Top Energy News (last week of Jan 2024)

Countrywide selects site for Devonport hydrogen project

Australian renewable hydrogen project developer Countrywide Hydrogen has chosen Wesley Vale for its proposed Devonport green hydrogen production facility. The facility aims to provide an end-to-end green hydrogen solution for emissions reduction across Tasmania. The site is in an optimal location near TasNetworks substations for grid connection and transport hubs, offering various offtake opportunities.

The 12-month option allows the company time to complete the development approval process under the Tasmanian Planning Scheme. The site is planned to form one of the initial locations of the flagship Tasmanian Hydrogen HyWay project, providing hydrogen fuelling from north to south of Tasmania.

Source: Countrywide

TotalEnergies and European Energy expand collaboration to offshore wind

TotalEnergies has partnered with European Energy to develop offshore wind projects in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. This includes acquiring equity stakes in the Jammerland Bugt offshore wind project and the Lillebaelt South nearshore wind project in Denmark. The electricity generated will be sold on the wholesale market or through Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs).

The partners also plan to develop large-scale offshore wind projects in Sweden and Finland through a joint venture, and bid for upcoming offshore wind tenders in Denmark. This collaboration aims to leverage their expertise to deliver advanced offshore wind facilities in Northern Europe, accelerating the renewable energy transition.

Source: TotalEnergies 

Morek Engineering announces funding for low-carbon floating offshore wind installation vessel

The UK Government has awarded funding to a consortium led by Morek Engineering to design a new low-carbon installation vessel for the floating offshore wind market. The consortium, including Morek Engineering, Solis Marine Engineering, Tope Ocean, First Marine Solutions, and Celtic Sea Power, secured the funding through the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4) based on their track record in innovative vessel design and delivery of complex offshore operations.

The project aims to align the detailed requirements of the emerging floating wind sector with the objectives of the UK maritime decarbonisation agenda, addressing the need for cost-effective and low-carbon solutions for the next generation of offshore wind construction vessels.

Source: Morek Engineering

Dominion Energy receives final federal approvals for Coastal Virginia offshore wind

Dominion Energy has secured final federal approvals for its 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia offshore wind (CVOW) project, on track for completion in late 2026. The approvals from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers keep the project on schedule and on budget.

The project is expected to power up to 660,000 homes and will involve the installation of 176 turbines and three offshore substations in a 113,000-acre lease area off the coast of Virginia Beach. This development marks a significant step forward for offshore wind energy in Virginia, with substantial economic and job benefits for the region.

Source: Dominion Energy

Downing Renewables acquires five Swedish hydropower plants

Downing Renewables & Infrastructure Trust plc (DORE) acquired five hydropower plants in Sweden, increasing their portfolio to 34 assets with an expected annual average production of 215 GWh. The acquisitions, funded through a long-term debt facility, aim to optimize production through better water storage and management.

Hardware and software upgrades across the portfolio will enable participation in frequency containment markets. The company anticipates most facilities to be phased into the Swedish frequency markets in 1Q24 and 2Q24. These strategic moves demonstrate DORE’s commitment to expanding its presence in the renewable energy sector and diversifying its activities.

Source: DORE

SolarSaver Enhances Dairy Farms In South Africa With Innovative Hybrid Solar-Battery Systems

SolarSaver, a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation company, has integrated batteries into the existing grid-tied setup at Burnview Dairy, creating a hybrid system. Additionally, batteries will be added to Creighton Valley Cheese Company’s grid-tied installation to boost its output by 50 kW.

The move aims to ensure a consistent power supply for dairy farms in KwaZulu-Natal, addressing challenges posed by load shedding and power outages. This initiative helps reduce electricity costs, enhance stability, and contribute to a more sustainable future for South Africa. SolarSaver has implemented similar systems at various farms in the region, emphasizing the role of renewable energy in fostering competitiveness and addressing power challenges in agriculture.

Source: SolarSaver

Egypt Explores Green Hydrogen Cooperation With Czech Republic

The Egyptian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mahmoud Afifi, discussed collaboration in new and renewable energy ventures, particularly green hydrogen projects, with Vaclav Bartuska, the country’s Special Envoy for Energy Security. Ambassador Afifi highlighted Egypt’s recent energy infrastructure advancements and its aim to attract foreign investments in the green hydrogen sector, leveraging the strategic location of the Suez Canal Economic Zone for exports to Europe.

Previous discussions in August emphasized Czechia’s potential to contribute to the development of Egyptian-European relations in trade, investment, energy, and developmental cooperation. The Czech deputy foreign minister expressed support for enhancing economic and developmental relations, addressing food and energy security concerns.

