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issue 76 | may/june 13

Smart

storage
What next for solar PV?
New ways with wind
Turning organic waste to energy

Inside:
The Australian
Solar Installers
Guide 2013

Australias number one panel


Trina Solar is proud to be the number one choice of solar panel in the Australian market*. Industryleading products such as our Honey cells deliver higher efficiencies and excellent value for money.
Combined with our standard 10-year workmanship and 25-year linear power output warranties,
Trina Solar is an investment that delivers great returns and offers complete peace of mind.
Its no surprise that with award-winning products and a commitment to powerful local partnerships,
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*SOURCE: Australian PV Technology and Brands Report 2013 by Solar Business Services.

issue 76 | may/june 2013


issue 76 | may/june 13

issue 76 | may/june 13

Webconnect, the new direct data exchange interface, is a standard integrated function for
quick communication with Sunny Portal, which allows the user to track the key performance
data of the system.
The Sunny Tripower 5000TL 9000TL is AS/NZS 5033 compliant.

clean energy wrap

industry update

advances in wind

technology installations

smart grids

events

storage

Sunny Tripower
5000TL - 9000TL

The three-phase inverter for residential


and commercial markets

regulars

up close

reader profile

project profile

4
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76

Smart
The SMA Sunny Tripower offers more than ever before, with new sizes available to suit the
residential and small commercial markets. Packed with great features, the three-phase inverter
provides for easy system design and plays an important role in grid management. Optiflex
technology ensures the highest in flexibility while combining peak efficiency with the OptiTrac
Global Peak system to generate the highest in yields. It has an excellent peak efficiency of
over 98 percent and the MPP trackers adjust the voltage and current of a PV array so that it
operates at its maximum power point.

contents

What next for solar PV?


new ways with wind
turning organic waste to energy
Inside:
the australian
Solar Installers
Guide 2013

1800 SMA AUS


SMA-Australia.com.au

CSIROs Chris Price checking the


voltage on a battery at a test facility for
renewable energy storage. Read more
on page 54. Image courtesy of CSIRO.

Editor Lucy Rochlin


Associate Editor
Melanie Ryan
Assistant Editor
Isabella Andres
Sales Manager
Tim Thompson
Senior Account Manager
Brett Thompson
Account Manager
Michael Villanti
Creative Director
Michelle Cross
Acting Design Manager
Bianca Botter
Publisher Zelda Tupicoff
Published by
Great Southern Press Pty Ltd
ACN: 005 716 825
ABN: 28 096 872 004
GPO Box 4967
VIC 3001, Australia
Average Net Distribution 6,345
Tel: +61 3 9248 5100
Period ending September 2012
Fax: +61 3 9602 2708
Email: query@ecogeneration.com.au
Website: www.ecogeneration.com.au
ISSN: 1447-2309

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60

From the editor


Company news
Upcoming events
Environmental credits update
Advertisers Index, Coming in future editions
Solar
Wind
Energy efficiency
Co- and trigeneration
Bioenergy
Geothermal
Policy

Industry movements
Policy perspectives outlined
How the renewables market has transformed:
2000 to now
What next for solar PV: is the party over?
Can Australia afford to waste its organic waste?
The missing link: why Australia needs energy storage
Global wind trends for 2013 and beyond
Developing a social licence to operate
A remote and rewarding project
Simplifying solar installations

How UltraBattery could help our grid


Energy market reform top of mind at Clean Energy
Week 2013
Solar industry insight: mastering new business tools

71  with Conergy Australia Managing Director


Up close
David McCallum and Rexel Energy Solutions Executive
General Manager Michael Power
Unless explicitly stated otherwise in writing, by providing editorial material to Great
Southern Press (GSP), including text and images you are providing permission
for that material to be subsequently used by GSP, whole or in part, edited or
unchanged, alone or in combination with other material in any publication or
format in print or online or howsoever distributed, whether produced by GSP and
its agents and associates or another party to whom GSP has provided permission.

73

74

Mark Schneider, Head of Power Investment,


Investec Bank Australia
Sydney Airport Hotel Cogeneration

This magazine is available to interested parties throughout Australia and


overseas. The magazine is also available by subscription. The publisher
welcomes editorial contributions from interested parties, however, the
publisher accepts no responsibility for the content of these contributions and
the views contained therein are not necessarily those of the publisher. The
publisher does not accept responsibility for any claims made by advertisers.

www.ecogeneration.com.au

ecogeneration | may/june 13

editorial

fromtheeditor
A

EcoGeneration Editor Lucy Rochlin.

Follow us on
Twitter @
EcoGenMag

EcoGeneration is printed on
BehaviouR paper. BehaviouR
paper is 3055 per cent
recycled, is elemental chlorine
free and is manufactured in an
ISO 14001 and PEFC-certified
mill. BehaviouR paper also
contains premium white waste
paper, reducing matter going into
landfill.

ecogeneration | may/june 13

s this May/June 2013 edition


of EcoGeneration makes its
way to industry readers, clean
energy stakeholders are gearing up for
the major industry events of 2013.
This issue of the magazine will be distributed
at the Solar 2013 Conference and Expo hosted
by the Australian Solar Council and AUPVSEE
at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition
Centre from 2324 May. See the
EcoGeneration (and partner publication Solar
Australia) teams there, at stand B17.
Well also be at Clean Energy Week 2013,
incorporating ATRAA, from 2426 July in
Brisbane, and on page 56 we outline the
highlights of this years Clean Energy Week
program, such as an expanded Professional
Development Day and recently-announced
keynote speakers. We also reveal a few tips for
making your Clean Energy Week award
submission a winning entry.
Dont miss EcoGeneration at the All-Energy
Australia Exhibition and Conference from
910 October 2013 in Melbourne as the
industry enjoys its busy end-of-year period.
Inside this edition, youll find The Australian
Solar Installers Guide, a handy reference tool
developed by EcoGeneration and Solar
Australia in conjunction with industry experts
to help Australian solar installers answer
project-related questions. To request additional,
digital copies of this useful guide for your team
of installers, call 03 9248 5100.
The founding editor of EcoGeneration,
Jessica Lynch (ne Wilkinson), recently caught
up with Green Energy Trading Managing
Director and REC Agents Association
President Ric Brazzale as well as Clean Energy

Council Chief Executive David Green to


discuss the transformation Australian clean
energy has undergone since 2000 when the
magazine was launched. Read page 18 for
the data and insights.
Also inside this edition, on page 24, Climate
Spectator Editor Tristan Edis asks if the
photovoltaic party is over, and industry
insiders respond from page 26.
Renewable energy storage is a key theme in
this issue, commencing with international
energy expert Richard Williams arguing on
page 34 that Australia needs to focus on
storage as energys missing link. On the same
topic, CSIROs UltraBattery is surging ahead,
quickly becoming a storage option for an
Australian smart grid of the future read more
on page 54.
Page 42 provides a contention for why
wind farm developers should have a social
licence granted by the local community to
successfully operate a project, and in this
editions reader profile, Investec Bank
Australia Head of Power Investment Mark
Schneider discusses why he values
EcoGeneration magazine (turn to page 73).
The EcoGeneration team looks forward to
catching up with readers at upcoming events,
and hopes to hear your thoughts either in
person at an event, or by commenting at
www.ecogeneration.com.au on this editions
exploration of clean energy storage.

Lucy Rochlin
Editor

See us at Solar 2013!


Visit the EcoGeneration team at stand B17 at the Solar 2013
Conference and Expo:
2324 May 2013
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Dont miss EcoGeneration at
Clean Energy Week,
incorporating ATRAA
2426 July 2013, Brisbane

Dont miss EcoGeneration at


All-Energy Australia Exhibition
and Conference
910 October 2013, Melbourne

www.ecogeneration.com.au

CLEAN ENERGY WRAP

Now in
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Our cells and modules are produced to the highest international standards and are
independently tested for yield and performance.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agencys (ARENAs) Emerging Renewables Program will
invest in a feasibility study that is investigating the conversion of Collinsville Power Station into a
hybrid gas/solar thermal plant.
Former Federal Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that the Federal
Government will contribute $2.5 million towards the feasibility study, spearheaded by RATCHAustralia Corporation.
The study, with a total cost of $5.6 million, will assess the viability of converting Queenslands
180 megawatt (MW) coal-fired Collinsville Power Station to a 30 MW hybrid solar thermal/gas
power station.
A key benefit of the project will be the production of knowledge that will help accelerate
the deployment of concentrating solar thermal in Australia through hybrid projects, according
to Mr Ferguson.

Our fully integrated and automated manufacturing process, along with rigorous marathon
testing, delivers the best assurances for longevity.
Our performance warranty is supported by MunichRE.
We believe in offering affordable green energy for all.

Broken Hill solar project development approved


The New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission has approved development of the
53 MW Broken Hill Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project, to be located approximately 5 km southwest
of the Broken Hill township.
The New South Wales Director-Generals environmental assessment of the project noted that
the Department of Planning and Infrastructure considered the project in the public interest, with
its environmental issues adequately addressed and managed to acceptable levels.
AGL Energy will develop the Broken Hill project in conjunction with a separate 106 MW
project at Nyngan in New South Wales. First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and
construction services for both projects, as well as the use of its thin-film PV modules, and will
maintain both projects for AGL for five years after their commercial operation starts.
AGL and First Solar received Solar Flagships Program funding from the Federal Government, in
addition to New South Wales Government funding, for the two projects. The Broken Hill Solar PV
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CLEAN ENERGY WRAP

WIND
GE Vice-Chairman backs wind projects for Australia
GE has commenced talks with third-party finance institutions to develop wind energy projects
in Australia.
GE Global Vice-Chairman John Rice told The Australian newspaper We are having discussions
with third-party financial institutions about partnering in ways that will help get wind projects
developed and other important energy projects.
There is capital available, but it is not coming from the same places [as] before the global
financial crisis, said Mr Rice.
So, if we want to be successful long-term in the infrastructure space, we have to be one of
the groups that connects capital with those infrastructure projects.
Mr Rice said that GE is committed to developing wind farm projects in Australia, despite some
energy industry concerns that wind is still too expensive
If I look at where [wind] has come from in the past 15 years, from 25 cents or more per
kilowatt (kW) down to less than 10 cents, I look at the technology that is coming out now
120 m rotors that are far more efficient than they were just three or four years ago.
I see a segment of the industry that is still on the move, still capable of becoming more
productive and much more cost-effective. It is a big mistake to say wind doesn't work,
continued Mr Rice.

Energy efficiency
Funding surge for UltraBattery as King Island construction
commences
ARENAs Emerging Renewables Program has awarded $480,000 in funding to CSIRO spin-off
company Ecoult to optimise CSIROs UltraBattery technology, while the first sod has been turned
on the construction to house an UltraBattery at the King Island Renewable Energy Integration
Project in Tasmania.
Project funding for Ecoult was awarded by the ARENA to determine whether the UltraBattery
can lower operating and storage costs by conducting testing on a storage pilot at CSIROs
Newcastle facilities.
In residential areas with a large volume of rooftop solar PV, or in off-grid and remote
communities that are trying to displace diesel through renewables, battery technology will be
crucial to maximising electricity from renewable energy resources, Former Federal Energy and
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said.
One of the benefits of the CSIROs UltraBattery technology is its suitability for managing
energy intermittencies, smoothing power from irregular sources and shifting energy availability
over time to ensure more regular availability.

The Micro-inverter with superior


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Ambient air temperature rating -40C to 65C,
Inverter enters auto-protection mode if internal
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Read more about the UltraBattery on page 54.

Co- and trigeneration

Leading the industry in Solar Micro-Inverter technology

Trigeneration takes to Hunter Valley


Simons Green Energy has won a contract to design, supply and install a 152 kW natural
gas-fired trigeneration system at the Maitland City Bowls Sports and Recreation Club in the
Hunter Valley.
The trigeneration system will comprise a 152 kW ENER-G cogeneration unit and a
Shuangliang hot water absorption chiller.
The system will be installed as complete factory-tested packaged units the engine and
generator set will be housed inside an acoustic enclosure, and will sit in a purpose-built plant
room next to the absorption chiller.
The project, which received funding via the Federal Governments Community Energy Efficiency
Program, will provide a large portion of the Clubs electricity demand and will utilise the waste
heat generated by the engine to provide space heating and cooling.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

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Phone: (02) 9633 3478

10

CLEAN ENERGY WRAP

Bioenergy
NT biofuel plant gets a boost
Lignol Energy has formed an investment and technology collaboration with Territory Biofuels
Limited worth $1.18 million, which will restart Territory Biofuels 150 million litre per year
biodiesel plant and glycerine refinery located in Darwin, Australia.
The terms of the agreement provide for conversion into an equity position for Lignol Energy of
between 2040 per cent in Territory Biofuels, depending on a range of criteria related to the
development of the Darwin facility.
Lignol will provide technical assistance with respect to both the restart of the facility and the
potential integration of new pre-treatment technologies and catalysts to facilitate the processing
of a broad range of low-cost feedstocks.

Study nuts out renewable energy opportunities


20 per cent of the Australian almond industrys husk and shell waste could be used to offset its
energy demand by matching it with the availability of feedstock and technology costs, according
to the Almond Board of Australia.
The Almond Board released the findings of a $60,000 study, supported by $32,000 in funding
from ARENAs Emerging Renewables Program, that examined ways to reduce the almond
industrys energy use by using almond waste products as fuel to generate bioenergy.
The Almond Board is now considering its options for implementation, which could include:
Undertaking a site-specific feasibility study
A physical trial to better understand the technologies that can be used to turn the shell
and husk feedstock into energy
Running an integrated, site-specific project to meet onsite and local supply and demand.

Geothermal
Geothermal solution for cooling a supercomputer
A new project to be carried out by the CSIRO will use geothermal energy to cool the
Pawsey Centre supercomputer, an $80 million facility currently under construction in
Kensington, south Perth.
CSIRO Project Director Steve Harvey said The system used for the project is known as
groundwater cooling, and works by pumping cool water from a depth of around 100 m through
an above-ground heat exchanger to cool the supercomputer, then reinjecting the water
underground again.
The CSIRO estimates that using groundwater cooling to cool the Pawsey Centre
supercomputer will save approximately 38.5 million litres of water every year, in comparison to
using conventional cooling towers.
Drilling work to implement the groundwater cooling system recently commenced at the
Australian Resources Research Centre in Kensingtons Technology Park the same site that
houses the Pawsey Centre supercomputer.
According to the CSIRO, the challenge of cooling the new petascale computing system
which will provide expertise to support the worlds largest-ever radio telescope (the Square
Kilometre Array) and other high-end science was one of the driving forces behind the CSIRO
Geothermal Project.

Origin withdraws from Innamincka JV as Habanero project powers up


Origin Energy has withdrawn from the Innamincka Deeps and Innamincka Shallows joint
venture (JV) with Geodynamics Limited.
This move is subsequent to Origins decision in 2012 to cease funding its JV share of the costs
to complete Geodynamics Habanero-4 well.
Meanwhile, Geodynamics reached a key milestone in its Cooper Basin/Habanero project,
commencing commissioning activities at the 1 MW geothermal Habanero Pilot Plant in South
Australia.
A closed loop created between the Habanero-4 and Habanero-1 wells provides hot,
circulating geothermal brine to generate the steam powering the Habanero Pilot Plant turbine.
The trial of the plant is due to run until approximately August 2013.

12

CLEAN ENERGY WRAP

Policy
Federal Government re-commits to RET
The Federal Government has accepted a majority of the recommendations for the RET,
made by the Climate Change Authority (CCA) in its 2012 review of the scheme.
The Federal Government said that it remains committed to the RET delivering the
equivalent of at least 20 per cent of Australias electricity from renewable energy sources
by the year 2020.
As recommended by the CCA in its 2012 review of the RET, the Government will
retain the existing framework for the scheme including the current legislated Largescale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and will implement recommendations to
enhance the operation of the scheme.
In making its recommendations, the CCA was conscious of the need for policy
stability for the renewable energy industry, and of the impact of uncertainty on risk
premiums required by lenders and investors, the Governments response stated.
As such, the recommendations sought to leave the broad design of the RET scheme
unchanged, but suggested changes to contain costs and improve scheme efficiency.

The recommendations and responses


The Government intends to implement approved recommendations in several stages:
Recommendations that do not require legislative change will be implemented
during 2013
Recommendations requiring legislative change will be implemented through a
package of amendments the Government intends to introduce later in 2013.
Three recommendations agreed to in principle by the Government will be subject to
further consultation and analysis due to commence in the first half of 2013:
Large electricity consumers should be permitted to opt-in to assume direct liability
for RET obligations
In cases where the RET costs are passed through to emissions-intensive, tradeexposed businesses, partial exemption certificates should be tradeable, and thereby
able to be used by any liable entity to reduce liable electricity acquisitions
Arrangements should be developed to allow for incidental electricity offtakes under
the self-generators exemption, which provide community benefits in remote locations.
The Government decided not to pursue the following recommendations relating to the
SRES and the non-eligibility of native forest wood waste:
The threshold for solar PV units in the SRES should be reduced from 100 kW; units
over the small-scale threshold would be included in the LRET, with five-year deeming
The SRES Clearing House should be amended to a deficit sales facility whereby
new certificates would only be placed in the Clearing House when it is in deficit
If RET eligibility for native forest wood waste is not likely to increase the rate of
logging of native forests, then wood waste eligibility should be reinstated, subject to
appropriate accreditation processes.

