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Australia’s largest solar farm opens in the ACT

By Canfan 2 September 2014 106

Canberra is a step closer to meeting its 90% renewable energy target with the official opening tomorrow of the 20MW FRV Royalla solar farm by Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell.

The facility is the first large-scale solar farm connected to the national electricity market and is an important part of the ACT’s commitment to achieving the 90% renewable energy target by 2020.

The 83,000 panels that make up the Royalla solar farm are a tangible example of the ACT Government’s strategy to meet its and fulfils its commitment to the overwhelming majority of Canberrans, who support renewable energy technology and the government’s initiatives.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, The Honourable Mr Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, and the Ambassador of Spain to Australia, His Excellency Mr Enrique Viguera, will attend the opening of the solar farm developed by the Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

The opening will be a significant day for the territory and is a direct outcome of the ACT Government’s ambitious renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction policies.

What: Opening of the FRV Royalla solar farm
When: Wednesday 3 September 2014
Time: 1.30–2.30 pm
Where: FRV Royalla Solar Farm, Monaro Highway, Williamsdale

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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Australia’s largest solar farm opens in the ACT
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HenryBG 11:39 am 11 Sep 14

In fact, depending on where you are, wind power LCOE can vary and end up being even cheaper than predicted by the EIA:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-07/u-s-wind-power-blows-new-records-again-and-again-.html
“Onshore wind power has come of age, and not just in the U.S. This next chart shows the levelized cost of energy worldwide, using data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Average onshore wind power now costs the same as gas worldwide, at about $84 per megawatt hour. That’s without subsidies.”

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/wind-and-solar-costs-challenge-fossil-fuels-in-us-88204

“The UBS research note says that in Colorado, local utility Xcl has just announced new contracts for solar PV plants below 6c/kWh ($60/MWh). This, UBS said, was the lowest reported solar pricing it had seen in the US, although it confirms a recent survey by the National renewable Energy Laboratory, which found pricing in that range and with no inflation kicker, meaning that the solar plants would be producting for an effective $40/MWh by the end of their contracts.”

HenryBG 11:34 am 11 Sep 14

justin heywood said :

Henry, your ‘up to date’ story on wind energy comparison does not say that wind is ‘way cheaper than coal’. Did you read it? It says that:

….[energy sources] whose output can be varied to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or those whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource. The LCOE values for dispatchable and nondispatchable technologies are listed separately in the tables because caution should be used when comparing them to one another.
.

Two points.

1. The EIA does indeed show that wind LCOE is cheaper than most alternatives, including coal.

2. I am using at least as much “caution .. when comparing them to one another” as did he to whom I am replying. In fact, I used more caution, considering I linked to the primary source and thus led the cautious reader to that caveat.

As for the pain involved in making the change – for context – we can see that South Australia has experienced that pain: for 2 years, their electricity prices spiked to the highest of any jurisdiction in the country. Since then, SA’s electricity prices have, as a direct result of that brief period of “pain”, fallen drastically.
Considering the last 15 years of runaway electricity price increases we have all been experiencing, I am myself more than willing to endure 2 years of extra higher prices if it will lead so rapidly to such a significant payoff.

justin heywood 11:05 am 11 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

The up-to-date story on levelised cost of energy is that wind is way cheaper than coal.

Of course, maybe the kook-blog you get your cool stories, bro, from is correct, and maybe the US Energy Information Administration has no idea what they are talking about:
http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

Henry, your ‘up to date’ story on wind energy comparison does not say that wind is ‘way cheaper than coal’. Did you read it? It says that:

….[energy sources] whose output can be varied to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or those whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource. The LCOE values for dispatchable and nondispatchable technologies are listed separately in the tables because caution should be used when comparing them to one another.

And you will note that without the subsidy component, solar PV (the subject of this thread), is a lot more expensive than fossil fuelled alternatives.

I’m a supporter of renewable energy technology, and I believe that climate change IS the great moral challenge of our time (unlike Rudd).

But attempting to reduce our reliance on coal and gas will cause much pain and expense; something I think most people accept. If we attempt to fudge the truth to say that it won’t, we are as guilty of scientific dishonesty as the climate change deniers.

dungfungus 9:16 am 11 Sep 14

OpenYourMind said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

The information on fossil fuel subsidies I am seeking is a simple explanation that I can compare to the weekly subsidy that Simon Corbell has already stated will be payable by us on solar energy now being supplied by the Royalla thermal-less solar factory.
So, how much subsidy a week are we paying for electricity generated from fossil fuel?
Is that too simple for you to advise?

Gosh, let me see…$10billion per year, divided by 52, equals $192million.

Answer:
Australian taxpayers are forking out $192million per week to subsidise fossil fuel industries.

Is that simple enough for you?

No, it’s not simple enough. You are just pulling figures out of the sky.
Why can’t you be accurate like the Productivity Commission who estimated in their report on energy subsidies that without the subsidies, a medium-sized solar plant generates electricity at more than $400 a megawatt hour, while wind power costs from $150 to $214, gas is $97 and coal is from $78 to $91.
Just tell me what is the comparative figure we pay in the ACT per week.

So if a medium-sized solar plant generates electricity at more than $400 a megawatt hour, then that’s bad news for the Spanish company that built the solar farm and is locked into $186 per megawatt hour.

The Spanish company got a lot of freebies like IKEA. I guess you could call them subsidies using HenryBG’s logic.

dungfungus 9:13 am 11 Sep 14

Appears that the Productivity Commission is going to be burned on the stake also.

HenryBG 8:30 pm 10 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

The information on fossil fuel subsidies I am seeking is a simple explanation that I can compare to the weekly subsidy that Simon Corbell has already stated will be payable by us on solar energy now being supplied by the Royalla thermal-less solar factory.
So, how much subsidy a week are we paying for electricity generated from fossil fuel?
Is that too simple for you to advise?

Gosh, let me see…$10billion per year, divided by 52, equals $192million.

Answer:
Australian taxpayers are forking out $192million per week to subsidise fossil fuel industries.

Is that simple enough for you?

No, it’s not simple enough. You are just pulling figures out of the sky.

I’m started to worry for your sanity.
That figure comes from a link you’ve just been provided with a few posts above in response to your claim you were unaware fossil fuels attracted any subsidies:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/feb/02/fossil-fuel-subsidies-tony-abbott-spc-ardmona-corporate-welfare

I take it you still deny such information exists?

Incidentally, your cool story, bro about the productivity commission might be a bit more convincing if you could bring yourself to refer to the primary source itself instead of relying on the tertiary source whose gibberish you are paraphrasing.

The up-to-date story on levelised cost of energy is that wind is way cheaper than coal.

Of course, maybe the kook-blog you get your cool stories, bro, from is correct, and maybe the US Energy Information Administration has no idea what they are talking about:
http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

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