New Zealand energy utility TrustPower said it has appointed Siemens to develop and maintain South Australia’s largest wind farm at Snowtown – using, for the first time in Australia, its gearless drive wind turbine technology. Indeed, it is Siemens’ first wind supply contract in Australia. The project, known as Snowtown II, will be capable of generating 270MW and powering approximately 180,000 South Australian homes, and will help cement the state as lead generator of renewable energy – with its renewable energy target now set at 33 per cent 2020. South Australia has already surpassed the nation’s 20 per cent RET, with 26 per cent of its power mix coming from wind.
TrustPower CEO Vince Hawksworth said the wind farm will be built with the most advanced renewable energy technology on the market. “Of critical importance to us was the proven capability to build and connect wind farms to the grid and Siemens as a global supplier has achieved this in some of the most challenging environments in the world.” Siemens Energy head David Pryke said the state-of-the-art gearless drive systems and highly efficient rotor blades would allowing it to maximise the delivery of reliable renewable energy from this project. Snowtown II will be co-located with the existing Snowtown wind farm, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2014.
(Eds note: This story was amended to correct an original assertion that this was Australia’s first gear-less turbine to be constructed in Australia. That honour belongs to others. It is, in fact, the first time Siemens has introduced such a turbine in Australia. It is its first wind contract in this country).
In other news…
The Australian government said tenderers for its $1 billion program to assist manufacturers to invest in clean-technology projects would now be able to access funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis, rather than having to find $3 for every $1 in assistance. The changes were made after lobbying from the Australian Industry Group.
RATCH Australia has revealed plans to develop a $350 million, 68-turbine wind farm in NSW’s southern tablelands, near Collector, south-west of Goulburn. ABC News reports that the company took over the project from previous owner Transfield Services last July, and has lodged a revised application with the state’s Department of Planning.
Japanese solar company Kyocera Corp is to build a 70MW solar PV plant in the south of Japan in a joint venture with KDDI Corp and IHI Corp. The construction of the plant will begin in September and will finish by autumn of 2013.
India’s grid interactive solar PV installations reached a capacity of 1,030MW at the end of June, well ahead of forecast deployment of 800MW by the end of 2012/13, according to new data released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India aims to install 20GW of solar by 2022.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has installed more than 150 US solar projects and expects to have as much as 90MW of capacity by year end, which is more than Apple and Ikea Group, Bloomberg reports. It says the company currently has 62MW of panels installed at US locations and plans to have 1000 solar powered locations by 2020.
France has allocated 520MW of solar projects under a reverse tender system, with 21MW going to 109 separate projects for installations of between 100kW and 250kW, and 105 projects with a size greater than 250kW. Details of the next tender will be announced next month.