Solar Flagship Program
The race for $1.5 billion in federal funding to create commercial scale solar projects is tightening, with Acciona pulling out due to continuing uncertainty with the carbon price and the project’s financial viability. Infigen Energy has also mentioned it will only proceed with their three solar projects if the numbers work.
Acciona also recently pulled out of the bidding race for the Emu Downs wind farm in WA.
THE Victorian Coalition government is standing by Labor’s target of a 20 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions this decade, but is yet to come up with a plan to meet it.
Also a test case is looming for Victoria’s tough new wind farm policy. This could be an issue for Victorian wind farm developers as the new Planning Minister Matthew Guy has warned that all decisions on new and pending wind projects should take account of the incoming changes ahead of new guidelines.
The state’s Supreme Court has ordered the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to rehear the case of a proposed 12-turbine wind farm that was refused council approval. The Wind Farm Developments, Sisters wind farm near Terang, 220km west of Melbourne, would put turbines within 500m of residents who oppose the project, defying the Coalition’s policy for a 2km buffer zone.
“We would expect VCAT and any other responsible authority for wind farms to be very mindful of the new government’s intentions on our setbacks policy before it is formally implemented,” Mr Guy told The Australian.
Apart from The Sisters, two proposed wind farms, at Chepstowe and Pykes Hill, are currently seeking approval. No new applications for wind farms have been made since the November election, but Mr Guy said the industry’s predictions of a wind farm exodus to more friendly states was false.
Last year the Tribunal ruled, The Sisters should not proceed, applying 2010 New Zealand noise standards to assess its impact. The Supreme Court found VCAT erred by not keeping to 1998 acoustic standards.
REpower has secured the first contract with Canada’s Saint-Laurent Energies for a project called Lac Alfred northwest of Quebec City. REpower will deliver 150 2MW turbines by late 2013. The developer Saint-Laurent Energies, is jointly owned by EDF EN Canada Inc. and RES Canada.
Atlantis and Gujarat
Atlantis and Gujarat team up to build Asia’s first tidal power project with plans for a 50MW project.
Contact Energy received resource consent for the 250MW Tauhara Stage Two geothermal power station project in New Zealand’s Taupo region.
A deal by Suzlon Energy, to develop a 150-megawatt project with U.S.-based Affinity Wind may help revive the company’s international orders. Suzlon and Affinity agreed to form a joint venture to build the wind farm in Illinois, which is expected to start commercial operations this year.