Aug 25

Wind Farm News 25th August

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Crowlands Wind farm
The Pacific Hydro, Crowlands wind farm has received planning approval. The proposed $360 million, 165.5MW, 72 turbine wind farm is to be constructed 25km north east of Ararat.

Victoria will speed up the process for approving renewable energy projects as part of plans to reduce it reliance on coal.

Under the new rules planning panels must report to the government within 90 days of finishing hearings and the planning minister must then make a decision on the project within 90 days of receiving the report.

New Zealand’s largest state power firm Meridian Energy doubled its net profit for the year ended June 2010 on the growth of its wind capacity and hydro electricity generation.

Net profit surged 106% year-on-year to NZ$184m ($129.1m) and earnings interest, tax, amortisation and financial instruments were recorded at NZ$641.7m. The positive results came despite flat electricity demand during the period, the company says. Partial operation of the 62-turbine 143MW West Wind project near Wellington helped Meridian increase wind generation capacity by 95% over the year.

Other Meridian News:
* Vestas wins Australian order for 420MW Macarthur wind farm
* New Zealand’s Meridian nabs approvals for major hydro dam
* Southernmost wind turbines in full operation in Antarctica

CBD Energy
CBD wins solar power plant contract in Thailand. The size of the installation, at a total 99MW, will rank it among the larger photovoltaic plants in the world.

CBD subsidiary, eco-Kinetics, has signed a turnkey contract which covers design, equipment supply and construction of the plant as well as an operating and maintenance contract. The contract for the project is with a prominent private business group in Thailand which has ventures across manufacturing, chemical, insurances, transport and real estate.

A first down payment for the project has been received. The project begins with an initial stage of 8 MW, increasing to a total size of 99MW, with an overall project value in excess of $A300 million.

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Aug 17

World Renewable News 17th August

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China launches emission-cutting factory closure programme
The Chinese government has published a list of more than 2,000 factories that it plans to force to close by the end of September as it attempts to make good on Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent pledge to use an “iron hand” to tackle inefficient factories.

This week, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a list of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to shut down by the end of next month.

The factories were chosen after discussions with provincial and municipal officials to identify industrial operations with outdated, inefficient technology. In addition to reducing China’s carbon footprint, the factory closings are consistent with the government’s broader strategy to modernise production techniques, boost international competitiveness and transform an industry from “being big to being strong”, the ministry said.

steel millcement plant

Suzlon stocks declined in Mumbai trading after India’s biggest maker of wind turbines said its first-quarter loss doubled as a weaker euro devalued the company’s overseas assets.

Suzlon said in an e-mailed statement Aug. 13 after market hours. Orders from overseas “remain elusive” for Suzlon compared with rivals, including Vestas Wind Systems A/S, according to analysts Lokesh Garg and Supriya Subramanian.

suzlon turbine

CLP Holdings
CLP Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest power producer, posted an 83 percent gain in first-half profit, beating estimates, because of increased returns from projects outside the city and a one-off tax benefit.

The utility has invested in power projects in mainland China, Australia, India, Vietnam and Taiwan to offset declining earnings in Hong Kong.

The utility’s first fully-owned wind farm in Jilin province may go into commercial operations in October, CLP said. The company is also a partner in a wind farm venture with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co., and the project has a generating capacity of about 1 gigawatt in operation by the end of June, according to the statement.

CLP/TRU Energy have the following power generation assets in Australia – Hallet Gas, Iona Gas, Tallawarra Coal and Yallourn Coal.

coal power station

Vestas, said it won two Chinese orders on top of the Macarthur order amid analyst concern that the company will miss its 2010 sales forecast.

Vestas will deliver 37 of its V90-2.0 megawatt turbines to fulfill the Chinese orders in the fourth quarter of this year.

vestas wind

Atlantis Resources
Atlantis Resources Corp., the tidal power company whose investors include Morgan Stanley and the Norwegian utility Statkraft AS, unveiled the world’s largest tidal turbine in Scotland.

The SeaGen AK1000 device’s 18-meter (60-foot) rotors have the capacity to generate 1 megawatt of electricity, enough to power at least 1,000 homes, the Singapore-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. The turbine will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland’s Orkney Islands later this year, it said.

seagen tidal turbine

California regulators approved renewable power contracts totaling more than 400 megawatts for utilities PG&E Corp. and Edison International to help to meet state energy goals.