Solar Map of Australia coming soon


The 2013 edition of the Solar Map of Australia will be included
inside the July/August Clean Energy Week edition of EcoGeneration
magazine, showing the locations and details of all the proposed,
under construction and commissioned solar projects in Australia of
100 kilowatts (kW) or more.
This large wall chart is produced annually to provide the clean energy
industry with the latest information on solar projects across the country, and in 2013,
the map will feature a range of new projects implemented during the 2012-13 financial year.
If you have a new or updated project of 100 kW or larger to share with the industry, email details to
news@ecogeneration.com.au before 24 May 2013 to help create the best resource possible for
the industry.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

14

industry update

Industry movements
EcoGeneration highlights recent job appointments, company announcements, launches and more
from the clean energy industry.

RG Solar Inverter,
more than an inverter.

Solar Inception has appointed Paul Scerri as National Sales Manager.


Based in Melbourne, Mr Scerri will lead Solar Inception sales throughout Australia, New Zealand,
the Pacific Islands and other international markets.
Mr Scerri brings 24 years of industry experience to his new position, most recently serving as Sales
and Marketing Manager for Bosch Solar Oceania.

Paul Scerri.

Robert Bosch GmbH has announced that it will withdraw from the solar energy market and dispose of its 90 per cent
stake in aleo solar.
Independently of this sale, Bosch has assured aleo solar of financing until the end of March 2014.
Boschs manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will cease at the beginning of 2014.
Kathleen Ryan has joined the Sales Support team at WINAICO Australia.
Ms Ryan has 18 years of experience in the clean energy industry, originally working for Pacific
Solar where she supported the sale of the first solar kit, Plug& Power, followed by a Sales Support
role at BP Solar.
Kathleen Ryan.

The Green Energy Group incorporating Green Energy Trading and Green Energy Markets has
expanded to include an advisory service for Australian solution providers, known as Green Energy
Advantage.
Green Energy Group Managing Director Ric Brazzale says Our aim is to use our expertise to inform
business owners and their solution providers of energy savings options, the opportunities and the
benefits that may be achieved through the adoption of cleaner energy alternatives.

Ric Brazzale.

Mark Group has appointed solar engineer Christian Bindel to the position of
Lead Solar Engineer.
Mr Bindel joins Mark Group from AGL Energys 159 megawatt (MW) Solar Flagship
project, and will be responsible for leading the companys commercial photovoltaic
division.

Grant McDowell and Christian Bindel.

RG Technology has 13 years power manufacturing experience,


specializing in solar inverter, subsidiary of Taiwan Channel Well
Technology Co., Ltd (founded in 1993, over 7000 employees.),
listed in Taiwan stock market (stock code: 3078).

True Value Solar has announced that existing major shareholder, German-based M+W Group, has
acquired the remaining 35 per cent of shares in the company, and as a result now owns 100 per
cent of True Value Solar.
In 2011, the German engineering and construction company acquired 65 per cent of True Value
Solar shares.
M+W Group Chief Executive Officer Jrgen Wild says Australia is a country where solar
production and consumption profiles match excellently to further develop the residential and
commercial market.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

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16

industry update

www.surpassenergy.com.au

Policy perspectives outlined


Ahead of the federal election, organisations within the clean energy industry highlight policy areas
that could impact renewable generation and energy efficiency after 14 September 2013.

hese perspectives provide a brief


snapshot of some significant regulatory
issues facing Australias clean energy
industry, and may change between the time
of publication May 2013 and the election.
Receive up-to-date news and views on the
federal election at www.ecogeneration.com.au

Sustainable energy supplies crucial to economic growth and prosperity


The Clean Energy Council recently joined with the Australian Industry Group, the Australian
Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the Energy Supply Association of
Australia to express concern that non-evidence based policies are restricting the development
of new energy sources in Australia.
The groups co-signed a strong message to federal ministers, shadow ministers and Council
of Australian Governments (COAG) ministers outlining that government planning policies
need to support new energy development, including support for established low-emission
technologies such as natural gas, wind and solar as well as emerging technologies such as
marine, solar thermal and geothermal.
Sound, consistent and realistic regulations for energy project development are the key to
ensuring a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply, and building a sustainable energy
sector to meet our future needs, the associations stated.
Noting that knee-jerk policies continue to undermine the development of energy projects
within this country, the associations stated We believe it is urgent that all governments take
the wider consequences for energy affordability, security and sustainability into account when
considering planning and development.

Areas of consensus must produce action


Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) Chief Executive Rob Murray-Leach
says that while Australias major political parties disagree on many
issues, there is a growing consensus between the Federal Liberal Party/
Nationals Party Coalition, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the
Australian Greens that energy efficiency, cogeneration and demandmanagement are the keys to affordable energy.
The EEC believes that the energy efficiency and cogeneration
sectors will grow strongly if stable market frameworks rather than
boom-and-bust subsidies help the industry deliver real benefits to
homes, businesses and the community.

In late 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Liberal and Labor
premiers passed a number of energy market reforms at the COAG,
including the EECs key recommendation around demand-side
bidding.
However, Mr Murray-Leach notes, in the hot political
atmosphere in the run-up to this election, we dont expect to see
much more bi-partisan debate, or the Federal Coalition and ALP
announcing big new energy policies.
The public debate on the next wave of energy reforms will start
after the election on 14 September 2013.

Parties encouraged to provide holistic vision


With the date for the federal election now set, Australias peak
body for green buildings and communities has called on all political
parties to outline the policies and programs intended to drive
productivity and sustainability in Australias built environment.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Executive Director of
Advocacy Robin Mellon says We are now in the ideal position to
assess all political parties based on sound policy, transparent
programs and joined-up thinking.
The GBCA is set to engage with political parties over coming
months to advocate a three-point green plan for buildings and
communities to help place Australia on a clear, long-term pathway to
sustainability.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

The three-point plan outlines the need to:


Provide visionary government leadership
Retrofit and improve existing buildings
Move beyond buildings to communities and cities.
Greening the vast quantity of existing building stock in Australia is an
enormous challenge, and all parties must have policies and plans which
address, enable and encourage this, Mr Mellon says.
Some state and territory governments are introducing a range of
policy incentives to improve existing buildings energy efficiency and
sustainability, and the GBCA has called on all political parties to outline
the financial and non-financial incentives they intend to introduce to
support more efficient, productive and sustainable buildings.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

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18

industry update

How the renewables


market has transformed:
2000 to now
by Jessica Lynch, Founding Editor of EcoGeneration

The founding editorial team of EcoGeneration magazine, Ric Brazzale and Jessica Lynch, caught up
in March 2013 to reflect on what has changed in the clean energy industry since the magazine was
launched in August 2000. Ms Lynch also caught up with Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David
Green, and provided a snapshot of market progress, 75 editions on from EcoGenerations launch.

n the lead story of EcoGeneration magazine


in Issue One, August 2000: EcoGeneration
the way of the future, then Australian
Cogeneration Association (ACA) President
Andrew Stock stated that the Australian energy
industry and the broader community needed a
wake-up call about the need for greater change
to deliver sustainable emissions outcomes.
On 11 July 2011, the Federal Government
announced a target for Australia to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent
below 2000 levels by the year 2050. This was
heralded as a significant commitment, by
international standards, and heightened the
call for market-based outcomes to decarbonise
Australian society.

development has been recognition of the clean


energy industry as a significant market player
with a voice, long-term viability and growing
relevance to consumers.
According to Ric Brazzale, now Managing
Director of Green Energy Trading and President of
the REC Agents Association, sector growth has

been along the trajectory predicted by the ACA in


issue one of EcoGeneration magazine.
A 10 per cent renewable energy share was
predicted by 2010; analysis by the Clean
Energy Council (CEC) indicated a 9.6 per cent
share from 1 October 201011, and for the
preceding 12 months it was 8.7 per cent.

The Renewable Energy Target has delivered


$18.5 billion in investment in renewable energy
infrastructure, with the potential for
$18.7 billion more.

CM

MY

CY

CMY

Case remains for greater change


Clean energy is now a vital part of
Australias energy mix, and the market has
transformed over the past 13 years. The key

The transformation of energy industry representation


The Australian Industry Group supported the incubation of the Australian Cogeneration Association (ACA) in 1993, which
commenced life to represent more than 200 members.
The ACA launched EcoGeneration magazine, and at the same time coined the term EcoGeneration, as a tool to inform
government and industry, influence energy market reform, and showcase projects and technologies. The ACA was
renamed the Australian EcoGeneration Association (AEA) by issue two of EcoGeneration magazine in October 2000, to
better represent cogeneration, waste-to-energy, renewables and distributed generation.
In September 2002, the Business Council of Sustainable Energy was formed with a merger between the AEA and the
Sustainable Energy Industry Association. A merger with Auswind in 2007 heralded the Clean Energy Council, which now
represents over 600 members engaged in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Its primary role is to develop and
advocate effective policy to accelerate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies.
Great Southern Press has published EcoGeneration magazine independent of any association since 2009.

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2013
www.ecogeneration.com.au

20

industry update

It was predicted by ACA that annual growth


in electricity demand from 200010 would be
2.75 per cent per annum. According to Mr
Brazzale, electricity consumption in the
National Electricity Market (NEM) has actually
been falling since 2008.
Over the past four years to 2012,
consumption has fallen by 6 per cent.
Significantly, Mr Brazzale believes roll-out of
small-scale solar systems and energy efficiency
improvements have contributed more than
50 per cent of the reduction.

Transformation triggers
Much market transformation has been
delivered in the form of investment in jobs and
technology innovation that should translate
into a larger slice of NEM-installed capacity
beyond 2020.
According to modelling commissioned by the
Climate Institute in 2011, Australias clean
energy employment has the potential to grow
from 8,000 full-time equivalent roles in 2010
to 32,000 by 2030. Most of the employment
growth is likely to be in wind and solar.
Transformation catalysts include incentive
schemes the major one being the Federal
Governments Renewable Energy Target
(RET), introduced in 2001 by the Howard
Government. The original target was

9,500 gigawatt hours (GWh), reset to achieve


45,000 GWh by 2020. The Federal
Governments $10 billion Clean Energy Finance
Corporation, which will operate like a green
bank independent of the Government, is due to
issue its first loan in 2013.
Installed capacity growth to date has also
been stimulated by various state-based programs.
According to an independent report by
SKM MMA for the CEC published in August
2012, Benefit of the RET to Australias Energy
Markets and Economy (pages 23), without the
RET, Australia would not have met its emission
reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol.
Additionally, the RET has delivered
$18.5 billion in investment in renewable
energy infrastructure, with the potential for
$18.7 billion more if the policy continues to be
retained in its current form (see Figure 1).
The report also states that trends seen since
2001 are expected to continue, with wind
energy expected to dominate investment in
large-scale systems. Despite the winding-back
of payments under feed-in tariff arrangements
and under the Small-scale Renewable Energy
Scheme, uptake in small-scale systems is
expected to continue at a steady pace.
According to the report, the RET has driven
renewable energy capacity deployment,
increasing from approximately 7,540 megawatts

(MW) in 2000 to around 13,340 MW in 2012.


This comprised an increase in large-scale
projects of 2,945 MW, and 2,855 MW in
small-scale photovoltaic (PV) and solar water
heaters. The average annual rate of increase
since 2001 was 480 MW per annum.
Uptake has predominantly been in wind
generation, which accounted for
approximately 38 per cent of capacity
installed since 2000, followed by small-scale
solar water heaters and small-scale PV
systems which accounted for approximately
20 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.
Biomass capacity comprised approximately 6
per cent, and new hydroelectric capacity
(mainly from upgrades at existing systems) also
comprised approximately 6 per cent of installed
capacity. Wind generation, being lower-cost,
has been the dominant large-scale technology
under the RET with nearly 2,200 MW of wind
farms developed.

The ETS, Direct Action and voter


power
In 2007, an emissions trading scheme (ETS)
had bi-partisan support under the Howard
Government. Since that time, it has been a
highly-charged political issue, sparking
significant turn-around positions by both
major parties.

Prompt supply from Victoria


Warehouse

ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

22

industry update

The Gillard Government introduced a carbon


price on 1 July 2012 following negotiations
with the Australian Greens and independent
members of Federal Parliament, which will
transition to full emissions trading in 2015.
The future of the scheme will be determined
at the 14 September 2013 Federal election. The
Australian Labor Party promises to retain a
price on carbon, while the Federal Coalition of
the Liberal Party and Nationals Party has
pledged to abolish the carbon pricing
mechanism in favour of an alternative
incentive-based Direct Action Plan.
With five months to go until the election, demystification for voters of the complexities of the
NEM and greenhouse gas abatement will remain
a key challenge for industry and government.

Investment in renewable generation 200111


$1,771 m
$284 m
$540 m
$584 m
$399 m
$129 m
$9,193 M

Where are we now?


The ability for Australia to meet its 2050
greenhouse gas emission reduction targets
remains a major long-term challenge for the
energy industry.
Thus far, the RET has delivered most
greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Oscillating policy positions including the
current Federal Oppositions view to possibly
reduce the RET target, based on reduced
demand have the renewables and broader
energy industry questioning how and when the
nation will move beyond market uncertainty.
The call continues for a strong and unified
position to enable delivery of visionary emissions
reduction outcomes for future generations.
On 13 March 2013, the CEC wrote a joint
letter with the Australian Industry Group, the
ecogeneration | may/june 13

Wave
Large Scale Solar / PV
Hydro
Bagasse

$5,296 M

Other Renewables
Solar water heaters

Working for reform and consumer


engagement
In Australia in 2010-11, more than $5 billion
was invested in renewable energy including
$4 billion in residential solar according to the
CEC. This is a slice of the fastest-growing piece
of the energy investment pie worldwide.
According to Bloomberg New Energy
Finance, globally, investment in clean energy
for 2012 was $US268 billion, outstripping
investment in traditional energy.
Energy efficiency is also a major part of the
mix, and in Australia it needs a more consistent
approach nationally. It will ultimately curb
demand for energy, delay network investment
and reduce energy bills.
David Green, CEC Chief Executive since
September 2012, believes that for the clean
energy industry to get where it needs to be,
consumers and communities need to support
the journey. They need to be engaged so that
they can embrace change, rather than have
change done to them.

Wind

Small-scale solar PV
m = Million
Figure 1: investment in new renewable generation since 2001 until 2011 (reproduced with permission from
Clean Energy Council).

With six months to go until the election,


de-mystification for voters of the complexities
of the National Electricity Market and
greenhouse gas abatement will remain a key
challenge for industry and government.
Australian Petroleum Production and
Exploration Association, and the Energy Supply
Association of Australia to all federal and state
government ministers plus the Council of
Australian Governments.
The call was for well-planned, evidencebased policies that support new energy
sources, including established low-emission
and emerging technologies, as well as for
sound, consistent and realistic regulations for
energy project development. The joint
statement emphasised that such policies are
key to ensuring a safe, reliable and affordable
energy supply and to building a sustainable
energy sector to meet Australias future needs.
In the inaugural lead story of the first edition
of EcoGeneration magazine, Mr Stock said If
Australia is to avoid emissions embarrassment
in the eyes of the international community,
further initiatives are needed.
Even after 75 editions of EcoGeneration, the
case remains for urgent action. Significant
energy market transformation is still required to
reduce Australias greenhouse gas emissions.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

24

industry update

What next for solar PV:


is the party over?
Climate Spectator Editor Tristan Edis outlines why he believes Australias photovoltaic party is over,
and clean energy industry stakeholders respond.

he Australian solar photovoltaic (PV)


party is over. The remarkable run of
rapid growth solar PV has enjoyed since
Peter Costello spiked the punch bowl with
the $8,000 rebate back in 2007 is at an end.
Last years close to a gigawatt of
installations will be the high water mark that
will not be exceeded for several years. 2013
will herald a tough year of adjustment and
consolidation.
The fact that the solar PV market has
continued to plough on unabated, in spite of
repeated cuts to government support, has led
some to conclude that solar PV is some kind of
unstoppable juggernaut set to wipe away
everything before it.
But there were a series of three tailwinds
that enabled this to happen, and these have
now run out of puff.

