80MW solar farm proposed for Tamworth, NSW | RenewEconomy

80MW solar farm proposed for Tamworth, NSW

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New Australian solar developer, Oriens Energy, announces plans for 80MW solar farm in Tamworth, with more projects in the pipeline.

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An 80MW solar farm has been proposed for development in the New South Wales regional city of Tamworth, by newly formed local PV developer, Oriens Energy.

Oriens said on Tuesday that the project, which was in the early stages of approval, was planned for development on a site strategically placed within the NSW and Queensland transmission networks.

And while the company is new, its founders have decades of solar industry experience between them, and claim to have a number of other large-scale projects in the pipeline, across various states of Australia.

“We’ve got the land (for Tamworth), and we’re in the early stages of approval and grid connection inquiries,” Oriens director and co-founder Christian Bindel told RenewEconomy on Tuesday.

“We’ve had a meeting with council representatives, and the project was very well received. The local government is very keen to leverage local labour opportunities and to add renewable energy to the local (electricity) network.

Bindel, who has worked in utility-scale solar development since 1999, both in Europe and in Australia, said the company’s work with the landowner had also been very positive, and that they were very excited to be involved.

On the financial side, Bindel said that Oriens was open to both power purchase agreements and the merchant model for the Tamworth Solar Farm, which he said would add much welcomed security of electricity supply in Australia’s fast-changing energy landscape.

“Globally, there’s a very strong (large-scale solar) focus on Australia right now,” Bindel told RE. “There’s a huge opportunity in the whole restructuring of the energy market, and with the fossil fuel generation retiring.”

Oriens co-founder and director, Victor Bocioc – who, like Bindel, came to Australia in 2007 and has since worked with both First Solar and Origin Energy – said the company was working closely with a range of investment partners, including some new entrants into the Australian market.

“Combining international financial experience with Oriens’ local knowledge of the energy market means that the Tamworth Solar Farm will deliver real benefits to Australian consumers and businesses,” Bocioc said.

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  1. MaxG 3 years ago

    Having done some significant benefits analysis for multi-million dollar projects, I wonder how these guys can substantiate claims like: “real benefits to Australian consumers and businesses”?

    • RobertO 3 years ago

      Hi MaxG, Of course it has “real benfits to Australian consumers and business”, the more Solar we get in this country the more coal is put under pressure to leave. With 2Tunges plan for Snowy 2 (if it goes ahead) it will soak up solar power during the middle of the day only to put it back into the network at peak time hence will cause coal to leave. We will not see any price drops for the next few years while we pay for both gameing for profits by coal and to pay for building RE projects, including some interconnects (hopefully via CRE zones also).

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        Max G, Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the times when gas peaking generators could game the system and jack power prices up to $14,000 per MWh occur on hot Summer afternoons. Aging coal fired clunkers, and even some gas plants seize and fail in temperatures that were never envisaged when they were designed and built. At the same time, all the world and his dog comes home to their superheated houses, and turn a million aircons on to 18 degrees, then start cooking the dinner. System collapse is imminent as demand outstrips supply.
        But wait. The cause of all that heat is none other than – the SUN!!!!
        Who’d a thunk it?
        So solar panels, wherever they are, are churning out electricity fit to bust, rescuing the system from collapse.
        Which translates to solar generation blocks the shysters from charging obscene prices for 30 minutes, when the system is at risk for less than 5 minutes.
        So solar puts downward pressure on power prices.
        Is that not a significant benefit to businesses and other consumers?
        If it is not, please explain to me *why* not

        • MaxG 3 years ago

          “So solar puts downward pressure on power prices” (for consumers and business) show me when this has or will happen, and I roll with you.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Max, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that you are a troll.
            Please go back to the IPA where you belong.

          • MaxG 3 years ago

            Depends on what your definition of a troll is… 🙂
            But then, you perception is your reality…
            Or once we’re lost for arguments we resort to ad hominem attacks.

          • rob 3 years ago

            Na just reality…..you want another one….you are as thick as a brick!

          • rob 3 years ago

            Go to some Porn site……..You will probably get more satisfaction there than here!

          • George Darroch 3 years ago

            Max asks good questions, even if they’re occasionally wrongheaded.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            There is, I admit, a difference between downward pressure on prices and actual reduction in retail price, but eventually the pressure must be reflected in the actual price. Even the horrible government we now have claims to be committed to bringng power prices down, so will find it difficult to permit retailers to maintain current prices when the wholesale price drops substantially as the opportunity to charge outrageous peak prices is lost. That seems like a very convoluted sentence, but I think its meaning is clear.

          • rob 3 years ago

            You are such a TWAT! and dumb as all [email protected]@k to boot!

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            The more renewable energy generation the less requirement for high cost
            gas generation. Increases in solar and wind generation will see the
            number and magnitude of high-cost events reduce and then finally
            disappear, with the help of some storage to firm the renewables.


          • MaxG 3 years ago

            No objection to that… since customers pay retail, my point was ‘can you demonstrate that customer prices have been reduced based on lower cost renewables’… and see my reply to Johnathan Pendergast further below.
            To make this very clear, I am all for renewables (have PV and battery), the more the merrier; my point is about that whatever savings are made somewhere, they do not translate into consumer savings.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Clearly all is not right in the state of Aus-en-mark, but at least the elimination of high cost wholesale events via more renewables and storage will soon compel the conservative reactionaries to focus on the gaming, retail and other entrenched market gouging.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Ren, you have put it much better than I did.

      • MaxG 3 years ago

        I get all that and apologise for my unstated reference: this line is usually used to imply benefits for consumers in form of price, more so the reduction of it… which has not happened and most likely will not happen, given the data over the past 20 years.

        • Jonathan Prendergast 3 years ago

          Hi Max, where would energy prices (both spot and what customers pay) be if it were not for rooftop solar at the moment? My estimation is a lot higher. The 1GW in QLD and 800MW in NSW most days goes a long way to reducing the length and severity of high pricing events.

          • MaxG 3 years ago

            I can’t answer (where would the prices be), and don’t even go there. It is a matter of perspective, and me looking at the root cause of an issue, means that no band-aiding will fix the underlying problem, unless the underlying problem is being addressed. While solar has curtailed the price (of generation), the issue remains, that profit-taking is taking place on what should be a public good. So as radical as it may sound, no regulation or technology will bring down the price (for the consumer) of a good in a monopolistic setting.
            Reducing high pricing events will kill the profit margin for this event, but will not flow to the consumer as a price reduction, in case these events have been reduced in number. Assume for a moment that the no further spikes occur from here on onwards, would this be reflected in reduced cost for the consumer in the future?

  2. Jon 3 years ago

    Great, just what we need, another solar developer!

  3. rob 3 years ago

    You are toooooooooooo late! Barnacle has already been re-elected by the KNOBHEADS of New England!

  4. Ian 3 years ago

    These sorts of solar projects are being announced thick and fast, rooftop solar is progressing steadily. How soon will we saturate the market for solar deployment? Duck-curve for lunch anyone? Base-cost may become basement cost . Any consolation to this race to base is that plod-along coal will take a serious beating trying to compete for the midday electricity market. We are going to have to make hydrogen, ammonia, charge batteries, pump water up hill, push heavy trains up slopes ,charge battery cars, demand manage aluminium factories and other industries, heat lots of shower water and generally stuff solar energy into every storage space and pocket we have to consume this largess. Not a bad problem to have though, don’t you agree?

    • Steve 3 years ago

      Not keen on the heavy trains uphill. I prefer my potential energy in a form you can swim in, or sail on.

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