June 2017

30 Jun Coopers Gap Wind Farm moving forward

AGL has received a development permit from the Queensland Government to build up to 115 turbines for the Coopers Gap Wind Farm. Located near Cooranga North, between Kingaroy and Dalby, the Coopers Gap Wind Farm (up to 460 MW) will be the second wind project offered to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). On 27 July 2016, AGL announced QIC as its equity partner in the $2-3 billion Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). PARF was created by AGL to develop approximately 1,000 MW of large-scale renewable energy projects. To date, PARF has reached financial close on two solar plants (Broken Hill 53MW and Nyngan 102MW) and Silverton Wind Farm (200MW)....

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29 Jun SA Electricity Prices to be Highest in the World

Electricity retailers will increase their standard pricing from 1 July 2017 for all states in the National Electricity Market (NEM), with South Australia (SA) tipped to have the largest increase. As part of their annual review of energy tariffs, the three biggest retailers have cited increased wholesale energy costs as the main reason for the significant increases.  The retailers say the increased wholesale costs have been caused by the closure of baseload coal-fired generation and the increased costs of gas. Residential customers in SA will see an average increase of 19.9 per cent from EnergyAustralia, 18 per cent from AGL, and 16.1 per cent from Origin Energy.  Experts are concerned that household...

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22 Jun QLD GOVT to recommission Swanbank E power station

A joint statement issued by Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey in early June announced that the Swanbank E Power Station (385 MW) would be recommissioned in the first quarter of 2018. Bringing the gas-powered station back online is part of a multi-faceted approach by the government to increase supply and reduce volatility in the energy market. Stanwell Corporation withdrew Swanbank E from operation in late 2014 due to an over-supply of generation. Since then, Stanwell has been selling their gas to LNG exporters and the Brisbane Short Term Trading Market (STTM). Once back in operation Stanwell will no longer do this because the gas will be...

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22 Jun Finkel Review – Impact on LGCs and investment

The recently released Finkel Review is a review into the future of the National Electricity Market conducted by Dr Alan Finkel. The Finkel Review’s proposed removal of the Large Scale Renewable Target (LRET) scheme by 2020 has created uncertainty for renewable energy generators and electricity consumers. Summary From 2020 Large Generation Certificates (LGC) demand will no longer be a driver for new investment into renewable energy. The scheme is likely to be replaced by an alternative scheme being either the Energy Intensity Scheme (EIS) or the Clean Energy Target (CET). The current LRET scheme allocates certificates to renewable energy generators in a ratio of 1 LGC to 1 MWh of electricity. Electricity retailers are obliged...

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21 Jun PM Confirms Gas Export Restrictions

Gas Export Controls The Prime Minister has this week announced he will take immediate action as part of his commitment to ensure a reliable and affordable energy supply for consumers. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, unveiled the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism in April which allows the government to implement export controls and pass legislation as required to secure supply and put downward pressure on prices. Mr Turnbull this week confirmed that gas export restrictions would be put in place from 1 January 2018. The introduction of the LNG export market to Australia has created a complex situation where domestic gas consumers are paying more for gas than international buyers of the same product. The...

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06 Jun Queensland Power Plan to Decrease Wholesale Electricity Prices

A statement released yesterday by the Queensland Government outlines its plan to put downward pressure on energy prices, generate jobs, and invest in renewables infrastructure. The Queensland Premier, Treasurer, and Energy Minister jointly promoted the “Powering Queensland Plan” which will see the government invest $1.16 billion to ensure affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply for homes and businesses. The plan shows several ways the government will put downward pressure on electricity prices. In the longer term, this includes: Reverse Auction of 400 MW of renewable energy including 100 MW of energy storage Improve project facilitation, planning, and network connections Implement an action plan on gas including purchasing gas fields Deliver a plan...

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02 Jun QCA final determination on regulated retail electricity prices FY2017 – FY 2018

On the 31st May the QCA released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices for financial year 2017-2018 for regional Queensland. Concerned that the price increases were too high, the Palaszczuk Government has intervened, directing the government-owned corporation Energy Queensland to reduce network charges. In order to do so, Energy Queensland has been directed to remove the costs associated with the Solar Bonus Scheme.  Energy Minister Mark Bailey made it clear in a statement that this change will not impact payments under the state’s solar bonus scheme, as the cost of the scheme will be met by the government instead of consumers over the next three years.  This reduction...

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