PG&E, owner of the state’s largest utility, won the California Public Utilities Commission’s permission today to buy electricity from a 250-megawatt solar plant being developed by a unit of NextEra Energy Inc., the largest U.S. producer of wind and solar power. The cost of the Riverside County, California, plant and the value of the contract weren’t disclosed.

California ordered its utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by the end of this year. The commission doesn’t expect that goal to be met, and may allow extensions to as late as 2013 in cases where transmission lines aren’t available.

Edison’s Southern California Edison utility won permission today from regulators to buy 117-megawatts from the Ivanpah solar plant being developed in California’s Mojave Desert by closely held BrightSource Energy Inc. PG&E already won approval to buy 275 megawatts from the project.

Ivanpah’s three phases would use arrays of pole-mounted mirrors, or heliostats, to reflect the sun’s rays to boilers mounted on top of towers, heating the water inside to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 Celsius). The resulting steam would then be piped to an electricity-generating turbine.

solar power tower

AGL Energy
AGL Energy Ltd. may spend A$10 billion ($9 billion) building renewable power production capacity by 2020 as Australia pursues a target of sourcing one- fifth of its electricity from alternative sources.

Development of the Tarrone substation for the Macarthur wind farm will allow the future construction of a gas-fired power plant, AGL said. The plant will have a capacity of 500 megawatts to 600 megawatts and may cost as much as A$500 million, said managing director, Michael Fraser. UFWA if possible would also be looking to utilise this substation for the connection of Ryan Corner/Hawkesdale wind farms.

gas power generation plant

FY10 production was 4,299 GWh, which was 4 GWh below IFN’s Production Guidance range, noting:
• Australia: an increase of 30% (262 GWh) over FY09 to 1,137 GWh due to the contribution from Capital Wind Farm and resolution of gearbox issues at Lake Bonney.
• USA: a reduction of 7% (224 GWh) from FY09 to 2,950 GWh reflecting low wind resource experienced in the first three quarters of FY10.
• Germany: an increase of 27% (45 GWh) over FY09 to 212 GWh reflecting a full year contribution from the Calau, Leddin, Langwedel and Seehausen wind farms. Production in Germany was adversely affected by low wind resource throughout the year.

FY10 revenue was $295.6m ($296.0m at guidance FX rates) which was $3.6m above IFN’s Revenue Guidance range, noting:
• Australia: an increase of 44% ($32.5m) over FY09 to $106.2m assisted by the sale of banked Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) and recovery of performance warranty payments. Approximately 310,000 uncontracted REC’s (including the 250,000 REC’s held on balance sheet at 31 December 2009) were sold at an average price of $44.3/REC, significantly above the average spot-market price of $37.5/REC.
• Market Prices: Relative to Guidance, the second half of FY10 saw stronger market prices in Australia and the US. Statutory Consolidated Revenue is expected to be $314.3m. This includes minority interests in the US and excludes the French assets which will be classified as discontinued operations.

Lake Bonney

Philippine Wind EOI
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has concluded a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from consultants to conduct site-specific feasibility studies for the development of three wind power projects in the Philippines.
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The three wind projects will be developed by Manila-based Alternergy Philippine, with up to $630,000 technical assistance from ADB.ADB is currently in the midst of selecting a consultant to help with the assessment of the three potential wind projects, located in Laguna, Mindoro and Rizal, which will have a combined capacity of up to 120MW.

Assessment for each project would take at least two years with the three wind projects – having a potential combined capacity of up to 120MW.

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Aug 16

REC price forecasted to stay suppressed

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The $1 billion Macarthur wind farm to be built in south-western Victoria is being touted as the most significant renewable energy project in Australia since the Snowy Hydro. But don’t expect another project of similar ambition to follow anytime soon, even though there are a couple on the drawing board – there’s simply no room left in the market.