Declining solar module prices


have now reached diminishing
returns
When the $8,000 rebate was launched in
2007, module prices delivered to Australia
were in the realm of $5 to $6 per watt.
Australia was at the bottom of the queue for
provision of module product, and it was
actually difficult to get reliable supply at the
quantity desired.
Since then, there have been incredible
reductions in module prices, which meant that
even with the steady cuts to government
support, out-of-pocket prices for customers
barely changed and in fact, have steadily
declined.
Since 2007, the module cost-per-kilowatt
(kW) has dropped from $5,000 to
approximately $550. This $4,450 saving was
critical to solars ongoing sales, in spite of a
reduction in government support per kW of
around $8,000.
However, even if module prices drop by a
further 20 per cent, this will mean a saving of
just $110 per kW. Such a drop in prices seems
incredibly unlikely, given PV manufacturers are
losing huge amounts of money at current
prices. Even if it happened, its just not big
ecogeneration | may/june 13

that mean the regulator is highly likely to


clamp down on network businesses
expenditure proposals. Also, the depressed
prices in the wholesale electricity market are
likely to be passed through to consumers by
new regulatory decisions. Plus, the costs
associated with smart meter roll-out in Victoria
will be largely behind us.
Western Australia is probably the only
exception to this rule, as its retail prices are
still not reflective of costs to supply, and need
to increase further.
According to little-publicised forecasts
prepared for the Australian Energy Market
Operator, price rises across every state in
the National Electricity Market will abruptly
drop away, and prices could even decline in
some states.
Climate Spectator Editor Tristan Edis.

enough to significantly increase customer


uptake. It certainly cant offset the loss of
electricity revenue for customers from cutting
the feed-in tariff from 44 cents to 16 cents in
Queensland, nor the cut to approximately 8
cents in other jurisdictions.

The spike in electricity prices will


abruptly end
Since 2007, Australia has experienced an
exceptional spike in electricity prices, due to a
range of poor regulatory decisions made by
governments. These included changes that
encouraged gold plating of network capacity;
installation of smart meters in Victoria that
were charged for, upfront; and regulators
hiking-up household regulated retail prices
based on the assumption that wholesale
generation costs would spike upwards when in
fact they declined.
When combined with the hysteria around
the carbon price, this bill shock motivated a
large number of people, many uninterested in
the environment, to actively consider
purchasing solar.
However, in 2013 and 2014, we will roll over
into a new regulatory period with new rules

Reductions in government
support can no longer generate a
get in quick effect
Over the last few years, the Australian solar
PV market has been characterised by sales
surges, as customers were induced to buy
before a reduction in government support
levels. This was seen with changes to the
$8,000 rebate, each time the Renewable
Energy Certificate or Small-scale Technology
Certificate multiplier was changed (except
when Federal Climate Change and Energy
Efficiency Minister Greg Combet surprised
everyone in November 2012) and when the
feed-in tariffs were cut in several states.
Governments are now left with little to cut.
Households are now paid little better than the
wholesale market rate for exported electricity.
While solar PV receives renewable
certificates for fifteen years worth of
generation upfront, the level of support is
not noticeably better than what is given to
large-scale renewables.
Customers now feel like they can take their
time before buying. This may be a good thing
in terms of improving the level of quality in the
industry, but for sales, theres nothing quite like
a human beings concern about missing out on
free money to motivate action.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

26

industry update

Tristan Edis joined Climate Spectator in 2012


following his role as a Research Fellow with
the Grattan Institutes Energy Program.
Previously, Mr Edis has worked as an Associate
Director with Ernst and Youngs Project Finance
Advisory Group, and as a Manager of Policy

and Research at the Clean Energy Council and


its predecessor the Business Council for
Sustainable Energy.
This article was originally published
on Climate Spectator at
www.businessspectator.com.au/climate

Link to
the to the Sun!
Link Sun! Link to
Since 2004

The counter-view: solar-led energy transformation still happening


In this response to Tristan Edis view on the outlook for photovoltaics, Arkx Investment Management Managing Director and
Portfolio Manager Tim Buckley disagrees and says solar will be at the forefront of a major energy system transformation
in the coming decade.

istributed roof-top solar, coupled


with residential storage and smart
home energy management systems,
will be an enormously disruptive grouping
of new technologies that will continue to
dramatically impact the antiquated business
models based around centralised, subsidised,
polluting coal-based electricity generation.

Solar module prices will


continue to decline
In September 2012, Citi Research forecast
that module prices could fall to $US0.25 per
watt (W) by 2020, versus current prices of
$US0.67/W, suggesting a compound annual
cost reduction of over 10 per cent for the
next decade.
While an aggressive forecast, Arkx
Investment Management agrees with Citis
view that is predicated on further dramatic
economies of scale gains in manufacturing,
plus continued technology breakthroughs
in solar.
SolarBuzz forecasts global cumulative
solar installs will double again by 2015 to
200 gigawatts (GW) versus 100 GW in 2012.
We at Arkx expect this to be more like
230 GW by 2015.

Technology gains will continue


to boost productivity
The director of Americas National
Renewable Energy Laboratory, Dan Arivizu,
forecast in March 2013 that silicon module
efficiencies would continue to rise from the
current best-in-class of 18 per cent towards a
theoretical maximum of 29 per cent. In April
2013, Sunpower Corporation launched its
latest 21.5 per cent efficiency module, well
ahead of the current 1518 per cent norm.
The advent of cost-effective residential
battery storage systems in 2014 will further
boost the effectiveness of distributed solar
systems, allowing a time-shift of solar
production into the early evening, the newly
ecogeneration | may/june 13

the Sun!
Link to the Sun!
Since 2004

emerging peak demand point. This will


encourage larger residential solar system
installs and further erode grid demand.

Balance of system costs will


continue to decline
SMA Solar Technology AG, in 2011,
published a target to halve the cost of its
world-leading solar inverter by 2015, consistent
with what it had achieved in the prior five
years. Given progress reported in April 2013
suggesting a cost of production -10 per cent
per annum over 201112, I would suggest
they will achieve this target. SMA has a global
inverter market share of 25 per cent and
spends more than 100 million annually on
enhanced inverter research and development.
The lower the cost of modules and
inverters, the proportionately lower will be
the financing costs per watt for solar
electricity generation. Financing is roughly a
third of the total cost of a solar system.
Significant improvements in installation
costs continue to be made through learning
by doing. The latest figures from the United
States show total residential system install
costs fell 27 per cent year-on-year to
$US4.74/W in March 2013. The rate of cost
reductions is accelerating, not decelerating.
We acknowledge that Australian residential
costs are close to worlds best practice, but
we forecast that total costs will continue to
decline globally.

Retail electricity prices will


continue to rise
While the 15 per cent average increase in
Australian retail electricity prices in July 2012
was an aberration, total electricity system
costs per unit will continue to rise in the
medium-term as further grid and generator
capacity upgrades are undertaken, and total
demand for grid electricity continues to fall.
The Australian Energy Market Operator
forecasts that retail prices nationally will

Arkx Investment Management Managing


Director and Portfolio Manager Tim Buckley.

rise 3 per cent per annum from 201315 to


31.3 cents per kW hour.
Total system costs for residential solar will
continue to fall, retail electricity prices will
continue to rise, and the total system
functionality of solar with home storage will
expand the total value offering. As Mr Edis
warns, 2013 will be a tough year, no doubt
but this industry is here for good, and is
less reliant on government subsidies than
ever before.
A more orderly market will also focus
attention on quality installers using Tier
1-quality modules, particularly expanding
reach into the industrial and commercial
market segments. Total installs will continue
to surprise, on the upside. As such, the solar
boom in Australia is really only now getting
started much to the utilities chagrin.
Tim Buckley is a Managing Director and
Portfolio Manager at Arkx Investment
Management, the Australian-based
investment manager of the Arkx Clean Energy
Fund, which invests in global, listed clean
energy companies. Arkx is 28 per cent-owned
by Ascalon Capital Managers, a whollyowned subsidiary of Westpac Banking
Corporation.

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industry update

The counter-view: solars pace normal for new technology


In this response to Tristan Edis view on the outlook for photovoltaics, Duda&Wills Director and former Sustainable Energy
Association of Australia Chief Executive Ray Wills says new and different boom periods are still to come in the Australian
solar market.

ustralian electricity consumption


is falling, and electricity markets
are in the process of rapid change.
This shouldnt surprise anyone who
objectively tracks technology change.
Uptake rates of technology are never
glacial in pace. Technology shifts are
usually rapid and measured in the lifetime
of a commodity.
While there have been suggestions that
declining solar module prices have now
reached diminishing returns, solar doesn't
need to get all that much cheaper for
momentum to be maintained without
subsidies.
Government support is already at low levels
and will continue to fall, and so will be less
and less relevant as the market takes over, as
final government support is removed as
scheduled. We have reached the point where it
makes no sense for customers to delay
customers not buying today and delaying
tomorrow will be missing out on a return on

investment of more than 20 per cent. The


generation of the electricity becomes the
subsidy, and systems pay for themselves.
Solar is now commercially competitive for
domestics homes versus the socket price of
electricity. With 8 million homes in Australia,
the market is not yet done. Weve passed one
million solar rooftops, and allowing for as
much as half of all dwellings not having the
right roof space, that still leaves 3 million
homes to go.
Building Code of Australia standards will
continue to add stars, and the next iteration
of the building code is likely to make solar
the standard.
Innovative approaches to financing are
finally arriving in the market.
Even more roofs are waiting in the
commercial sector; poor market rules and
restrictive electricity market practices are
preventing this boom from starting, but if we
let the genie out of the commercial-scale solar
bottle, more commercial roofs will go solar.

Duda&Wills Director Ray Wills.

Ray Wills is a Board Member of the


Sustainable Energy Association of Australia
and an Adjunct Professor at the School of
Earth and Environment, The University of
Western Australia. Professor Wills is also a
Member of the Advisory Board of the Curtin
Institute for Biodiversity and Climate, in
addition to his role as Director at
Duda&Wills.

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www.ecogeneration.com.au

30

industry update

Can Australia afford to waste


its organic waste?
by Fiona Waterhouse, Chief Executive Officer, Utilitas Limited

Around the world, biogas is already a significant alternative source of fuel, electricity and heat.
Australia has the capacity to grow its biogas production sector if the current increase in demand for
pre-project biogas services continues, and businesses make a concerted effort to overcome biogas
market constraints.

p until now, Australians have enjoyed


the benefits of a low-energy-cost
economy: this is rapidly changing. In
2012, a report by CME to the Energy Users
Association of Australia showed that household
electricity prices have risen by more than
40 per cent since 2007, and are projected to
rise by another 30 per cent by 201314.
For some industries, there are alternatives to a
pure reliance on grid-connected supply.
Brisbane-based Utilitas Limited is demonstrating
that it is now viable to use safe, reliable, mature
biogas (anaerobic digestion) technology in
Australia to recover energy, water, nutrients and
carbon from Australias organic waste streams.
Internationally, biogas has already emerged
as a major alternative source of fuel, electricity
and heat. In a recent study by Global Industry
Analysts Inc it was noted that today, biogas
competes on par with petroleum-based fuels in
terms of performance, cost and other
additional benefits such as reduced greenhouse
gas emissions. Although Europe is currently
the dominant player in terms of biogas
production, the Asia-Pacific market for biogas
plants is displaying strong appetite for growth,
and countries like Japan, New Zealand and the
United States are also catching up fast.

Market

Agriculture

Here in Australia, Utilitas is seeing increasing


demand for biomethane potential testing,
feasibility analysis, approvals, connection
arrangements and the design and construction
of biogas plants, coming from a broad spectrum
of owners of organic wastes including:
Source-segregated municipal organic
waste
Animal manures
Food waste
Algal processing waste.

Biogas: often overlooked in


Australia
According to the Clean Energy Council, there
are currently 29 biogas projects more than
100 kilowatts equivalent (kWe) in
agriculture/food processing and wastewater
treatment (WWT), providing installed capacity
of approximately 49 megawatts equivalent
(MWe). At least two of the biogas plants in
WWT in Australia use co-substrate digestion,
using a mixture of wastes, to optimise plant
health, produce higher gas yields and earn
additional revenues from gate fees.
Biogas technology has been proven in both an
international and national context, however, up
until now, plants have not been built in Australia

Operation type Number of Waste type


businesses

Industry Substrate
revenues volume
(billion)
(tonnes per
annum)

with a focus on achieving an internationally


competitive levelised-cost-of-energy.
Politically, waste-to-energy has been a tad on
the nose in Australia with a couple of highprofile failures in biomass combustion/pyrolysis,
which seems to have tainted the whole market.
As a renewable energy source, biogas is also
often overlooked, with analysis tending to
lump biogas in the broader category of
biomass, or subsume it within data about the
extraction of landfill biogas. Occasionally,
biogas from sewage gas will be identified
separately, but rarely is there an in-depth
analysis of the full spectrum of the biogas
opportunity in Australia. To make the biogas
market opportunity story even more difficult, a
large percentage of reports into the waste
industry in Australia are considered unreliable.
Notwithstanding this, in 2011, a report by Zero
Waste Australia indicated that Australia produces
approximately 20 million tonnes of organic waste
per year from domestic and industrial sources.
Table 1 shows estimations of manure volumes,
biomethane potential and electrical generation
potential, which is based on data from just four
sources of agricultural wastes.
If all of this organic waste (domestic, industrial
and agricultural) was treated in biogas plants,

BMP
(m3 per
tonne)

Biogas
generation
(m3)

Energy
potential
(MW)

Cattle feedlots

525

Manure

2.8

657,453

337

39,751,264

9.1

Piggeries

652

Manure

0.9826

3,733,844

450

65,528,962

15

Egg production

155

Manure

0.4408

240,240

385

36,626,990

8.4

Meat chickens

1,040

Manure

0.9235

2,031,820

385

309,771,277

70.7

Total indicative electrical generation potential

103 MWe

Table 1: manure estimations from four agricultural sources.


ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

32

industry update

there is potential for in the order of 650 MWe of


installed electrical capacity, enough to power
almost 1 million Australian homes.
In addition to the issues previously
mentioned, the lack of supporting services has
been another barrier to the development of the
biogas industry in Australia. To help overcome
this, Utilitas has established Australias first
specialist commercial biomethane potential
testing facilities at its headquarters in Brisbane
Technology Park, using an automated
biomethane potential testing unit to enable
accurate modelling of the energy potential of
waste streams, amongst other modelling.
A further impediment to biogas deployment
has been the fact that negotiating network

connection arrangements with distribution


network service providers is currently both timeconsuming and costly. The sweet spot for biogas
plants is typically between 200 kWe3 MWe,
and unfortunately, this scale of generation seems
to fall into a no-mans land where they are
considered by network service providers as largescale generation, but clearly are tiny in
comparison to a large power station or other
facility, for which the providers processes and
procedures seem to have been developed.
There is an urgent need to streamline
connection process to enable the deployment
of this scale of distributed generation from
biogas projects. A comparable streamlined
connection and approval process for this type

Biogas plant fundamentals


Consumes: wet organic material,
waste (low lignin content)

Flame Arresters with Proven


Performance and Safety

Produces:
Biogas for direct use, or
generation of electricity and
heat
Recycled water reclaimed for
irrigating/cleaning purposes
Nutrients which can displace
chemical fertilisers
Captures: methane, and converts
it to less climate-impactful carbon
dioxide

and scale of generation was successfully


implemented by the Ontario Power Authority in
Canada as part of its Renewable Energy
Standard Offer Program, catering for projects
with an installed generating capacity of up to
10 MW.
There is also a critical need for the nascent
biogas market in Australia to move early to earn
the communitys right to operate. Other
renewable energy developers have been
surprised at the community outrage they have
experienced. Although biogas technologies are
mature, well-proven and widely-deployed as
mainstream community infrastructure in other
parts of the world, there is a need to move early
to help the community understand the role they
can play in making the most of this resource.
There is also a need to expand on this
analysis, to more deeply quantify the biogas
markets potential in Australia and to
comprehensively address its constraints. Surely,
as Australia moves from being a low energycost economy to a high-energy-cost economy,
it is time to stop wasting our organic waste.
Fiona Waterhouse is the Chief Executive of
Utilitas Limited, a company that provides
biomethane potential testing, approvals
processes, negotiation of grid connections and
project financing for biogas projects. The
companys current focus is to demonstrate that
biogas plants can now be deployed at
internationally-competitive levelised-cost-ofenergy. It has provided services to 20 projects in
Australia, including for feasibility and concept
design and for construction contracts. In 2013,
Utilitas led development of a Carbon Farming
Initiative method for destruction of methane
from piggeries using engineered biodigesters,
approved in January 2013.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

The most straight-forward protection device against flame


propagation is a Flame Arresters Australia product.
As federal, state and local air quality
regulations become more stringent, incineration
of gases becomes a more viable option rather
than venting to atmosphere. In addition, there
are regulations that require gas with any
significant sour content be flared because
of foul smell and toxicity.
Companies that engage in this type of
activity understandably have important safety
concerns.
Protection against flashback in systems that
contain flammable liquid products becomes
a serious issue.
Flame arresters have been utilised in a variety
of applications over the past fifty years.

