When pioneering and award-winning solar researcher Stuart Wenham passed away suddenly shortly before Christmas last year, some in the PV industry may have wondered what would become of his research into the role of hydrogen in crystalline silicon cells. His daughter, Alison Ciesla is answering that question alongside Wenham’s former team at UNSW, advancing its work into the crucial role of hydrogen in the degradation of silicon cells.
Mixed messages have emerged from today’s meeting between the Australian state and federal energy ministers’ meeting, after what was meant to have been a decisive point for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy measure. Fundamental opposition from some states under Labor governments exists, however an agreement to release the draft legislation was reached – after it passes the test of the Federal Liberal party room.
Falling module prices could very well dramatically enhance the competitiveness of large-scale solar in Australia – pushing the price at which PV can be produced below the wholesale curve. Rystad Energy believes that with a 20-30% module price decline, as has been forecast, $60MWh utility scale solar could become the new reality.
Stability and reliability, partial transparency, monolithic deposition onto flexible substrates, aesthetically pleasing appearance, applicability in roll-to-roll production, superior temperature coefficient, potential in tandem applications, and suitability for BIPV: The list of advantages that CIGS technology offers is well established and lengthy.
The extent of the rapid growth under way in the Australian PV market has been laid out in the latest report by the Australian Photovoltaic Institute. Pointing to 2018 representing “another record year for Australian PV” the outstanding growth of the utility scale segment is a particular highlight – with 1.1 GW commissioned and 1.9 GW under development.
DNV GL, Deakin University, the CSIRO, and the Smart Energy Council have come together to collaborate on a two-year project to develop a new performance standard for distributed energy storage systems. The work behind the proposed Australian Battery Performance Standard is being funded $1.9 million from ARENA and the Victoria state government.
A hugely-ambitious plan to develop a 200 MW PV array and 120 MWh battery system in South Australia has received development approval. The project developer, which is hosted by the University of South Australia’s ThincLab accelerator, reports that the $450 million project is privately financed with a 60/40 merchant/PPA structure – a significant milestone for the market segment.
ABB, ElectraNet and ARENA are coming together to deliver a microgrid and large scale battery storage solution to South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. The commercial-deployment phase of the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project will strengthen the Electranet transmission system in the area, and will deliver increased resilience in the event of interstate connector failure.
Pioneering UNSW solar researcher Martin Green has received wide recognition for his achievement as being selected as one of the winners of 2018 Global Energy Prize. The prize has brought with it $820,000 towards Green’s research and teaching, and a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Commercial electricity retailer Flow Power has signed an offtake deal through to 2030 for a quarter of the production from the Kiamal Solar Farm, in Victoria. Total Eren – developer of the $90 million, 200 MW project – has now signed three bilateral PPAs with offtakers – pointing the way for project developers as large-scale solar’s competiveness continues to grow.
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