$160 million for Victorian Big Battery

Article quoted from: https://www.energymagazine.com.au/160-million-for-victorian-big-battery/

13/03/2021

 

The Federal Government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing $160 million for the construction of Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh Victorian Big Battery (VBB).

The VBB is set to help strengthen grid security, drive down power prices and support the integration of more renewable energy into the grid.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said, “Energy storage supports cost effective, reliable, clean electricity and is a key component of Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy.

“This project is a world-class example of how utility scale batteries can help electricity networks support a higher penetration of renewable energy.

“The VBB will improve grid security by providing extra capacity during the peak summer months.

“It will also contribute to the dispatchable resources needed to underpin the increasing share of renewable energy that will make up Australia’s future energy mix.”

Under the System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) contract Neoen has signed with AEMO, the VBB will unlock up to an additional 250MW of peak capacity on the existing Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector. The extra power flowing between the states during the peak summer season will deliver support to the grid at critical times.

Independent analysis by PWC found that the SIPS process could deliver total benefits of more than $220 million to Victorian consumers in the next eleven years, including savings on power bills.

If gross savings and AEMO costs for the battery are passed on to consumers, the Portland aluminium smelter stands to save about $1 million a year on its electricity bills, while the average industrial Victorian electricity consumer could save about $280,000 a year.

Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the project would give Victorians confidence in their state’s energy system.

“All Australians need access to reliable and affordable power, which is why the Morrison Government is focused on keeping the grid secure,” Mr Taylor said.

“After the challenges of COVID-19, this is more important now than ever to support jobs, families and businesses in Victoria.

“We are working to ensure electricity prices do not hold Victorian industry back and this project is crucial to that objective.

“Investments in batteries can help stabilise our grid at a time of record investment in renewables.

“We will also need investment in longer duration firming and storage like the Snowy 2.0 project.”

Long-duration energy storage is a priority technology under Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.

The Technology Investment Roadmap outlines five priority technologies and economic stretch goals to make new technologies as cost-effective as existing technologies.

This includes getting long duration energy storage (6-8 hours or more) dispatched at less than $100 per MWh. This will enable reliable, firmed wind and solar at prices around the average wholesale electricity price of today.

Getting the technologies of the future right will support 130,000 jobs by 2030, and avoid in the order of 250 million tonnes of emissions by 2040.

Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, said, “The Victorian Big Battery is an important part of the largest modernisation of the grid in our state’s history.

“It will create jobs and drive down energy prices, while supporting our transition to renewable energy.”

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled to be building our second big battery in Australia.

“The Victorian Big Battery once again demonstrates the value of innovative solutions that Neoen is proud to be pioneering.

“At 300MW, it will be one of the largest batteries in the world, taking our total capacity in operation or under construction in Australia to over 1.8GW, and bringing us one step closer to our global target of 5GW by the end of 2021.”

The CEFC senior debt facility will finance the design, construction and operation of the Victorian Big Battery.

Neoen, one of the world’s leading independent producers of exclusively renewable energy, will own and operate the VBB, which will be powered by Tesla Megapack batteries.

The project will create more than 80 jobs during construction and support various ongoing positions once operational.

The VBB will be one of the largest energy storage facilities in the world with construction already underway, the project is on track to be delivered before the next Australian summer.


New rooftop power system standards

Article quoted from: https://www.energymagazine.com.au/new-rooftop-power-system-standards/

13/03/2021

New compulsory standards have been announced by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) which will apply to household energy technologies that connect to the power system (such as solar panels).

AEMC Chief Executive, Benn Barr, said, “These new minimum technical standards are part of a raft of changes we are looking at to future-proof the power system so it can confidently handle more solar.

“The rapid uptake of solar means we must act now to make sure this technology and the system it uses work hand in hand.

“We need to keep pace with the change underway – nearly three million households and small businesses have taken up solar, and the demand for household batteries and electric vehicles will increase over time.

“These new standards allow us to do two important things at once – welcome more new technologies into the power system and at the same time help protect grid stability.

“The more we keep the system stable, the more solar we can connect up and the faster we can decarbonise.”

The new standards will apply to “inverters” – equipment that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) in order for electrical devices to function. They will ensure that household energy systems won’t ‘trip’ or disconnect when there are voltage disturbances on the network.

The change is forward looking rather than retrospective, and so will apply only to new and upgraded systems rather than existing ones. It applies to all jurisdictions in the National Electricity Market and will take effect from December 2021.

Many manufacturers have already begun to upgrade their systems after similar changes were introduced in South Australia in late 2020.

This work is part of an ongoing and larger-scale project to embed solar and other distributed energy resources into the overall power system.

