling 3.6GW of capacity to complete commissioning this calendar year, up from 2.6GW in 2019. Of this amount, the majority – 1.96GW – would be made up of PV projects, while 1.57GW would be wind farms, and the remaining 0.1GW battery storage. The record numbers appear to clash with last week’s data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which confirmed a massive 60 per cent slump in investment in big solar and wind in Australia in 2019, attributed in no small part to ongoing policy uncertainty. As Giles Parkinson noted, the slump – coming just as the country needs to accelerate its clean energy transition – was also blamed on issues including connection delays and transmission losses and overcrowding on certain parts of the grid. But these same issues might also explain the timing of the forecast boom in projects commissioned – the delayed result of record investment in 2017 and 2018. “The Australian renewables sector has been through a bit of a quiet spell as few new projects have broken ground in recent months, but we expect the industry to bounce back in the second half of 2020,” said Gero Farruggio, head of Australia at Rystad Energy. “Projects with power purchase agreements (PPAs) and winners of government auction schemes and grants are scheduled to enter the construction phase, developers will be shifting to more favorable parts of the grid in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and projects are lining up in central and northern New South Wales to replace the coal-fired Liddell power plant that is due to close by April 2023,” he added. As Rystad points out, this boom also comes despite the fact that the number and capacity of new wind and solar plants set for construction in the third and fourth quarters of 2019 were the lowest of any quarter in the last three years. “There are now several projects at advanced stages of development with a total capacity of 3.76 GW that have the potential to break ground in 2020, and most are located in desirable parts of the grid, being developed by experienced utility PV developers,” said David Dixon, Rystad’s senior analyst of renewable research. Four utility solar projects, each with a capacity of 200MW or more, are set to complete commissioning this year, according to Rystad. These include Darlington Point (275MW), Limondale (249MW), Kiamal Stage 1 (200MW)...

Read More