Sustainable Power Solutions Spearheads N$200 Million Solar Plant Venture In Namibia’s Mining Sector

Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS), in collaboration with Namibian socios Fortitude and the Oelofse family, is leading Namibia’s energy and mining development with a pioneering investment of N$200 million. SPS installs a 10MW solar plant in Maxwell Farm, based on NamPower’s Modified Comprador (MSB) brand, establishing a transport model that will supply energy directly to customers through NamPower’s network.

The project, anticipated to operate in the 2024 finals, marks the first case of a transport model based on the MSB mark of NamPower, used by Independent Energy Producers (IPP) to supply electricity directly to regional distributors, gigantic industrial companies and municipalities.

Source: SPS

SJVN’s SGEL Inks BoS Deal for 360 MW Solar Project with Solar World Energy Solutions

SJVN Green Energy Limited (SGEL), a subsidiary of SJVN Limited, has signed a contract with Solar World Energy Solutions Private Limited for the Balance of System (BoS) of a significant 360 MW solar power project in Bhuj, District Kutch, Gujarat. The project operates on a build-own-operate basis facilitated by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), with a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement in place.

It is projected to generate 901.87 million units annually and mitigate 1,040,975 tonnes of carbon emissions over its 25-year lifecycle, aligning with India’s carbon reduction goals. SJVN CMD NL Sharma emphasized the project’s environmental contributions and its role in advancing India’s renewable energy objectives.

Source: SGEL

RMB Facilitates R2.8 Billion Funding For SOLA Group’s Innovative Solar PV Project In South Africa

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has facilitated a substantial R2.8 billion debt and equity package for SOLA Group’s 150 MW multi-offtake solar PV project in South Africa. This initiative, one of the first multi-buyer programs in South Africa, is set to commence commercial operations by mid-2025 under various power purchase agreements.

The project aims to provide flexible power solutions to corporates seeking cost-effective green electricity through dynamic, shorter-dated contracts. RMB’s infrastructure equity head highlighted the innovative financing solution, emphasizing RMB’s role as a leading infrastructure equity financing entity. The project strengthens SOLA’s position as South Africa’s leading IPP with a portfolio totaling 581 MW of wheeling capacity under construction.

Source: RMB

PPA signed for Grenergy’s Oasis de Atacama project in Chile, featuring ‘world’s biggest’ BESS

The Spanish company Grenergy has secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the fourth phase of its Oasis de Atacama solar-plus-storage project in Chile, which boasts the world’s largest storage project capacity. Grenergy has finalized PPAs for other project phases, including a 15-year agreement with Chilean energy company EMOAC.

The project is being developed in four phases and is expected to commence operations in 2025. The fourth phase will introduce 260 MW of new solar capacity and 1.1 GWh of storage capacity. Chile has witnessed significant investment in its renewable energy sector, indicating a growing focus on sustainable energy.

Source: Grenergy

AES gets regulatory approval for 200MW, 4-hour BESS at retiring coal plant in Indiana, US

There is a significant shift in the energy landscape in the US Midwest, particularly in Michigan, which has set ambitious clean energy targets and energy storage deployment goals. The region’s increasing need for energy capacity, driven by the retirement of coal plants and growing electrification, is creating opportunities for battery storage projects.

MISO’s addition of energy storage to its wholesale market portfolio and the adoption of FERC’s electric storage resources definition are significant steps in this direction. The upcoming Energy Storage Summit USA in March 2024 will likely provide valuable insights into accelerating the energy storage market across the country.

Source: AES

LG Energy Solution predicts 30% growth in battery demand for global ESS market in 2024

LG Energy Solution predicts a 30% surge in global demand for energy storage system (ESS) batteries in 2024, led by the US. In 2023, the company achieved KW33.7 trillion (US$25.3 billion) in revenue and KW2.2 trillion in profit, representing a 31.8% and 78.2% year-on-year growth, respectively.

This growth reflects the increasing significance of energy storage, with France and Australia witnessing a wave of large-scale BESS planning and development. Additionally, long-duration energy storage is being favored over gas for supporting renewable energy in Ontario.

Source: LG

Vestas joins TagEnergy to develop Spanish wind farms

TagEnergy and Vestas have agreed to jointly develop a 220 MW wind portfolio in Castilla y León, Spain. Vestas will act as the lead developer, while TagEnergy will contribute its expertise in wind farm development and battery energy storage systems (BESS) to potentially hybridize the projects for grid stabilization.

This collaboration expands their successful partnership, which began with the Golden Plains Wind Farm in Australia. TagEnergy is also developing solar PV plants and a BESS project in Spain. Vestas’ significant wind capacity and focus on clean energy transition aim to bring economic benefits and green job creation to local communities.

Source: TagEnergy

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