Other changes being considered by the AEMC include how to change the pricing structure to give incentives to owners of distributed energy resources to export power when it is of most value to the system. The Energy Security Board is also considering the issue of integrating distributed energy resources, with recommendations for public consultation due next month.

“It’s imperative that we make sure the right structures are put in place to support a whole new energy mix and a very different looking power grid than the one we’ve relied on in the past,” Mr Barr said.

“But we need to do this in a way that helps more people to connect, protects those that don’t, and helps the system run smoothly overall. This means restructuring the system, including the market incentives and rules.”

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) welcomed the new standards, with Chief Executive, Andrew Dillon, commenting it was particularly positive that the AEMC had decided to introduce the standards within the existing framework rather than create new rules.

“It is important that regulatory bodies support the most efficient pathways to enable new technologies and integrate distributed energy resources like solar and batteries into the grid,” Mr Dillon said.

“These new standards will help networks ensure the growing amounts of rooftop solar can operate efficiently and safely and more customers can connect their devices to the grid.”

Mr Dillon said other changes being considered by the AEMC were also important to support the rapidly transforming energy system.

“ENA and its members look forward to the AEMC considering future changes such as incentivising customers to export power during times of high demand,” Mr Dillon said.

“With ever-growing new connections of solar and batteries, it’s important we deliver solutions that can work in all the vastly different system conditions right across the country.

“Uniform standards make sense, but a centralise-everything policy approach to integrating new technologies will be costly for customers and cause problems in many regions.”

The new standards follow a rule change request from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) seeking to set up a framework for AEMO to set minimal technical standards.

The AEMC has decided to use existing rules and industry frameworks rather than establishing a new set of arrangements, because it will be faster and less costly to implement.

This means the standards will more quickly be able to address the concerns of the Energy Security Board and AEMO about the impact that inverters tripping can have on the total power system.

The December launch date will mean manufacturers will have enough time to prepare for the change. The new framework will also be flexible, so that changes to the Australian standards over time will automatically apply.


A framework for DER integration

Article quoted from: https://www.energymagazine.com.au/a-framework-for-der-integration/

13/03/2021

A framework for DER integration

ARENA has published its State of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Technology Integration Report, providing a functional framework for DER integration through the assessment of 45 DER projects.

The report was commissioned by ARENA and produced by farrierswier and GridWise Energy Solutions, and provides a snapshot in time of 45 Australian DER projects, as well as explaining what they seek to achieve and how they fit together.

Developed through consultation with leading organisations and subject matter experts across Australia, the report is intended to support greater coordination throughout the sector with the goal of achieving better outcomes for consumers.

The report outlines a functional framework comprising 13 functional areas across four integration topics. The framework assesses 45 DER projects, what they seek to achieve, their method and approach, and how they relate to each other.

The report also provides a maturity assessment with a common vision for each functional area, and indicates how progressed each functional area is to that vision.

The scope of work falls within technology integration projects, and does not cover broader market, regulatory or consumer projects.

Together, the functional framework and maturity assessment form a baseline report to inform effective grid integration now and in the future.

To read the full report, click here.


SafeWork NSW cracks down on solar installation

Article Quoted from:

SafeWork NSW cracks down on solar installation

13/March 2021

SafeWork NSW is conducting unannounced inspections of rooftop solar panel installations in a move to counteract heightened work health and safety risks as demand soars.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said with State and Federal Government rebates stimulating an increase in solar panel rooftop installations, SafeWork is intent on ensuring the industry puts safety first.

“Last year we saw around 90,000 installations across the state and no doubt there will be even more this year, as many of us look at new ways to reduce costs of living,” Mr Anderson said.

Installing solar systems exposes workers to risks of serious injury, including through falls from ladders, roofs and skylights, as well as electrical risks.

“While our focus is on proactively raising awareness of safe practices, we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who put workers’ lives at risk by not using the right safety gear or conducting work without a licence,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson said a new workplace safety guide for the industry has been developed in consultation with the Clean Energy Council, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and other key representatives.

The safety guide provides the solar industry with clear direction on controlling risk, including a simple safety checklist for people working in the industry, instructions on developing a site-specific safe work method statement and minimum fall protection measures.

“Businesses that sell, design and install solar systems have duties to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe for every worker,” Mr Anderson said.

“One thing that we’ve got to stress is that no solar installer should be working on a roof without fall protection in place. If you see this happening, please contact SafeWork NSW immediately via the hotline, or the Speak Up app.”

Solar installers face on-the-spot fines of up to $720 for individuals and $3,600 for businesses for not protecting workers from falls from heights and electrical risks.

SafeWork will also be holding safety information events online for solar installers and workers, who can access the $500 small business safety rebate after attending to upgrade safety equipment.