Old

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Storage tank vents
Offshore drilling platform vents
Oil/petrochemical refineries
Chemical Processing plants
Marine loading systems
Natural gas supply lines
Flare stacks
Pulp and paper NCG processing
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34

industry update

The missing link: why


Australia needs energy
storage
by Professor Richard Williams, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and
Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham

In visiting Australia regularly for the last two decades, I have never quite understood why greater
value is not placed on the nations latent solar and nuclear energy assets. Perhaps it is because
Australia thinks there is a vital missing link: the ability to store energy.

ith renewable sources such


as wind, wave and solar,
energy is often created in the
wrong place at the wrong time, making it
difficult to utilise. Australians aspire to use
renewable resources but are thwarted by the
practicalities of renewables use in future
energy generation and supply systems.
In Australia, climate change legislation is
driving decarbonisation. This will shift the
energy provision and create new markets. The
public mind, however, is on cost, accessibility
and security of supply.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the electricity
generation mix and the opportunities are very
different. In November, the UK Chancellor
announced that energy storage technology was
critical to the future UK economy and will be
worth 10 billion per year by 2050.
This value comes from understanding
where the different energy storage
technologies fit into the grid at generation,
transmission and distribution. Its not simply a

matter of providing storage capacity;


governments have to determine how to
configure a robust energy system to suit the
changing energy mix and minimise the cost of
transmission investment as the demand for
electrical power grows.

This article was originally


published on
at theconversation.com/au

Which way is the best way?


Different applications demand appropriate
storage characteristics and a range of
technologies are needed to suit the specific
needs. Technologically speaking, energy can
be stored in mechanical, electrical or chemical
devices and in the form of heat. All are
probably needed, but apart from hydrostorage dams Australia has few examples at
a significant scale.
What might energy storage mean for
Australia? It certainly should not mean simply
filling the country with batteries for storing
renewable energy. There have been some
extensive battery park trials for regional
storage in China and in the United States and

in other energy-constrained countries such as


Chile, but this does not appear to be a
widespread option suited for Australia.
Conventional batteries of different types
have their place, but society really needs an
alternative. This is not only driven by realisation
of the cost, resource wastefulness,
environmental impact and scarcity associated
with rare earths components, but also by a
growing public misgiving about safety.
Battery-related safety incidents have been
growing rapidly over the last few years, in
vehicular and air transportation, computers,
large scale battery parks and wind/solar onsite
storage locations. A range of energy storage

Technology

Size Range
(MW)

Capital Cost
($/kW)

Capital Cost
($/kWh)

Efficiency
(% round trip)

Pumped Hydro

280-530

2,500-4,300

420-430

76-85

180

960-1,150

60-120

46-48

<50
<50

3,100-3,300
1,450-1,750
900-1,900
(depending on
cycling)

520-550
290-350
260-530
(depending on
cycling)

CAES (with gas


firing)
NaS Battery
Flow batteries
Highview Cryo
Energy System

10-200

Geographical
requirements

Use of
advanced
chemicals

68
60

Requires
mountains
Requires
caverns
None
None

Yes
Yes

50-80+

None

No

No
No

Table 1: costs of energy storage systems.


ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

36

industry update

methods are currently available; most of these


have been reviewed recently. Figure 1 shows a
summary based upon the scale of power rating
and the call down time, expressed here as a
discharge time at rated power.

Liquid air: a great alternative


As Figure 1 shows, there are alternatives to
batteries. For example, in the UK there is a
growing interest in the notion of cryogenic
liquids. These are reported to be a cheaper and
better way to use solar energy to drive
compressors to compress air to liquid air as
cryogenic fluids. Liquid air is potentially an
energy vector in itself; vaporising the liquid
using low-grade waste heat makes for a very
efficient system that then drives a generator.
The round-trip efficiency of these systems
rivals batteries. These have now been
demonstrated at a small scale with 350
kilowatt/2.5 megawatt (MW) hour-scale for
on-grid electrical storage, and further
developments to scale out to beyond 10 MW
are underway. Some 100 MW+ systems with
gigawatt hours of storage are deliverable
using existing supply chains and components.
Some comparisons of estimated costs for
comparative storage systems have been
mooted (see Table 1).
Such systems offer a means for low-cost offgrid generation. This can smooth power

requirements and provide security of supply by


creating a national reserve.
Liquid air can also be used directly as a fuel.
The first cars that run on air are currently
being evaluated and are attracting significant
attention. Australia, like the UK, has existing
infrastructure to support early adoption. The
technology is from a mature supply chain and
components with proven long life whose costs
are known.
Liquid air storage is at low or atmospheric
pressure, resulting in low cost, above-ground,
safe bulk tanks. There is no fuel combustion
risk. There are no geological or geographical
constraints to location of stores or distribution
pathways.
The energy density of liquid air compares
favourably to other low-carbon competitors.
There is great synergy with other industrial
processes, including use of waste heat and
provision of cold. And liquid air can be used
as an energy vector to transport this stored
energy around by road, as is currently done,
or ship, as with LNG.
A major review of this opportunity is
underway, and may have profound application
for Australia if it turns out that liquid air can
be used as a fuel. Meanwhile, UK Energy and
Climate Change Minister John Hayes believes
that liquid air may offer some radical solution
with real economic stimulus to the economy.

Reserve & Response


Services

Transmission and Distribution


Grid Support

Hours

Hydrogen-related

Pumped
Hydropower
Storage

Mechanical

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Flow Batteries

Electrochemical



Sodium-Sulphur Battery

Cryogenic
Energy Storage

Electrical

Advanced Lead-Acid Battery

High-Energy
Supercapacitors

Key - Types of
Storage

Bulk Power
Management

Hydrogen &
Fuel Cells

Thermal

Li-ion Battery

Minutes

Discharge Time at Rated Power

Putting a value on energy storage is


difficult. The value lies in different places for
different applications. Take solar: the business
model has a feedstock that is free, which
means arguments based purely on technical
process efficiency and cross-comparisons to
other processes are not germane. Rather, its
the benefit that needs to be quantified.
Australia too will need to grasp these
emerging concepts as new opportunities
emerge to better utilise renewable energy and
mitigate escalating infrastructure costs
associated with energy supply and security. I
am increasingly confident that the
decarbonisation drivers may open up
significant new economic opportunities
ahead.
Professor Richard Williams is a Fellow of
Australian Academy of Technological
Sciences and Engineering, a professor at the
University of Birmingham in the United
Kingdom and an honorary professor at the
University of New South Wales. Professor
Williams is a co-author of the Royal Academy
of Engineering and Chinese Academy of
Sciences report into the future of energy
storage technologies and policy. He is a
Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering,
an advisor to NetScientific Solutions and
member of the Liquid Air Association
working group.

Lead-Acid Battery
Nickel Cadmium Battery

Seconds

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

Flywheels

High-Power
Supercapacitors

1 kW

10 kW

100 kW

Super Conducting
Magnetic Energy Storage

1 MW

10 MW

100 MW

1 GW

System Power Ratings, Module Size


Figure 1: system power ratings.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

38

advances in wind

Global wind trends


for 2013 and beyond
Following his keynote presentation at the New Zealand Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition in
late March 2013, Global Wind Energy Council Secretary-General Steve Sawyer spoke to
EcoGenerations Melanie Ryan about the challenges and growth predictions facing the international
wind market over the next five years.

orldwide, the wind energy sector


is expected to undergo reasonably
rapid changes in market conditions
in the five-year period between 2012 and 2016.
Global Wind Energy Council Secretary-General
Steve Sawyer says that a number of critical
issues will crop up in key markets across the
globe during this time. Mr Sawyer nominates
one of these issues as being the difficulty of
predicting outcomes for the United States (US),
a large wind market but also the largest variable
within the international industry.
The US had a record year in 2012, but the
re-authorisation of the primary federal support
program for wind was delayed, resulting in a
dearth of orders at the beginning of 2013,
Mr Sawyer explains. [Success in this market] is
a question of how quickly and how much the
US market is going to recover in 2013.
Mr Sawyer notes that policy is notoriously
fickle in the US, and tied to a short-term,
highly-politicised Federal House of
Representatives. US Federal Budget
discussions dont affect wind energy as
immediately as they do the solar industry, but
until they are resolved and the US figures out a
way to make economic plans that last longer
than a year or two, thats always going to be
the big variable.
The Global Wind Energy Council is predicting
continued dominance of Asian markets over
the next five years particularly China, but
also India and emerging markets in Pakistan,
Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
and Mongolia.
There is also the potential for significant
growth in Latin America particularly in
Brazil and also in Mexico, as part of the
North American economic bloc.
Brazil is leading the way, but Mexico is
catching up, Mr Sawyer says. Of course in
Africa, there are, for the first time, significant
additions happening in sub-Saharan Africa in
Ethiopia, last year, the first commercial project
became available and there will be others in
Ethiopia over the next two years, and the
ecogeneration | may/june 13

Annual wind market forecast


30 GW
25
20
15
10
5
0
2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Europe

10.3

11.0

12.0

13.0

14.0

15.0

North America

8.1

11.0

8.0

8.5

10.8

12.0

Asia

20.9

21.4

22.0

23.6

25.2

25.9

Latin America

0.9

1.6

1.7

1.7

1.7

1.8

Pacific

0.3

0.5

1.0

1.0

1.5

1.5

Middle East and Africa

0.1

0.5

1.2

1.6

2.0

3.0

The annual market forecast, by region, for 201216 from the Global Wind Energy Council.

South African industry is finally getting going


they have hundreds of megawatts (MW) under
construction now and another 600 MW
heading to financial close in May 2013.
Global data demonstrates that Europe had a
record wind energy year in 2012, but the
economic malaise and the wave of policy
uncertainty in some of the southern European
markets is going to mean that its unlikely to be
repeated in 2013, according to Mr Sawyer.
Until theres either a breakthrough in
climate negotiations or a dramatic uptake in
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) economies, I think
that most of the market growth is going to be
outside of the OECD.
China will return to be a growth market in
2013 and again in 2014, on an even greater
scale. Theyre in the process of sorting out some
of the structural issues that they ran up against
because of dramatic growth since 2006.
Mr Sawyer says that the global industry will
have in the vicinity of 500 gigawatts (GW) of

total installed capacity by the end of 2016,


and will be on track for somewhere between
8001,000 GW total installed capacity by 2020.
Noting that the Clean Development
Mechanism has pretty much played itself out
in terms of the first commitment of the Kyoto
Protocol being over, and the world entering a
limbo phase in terms of global carbon markets,
Mr Sawyer says that carbon pricing
mechanisms arent functioning as much of a
driver for wind investment at the moment.
The gap between supply and demand is
still pretty large; at the beginning of 2012,
there was some 85 GW of total manufacturing
capacity globally, and a market of about
45 GW this year weve lost some of that
manufacturing capacity, he notes. A lot
of the smaller manufacturers in China have
disappeared. That process is going to
continue, exerting downward pressure on
turbine prices globally.
It will vary substantially from place to place,
but the general trend will be the need to
www.ecogeneration.com.au

40

CM

MY

CY

CMY

advances in wind

compete more and more on a direct basis


especially stand-alone, wind-only manufacturers; purchased by larger conglomerates that dont
with incumbent conventional energy sources one has to believe the old maxim that whatever
already have a wind production component to
at least for new-build. In most markets, were
doesnt kill you makes you stronger.
their business.
in a pretty good position to do that now, but
This gives an advantage to the larger
Vestas has had widely-publicised
conglomerates for whom wind is only part of
negotiations with Mitsubishi which has not
most of the incumbents have been enjoying
heavy subsidies for decades, so its a bit of a
their business, such as Siemens, GE, Alstom,
yielded a concrete agreement yet, as far as
tough sell.
ACCIONA and more that are invested in wind
we know, and there are other such
However, Mr Sawyer highlights that the price
now and doing reasonably well, but can carry
discussions going on and it certainly seems
a down year or two on their balance sheets
like a likely outcome in a number of cases,
of fossil fuels will do nothing but go up in the
medium to longer term, while the price of wind
without any great disruptions, which is much
he explains. Precisely how that will play out
will just go down. He notes Were at that
more difficult for stand-alone turbine
is a deeply-held secret until the deal is done.
manufacturers.
Approximately 120 countries around the
critical cusp in a lot of markets at the moment
where margins are very tight, and turbine
Mr Sawyer says its possible that more
world now have some form of long-term target
DCSA_Ad_EcoGeneration_Island Vertical_122x185_Outline_MarApr2013_Outline.pdf
1
manufacturers in particular are struggling
stand-alone turbine manufacturers may be 22/02/13 renewables, many of them ensconced in
for 5:14 PM
legislation; discussions in Europe will open up
in 2013 about what to do after 2020, in terms
of laying a pathway to 2030.
The Australian Renewable Energy Target
(RET) is one that has been an important
signal to investors and an important support
to the industry, and its very gratifying to
know that it has been upheld, says Mr
Sawyer, but the RET and the carbon pricing
legislation are thrown into question by what
might happen at the September federal
election in Australia.
In terms of the opportunities available to
Australian companies with the resources and
sense of adventure required to turn their
attention to overseas markets, Mr Sawyer
points to the companies already operating in
international wind projects in South America
as an example.
I think there are lots of opportunities in
Brazil although that market is getting a tad
crowded at the moment along with right up
and down Latin America, he says. South
Africa and Eastern Africa are the brand new
markets offering new opportunities, and
Pakistan is emerging as a substantial new
market the country needs energy and has
very good wind resources. Theres a pipeline
of up to 900 MW of wind there now, and
more is in the offing.
Sri Lanka has significant potential, and
theres a good pipeline emerging in Thailand.
Wind resources there are not great, but they
need the power, they dont have fossil fuels
and they have an interest in diversifying their
energy supply and utilising Indigenous
resources.
With so many variables in play for wind
energy across the globe, interest certainly
looks to be the key concept for wind sector
companies. If they are interested in pursuing
the emerging markets Mr Sawyer outlines,
they stand to gain from the new opportunities
arising in those markets between now and
2016.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

42

advances in wind

Developing a social licence


to operate
by Isabella Andres

CSIRO Project Manager and Social Scientist Dr Nina Hall discusses the idea of holding a social
licence to operate wind farms in Australia, and a new CSIRO research project that is investigating
this concept through case studies.

CSIRO Project Manager and Social Scientist Dr Nina


Hall.

ocial licence to operate is the level


of acceptance that a community
and other stakeholders provide for
a particular development. It is a concept that
originally emerged from the mining industry, yet
is also applicable to the wind energy industry.
The Australian wind industry has expressed
interest in exploring new frameworks through
which to work with stakeholders to secure
greater acceptance of wind farms, bringing
about the need for further research into the
social licence concept.
The overarching concept has currency within
the wind industry and other energy technology
industries, but to date there has been minimal
research on its application. The concept
currently lacks both depth and popular
meaning, says CSIRO Project Manager and
Social Scientist Dr Nina Hall.
It is still a concept at this stage, but the
work that were now getting underway is to
take it from a concept to a working model,
explains Dr Hall.
CSIRO is carrying out a three-year project to
understand and evaluate the working model
with industry, government and civil society
partners.
The project will liaise with wind farm
developers through the initial planning stages
of four wind farms to observe the negotiations,
contribute to the development of what
constitutes a social licence to operate with the
local community and other key stakeholders,
and evaluate how the concept plays out across
the case studies from the range of stakeholder
perspectives. Concurrently, this research will

complement and enhance the road-testing of


the draft Clean Energy Council (CEC)
guidelines on best practice community
engagement for wind farm development.
What was coming out a lot in our earlier
research on community acceptance of wind
farms was that stakeholders who held
opposing views, or views of a negative nature
about wind farm developments, would initially
talk about technological concerns that they
had. When we dug a little deeper, we often
found that their opposition was based more on
concerns about process, explains Dr Hall.
How stakeholders found out about the
development, whether they felt they had a voice
that was going to be influential in the decision
of the design of the wind farm or the final
decision about where and whether it would go
ahead were all key process-based concerns.
Our upcoming research project proposes to
observe and evaluate the development of a
social licence to operate with four case studies
around Australia. CSIRO will be an independent
partner in this research and we will be
observing and evaluating what companies are
currently doing, where they go beyond
compliance and how community and other
stakeholders respond to this, says Dr Hall.

The aims of the social licence to


operate project
This applied research seeks to provide the
wind developers, wind farm industry and local
stakeholders with greater clarity regarding
securing and maintaining a social licence for
their operation.

Social licence to operate is the level of acceptance that a community and


other stakeholders provide for a particular development.

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for their operation.

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The CSIROs research project aims to deliver


insight and value through an integrated process
to create:
A working social licence to operate model
tailored for four specific wind farms,
including quantitative measures of
specified criteria
Community workshops to explore each
companys boundaries of acceptance in
the local and extended community
Documentation of the experience of
building and maintaining a social licence
to operate with the community and other
stakeholders
Reflective feedback and enhancement of
the CECs draft guidelines for community
engagement regarding the social licence to
operate
Collaborative interaction between
researchers, the wind industry, government
agencies and civil society through
involvement in the projects Advisory Group.
Links with CSIROs Future Grid Forum to
map various scenarios resulting from the
installation of wind farms and mapping of
the communities potentially facing wind
farm growth.

