Covid-19 to pause up to 3 GWac of wind and PV projects in Australia
Covid-19 has hit the Australian Renewables industry hard, postponing the financial close of up to 3 gigawatts (GWac) of projects. The delays and cancellations are largely the result of the falling Australian dollar, which has plummeted 20% relative to the US dollar since the beginning of January. This has resulted in capex increases for both utility PV and wind projects, making once viable projects no longer economical. New South Wales will be the biggest loser, as 65% of solar PV and 67% of wind projects which are expected to, but have not yet reached, financial close in 2020 are located in the state. Utility PV companies most impacted include UPC, Neoen, Wollar Solar and Canadian Solar, whilst Goldwind will be most impacted in the utility wind segment.
Largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere wins Queensland RE400
Acciona’s 1026 megawatt (MWac) Macintyre Wind farm made headlines recently when it was announced as the winner of the Queensland Government’s RE400 reverse auction, a program aimed at facilitating the development of large-scale wind and solar projects through a reverse auction of up to 400 MW of capacity, and including up to 100 MW of storage. The Macintyre Wind farm beat nine opponents, eight of which were proposed to be located North of Rockhampton where grid capacity and marginal loss factors (MLF) are poorer. The Macintyre Wind farm located in southern Queensland will be almost twice the size of the second largest wind farm (committed, under construction or operating) in the southern hemisphere, the 530 MWac Stockyard Hill Wind farm in Victoria. The project will generate around 3 terawatt hours (TWh) per year of power once completed in 2024, increasing Queensland’s renewable generation output to up to 5%. The asset has de-risked grid issues by locating in an area of high system strength, connecting to a high voltage (330 kV) transmission line.
Vietnam invites a second PV installation race with FiT challenge 2.0
Vietnam has officially announced its second Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) challenge for solar PV, with 3 gigawatts (GW) of eligible solar development in the pipeline. The country hopes to trigger another solar construction rush after its first FiT incentive scheme was a huge success, yet the post-coronavirus environment poses significant and uncertain challenges. Despite the FiT incentives, Rystad Energy expects only 2.5 GW will be commissioned by the end of 2020.