3 questions, 3 companies
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Chris Judd, Director – Sales and Marketing, Suzlon Energy AustraliaArticle continues below…
What are some of the latest developments that have taken place within Suzlon Energy Australia over the past 12 months?
The past 12 months have been a particularly busy time for Suzlon in Australia.
In addition to servicing and maintaining five wind farms, we have been concurrently working on delivering another four wind farms on an engineering, procurement and construction basis:
- AGL’s 132 megawatt (MW) Hallett 4 wind farm in South Australia, which is now operating and in the final testing phase prior to handover to Service and Maintenance.
- AGL’s 66 MW Oaklands Hill wind farm in Victoria, where civil and electrical balance of plant works are nearing completion and installation activities are due to commence soon.
- Infigen’s Woodlawn wind farm in New South Wales, where the scope increased from the original 20turbine – 42 MW – to an additional three turbines bringing the total capacity to 48.3 MW. Installation of towers has recently commenced.
- AGL’s 52.5 MW Hallett 5 wind farm in South Australia where major components have started arriving on site for installation in the coming months.
What is coming up for Suzlon Energy Australia in the next 12 months?
For Suzlon, the next 12 months will continue to be a busy time. By the end of this year, our operation, service and maintenance team will be servicing more than 360 Suzlon wind turbines, generating over 750 MW across nine wind farms in three states.
There is no doubt the next year will be a challenging time in the Australian wind industry, which is still reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis, lack of financing, and low renewable energy certificate prices.
These challenges, plus proposed changes in the wind farm development approval process in Victoria and NSW, may make it difficult for many of the wind farms in the development phase, and even those that have already been approved, to become a reality. However to meet the Government’s mandatory renewable energy target (20,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy production by 2020), commitment to wind farm investment will need to be made by major utilities.
With an extended Suzlon product range that will come into serial production later this year – that includes REpower turbines offered as part of an existing sales agency agreement between our organisations, plus extensive in-house capabilities – Suzlon is confident that it will be in a position to capture a significant share of the available market.
Describe how the proposed carbon pricing mechanism would impact Suzlon Energy Australia:
Suzlon welcomes the introduction of the proposed carbon pricing mechanism, which we consider will be a key driver for future investment in the renewable energy sector – and wind in particular as the most economical, proven renewable technology available.
It will assist Australia transition to a low carbon economy and provide economic certainty and clarity for utilities and generators, allowing them to develop viable renewable energy projects to meet their mandatory requirements. This will in turn have a positive impact on our business.
Jan Gashe, Managing Director, REpower Australia
What are some of the latest developments that have taken place within REpower Australia over the past 12 months?
REpower has sharpened its focus on turnkey projects, a requirement of an increasing number of customers and financiers. A local support team has been formed, and, in addition the head office created a turnkey group to support the teams in the subsidiaries and facilitate knowledge transfer between the subsidiaries.
REpower Australia has also hired a team of local engineers and project managers to oversee the delivery of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects in Australia. REpower has a long experience in this as its first project in Australia, the 6 turbine Wonthaggi wind farm, was an EPC project. The Hepburn community wind farm, currently under construction, is also an EPC project. We look forward to using this knowledge to deliver more complete wind farms in Australia and New Zealand.
On the technology side the 3.4M104 (a 3.4 MW, 104 m diameter turbine) and the 3.2M114 (a 3.2 MW, 114 m diameter turbine) turbines are now available for order. These turbines are designed to maximise returns for mid to low wind speed sites.
What is coming up for REpower Australia in the next 12 months?
REpower has continued to grow internationally despite the slowdown caused by the global financial crisis. We aim to continue this growth in the next 12 months in our key markets which include Australia and New Zealand. In Europe we will see the erection of bigger wind farms with our 3.4M104 turbines and we will see huge offshore installations with our 6 MW turbine.
Describe how the proposed carbon pricing mechanism would impact REpower Australia:
REpower Australia supports the proposed Australian carbon pricing mechanism. We believe the cost of electricity from wind energy should be compared to the true cost of the fossil fuel generated electricity and the carbon pricing mechanism is one way of achieving this. However, to allow the market time to adjust, the initial level of the pricing mechanism will be set below the level of the true cost. Therefore, continued support for the large-scale renewable energy target is also important to allow development of renewable energy now, and limit the effects on cost of energy in the future when the carbon pricing mechanism, or emission trading, levels are increased.
John Titchen, Managing Director, Goldwind Oceania
What are some of the developments that have taken place within Goldwind Australia over the past 12 months?
In 2010 Goldwind Australia established offices in Australia and introduced Goldwind’s advanced Permanent Magnet Direct Drive technology to the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Goldwind Australia has also recently announced its involvement in the Mortons Lane Wind Farm in Victoria and the Gullen Range Wind Farms in New South Wales.
In October 2010, Goldwind Australia’s parent company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and wind farm consultancy firm BTM-C recently reported that Goldwind has achieved a global market share of 9.5 per cent making it the fourth largest wind turbine supplier in the world.
What is coming up for Goldwind Australia in the next 12 months?
Construction of the Mortons Lane Wind Farm will be a big feature of the next 12 months. This project in Western Victoria will connect to the local 66 kilovolt (kV) distribution system and will be comprised of 13 x 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines.
The Gullen Range Wind Farm project will be prepared for construction during 2011 and is expected to provide an opportunity to install Goldwind’s larger scale 2.5 MW Permanent Magnet Direct Drive wind turbines
Additionally, Goldwind will continue to seek opportunities to be active in the Australian wind power market with a view to making a significant contribution to meeting Australia’s renewable energy target.
Describe how the proposed carbon pricing mechanism would impact Goldwind Australia:
The main driver for wind development in Australia is currently the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the associated renewable energy certificate market.
The introduction of a price on carbon is expected to be a key feature of the energy market in the medium to long term. Once the full value of carbon emissions is reflected in a carbon price it is expected to provide a major incentive for wind development in Australia. An initial carbon price in Australia is yet to be determined and may well fall short of fully recognising the full value of carbon emissions. The LRET provides a fuller recognition of the value of clean renewable energy production in the context of an emerging carbon price.