Investigating the social licence to


operate
The plan is to investigate the social licence
to operate concept through a working model
using case studies of wind farms in Australia,
says Dr Hall.
Were willing to start as early as possible
with these case studies, and we see this
research as having four levels. During the first
level we will be observing and evaluating a
social licence to operate as it is negotiated and
then managed between a wind developer and
local stakeholders.
What were proposing to do is to observe
which companies follow the community
engagement guidelines proposed by the CEC.
The CEC is hoping that this will set a new bar
for engagement.
At a second level, all case studies plus the
CEC, community organisations and relevant
government agencies will form an advisory
group observing the findings that emerge from
the case studies. The exciting aspect of this is
that we can compare and contrast whats
working at one site and why it isnt at another,
says Dr Hall.
The third level also features the advisory
group, and involves government agencies and
renewable energy stakeholders discussing study
findings in a way which allows for an informal
policy discussion to occur between wind
developers and government agencies about
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advances in wind

the respective state-based legislation affecting


wind farm development.
The fourth level holds particular interest for
the CSIRO in particular, given that this is very
new research, notes Dr Hall.
Beyond CSIROs social research efforts,
there is not much happening on social licence
to operate as a working model. What does
exist is very a theoretical and lacks a common
definition. In this space, CSIRO will feature the
Australian wind industrys efforts at the
forefront of this research.
This provides an excellent opportunity to
have the Australian wind industry showcased
in a very positive way that shows a leadership
role internationally.

Key outcomes of the project


The unique aspect of social licence to operate
is that it repositions power, Dr Hall says.
For most other licences, they are all about
the developer securing regulatory consent or
approval ticking that off and filing it away,
whereas a social licence to operate is about
being in the hand of the stakeholders. That
really corresponds to the stated lack of power
in decision-making that we heard in some of
our earlier research interviews with community
members and other stakeholders.
CSIRO is now seeking project partners from
key stakeholder groups, wind developers,
government agencies and civil society
organisations to join and contribute to
delivering project outcomes.
Such new knowledge may enable improved
community and stakeholder input to the local
siting of a wind farm and may also provide

This provides an excellent opportunity to have


the Australian wind industry showcased in a very
positive way that shows a leadership role
internationally.

MELBOURNE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE | 9/10 OCTOBER 2013

CSIRO Project Manager and Social Scientist Dr Nina Hall

policy-relevant insights into community


engagement and acceptance of wind farms
in Australia.
Ideal outcomes for this study would be four
case studies that have found a negotiated level
between stakeholders and the developer that
allows the wind farm to be developed on terms
that are deemed reasonable for everybody,
says Dr Hall.
Dr Nina Lansbury Hall is a social scientist with
CSIROs Science into Society Group. This group
specialises in applied social research on issues that
are often socially contested, including technology
assessment of technology, social licence to operate
and behavioural change. Their aim is to inform
decisions and improve scientific understanding,
especially around energy technology such as wind
farms. Her current research portfolio includes
examining the issues around community
acceptance of wind farms. In January this year she
was the main author of CSIROs public report

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ecogeneration | may/june 13

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48

technology installation

A remote and
rewarding project
At an Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, a 20.9 kilowatt solar installation is powering
a town of more than 60 residents. The installation was the winner of the Best design and
installation of a stand-alone power system greater than 10 kilowatts category at the 2012 Clean
Energy Week Awards.

aymangirr is an Indigenous community


located in the East Arnhem Region in
the Northern Territory, and is home to
over 60 permanent residents. The Raymangirr
community contains six houses, a school,
a clinic and a workshop, all connected to a
20.9 kilowatt (kW) Bushlight solar system.

charging of the schools laptops, in addition to


powering the building.
With these challenges in mind, a new solar
photovoltaic (PV) system was designed to replace
the diesel generator supply and to provide the
maximum possible usage of solar energy.

Before Bushlight

The 20.9 kW system, developed by Bushlight


and installed by Inland Electrical, has an average
load capacity of 43.6 kW hours per day.
The system features 110 Suntech solar
panels, one Selectronic 18 kW inverter and
three Magellan Power charge controllers.
The system also features a 2,400 amperehour battery bank containing 120 Sonnenschein

Technology specifications

Power for the community used to be


supplied by a 22.55 kilovolt, three-phase diesel
generator, which ran from 6pm8am, when
diesel was available.
While the school was connected to a
renewable energy system, the supply of power
was unable to run refrigeration and the

cells, and seven Bushlight household energy


management units.

System design and installation


The Raymangirr project required unique
solutions to local environment challenges to
ensure successful delivery.
For example, the control enclosure was
entirely manufactured from powder coated
aluminum, specifically designed to withstand
the harsh weather conditions in the Northern
Territory. It houses the main systems
components, such as the regulator and the
electrical switchgears.
To accommodate these components
correctly and to maximise the expected life

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50

technology installation

technology installation

Project name: Raymangirr Solar


Installation
Location: Raymangirr, East
Arnhem Region, Northern Territory
Nearest capital city: Darwin
Demographic: Rural
Owner and contractor: Bushlight
Installer: Inland Electrical
Capacity: 20.9 kW
Commissioned: November 2011
Consulting the Raymangirr community was an important aspect of the project.

of the components, the enclosure was


designed to minimise heat build-up while
maintaining ingress protection from water,
dust and vermin. The inverter sits alongside
the control enclosure on a plinth for easy
access and heat control. The whole system is
contained within a thermally-efficient shed
that features a cyclone-resistant roof.
The roof-mounted PV array is carried on this
tropical roof, reducing the overall footprint of
the installation. The shed is divided into an
equipment room, a battery room and a
generator room; all with the appropriate
controlled level of personnel access.
The performance monitoring of this site is
primarily done through the data collection
functionality of the inverter. The inverter
records internal parameters such as PV
current, battery voltage, temperatures and
loads. The inverter stores data at selected 15minute intervals.

Each of the connected buildings has an


energy management unit or energy meter fitted
to control demand-side management. This
ensures use by each connected building is
monitored and splits the power into three
discrete buses essential, discretionary and
generator only. The intent of this is to provide a
staged shutdown of supply if the power use
exceeds the allocated capacity.
Refrigerators, and lights are installed on
the essential bus, while the balance of the
lighting load, the ceiling fans and power outlets
are connected to timed circuits on the
discretionary bus.

Community engagement
As the primary contractor, Bushlight
undertook significant community engagement
activities to ensure the Raymangirr community
was aware of the work ahead, and to gauge
the energy usage of each household.

Technology details: 2,400 Ah


battery bank (120 x Sonnenschein
cells), 20.9 kWp array (110 x
Suntech panels), 1 x Selectronic
18 kW inverter and 3 x Magellan
Power charge controllers, 7 x
Bushlight household energy
management units

51

Simplifying solar installations


by Russell French, Australia Sales Director, Enphase Energy

Solar technology should be simple and affordable; however, homeowners and businesses often find
themselves facing high costs and lengthy timelines during both the design and the installation
process. Microinverters present a solution.

ypically, solar systems are customdesigned following a detailed site


visit that analyses the impact of
shade at different times of the day and year,
as well as the planar orientation of roof
surfaces and general climatic conditions.
Additionally, the direct-current (DC)
wiring found in central inverter systems
requires a variety of speciality electrical
components such as combiner boxes, large
wire sizes and conduits. This can result
in an overly complicated and laborious
design and installation process.
It was exactly this combination of cost and
complexity that faced Enphase Energys cofounder, Martin Fornage, when he bought a
photovoltaic (PV) solar system for his home
in 2006. After seeing how the string inverter

system worked, Mr Fornage decided there


must be a way of building a more efficient
and more effective solution.
This was the catalyst for creation of the
worlds first commercially-available
microinverter, which was launched by United
States-based Enphase in 2008.

Desperately seeking: an easier


design and installation process
Microinverters simplify the solar experience,
because the microinverter design process is as
simple as dividing the available roof space by
the size of a solar panel and ordering the same
number of microinverters. Installers using this
system do not have to spend time designing
around shade, different roof orientations or
multiple string sizes.

Enphase Energy Australia Sales Director


Russell French.

The engagement activities, known as


Community Energy Planning, included the
development of household-specific daily
energy budgets that are agreed to by the
residents of each house.
The daily energy budget is an amount of
energy provided to the house and managed by
residents via the energy management unit. The
user-friendly interface allows residents to see how
they are tracking against their energy budget.

The 20.9 kW Raymangirr Solar Installation.


ecogeneration | may/june 13

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www.ecogeneration.com.au

ecogeneration | may/june 13

52

technology installation

Microinverters require fewer electrical


components than traditional inverters, and they
are not limited by perfectly-matched solar
panels. As a result, installers have stated that
microinverter systems can reduce system
design time by more than 40 per cent.
The installation process is reasonably
simple; microinverters are bolted on to the
same racking that is in place for the solar
panels. Microinverters remove the need to
find a place to install a central inverter, which
in larger installations can require pouring a
concrete pad and building an air-conditioned
hut with a chain-link fence surrounding it.

Advancing performance,
reliability and safety
Microinverters are the first technology to
transform low-voltage DC to higher

alternating-current (AC) voltages. Every


module is connected in parallel and operates
as an independent power producer.
Designed to optimise the power conversion
process, microinverters attempt to ensure that
if one panel suffers from environmental
interference or failure from shading, dust
and debris, non-uniform temperatures or suboptimal irradiance angles it doesnt affect
the entire array.
DC circuits used within a central inverter solar
system can generate and sustain electrical arc
faults of considerable intensity, presenting shock
and fire risks. This is because the solar panels
continue to produce high-voltage electricity even
when the circuit breaker has been shut off.
Microinverters, on the other hand, enable
an all-AC system that eliminates the risk of
DC arc faults. Each microinverter is utility-

Microinverters can simplify the solar design and installation experience.

The installation process


is reasonably simple;
microinverters are
bolted on to the same
racking that is in place
for the solar panels.

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interactive, meaning the disconnection from


utility power by shutting off the circuit
breaker automatically results in the complete
shutdown of every solar panel.

your business

The evolution of AC modules


The logical next step is to integrate
microinverter technology directly into solar
panels; AC panels further simplify the design
and installation of solar systems, reducing the
overall cost of solar.
Even though AC panels seem a natural
evolution of microinverters, its crucial that
technology is tested and proven as a stand-alone
solution before integration into a solar panel.
Whether its a stand-alone microinverter or
module-integrated, the trend toward
microinverter technology is happening today in
the global solar market. In the United States,
for example, microinverters have increased
their market share over the past few years.
Russell French has 17 years experience and
full qualifications in the Australian solar power
and electrical industries. Prior to joining
Enphase, Mr French was Managing Director for
Sun Empire Solar Systems, where he was
responsible for company management and
business operations.

A microinverter installation case study from the United States


When the St Louis Cardinals baseball team in the United States decided to install a photovoltaic (PV) system at its
home base, Busch Stadium, it requested a solar system that would provide detailed performance reporting.
Module-level monitoring was also a necessity for the stadiums operations staff, who would be responsible for the
systems long-term performance.
Additionally, safety was a major consideration during the install; Busch Stadium, with a seating capacity of nearly
48,000, hosts baseball games, concerts and other events that attract large audiences. The three solar arrays for the project
were to be located in high-traffic areas within close proximity to the public; this meant that a PV system incorporating
high-voltage direct-current would not be an option.

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your skills and knowledge in a forum
tailored to clean energy professionals.
Visit www.ecogenevents.com for
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Project manager Microgrid Solar says that there was a need for multiple arrays within the stadium, with different
azimuths and tilts, necessitating the use of microinverters. Eighty-eight 240 watt (W) modules placed on the roof of the
stadiums ticket building required zero tilt; eighteen 235 W modules on top of the concession stand canopy are tilted
10 degrees. In addition, there are four modules positioned with 33-degree tilt on an awning over an interpretive display.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

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Enrol at

Media partners:

www.ecogenevents.com

54

smart grids

smart grids

How UltraBattery
could help our grid

Q&A with an UltraBattery team leader


Dr Peter Coppin, Research Leader in the Storage for Renewables Stream at
the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship, talks with EcoGeneration about
the development work behind the UltraBattery and its future commercialisation
prospects.

by Melanie Ryan

Low-cost, durable and fast with a long life-cycle and it smooths intermittent electricity from
renewable sources. The CSIRO-developed UltraBattery could be the key component of an Australian
smart grid of the future.

r Lan Lam, the primary inventor


of CSIROs UltraBattery, retired in
February 2013 after he and his team
turned battery technology into a storage unit
that simultaneously brings down the cost of
hybrid electric vehicles and makes it easier to
integrate more renewable energy into a grid.
Dr Lam leaves quite a legacy behind him:
this year, the first UltraBattery will be released
in the automotive market, powering hybrid
electric vehicles in Japan, the United States,
South America, Europe and Asia. In October
2013, the battery is also due to be installed at
Tasmanias King Island Renewable Energy
Integration Project, becoming the largest clean
energy storage system in Australia.
The UltraBattery combines a traditional lead
acid battery and a super capacitor into one;
normally they are separate components.
It sounds simple, but we have now created
a new technology that is 70 per cent cheaper
than current batteries used in hybrid electric
cars, and they can also be made in existing
manufacturing facilities, Dr Lam explains.
UltraBattery technology has now been
successfully installed in a large-scale solar
power plant in New Mexico, United States; its
storage capacity allows for intermittent
renewable energy to be smoothly supplied to
an electricity grid.
The CSIRO says that in comparison to
alternate renewable energy battery options, the
UltraBattery is more low-cost, durable, has faster
discharge/charge rates, and has a life-cycle that
is two to three times longer than a regular lead
acid battery. When intermittent electricity from
renewables is fed into the grid through
UltraBatterys smoothing process, power quality
and stability are improved. UltraBattery can also
store energy for use during peak demand times,
assisting the grid to balance supply and demand
and avoid local stress.
CSIRO UltraBattery team member Dr Peter
Coppin says that a number of large-scale
demonstration projects both completed and
ecogeneration | may/june 13

55

What is it that makes the UltraBattery unique, when compared with


other similar battery types?
The UltraBattery is a remarkable CSIRO invention that has turned the
conventional lead acid battery a 150-year-old energy storage system into a
dynamic technology.
Testing has shown that the UltraBattery has a life-cycle at least four times longer,
and produces 50 per cent more power, than comparable battery systems.
Most hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) use nickel-metal-hydride batteries, which
can be expensive to produce. When used in HEVs, the UltraBattery is a leap
Dr Peter Coppin, Research Consultant and
forward for low-emission transport and the uptake of HEVs around the world,
Leader in the Storage for Renewables Stream
due to its significantly lower-cost and higher-charge and discharge performance.
for the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship.
Production of the UltraBattery can be completed in existing lead acid battery
factories, reducing production costs by 2040 per cent than nickel-metal-hydride batteries.
UltraBattery technology can be applied to store renewable energy from wind or solar in remote areas. For electricity
suppliers, this storage capacity and smoothing of fluctuating energy levels is vital for grid stability, and could become part
of the solution to intermittency issues.
What are the next steps for continuing the commercialisation of the UltraBattery?
The UltraBattery has undergone significant testing, and will continue to undergo more testing with recent funding from
the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
Ecoult, a CSIRO spin-off company, will further test the UltraBattery; this $1.16 million pilot project will run for
30 months and will investigate remote, off-grid renewable energy supply; distributed grid-connected storage for
residential areas with small rooftop solar installations; and hybrid generation, such as diesel plus renewables, to
improve fuel efficiencies. Testing will be completed at our facilities in Newcastle, and were pleased to be part of
the project.

From left: Dr Lan Lam and the UltraBattery team at CSIRO.

in-planning have shown the batterys


applications in power system support and
smoothing. These projects include wind
smoothing at Hampton Wind Farm in New
South Wales and grid support at the PJM in
Pennsylvania, United States.
These real-world, at-scale applications are
very important, as they clearly demonstrate the
commercial viability of the UltraBattery,
Dr Coppin notes. Its exciting, as the interest in
the UltraBattery projects is building rapidly, as
managing intermittency from renewable sources
becomes more of an issue for grid integration.
CSIROs energy storage team says that it will
continue Dr Lams legacy by researching and
developing the UltraBattery, aiming to make it
lighter and more efficient. CSIRO is considering
next-generation development with new
materials and higher-energy-density
technologies, such as lithium.

In the past, the UltraBattery has undergone testing in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) in preparation
for commercialisation. The UltraBattery has passed longer-term testing for automotive applications in a Honda Insight,
reaching 100,000 miles of driving at a UK research and development facility without maintenance.
Sandia Laboratories in the US has shown that the UltraBattery has significant lifetime advantages over other battery
types in high-power stationary applications, such as electricity grid support.
The UltraBattery has been licensed to the Furukawa Battery Company Limited in Japan and East Penn Manufacturing in
the US for manufacture and distribution across the globe.
How does the UltraBattery fit into a smart grid of the future in Australia?
Renewable energy is predicted to increase to almost a third of Australias energy supply by 2050. A smart grid in a future
Australia would include seamless integration of clean energy to respond to the peaks and troughs of demand.
The UltraBattery technology.

