August 2018

31 Aug CleanCo moving ahead

In a media statement released 30 August, the Queensland Government confirmed their intention to establish CleanCo, Queensland’s third publicly owned electricity generator. CleanCo will have a strategic portfolio of low and no emission power generations assets, and will build, own and operate new renewable generation. It is understood that CleanCo will take control of assets including Wivenhoe, Barron Gorge and Kareeya hydro power stations and the Swanbank E gas power station, courtesy of a restructure of the two current publicly-owned electricity generators – CS Energy and Stanwell Corporation. CleanCo is expected to be trading by mid-2019....

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27 Aug Loss of critical infrastructure leads to loss of power

On Saturday, two critical lines connecting Queensland to the rest of the National Electricity Market (NEM) were lost resulting in load shedding. In total, New South Wales shed 800 MW of load, Victoria 280 MW and 80 MW in Tasmania. This was predominately industrial load which was reconnected within an hour. Lightning is the most likely cause. While farmers in Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland were celebrating much needed rain, the transmissions lines between Bulli Creek and Dumaresq tripped off. At the same time, the line was lost between Armidale and Tamworth in Northern New South Wales. At the same time, South Australia was separated from Victoria. Refer to image...

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24 Aug AEMO releases the latest Electricity Statement of Opportunity

AEMO released their latest Electricity Statement of Opportunity (ESOO) earlier today. Unlike the previous ESOO and the more recent Integrated System Plan (ISP), AEMO is now expecting a heightened probability of the reliability standard not being met. The ISP was released only two months ago and showed that it was highly improbable that the reliability standard would be breached. The reliability standard is a technical standard which basically mandates that no more than 0.002% of demand in a given region can go unmet in a financial year. The reliability of the system raised two questions: Why did AEMO rush through new legislation which allows it to spend money on the Reliability...

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23 Aug Additional Small Scale Solar Coming to Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced that it will offer half priced solar panels to 650,000 households over the next 10 years. This scheme, known as The Solar Home scheme, is currently valued at $1.24 billion and is open to owner-occupied homes with: A combined household income of less than $180,000 per year; andA home value of up to $3 million. Households who are unable to install solar panels can instead choose to get a $1,000 rebate by changing their current hot water system to a solar hot water system. The solar hot water rebate is open to up to 60,000 homes. How will this impact the market? 2017 had the highest rate of installation...

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21 Aug Changes to the National Energy Guarantee

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has, once again, made last minute changes to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). When the states threatened to walk away from the NEG, Mr Turnbull responded by making the emissions target regulated rather than legislated. This means that a minister is able to change the target without the support of the parliament. Over the weekend, Mr Turnbull came under pressure internally with several backbenchers, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, wanting to get rid of the targets all together. A number of changes to the NEG were announced on Monday 20 August, 2018. These changes include providing additional controversial powers to the ACCC where they will...

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16 Aug National Energy Guarantee Update

Yesterday the COAG Energy Council released a draft of the proposed changes to the National Electricity Law that would implement the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The draft Bill sets out: Who is liable under the emissions reduction and reliability requirements; The key aspects of the emissions and reliability requirements; The compliance and penalty framework; The additional functions and powers of the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to support the implementation of the Guarantee; and A new emissions objective, applicable to the emissions requirement, to guide rule-making by the AEMC and the exercise of related functions and powers by the AEMC,...

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10 Aug Price of Utility Scale Solar Being Questioned

The engineering company, RCR Tomlinson, went into trading halt on July 30, 2018 and its CEO, Paul Dalgleish, has stepped down. The trading halt is due to an investigation into cost blowouts for unspecified projects, which will hurt the FY18 annual profit. The deputy state secretary of the Queensland and NT Electrical Trades Union, Peter Ong, has stated that RCR has been undercutting other bids by as much as $30 million when bidding for utility scale solar project. Peter Ong's major concern is the use of cheaper labour to try and make up the difference. For the broader market, if RCR have been under-pricing the engineering cost of installing utility scale solar, there...

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10 Aug NEG Moves To Next Stage

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting has ended and the Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will be able to move the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to the next stage.  The next stage will involve taking the legislation to the Coalition party room on Tuesday. If the party room agrees with the draft legislation, there will be a teleconference with COAG and the draft legislation will be released for public consultation.  Minister Frydenberg still believes that legislation will pass in 2018 for a 2020 start. Federal Labor, the two Labor held states (Victoria and Queensland) as well as the Australian Capital Territory are still sceptical.  Particularly, Victoria has concerns that the NEG doesn’t seem...

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07 Aug NEG decision to be placed on hold until next week

According to the Australian Financial Review, the Queensland, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory leaders have stated that they will not sign off on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) at this Fridays COAG Energy Council Meeting. They have provided their support in principle however are waiting until after the NEG has been through the Coalitions party room on Tuesday next week before providing agreement. Premier Palaszczuk claimed that as of yesterday, the states had not seen the legislation that they would be asked to support on Friday. Tuesday next week has been indicated as the earliest that a decision will be made by the Labor state and territory leaders. Another debate is...

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