The COVID pandemic, associated lockdowns and vaccinations, along with the Tokyo Olympics have dominated the news during the month.
The COVID pandemic, associated lockdowns and vaccinations, along with the Tokyo Olympics have dominated the news during the month. Nevertheless, energy news has squeezed through the cracks and here is our summary ...
- Grid strained as negative power prices kick in (2 Jul) With the surge of solar power generation, wholesale electricity prices fell below zero a record 3662 times last year.
- SA wind farms fined (4 Jul) Neonen's Hornsdale and Pacific Hydro's Clements Gap wind farms have been ordered to pay over $1.6m for breaching rules related to SA's blackout in 2016.
- Future changes flagged by Ampol CEO (9 Jul) Ampol CEO, Matthew Halliday flags changes to the humble petrol station as they transition to a one-stop destination for household needs.
- AEMO boss aims for 100% renewables (15 Jul) The head of AEMO is citing electricity market reforms and rule changes are needed to allow the power grid to handle 100% renewable energy at peak times by 2025.
- Spark's $1.5bn green energy hub unveiled (15 Jul) A 2.5-gigawatt renewable energy hub has been announced by Spark Infrastructure as it steps up its push into green power
- Australia's biggest wind farm passes first base (26 Jul) The heavily delayed 530MW Stockyard Hill facility near Ballarat, Victoria has passed its first "hold point" test but it's uncertain when full commissioning will occur
- Two large scale projects join forces for Gippsland (27 Jul) A "landmark venture" between Octopus Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Board will help deliver two large scale solar and battery storage projects in the Gippsland region
- EOI for Australia's first privately funded grid scale battery (19 Jul) In an Australian first, Lumea has commenced a selective Expression of Interest for the private financing of a 300MW gird scale battery for the Deer Park Energy Hub in Victoria
- AEMC announces key steps for battery push (19 Jul) The Australian Energy Market Commission has announced a draft plan to help integrate energy storage systems into the national electricity market
- Australia's biggest battery registered (27 Jul) The 300MW/450MWh Big Battery, near Geelong, has been registered amidst worrying concerns for a supply shortfall for future battery storage projects both nationally and globally
- Wandoan South big battery receives registration (28 Jul) Queensland's first big battery at Wandoan South has obtained its registration from AEMO and is expecting to be fully operational by the end of the year
- Fire breaks out at Tesla Big Battery (30 Jul) Fire has erupted at one of the Tesla megapack batteries at the Moorabool, Geelong site during testing
- Big battery fire under control (2 Aug) After burning for three days the large blaze at Victoria's "big battery" project in Moorabool has been brought under control by firefighters
- One of four gas power units at Torrens B station to be mothballed (8 Jul) Citing "challenging" market conditions, AGL has announced plans to mothball one of the four gas power units at its Torrens B power station in South Australia in October
- Callide C4 experiences further delays (19 Jul) The Callide C4 coal fired power station unit, at the centre of the dramatic explosion in May, is not expected to be operational until December 2022
- Power could unleash Mt Isa (20 Jul) Mt Isa's four hour blackout earlier this year, has highlighted the energy vulnerability of one of Australia's richest mineral provinces and sparked calls to fast-track power projects
- Gas price alarm raised by manufacturers (7 Jul) A surge in east coast gas prices has triggered renewed calls from indstrial gas users for the federal government to intervene and redirect exported gas from Queensland to force lower prices
- Morrison urged to "pull the trigger" on gas export caps (9 Jul) With price spikes threatening to derail plans to expand the nation's manufacturing capacity, the Australian Workers' Union has called on Scott Morrison to cap gas exports
- Industry shock as Vic gas prices hit record levels (10 Jul) Victorian gas prices have taken a huge leap to levels about 10 times the average
- Gas producers warn Federal government over gas cap threat (13 Jul) Big gas producers have formally asked Resources Minister Keith Pitt to consider capping gas prices citing a real risk of a domestic shortfall in gas availability for critical manufacturing industries
- AGL's big bet on CEO (2 Jul) Graeme Hunt will take on the tough job of steering the power giant through the pandemic crisis as he steps up as CEO of Accel Energy, an arm of the now split AGL
- Pressure mounts for AGL to go private (5 Jul) The demerger of giant gentailer AGL continues to attract attention and pressure as the pace of renewables grows, together with the strong influence of financiers and investors keen to be associated with a climate-conscious investment community
- Delay of Nexif Energy sale process (12 Jul) The sale process for the $1bn Nexif Energy by Denham Capital has been pushed back as consideration is given to divestment issues
- Spark Infrastructure receives approach from KKR & Ontario (15 Jul) Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan have put together an approach worth close to $5bn for electricity asset owner, Spark Infrastructure
- Bids received for SEA Gas stake (19 Jul) Infrastructure Capital Group has made an indicative bid for gas pipeline owner SEA Gas with industry eyeing APA Group for a late play
- Australian oil and gas landscape changes (22 Jul) A wave of MA activity is seeing the biggest shake-up to Australia's oil and gas industry in years
- CBA launches green loan (26 Jul) The Commonwealth Bank is entering new ground as it launches a green loan, wading into broadband services and taking stakes in energy price firm Amber along with More Telecom and Tangerine as industry boundaries shift
- Books open for Spark Infrastructure (28 Jul) Following a half billion dollar rise in the take-over bid from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Spark Infrastructure have thrown open their books seeking rival offers
Power Purchase Agreements
- Supermarkets ramp-up renewable credentials (30 Jul) Giant supermarket chains have ramped-up the competition for the most green credentialed supermarket group. Aldi says it has hit the target of powering all of its operations with 100% renewable energy, 6-months ahead of schedule. While Coles after completing their latest PPA (Lal Lal Wind Farm) expects to be 100% renewable in 2025, and Woolworths also states they will reach the same target at the same time.
Policy & Regulation
- Misleading electricity plans costs Sumo $1.2m in penalties (2 Jul) False and misleading respresentations in the sale of electricity plans to Victorian consumers by Sumo Power has cost the retailer $1.2 million in penalties
- Gas user setback following ACCC rebuff (2 Jul) Following pleas for changes to east coast pricing, big gas buyers have been disappointed after the ACCC rejected their pleas
- Sunboost:warranties at risk if contractor licence lost (10 Jul) Sunboost, Australia's largest residental solar company believes tens of thousands of warranties would be at risk if they were to lose their electricial contractor licence
- Barnaby Joyce: net zero support for net zero (17 Jul) National's leader, Barnaby Joyce believes his leadership would be lost if he supported the Morrison government's plan to adopt net zero emissions by 2050
- Superannuation funds push lower emissions (22 Jul) Superannuation funds find themselves under the spotlight from members keen to sell holdings in fossil fuels with a push for listed companies to lower their carbon emissions
- Misleading solar tax survey slammed by energy experts (27 Jul) Doubt has been cast over the results of a survey, commissioned by Energy Consumers Australia, that claims two-thirds of Australian consumers support the so-called "solar tax", suggesting that respondents were "badly misled" about key details of the proposed rule change