Energy storage will be an important part of a responsive and intelligent electricity grid; UltraBattery technology could fit
into a grid that can dispatch and integrate renewable energy with its smoothing capacity.
The King Island Renewable Integration Project clearly illustrates the role storage can play in increasing the penetration
levels of intermittent renewables, into both remote/end-of-grid and larger grid-connected situations.

www.ecogeneration.com.au

www.ecogeneration.com.au

ecogeneration | may/june 13

56

events

Energy market reform


top of mind at Clean
Energy Week 2013
In 2013, the Clean Energy Councils Clean Energy Week returns with Hanwha Q CELLS as major
sponsor to focus on Rethinking Energy and bringing about energy market reform, while highlighting
the innovative efforts of clean energy companies in the Clean Energy Week awards program.

coGeneration is the Media


Partner for Clean Energy Week,
renewable energys industry-driven
conference and exhibition, incorporating
Australias largest solar event: ATRAA.
Stay tuned to www.ecogeneration.com.au
and the free weekly EcoGeneration
e-newsletter, delivered direct to your inbox, for
updates on Clean Energy Week 2013 as
conference presenters are announced and
exhibition information is posted.
In 2013, the event will showcase the hard
work and successes of businesses and projects
in Australian clean energy through its Clean
Energy Industry Awards, and its Solar Design
and Installation Awards.
Entries for the awards, closing at 5pm on
15 May 2013, can be for the following categories:

Clean Energy Industry Awards


Innovation
Community Engagement
Media
Solar Design and Installation Awards
Grid-connect solar photovoltaic (PV)
power system design and installation
under 15 kilowatts (kW)
Grid-connect solar PV power system
design and installation 15100 kW
Grid-connect solar PV power system design
and installation over 100 kW
Solar PV power system design and
installation for stand-alone/grid-connect
battery back-up
Solar hot water/heat pump design and
installation.
In 2012, Clean Energy Week Industry Award
winners included Pacific Hydro for the Business
Community Engagement Award; Dyesol for the
Innovation Award; and Giles Parkinson from
RenewEconomy for the Media Award.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

The Clean Energy Week 2013 Conference and


Exhibition, incorporating ATRAA, Australias biggest solar
event, will be held at the Brisbane Convention and
Exhibition Centre from 2426 July.
Why attend Clean Energy Week in 2013?
Hear presentations from Federal Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Minister Greg Combet, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne
and international delegates such as Natural Resources Defense Council
Senior Advisor Yang Fuqiang
Receive updates on recent industry changes from key experts, with more
speakers to be announced soon
Learn about new industry standards, and what they mean for your
business
See and discuss the latest clean energy technologies in the large trade
show in over 10,000 sq m of exhibition space
Socialise and network with more than 2,500 industry peers, and hear
from more than 170 speakers.
Whats on at Clean Energy Week in 2013?
The Professional Development Day earns installers 55 Continuous
Professional Development points towards renewal of solar design and
install accreditation with the Clean Energy Council, held on Day Two and
Day Three of the Clean Energy Week program: 2526 July 2013
The Clean Energy Debate, one of last years most popular sessions, will
return bigger than ever on Day Three of the program 26 July 2013 join
some of Australias best speakers and analysts as they nut out the future of
Australias energy system and the role for clean energy
Lunch with the financiers of clean energy on Day One of the program
24 July 2013 to help you learn how to pitch your business successfully
to those who can offer funding
A host of workforce development information.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

58

events

Technical winners in 2012 included:


Best design and installation of a gridconnect power system greater than
10 kW Laszlo Csanyi and Alan Ropers,
Todae Solar and Peter Wilson, Solar
Technology Australia
Best design and installation of a gridconnect power system less than 10 kW
Shaun Dangerfield, Reemerge
Best design and installation of a standalone power system greater than 10 kW
Philip Robertson, Bushlight
Best design and installation of a standalone power system less than 10 kW
Jeremy Wray, Lance Randall, Steve Dart,
Karl Tunnicliffe, Luke Mellor and Adam
Dudley, Aussie Solar
Best design and installation of a solar water
heating system Going Solar Pty Ltd and
Sustainable Solar and Plumbing.

In its submission for the category of Business


Community Engagement Award, Pacific Hydro
described its successful engagement with the
residents of Portland in Victorias southwest for
the four-stage Portland Wind Energy Project.
Pacific Hydro explained why the wind farms
incorporated in the project continue to enjoy
support locally, and how the farms have provided
a range of positive social, environmental and
economic benefits for the region.
Pacific Hydros community engagement in
Portland is more than a single project it is
about developing a deep and embedded
connection in the community with an identifiable
presence and ensuring that their local connection
in the community is valued and visible, the
company said in its winning submission.
When collating a submission for the best
design and installation of a grid-connect power

system greater than 10 kW, Todae Solar and


Solar Technology Australia detailed their
construction of a 10 kW solar system on the roof
of the Senate Wing of the Federal Parliament
House, Canberra, in June 2011.
From the outset, the team carefully
selected the framing materials and PV
modules that would blend well with the
building itself, the companies explained in
their submission.
Being Parliament House, the team had
various access restrictions and were often
working around the clock to carry out the
installation. This meant the project had to be
organised and timed to perfection.
This submission explained how the project
will be used as a pilot to assess how its
technologies could be further integrated across
Parliament House buildings.

DONT MISS
AN ISSUE!

Winners of the best design and installation of a grid-connected power system


greater than 10 kW award at Clean Energy Week 2012, Todae Solar and Solar
Technology Australia, included a detailed summary of system design and
installation features such as these facts and figures on system components:

Turn to page 48 to
read a profile of
Bushlights solar
project at
Raymangirr in the
Northern Territory.

Components

Specification

Relevant standard

PV modules

192 x Silex 185 Wp

CEC-approved
IEC61730;
IEC61215

Inverters

4 x SMA Stp10000tl

CEC-approved
AS4777

Framing

Clenergy, Solar Matrix Pro and Ballast

Tested and
accredited to
AS1170

Surge arrestors

Direct-current (DC): DEHN Class II type


surge arrester (on roof); SMA DC
overvoltage protector (Type II),
inputs A and B (inside inverters)
Alternating-current (AC): class I type SPD

IEC61643-1

Balance of
systems

Why subscribers love their EcoGeneration subscription:


Weve subscribed to EcoGeneration for three years and Solar Australia since it was rolled
out. Both magazines and newsletters are critical components of our information channels.
- David Woodgrove, Operations Manager, Sustainable Regional Australia

All BOS, string protection, AC and DC


AS3000;
wiring, earthing, labelling in accordance AS5033;
with CEC and ActewAGL requirements
AS4777

EcoGeneration is the most professional magazine covering the issues that I find interesting
and important in the industry. I like the mixture of technical or technological information,
with updates on policies and projects.
- Mark Schneider, Head of Power Investment, Investec Bank Australia

Renew your EcoGeneration subscription online at


www.ecogeneration.com/subscribe or call 03 9248 5100

FREE!
ecogeneration | may/june 13

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Renew your subscription to EcoGeneration magazine today to receive the Financing Clean
Energy Projects and Technologies guide (valued at $44) as a gift it features key funding
advice from industry experts to help you move your project or technology to its next stage of
commercialisation. Offer is for a limited time only.

60

company news

events

Solar industry insight:


mastering new business tools
EcoGen Events recent Master Classes on commercial-scale solar gave attendees exclusive data on
where and how the commercial solar market is set to grow in 2013.

ore than 100 solar industry


professionals from across the
country attended EcoGen Events
recent Master Class series on commercial-scale
solar. The Class provided the tools required
to help their businesses grow alongside the
trajectory anticipated in the commercial market.
Sponsored by Si Clean Energy, and held in
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide

throughout March 2013, the Master Classes


were an opportunity for professionals to learn
about key market growth segments,
commercial-scale financing solutions and
where the new business opportunities lie in
Australian solar.
Master Class presenter Nigel Morris, Director
of SolarBusinessServices, tailored his
presentation to attendees by providing answers

to attendees crucial commercial-scale


questions, and also shared his own insights
based on more than 20 years spent servicing
the solar industry.
Each class was followed by networking drinks,
also sponsored by Si Clean Energy an
opportunity for Master Class attendees to keep
the solar conversation going with Nigel and
industry peers in a relaxed and casual setting.

Slides from Nigel Morris presentation in the March 2013 Master Classes on commercial-scale solar.

Raising inverter efficacy: the


next specification frontier
In the second of a two-part series for EcoGeneration on the importance of innovation in inverter
products, OutBack Power Senior Marketing Manager Mark Cerasuolo explains the features of
OutBacks Radian inverter.
See the March/April 2013 edition of EcoGeneration magazine for part one of this article, which covered the key elements
to raising the efficacy of inverter systems and explained why mere efficiency isnt everything when it comes to inverters.

he Radian inverter features an advanced transformer with


low-idle topology that increases operational efficiency. Its
intelligent power management technology allows it to set more
effective energy priorities, and to more efficiently manage individual
inverter power-save levels in stacked multi-inverter systems.
Specifically, the Radian is capable of keeping a battery bank charged
entirely using renewable energy, instead of relying on grid power to hold
the batteries at full charge. This is especially important in a gridinteractive system, and it is why battery management is the Radians top
priority followed by using any surplus to run loads and selling the
remainder back to the grid, if anything is left over.
In effect, the Radian can master virtually any grid, renewable or utility
scenario, allowing its user to always get the highest value out of the
conditions present.
Beyond operational energy savings through lower losses and improved
design, the Radian takes efficacy to a higher level as a single platform
capable of not only operating as a grid-tied and off-grid inverter/charger,
but also managing divergence of applications and energy flow to cover a
much wider range of needs as residential and commercial power
demands also evolve.

I found the Master Class very interesting again. Nigel does a good job
and knows his stuff.
Returning attendee Anthony Devlin, Director, Smarter Green

Find all of the information you need for upcoming Master Classes and enrol at www.ecogenevents.com.au
Media partners for the EcoGen Events Master Classes:

The grid/hybrid Radian inverter/charger in a typical system, capable of both offgrid and grid-tied operation.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

61

www.ecogeneration.com.au

Terms such as efficacy and hybrid


will be increasingly used to describe
the more complex and competent
products making up the systems for
the next grid.
With renewable systems expected to make greater contributions to
conventionally-fuelled power grids of every size and type, increasing
network complexity will dictate combining the best attributes of highperformance off-grid and grid-tied inverters into next-grid inverters, a
category best exemplified by the grid/hybrid Radian.
These are some highlights from its power mode portfolio:

Generator
At OutBack Power, we often joke that the real competition to an
inverter is a generator. The Radian is equipped with sophisticated
generator functions, capable of auto-starting, stopping and controlling a
generator either to stand in for the grid or augment renewably-generated
electricity.
If a downed grid does not come back up, for example, a Radian in offgrid mode would use both generator and renewable energy sources to
run loads instead of running down batteries. Even without a continuous
source of renewable energy present (as in overcast or night conditions),
the combination of inverter and generator is a significant gain in
efficiency for the energy system. The generator runs loads part of the
time, but can simultaneously charge batteries so that the inverter can run
those same loads later without a corresponding increase in fuel usage.
Back-up
Both stand-alone and interactive grid-connected systems will need to
protect and manage the expensive battery banks upon which they
operationally depend. The Radian provides safety features such as
monitoring and adjusting for battery temperature compensation and
other parameters.
In locations where computers and other sensitive loads are present,
the value of a smarter inverter that can switch between on-grid and offgrid operation seamlessly is obvious, especially in UPS applications.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

62

company news

company news

Both stand-alone and interactive


grid-connected systems will need to
protect and manage the expensive
battery banks upon which they
operationally depend.

A Radian system using back-up and generator modes.

Mini-grid
In systems with sufficient renewable energy, this inverter function is really
the inverse of a back-up system. Here, the batteries and renewable sources
are the primary electricity source, and the grid is a distant secondary, mostly
used for conditions when renewable energy is in short supply.
This means that in such a system, an inverter may be an off-grid type up
to 90 per cent of the time, but capable of switching over as conditions
warrant again, something for which the Radian was designed.

Support
Some energy scenarios involve chronic supply problems, such as weak
local grids, inadequate local generators, or both. The Radian inverter/
charger with battery back-up can temporarily draw power from the
batteries to augment a problematic alternating-current supply, by making
the power management decisions necessary to precisely balance
available sources and maintain stability.
Offset
An inverter capable of energy divergence managing multiple sources
and directional flows is capable of sending excess energy downstream
to run loads after storing up all the direct-current the system can handle,
in lieu of selling energy upstream back to the grid if that is limited by
local regulations.
In places such as Hawaii, with both very high electricity costs and
limited sell-back options, the ability to put every bit of renewable
energy to work is invaluable, and that is exactly what the Radian was
designed to accomplish.

A Radian system using mini-grid mode.

A Radian system using offset and support modes.


ecogeneration | may/june 13

As more people realise the benefits of combining off-grid independence


with grid-tied economics, multi-talented hybrid inverters such as the Radian,
capable of operating in multiple modes and with higher efficacy across all of
them, will be frequently found at the centre of smarter, more diversified
power systems.
Terms such as efficacy and hybrid will be increasingly used to describe the
more complex and competent products making up the systems for the next
grid and maybe even challenging some of the closely-held belief systems
going back to renewable energys beginning stages.
Mark Cerasuolo manages marketing at OutBack Power, a designer and
manufacturer of balance-of-system components for renewable and other
energy applications. Previously, Mr Cerasuolo held senior marketing roles at
the state of Washingtons Department of Commerce, the Leviton
Manufacturing Corporation, Harman International and the Bose
Corporation, and was active in the Consumer Electronics Association.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

63

Helping Australia
meet its solar potential
Upsolar Australia Country Manager Maree Viotto explains why smart modules are an efficient
solution to drive further expansion of the Australian solar market.

hen Australias solar photovoltaic


(PV) capacity reached 2.144
gigawatts at the end of 2012,
this represented 3.2 per cent of the countrys
energy mix. While a 110 per cent boost in
solar capacity since 2010 is no small feat, the
continent known for its abundant sun certainly
holds the potential for more explosive growth.
Average household electricity prices in
Australia now exceed those in Japan, the
European Union, the United States and
Canada. According to a report by the Energy
Users Association of Australia, electricity costs
will only continue to increase, likely reaching
30 cents per kilowatt hour by 2014.
A combination of these high electricity
prices, ample sunlight and a dry climate with
undeveloped land make Australia one of the
worlds most promising markets for solar
power generation. Residential-scale solar in
Australia has already achieved grid parity, and
homeowners from coast to coast are seeing
major savings on their electricity bills.
While empty rooftops and undeveloped
land offer a host of opportunities to grow the
countrys solar capacity, they also pose
challenges for traditional PV systems where
each module is connected in series circuits
and tied to a central inverter.
Say, for example, your rooftop is prone to
partial shade from gum trees. A conventional
PV system set-up is such that it will
instinctively lower its output to match that of
the worst-performing module and negatively
impact your overall power output.
The same thing goes for systems built on
uneven terrain; multiple module tilts mean
some are receiving more light than others and,
again, the systems performance will drop.
Fortunately, the emergence of smart
modules has addressed these issues and more.
Smart modules contain embedded intelligence
from technologies like power optimisers, which
work in tandem with a central inverter to
achieve stronger conversion efficiency.
Power optimisers enhance PV system
performance and design flexibility, offering a
www.ecogeneration.com.au

Remote monitoring provides module-level visibility and insight into the performance of a smart module system.

Smart modules are a natural evolution in solar PV


technology one that instantly expands the
scope of viable project sites across Australia.

simpler installation process and increased


tolerance to shade. Smart modules also
enable monitoring and alerting of individual
module performance through intuitive
software and mobile applications, affording
project owners greater transparency into the
health of their solar investments.
For system operators, this feature takes the
guesswork out of issue detection, saving them
precious time and financial resources.
Upsolar, which recently introduced its smart
module to the Australian market, integrates Tigo
Energys power optimisers into the modules
junction box to increase system production.

In 2012, the two companies unveiled the


worlds largest smart solar array in the United
States, implementing smart modules for a 2.2
megawatt project. This enabled a system design
that flowed with the vast contours of the
surrounding land, preserving the sites natural
beauty without compromising system output.
Smart modules allow Australians to combat
high electricity prices while overcoming the
performance and design challenges of
traditional solar design schemes.
Smart modules are a natural evolution in solar
PV technology one that instantly expands the
scope of viable project sites across Australia.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

64

company news

Debriefing with
Solarland Australia
Are inverters becoming more reliable? What do central inverter and microinverter companies predict
next for the inverter segment of the solar market? Solarland Australia Managing Director Sam Andrews
provides his thoughts to EcoGeneration to help answer these key inverter questions and more.
EcoGeneration: What has been the
biggest change in the inverter
industry in the past 12 months?
Sam: Other than the obvious declines in
prices across most segments of the inverter
market, one big change that we are witnessing
(and participating in) at Solarland is the
significant trend towards the increased use of
distributed electronics in commercial
photovoltaic (PV) systems.
We are seeing a lot more string inverters
being used in large commercial sites that
would previously have used larger central
inverters. Twelve months ago, it was not
common to see microinverters used in
commercial PV systems (greater than, say,
50 kilowatts). Now, at Solarland and amongst
our microinverter competitors, we are routinely
seeing alternating-current (AC) modules and
microinverters used in commercial systems of
up to 1 megawatt (MW) around the world.
Commercial system owners are recognising
the benefits of distributed electronics in terms
of energy harvest, system up-time, safety, and
operations and maintenance costs. This is the
same kind of trend that has been happening in
information technology, where the benefits of
distributed processing and redundant systems
have made it the dominant paradigm in
computing. Interestingly, this trend has not yet
reached the large utility-scale PV systems,
although we expect that over time, it will.

