Mixed Greens: Lockheed Martin commits to Vic wave project

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Lockheed Martin commits to $230m Victoria wave energy project; Save Solar campaign exceeds funds raising targets, Australia Institute slams coal rail project

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US industrial giant and defence contractor Lockheed Martin has committed to a 62.5MW wave energy project that will be built off the coast of Victoria using the PowerBuoy technology from Ocean Power Technologies. The $230 million project, which was allocated a $66.5 million government grant nearly three years ago, will now not be built until 2018/19, but the commitment by Lockheed Martin, which has been working with OPT for nearly two years, appears to guarantee its progress.

The project will be built in three stages – initially a 2.5W installation. OPT’s wavewave power devices will provide regular and predictabe energy. They are 10m in height above the waterline and will be located 5kms from the shore.

“We are applying our design and system integration expertise to commercialize promising, emerging alternative energy technologies, including ocean power,” Tim Fuhr, director of ocean energy for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business, said in a statement. “This project extends our established relationship with OPT and Australian industry and enables us to demonstrate a clean, efficient energy source for Australia and the world.”

Lockheed Martin will provide overall project management, assist with the design for manufacturing of the PowerBuoy technology, lead the production of selected PowerBuoy components and perform system integration of the wave energy converters. In 2012, the two companies said the initial stage would be completed by 2013 and the first energy exported to the grid in 2014, but work has yet to commence.

“Save Solar” fighting fund exceeds targets

The Australian solar industry’s “Save Solar” fighting fund has raised much more than its initial target of $25,000, and has so far reached $30,000 in donations, the Australian Solar Council says. ASC CEO John Grimes said the response to the call for donations, and the support for the renewable energy target, had been fantastic. The major donors can be seen here.

“This funding means we can now engage professional media and government relations experts to help craft out key messages and to help guide our campaignm” he said. Further funds would allow it to expand its media campaign and commission expert analysis of the real cost of solar PV and solar hot water .  “Make no mistake, the Renewable Energy Target is under massive attack,” he said. “Just yesterday there were reports the Government was considering a 10% Renewable Energy Target. That’s th the same as axing the RET, because we have already met that target.”

TAI slams Galilee Basin rail project

The Australia Institute has slammed the proposed  North Galilee Basin Rail project, saying it is not in the best economic or environmental interests of Queensland and should not be approved. TAI said it is “inexcusable” that a cost-benefit analysis has not been demanded by the Campbell Newman government before looking to approve the 300 kilometre rail line, which will link undeveloped mines in Central Queensland to the controversial Abbot Point coal terminal adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Queenslanders deserve a proper cost-benefit analysis before a rail line that would carry 100 million tonnes of coal per year straight to the Great Barrier Reef, is even considered for approval,”economist and submission author, Rod Campbell said.“The development of the Galilee Basin coal reserves has serious implications for the reef, threatened ecosystems, communities, carbon emissions and the Queensland economy.  But instead of impartial analysis to consider these issues, the Planning Department is prepared to accept economic modelling which has been described as ‘biased’ by the ABS and ‘abused’ by the Productivity Commission.”

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