The construction of the 420MW project that has been delayed for many years is good news for AGL and its joint partner in the project, Meridian Energy, and for its suppliers and contractors Vestas and Leighton. The news is not great for others, particularly the independent developers who are finding it difficult to get long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) to satisfy their financiers and reach financial close.

wind farm construction

The Macarthur wind farm takes the size of the committed Australia wind farm pipeline to more than 1000MW. Wilson HTM analyst Jenny Cosgrove says the size of this pipeline – another 150MW from two projects due to be completed this year, another 382MW from five projects in 2011, and the 203MW Collgar wind farm in WA in 2012 – means that the price of renewable energy certificates could remain at current levels of $40/MWh for longer than expected. That’s not enough to make most projects competitive enough to gain a PPA and project finance.

Cosgrove says the wind farm pipeline means that LRET is rapidly approaching a balance of supply and demand in 2011-2013, and this is before the excess current banked supply of small-scale RECs, which she estimates to be more than 21 million by end 2010, is transferred into the large-scale RET.

Small-scale projects may find enough room, but Macarthur appears to have swallowed the market for large scale projects for the immediate future, and it will make it difficult for other technologies too.

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wind farm road construction

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Aug 12

Macarthur wind farm signs deals

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Vestas/Leighton Contractors consortium awarded Macarthur wind farm EPC contract. Leighton Contractors was awarded a $290 million contract for engineering, procurement and construction work and Vestas will supply the wind turbine equipment.

The scope of works includes the Macarthur Wind Farm 33/132kV sub-station, Tarrone 132/500kV terminal sub-station, 12km of 132kV overhead transmission line to the Tarrone terminal sub-station, 33kV underground cable collector systems, sub-station SCADA interface, as well as international shipping, local transportation and the mechanical erection of the 85 metre towers, machine heads and blades.

vestas turbine blades

The AGL and Meridian JV, will each fund 50 per cent of the estimated $1 billion ($890M) capital cost of constructing the wind farm, to feature 140 Vestas V112-3.0 MW wind turbine generators. AGL will receive all of the wind farm’s energy output and renewable energy certificates (RECs).

As a result of utilising Vestas’ new 3.0 MW V112 turbines, the JV has been able to increase the capacity of the wind farm, while reducing the number of towers from 174 to 140. This could reduce the environmental footprint of the project and achieve substantial operating cost savings in excess of $30 million over the life of the wind farm.

The project could generate 400 direct jobs and 800 indirect jobs during construction and during operation the wind farm would employ 30 fulltime staff for 25 years.

Leighton Contractors managing director Peter McMorrow said the project was a vital piece of infrastructure for the renewable energy industry and the wider community. “Our priority will be to deliver a quality project on time, while ensuring our teams meet world-class safety standards,” he said.

Leighton has previously worked with Vestas to construct the Lake Bonney Wind Farm in South Australia. Vestas’s previous biggest Australian order was for 111 turbines at the 206MW Collgar wind farm WA, secured in March 2010.

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Mar 30

1 MW Wind Farm In Antarctica

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The brand new Ross Island wind farm, which because of the winter darkness could only be build during the summer months, is now operational.

The farm consists of 3 Wind Turbines generating up to 1MW of power. It is likely to cut diesel use by 120,000 Gallons and reduce carbon dioxide by 1,370 tonnes annually, turbing the Antarctica at least virtually green. The Wind Turbines have been manufactured by Enercon, Make/Model E333.

antartica wind farm ross island

The Antarctica New Zealand-Meridian Energy project is part of Antarctica New Zealand’s contribution to the joint logistics pool with the United States Antarctic Program on Ross Island, Antarctica.

Meridian Energy’s Ross Island wind farm project manager Scott Bennett, says “Meridian is really looking forward to continuing our work with Antarctica New Zealand and the United States Antarctic Program. It’s an amazing experience to build clean power solutions for the world’s last great pristine continent,”

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Jan 21

Call for action on energy credits

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THE Government should listen to industry and fix the collapsing price of renewable energy credits, which is threatening major renewable energy projects, Opposition energy spokesman Nick Minchin has demanded.

It was revealed in The Age late last year that AGL has threatened to stop the giant Macarthur wind farm project, along with seven others, because of the collapse in certificate value.

The certificates have fallen from a peak of about $60 last year to $33.25 on Monday, mainly because of thousands of credits, handed out by the Rudd Government for solar hot water systems, heat pumps and household solar panels, flooding the market.

See The Age, 21st January for the full article.

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