EcoGeneration: What are the


biggest obstacles you see that the
inverter market has to overcome?

Sam: Quality and reliability remain the


single biggest problem for the inverter market.
The market has a track record of releasing
products that do not meet customer
expectations in terms of failure rates, up-time
and quality.
A recent study published by SunEdison
pointed to inverters as the single largest source
of maintenance in their PV fleet more than
50 per cent. While module lifetime has been
established at more than 25 years, inverter
lifetime is still in the 510-year range. In a
central inverter system, a failure means lost
ecogeneration | may/june 13

revenue and expensive emergency repairs.


Solarland, with our partners at SolarBridge,
has been almost singularly focused on product
reliability since its inception. SolarBridge was
the first manufacturer to offer a 25-year
inverter warranty, backed by a patented design
that eliminates all of the components that
typically fail prematurely in inverters, giving
Solarland the confidence to offer back-to-back
25-year warranty on panels and inverters,
offering a true AC module.
Our goal is to set the expectation for the
industry that an inverter can and should be
as reliable as a module, and that an AC
module with an integrated warranty is
something customers can rely on for the life
of their PV system.

EcoGeneration: What are the most


common solar applications for
microinverters?

Sam: To date, grid-tied residential PV has


been the most common application for
microinverters and AC modules. The most
recent data Ive seen is that microinverters now
account for over 30 per cent of all residential
PV in the United States, which has been an
amazing disruption to the PV market.
Our target at Solarland Australia is to bring
the same level of disruption to the Australian
market. In the last 12 months, however, we
have seen an increased interest from our
customers in the use of AC modules in
residential and commercial PV systems. Our
belief is that the main driver is the reduction in

operating and maintenance costs as a result of


having no single point of failure in the system.
This allows maintenance to be scheduled on a
predictable basis.

EcoGeneration: What benefits do


AC modules offer over detached
microinverters?

Sam: One of the greatest advantages of


AC modules over detached microinverters is
decreased installation time for installers.
As discussed, the price of PV components has
fallen dramatically over the past 24 months,
meaning that balance-of-system components
and labour costs are taking up a much larger
part of the equation. Enabling installers to install
AC modules twice as fast as it would take them
to install detached microinverters means that
installation costs are reduced, and consumer
prices come down.
In addition to this, installers and consumers
alike have a single point of contact for support.
Solarland has a local technical support team in
Australia that can provide all of the support
necessary for both panel and inverter servicing
requirements, as well as providing all other
balance-of-system components there is only
one service contact number required.
This, in addition to the greater energy harvest,
reliability and safety of AC modules, provides a
significant value-add to any distributor, installer
or consumer in the market today. Solarland is
excited to have the opportunity to bring this
new technology to the Australian market after
its proven track record in the United States.

Commercial system owners are recognising the


benefits of distributed electronics.
Solarland Australia Managing Director Sam Andrews

www.ecogeneration.com.au

66

company news

company news

67

Powering excellence in storage


by Philip Daries, Regal Electro

Regal Electro provides the finest energy solutions teamed with the best service, making the company
an industry leader in the fast-evolving world of renewable energy storage.

orking in diverse spheres,


Regal Electros advanced
battery technologies keep
the company at the forefront.

Systems available at Regal Electro

Hybrid solar systems and


their storage potential
What does the Australian solar sector need to keep in mind when it comes to energy back-up and
storage? Solar360s James Grant takes a look at what is quickly becoming Australias hottest topic.

here has been a lot of buzz of late


about solar hybrid alternating-current
(AC)-coupled systems that enable energy
produced from renewable resources to be
stored until needed that is, during peak times.
Energy storage and smart grid technologies
will continue to enter the market during 2013,
with some potentially big breakthroughs in
market-ready batteries and their battery
management systems possible during the year,
along with other mechanical storage solutions.
This is largely being driven by multinationals
such as GE, Siemens, and Chinese and Korean
firms although there are some active
Australian companies, such as Selectronic.
With reductions to feed-in tariffs and other
government incentives for renewable
technologies happening all over the world,
consumers are looking for ways to gain energy
security away from the national electricity
retailers, and secure the price of electricity they
pay for.
Using a battery bank in the home can be an
effective way to store energy for future use.
Surplus energy from a photovoltaic system can
be stored in battery packs, as a stand-alone or
to power up electric vehicles.
An additional benefit of energy storage is to
reduce peak-usage charges on an electricity

bill. Some retailers offer time-of-use rate plans,


in which the price of electricity varies based on
the time of day. Rates are higher during the
afternoon when electric demand is at its peak
across the whole network.
A storage system may help save more money
by drawing power from a battery instead of
from the grid during higher-rate peak hours;
the battery can then be recharged during lower
rate, off-peak hours.

A storage system may


help save more money
by drawing power from
a battery instead of
from the grid during
higher-rate peak hours.
A traditional grid-connected solar power
system doesnt give fully independent power
supply. If the grid goes down, power is lost.
Inverters are designed to shut off automatically
during black outs.

The good news is that its possible to add a


battery storage option to most systems to
attain an uninterrupted supply. Its possible to
run an entire home, office or other
commercial site from a hybrid system during
grid outages. To keep costs down, consider
running only essential electrical items during
an outage.
A typical battery back-up option would use
a 400 ampere-hour, 24 volt battery bank,
providing approximately 6 kilowatt hours of
back-up power enough to run a refrigerator,
freezer, lights and a television for a day, or
longer if its sunny. This adds approximately
$10,000 to the cost of a standard gridconnected system.
Gel batteries require no maintenance, as
long as a back-up generator is connected to
keep battery levels high when solar or wind
is not maintaining this supply. Solar360
recommends Selectronics SP Pro inverter in
this case, as it will manage this type of
system well.
At Solar 360, we offer a complete range of
Selectronic SP Pro inverters along with all
hybrid and off-grid equipment requirements.
This innovation in our product range will help
our customers adapt to an ever-changing and
challenging solar market.

Up to 48 kilowatt hours (kWh)


In this sector, Regal recommends our Power
Charge Endurogel range: VRLA (sealed lead
acid) batteries with gel electrolyte and a
unique catalyst.
Incorporation of a catalyst extends life by
preventing water loss, and by enabling
excellent performance to be sustained in hot
Australian conditions. The advantages of this
technology have been proven by many
government and international corporations
for further information on the Endurogel
catalyst, visit www.regalelectro.com.au

www.ecogeneration.com.au

4.8 kWh and above (lithium)


Our ENLIFEN batteries cover a wide range
of lithium polymer systems commencing at
100200 ampere-hours, 48 volt direct-current,
and extending to containerised solutions of
12 megawatts and above. Over the years of
our experience in supplying lithium batteries
for use in numerous applications, there have
never been any fire or explosion issues.

Benefits enjoyed by lithium battery users


include:
High cyclic ability our premium lithium
batteries attain up to 4,000, 80 per cent
DOD cycles
Lower weight-to-charge ratio, greater
durability in high-temperature applications
and lower internal resistance
Faster charge and discharge capabilities
providing critical advantages including
capacity to quickly absorb solar energy in
conditions of limited sunlight.

Regal Electros team looks


forward to providing solutions
for energy storage projects.
For further information, visit
www.regalelectro.com.au

CAPTURE YOUR POWER!


SOLAR, HYDRO, WIND..
REGAL ELECTRO HAS THE RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE SOLUTION.
6-12V POWER CHARGE ENDUROGEL
Designed for Australian
conditions with a Catalyst
to extend life in hot climates.
Available from 6V180-260Ah
12V26-260Ah

ENLiFEN LITHIUM POLYMER


Battery of the future Innovative,
Long Life, Cyclic.
Available from Small Cells to
Large MW Containerised Solutions

Specication
Manual
Available on
request

2V POWER CHARGE ENDUROGEL


Advanced Gel Battery boasting
Catalyst Technology with racking for
superior performance.
Available from 2V100Ah 1000Ah C/10

2V POWER CHARGE OPzV


Tubular Plates and Sliding Pole
Technology ensures this battery is one
of the most versatile for energy storage.
Available from 2V211Ah3222Ah C/10

TO ENERGISE YOUR NEXT PROJECT CONTACT US NOW!

AUSTRALIA WIDE: 1300 734 253 | NEW ZEALAND WIDE: 06 344 4123

For further information about the inverter, hybrid and off-grid equipment range available through Solar360,
visit www.solar360.com.au
ecogeneration | may/june 13

48144 kWh
We recommend OPzV technology in this
storage range; plates used in our OPzV
batteries are manufactured in a manner that
extends battery life by ensuring active
materials are more tightly attached to their
grids. Power Charge OPzV batteries also
incorporate a unique sliding pole technology,
providing higher durability through prevention
of ruptures.

Email: sales@regalelectro.com.au | Web: www.regalelectro.com.au

www.ecogeneration.com.au

ecogeneration | may/june 13

68

company news

Modules that power


on and perform again
PIVOTAL Solar Solutions Sales Director Gonzalo Muslera reflects on how the solar industry has
changed over time, by looking at changes in the lifecycle of the SCHOTT Solar module between
2005 and 2013.
Then (200508)

Now (2013)

SCHOTT Solar Poly 200-225

SCHOTT DESIGNED MODULES WITH 25 YEAR


LINEAR WARRANTY!

SCHOTT Solar Power and Perform Poly 250


Potential induced degradation-resistant, new
35 mm frame

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems


ISE 25-year long-term test study

Fraunhofer Institute 25-year long-term test


study
ko-Test Excellent Grade
Solarpraxis test Excellent Grade

5-year manufacturing warranty

10-year manufacturing warranty

25-year, two-step performance warranty

25-year linear performance warranty

Made in Germany, Czech Republic, United


States of America by SCHOTT Solar AG

Made in China by SCHOTT Hareon Solar Power


Company

hat defines a high-quality solar


module? Does country-of-origin
really matter in todays solar market?
When I commenced working in solar in 2005,
the total number of megawatts (MW) of solar
photovoltaic (PV) installed in Australia up to
2005 was just under 2 MW in total. Industry
sentiment undeniably supported the notion that
solar module quality was ruled by the
Europeans. The Asian output was defined by the
likes of Sharp and Kyocera from Japan, and
Suntech Power was only just getting started.
Today, almost every state in Australia installs
well over 1 MW of solar per month. 2012 saw
close to 1 gigawatt (GW) installed during the
year, and more than 90 per cent of the product
imported into Australia came from China.
Back in 2005, SCHOTT Solar was considered
an industry leader. Owned by German company
SCHOTT AG, a 127-year-old company, SCHOTT
Solar embraced its parent company mission
expertise, experience, and a manufacturing
excellence made of ideas.
This philosophy produced world-class solar
panel innovation. Manufacturing in Germany,
Czech Republic and the United States, SCHOTT
Solar defined Tier 1 German quality, and China
seemed a very far-away place for the industry
in general.
SCHOTT Solar was one of very few companies
holding independent long-term test results
beyond 25 years. By October 2012, however, it
seemingly ended for SCHOTT: all manufacturing
ecogeneration | may/june 13

in Europe and the United States ceased. Was it


the end of an era? No.
SCHOTT Solar polycrystalline modules are
definitely still here; in fact, they never really
went away. A global financial crisis, a
European crisis and several political changes
contributed to altering many industries
uniquely so the renewables industry. China, at
the same time, solidified its intentions of
being a global solar powerhouse.
As I made my transition out of SCHOTT
Solar and into PIVOTAL Solar Solutions in late
2012, I had to respect the changing playing
field. The market signals were clear reduce
price, and/or lower production costs to meet
market price in the face of a persistent solar
glut, or perish.
In speaking with many mainly Asian module
and inverter manufacturing companies at the
time, it was refreshing to realise that the solar
industry is capable of changing not only for its
survival, but in essence, for the better. China,
as a manufacturing hub, is maturing and
delivering in this sense.
SCHOTT recognised this too, partnering with
Hareon Solar Power Company to produce
modules in China from a SCHOTT module
manufacturing-dedicated plant. The plant
produces 300 MW of SCHOTT Power and
Perform modules annually, continuing the
SCHOTT Solar success story.
PIVOTAL Solar Solutions believes the quality
of the SCHOTT Power and Perform Poly 250

PIVOTAL Solar Solutions Sales Director


Gonzalo Muslera.

modules from China retain the design and


manufacturing excellence they were always
known for being made by the SCHOTT Hareon
Solar company. They remain German-designed,
and, now manufactured in best-in-class
manufacturing facilities in China, German
ingenuity is retained.
Things have changed substantially in 8 years,
and country-of-origin should no longer matter,
as there are many examples such as SCHOTT
Hareon of companies utilising the highestquality manufacturing machinery, regardless of
country-of-origin.
I discovered in my own research that
SCHOTT Solar is every bit the high-quality, if
not better, product today that it was always
known for in 2005.

PIVOTAL Solar Solutions is a


national solar and wholesale
distribution company, and has a
range of modules on offer
including SCHOTT Power and
Perform Poly 250 modules,
inverters, racking and balance of
electrical, for all installation needs.
For further information,
contact 1300 935 145 or
sales@pivotalsolar.com.au
www.ecogeneration.com.au

SCHOTT SOLAR MODULES ARE BACK!


SCHOTT POWER POLY 250
German Designed
Above 90% yield after 26 years

E XC E New T
LLE N SCHOTT module designed with 50
years experience.

All new frame design, strong and robust


Oko and Solarpraxis test approved
construction makes handling better!
DOWNLOAD
PID resitant, hotspot free

DOWNLOAD

When QUALITY matters, use SCOTT!

E XC E LLE N T

Contact us on sales@pivotalsolar.com.au
or phone us on 1300 935 145

70

up close

company news

Surpassing the one million


mark for PV inverter sales
Power-One, a global manufacturer of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and
management solutions, has surpassed the one million mark for solar photovoltaic inverters sold
worldwide.

Conergy Australia Managing Director David


McCallum and Rexel Energy Solutions Executive
General Manager Michael Power

Geographically, Power-One has a presence in


regions including North America, India,
Australia, Latin America, Japan, China, the

Middle East and Africa, and is positioned to


serve the global PV market with a full
complement of products.

To learn more about Power-Ones Aurora inverter products, visit www.power-one.com/renewable-energy


ecogeneration | may/june 13

Up close with

Following his appointment as Conergy Australias Managing Director in mid-February 2013, David
McCallum explains how Conergys new distribution partnerships are emblematic of Australian solars
next growth phase. Michael Power, Executive General Manager at Conergy partner company Rexel
Energy Solutions, also details the installer benefits arising from this new distribution format.

his milestone can be attributed


to the significant growth PowerOne has experienced over the
past several years, Power-One says.
In 2010, Power-One took over the number
two spot in global market share for solar
inverters, with an installed base of 3.2
gigawatts (GW).
Today, Power-One has an installed base of
more than 10 GW, representing a more than
three-fold increase in just over two years.
Power-One Renewable Energy Solutions
President Alex Levran explains We are
extremely proud of reaching this important
milestone of one million inverters sold, and are
even more pleased with our impressive global
installed base of 10 GW.
This truly speaks to our technology
leadership, our steady stream of new and
innovative product introductions, our
geographic expansion strategy and our strong
distribution and post-sales network. We
continue to respond to the evolving needs of
our customers, by delivering comprehensive
solutions across all market sectors and major
geographies.
As a technology company in the solar
inverter category, Power-One has leveraged
innovations to introduce products that are
highly regarded in the photovoltaic (PV)
industry, based on their flexibility and
performance.
Power-One has launched a stream of
products over past years, including most
recently the Aurora Ultra series of central
inverters that deliver the lowest levelised-costof-energy in the utility-scale segment,
according to the company.
Other products offered by Power-One include
the Aurora Trio family of three-phase string
inverters designed for commercial rooftop
applications, and the Aurora Micro, an
alternative for the residential market.

71

www.ecogeneration.com.au

onergy Australia Managing Director


David McCallum has seen several peaks
and troughs shape Australias solar
industry over his seven years of involvement
in solar with Conergy. Mr McCallum notes
that it has been an exciting and buoyant
ride; despite 2012 being a tough year,
Conergy has made strong progress, and the
industry is entering a new phase in 2013.
Reinforcing this upturn was the
announcement from Bloomberg New Energy
Finance in 2012 that Conergy holds the Tier 1
position as the highest-ranked European
brand for solar modules most frequently used
in large developments.
The Australian solar industry has
established itself exceptionally well within the
global market; rebates have been utilised and
gradually retracted over a number of years, and
we are now focusing on solar array generation
for consumers and business, rather than purely
focusing on the cost of purchasing a system,
Mr McCallum says. The market mindset not
only in Australia but globally in regard to
perspectives on the performance of a system
has changed, progressively moving away from
how cheap can I buy one?
Conergy sits well within this new phase, Mr
McCallum contends, because of the
companys position as an early adopter and
market leader in Australia, having entered the
Australian market in 2005. Far from resting
on its laurels, the company is looking ahead
to future growth areas.
We are positioned well within the
Australian market, but weve gone through
changes. Like all businesses, if youre not
moving, searching and seeking the next step,
youll find yourself no longer in the industry,
he notes. Were always on the lookout for
www.ecogeneration.com.au

where the market will turn to next, and where


Conergys next position will be within that
market to best service our customers and the
end user.
The direction Conergy Australia is taking in
2013 is different to past years. Whereas
previously the company was readily available
to everyone in the market, in order to meet the
requirements of that markets intensive
distribution configuration, it is now
restructuring to create dedicated networks with
exclusive distribution partners.
Mr McCallum explains On the back of feedin tariffs adjusting, where the industry now
needs to stand on its own two feet and deliver
services to the market at a fair price, theres an
opportunity for Conergy to reorganise its
position; we have done that, scouring the
country to look at every state and territory and
to restructure our sales strategy.
Since early last year, Conergy has worked to
develop a network of exclusive Conergy
PowerPlus Partners for its German-made
PowerPlus solar module. These partners have
exclusive territories around Australia, selling
Conergys premium product for domestic and
commercial applications.
We provide them with great structure and
support for the delivery of service into their
dedicated areas, giving the partners a lot of
stability, and the ability to market and deliver
services on an exclusive basis within their
territory, Mr McCallum says.
In most metropolitan cities in Australia,
weve now concluded our invitations to business
partners, and nine out of ten have accepted
those invitations to join our future. We look
forward to building on that as years roll by for a
healthier and more sustainable business model,
and to better service our customers and enable

Conergy Australia Managing Director David


McCallum.

our products to be available nation-wide


through exclusive channels.
In addition, there are territories within
Australia where theres room for expansion of
the Conergy PowerPlus Partner program, in
locations where we havent as yet identified an
appropriate partner theres room for that
expansion without diminishing the benefits of
the program to the existing partners with their
exclusive, defined territories.
PowerPlus partnerships primarily service the
domestic market, and on the back of this,
Conergy has entered a wholesale market
partnership with Rexel Energy Solutions to
service a wider installer network, allowing
smaller photovoltaic (PV) businesses to access
Conergy products as well.
Rexel Holdings Australia, Australias largest
electrical wholesale group, incorporates several
brands in every state and territory and has
more than 170 branches. Mr McCallum says
that in distributing Conergy products, Rexel will
enable installers to pick up a single component
of a product or system, or to order kits from
their local store.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

72

up close

Mr McCallum adds that times of past


years where small, medium and large
retailers were ordering and being supplied
bulk container volumes of inventory have
reduced, in terms of the number of clients
operating in that capacity with the
capability to receive large volumes into their
own warehouse.
A PV installer or retailer can now go to any
Rexel store nation-wide and place orders for
PV kits, and Rexel will provide Conergy
modules, inverters and mounting systems
along with all of the ancillary electrical
equipment required. If the installer has sold
five systems this week, he or she can call into
Rexel next week and order the five systems.
Working capital-wise, and business
management-wise, for the smaller installers
and retailers this will provide a significant
advantage and benefit to them in terms of
how they are able to access inventory without
having to purchase it in large pallet or
container volume quantities.
Rexel Energy Solutions Executive General
Manager Michael Power agrees, pointing out
that installers can get on with business,
dealing with their customers and lining up
work, and they can rely on us to get the
products to them as and when required.
Their focus becomes more about the
customer interface and installation aspects,

rather than having to worry about supply


chain issues.
Mr Power adds that Rexel has business
development managers in each state, who can
support installers with product awareness and
general advice on Conergy products.
We can depend on Conergy to back us
technically, and we provide the access points
across the country to provide services for
their products, meaning Conergy can get on
with developing solar farms and continuing
major investments in the PV market,
Mr Power explains.
We have three solar experts within Rexel
that can provide advice on installs one in
Sydney, one in Brisbane and one in Darwin. If
the local branch doesnt have an answer, they
know who to access to get a quick and easy
response back on any query.
Mr McCallum adds Behind Rexel, we
provide engineering, design, installation and
grid connection support, plus other
procurement and construction services.
Mr Power says that what Rexel can offer
over and above what an installer would have
received dealing with Conergy directly is that
with the Australian solar market maturing, the
size of the market is maturing, and installers
need other projects to work on.
Within our offering, we not only do
renewables such as solar, we also do energy

efficiency products and we can help


installers understand how they can get into
energy efficient lighting applications,
sensors, motors and drives, heating and
ventilation, pool pump power-savers,
power-quality equipment, monitoring
systems and more.
Rexel is bringing a new energy
monitoring system to Australia in mid-2013
from its business in the United Kingdom,
which Mr Power points to as an example of a
product that installers could offer as a valueadd to their previous PV customers.
These customers would obviously have an
interest in power consumption, as theyve
done something about it previously by
installing solar, he says. We can offer a
cloud-based system where home or business
owners can measure energy use right down
to the appliance to make decisions and
change behaviour to further reduce their
power consumption. The system requires
installation, so for businesses who are
installing solar, we can train them to install
these products as well.
Businesses or individuals with questions
about the Conergy PowerPlus Partner
network or the Conergy/Rexel distribution
network can visit www.conergy.com.au or
www.rexelenergy.com.au, or email
info@conergy.com.au with enquiries.

GET THE
VERY
BEST
Our jobs board exclusively lists jobs in the
clean energy industry, which means you
can nd the very best role that ts your
skills, knowledge and passion.
For further information, contact Tim
Thompson on 03 9248 5100 or at
thompson@gs-press.com.au
ecogeneration | may/june 13
ECO_Jobs_HP_2012_JOB.indd

73

Mark Schneider, Head of Power Investment, Investec Bank Australia


How long have you been involved
in the clean energy industry?
I first engaged in wind farm development
work in 1998 that makes it 15 years. How
time flies!

What do you love about the


industry?
First and foremost, I love the idea that we
work in an industry that is playing a critical role
in ensuring that our way of life is sustainable.
I also like the fact that the industry is full of
people who value integrity and honesty. I find
that relationships in the renewable energy
industry, even between ostensible competitors,
are underpinned by respect and trust.
Our dynamic industry is never short of
challenge, but neither is it short of opportunity.
Investec Bank Australia Head of Power Investment
Mark Schneider.

What do you find most


challenging about the industry?
I find it challenging that there seems to be a
twist around every corner, and always a new
uncertainty to deal with. Just when you think
that the uncertainty is over because the Climate
Change Authority has completed and published
a positive review of the Renewable Energy
Target, a federal election is announced

Why do you read EcoGeneration


magazine?

JOB

Weve created a dedicated jobs board


for people in the clean energy industry.


Reader profile

reader profile

EcoGeneration is the most professional


magazine covering the issues that I find
interesting and important in the industry. I like the
mixture of technical or technological information,
with updates on policies and projects.

What type of articles do you most


look forward to reading about the
industry?
My favourite articles are those that report on
projects happening around Australia. They offer
a ready means of finding out what is actually
happening throughout the country.

What are you looking forward to


for renewable energy in 2013?
I think we are on the verge of a very exciting
period as the prevailing Renewable Energy
Certificate surplus starts to drop off.
It may be a couple of years yet before the
surplus turns into a deficit, but given the leadtimes for new projects, we should shortly see
growing activity with an imminent rise in
construction starts for grid-scale renewable
energy projects.
Mark Schneider is Head of the Power
Investment Group in Investec Bank Australia.
Mr Schneiders team is responsible for
originating, implementing and managing power
industry investments for the bank and its clients,
with a particular focus on clean energy. Prior to
joining Investec in 2002, Mr Schneider worked
for the National Australia Bank and Societe
Generale. He was a member of the Participant
Advisory Committee to the Board of the National
Electricity Market Management Corporation
(NEMMCO) from 2003, until the responsibilities
of NEMMCO were assumed by the Australian
Energy Market Operator in 2009.

What role has Investec Bank played in Australian clean energy?


Investec Bank Australias Power Investment team is a leading developer of clean energy projects in Australia and New
Zealand.

Visit

www.ecogeneration.com.au/jobs

and nd your job today

Qualied. Professional. Experienced. Get the very best.

www.ecogeneration.com.au
27/02/13 7:07 PM

In March 2010, the team completed the pre-construction development of the Collgar Wind Farm in Western Australia, a
$750 million, 206 megawatt project. As developer of the Collgar project, the Investec team was responsible for the full
gamut of development tasks including securing development approval, arranging for the sale of power and Renewable
Energy Certificates to Synergy, negotiating a network connection agreement with Western Power, contracting for turbine
supply, construction, operations and maintenance with Vestas, and arranging external equity and debt finance for
construction.
Some of the teams other successes include the Oaklands Hill wind project in Victoria and the Coopers Gap wind project
in Queensland, both sold to AGL Energy in December 2008. The team is also the developer of the Cherokee project, a
large-scale, low-carbon-intensity, gas-fired power station. Investec is currently extending its development activities to
include grid-scale solar power.
www.ecogeneration.com.au

ecogeneration | may/june 13

74

Sydney Airport
Hotel Cogeneration

Upcoming events

Atop the roof of the new Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel sits a 70 kilowatt cogeneration system that is
expected to deliver energy savings of up to 350,000 kilowatt hours per annum.

Project Name: Rydges Sydney


International Airport Hotel
Cogeneration System
Site Owner: Denwol Group
Cogeneration system supplier
and installer: Simons Green
Energy
Commissioning date: March
2013
System type: Reciprocating
cogeneration system
Total Electrical Power: 70 kWe
Operation modes: Parallel grid
connection and island mode
emergency power connection
Capacities: 70 kWe, 109 kWt
Fuel Source: Natural gas
Manufacturer: SEVA Energie
Engine: MAN

The Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel Cogeneration


System.
ecogeneration | may/june 13

75

environmental credits update

project profile

imons Green Energy supplied and


installed a SEVA Energie cogeneration
system that is due to provide the new
Rydges Airport Hotel at Sydney Airport with
70 kilowatts (kW) of electrical power to
supplement power purchased from the grid.
Also featured in the installation are domestic
hot water storage tanks with sufficient capacity
to supply the hotels potable hot water
requirements; hot water tanks will be powered
by the waste heat from the cogeneration
systems engine.

Site location
The cogeneration unit and hot water storage
tanks are installed on the roof of the Rydges
Hotel building in a weatherproof enclosure.
Simons Green Energys engineering team
was responsible for the design, sizing, supply,
installation, commissioning and ongoing
maintenance of the natural gas-fired
cogeneration system. For more than two years,
the team worked with asset owner Denwol
Group and appointed builder Lipman to ensure
installation and optimum system performance.

System details
The packaged SEVA Energie cogeneration
system comprises a 70 kW unit, featuring an
engine supplied by MAN. The system was
supplied as a complete factory-tested, skidmounted unit with engine, generator set,
controls and heat recovery systems all on board.
The unit is configured to run in a number of
different modes, including:
Parallel grid connection
Emergency island mode to provide power
to pre-selected critical services.
Electricity produced by the cogeneration unit
will provide a portion of the hotels requirements;
the waste heat from the engines jacket water
and exhaust gases will be captured to produce
domestic hot water at 65 C.
The hot water will be stored in three
3,500 litre Edwards LEX350 hot water storage
tanks. As the hot water is produced for free
via the waste heat of the cogeneration plant, it
will reduce costs by decreasing the amount of
hot water needed from the sites traditional
natural gas-fired hot water boilers.

Delivering results
The Rydges Hotel cogeneration system is
capable of producing up to 350,000 kW hours of
electricity and close to 485,000 kW hours of
thermal energy per year.
Simons Green Energy Chief Executive Derek
Simons says The cogeneration system installed
at the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel will be a
great platform for other hotels to follow. The
system is technologically advanced and very
efficient at about 85 per cent conversion
efficiency compared with 30 per cent efficiency
for conventional grid-supplied electricity.
The system has an expected life span of more
than 20 years.

Rydges goes environmental


The Rydges Sydney International Airport Hotel
will officially open in May 2013, and has
embraced environmental initiatives in accordance
with the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited
Environmental Management Strategy, including:
Energy management and reduced
greenhouse emissions through cogeneration
Water management (storm water quality,
groundwater quality and water
conservation)
Waste and resource management with
80 per cent of demolition and construction
waste being recycled
Biodiversity and conservation management
Soil and land management.
Denwol Group Director Phillip Wolanski says
Our objective in following this path was to
show some foresight and real environmental
sensitivity. We wanted any green initiatives to be
practical, have strong environmental outcomes
and provide us with financial payback over time.
The cogeneration unit provides us with these
three criteria.

Solar 2013 Conference


and Expo
2324 May 2013
Melbourne Convention
and Exhibition Centre

Global Wind Day


15 June 2013
Worldwide
Clean Energy Week 2013
2426 July 2013
Brisbane Convention and
Exhibition Centre

Clean Power Asia Conference and Expo


2930 April 2013
Bangkok, Thailand

Registrations
now open!

All-Energy Australia
Exhibition and Conference
910 October 2013
Melbourne Convention
and Exhibition Centre

Wind Farms 2013


2730 May 2013
Bayview Eden, Melbourne

Registrations
now open!

Environmental credits update


There are a number of domestic and international markets that now exist for what can be termed environmental credits this is where other
attributes to the generation of electricity are recognised and rewarded. Businesses active in the sustainable energy industry need to be aware of the
emerging opportunities that may be available both in Australia and overseas.
The following information has been provided by Nextgen (www.nges.com.au) and relates, unless otherwise indicated, to the spot prices in
Australian dollars, as of 12 April 2013.

No. of certs created to date

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

Large-Scale Generation Certificates


(LGC - $/MWh)

151,526,912

36.15

35.75

37

Small-Scale Technology Certificates


(STC - $/MWh)

98,787,892

36.7

33.7

31.7

Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates


(VEECs - $/MWh)

16,218,122

17

17.45

19.1

Energy Savings Certificates


(ESCs - $/MWh)

2,960,843

22.45

29.35

32.75

90 Day Spot STC

90 Day Spot LGC

$/MWh

$/MWh

36.50
36.00
35.50
34.50
34.00
33.50
33.00
32.50
32.00
31.50
31.00

2/01/2013

39
38
37
36
35
2/02/2013
Daily Closing

www.ecogeneration.com.au

See EcoGeneration
at stand B17 in
the exhibition for
Solar 2013!

www.ecogeneration.com.au

2/03/2013
STC WASP

2/04/2013

34
2/01/2013

2/02/2013
Daily Closing Prices

2/03/2013

2/04/2013

Weekly WASP

ecogeneration | may/june 13

76
Advertisers Index
All-Energy Australia 2013
Altenergy Power System Inc.

47
9

Canadian Solar

43

Clean Energy Week 2013

57

CMA Solar

27

D.C. Solutions Australia P/L

40

Delta Energy Systems

45

DKSH Australia Pty. Ltd.

35

EcoGen Events

53

EcoGeneration Jobs
EcoGeneration Subscription

49, 72

Growatt New Energy Co., Ltd

48

Hareon Solar

37

MML International

11

Neo Power
Neolec

WE KNOW
CLEAN ENERGY

59

EnaSolar 21

MWM Energy Australia Pty Ltd

OUR SECRET
TO MARKETING
THAT WORKS?

2
20

Clean Energy Marketing Solutions


creates customised marketing
solutions for businesses in the clean
energy industry.
Our teams unique industry expertise
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39, 51

Omnik New Energy

31

Pivotal Solar Solutions

69

Power-One 19
Pressure Systems Pty Ltd

33

Ragu Technology Co.,Ltd

15

Regal Electro

67

Contact
Sarah Harding on 03 9248 5100 or
sharding@gs-press.com.au
ecogeneration.com.au/services

ReneSola 29
Samil Power Co Ltd
Si Clean Energy

1
IBC

SMA Australia Pty Ltd


Solar Inception Pty Ltd

44

Solar Lord

32

Solar-Log Asia Pacific

28

Coming in future editions

OBC

Solar360 41
Solarland Australia Pty Ltd

65

Surpass Sun Electric

13

Trina Solar Ltd

Feature

Feature

Feature

Deadline

Jul/Aug 2013
Solar Map

Solar

Gas

Powered by
the sea

Hydrogen

31 May
2013

Sep/Oct 2013

Bioenergy

Solar
heating and
cooling

Delivering
wind projects

Investment in
renewables

26 July
2013

Nov/Dec 2013

Region review

Energy
efficiency

Solar

Financial and
legal matters

27
September
2013

Jan/Feb 2014
Events Wall
Calendar

Wind

Geothermal

Co- and
trigeneration

Project
logistics

15
November
2013

IFC

Up Solar

Feature

17

Trade In Green Pty Ltd

Edition

25

Weidmuller Pty Ltd

Wolong International

23

XQ Solar

46

Yingli Solar

For more information on advertising in future editions, contact


Tim Thompson on 03 9248 5100, or tthompson@gs-press.com.au
ecogeneration | may/june 13

www.ecogeneration.com.au

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