A 50,000 square kilometre area in the heart of sophisticated, industrialised Europe, is preparing for a time perhaps little more than a dozen years away when it will have no electricity from any thermal power plant for much of the year. Bavaria and the rest of southern Germany will be reliant on millions of wind turbines and solar PV panels for power; inverters will be used to provide vital grid control. Gas fired plants will be available but not running most of the time as they can't make enough money.
US solar electricity generation capacity rising exponentially
February 22, 2017
Here is the story key point "In 2010, the U.S. installed 852 megawatts-DC of solar photovoltaics from just over 53,000 individual projects. How times have changed. In the record-breaking 2016, a year in which U.S. solar installations grew 95 percent over the previous high, the U.S. installed 14.6 gigawatts of solar from nearly 375,000 projects."
CSIRO developing solar energy related technologies
February 22, 2017
One of CSIRO's goals is to "Make solar a reliable, stable power source for Australia's energy future – including solar thermal systems and next-generation cells." CSIRO is breaking their solar research into the following areas (https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/EF/Areas/Solar):
David Green, a partner of Lyon Group, told The Australian Financial Review he was "very confident" his firm would install two 50 megawatt battery storage facilities in SA this year after signing an equity finance agreement with $13 billion US-based hedge fund Magnetar Capital.
Mr Green said that the facilities linked to large-scale solar generation that Lyon Group planned to build would have "easily been enough" to meet the crisis on February 8 that cut power to 90,000 homes in SA when a surge in peak electricity demand during a heatwave and problems with gas and renewables caused a shortfall of 100 megawatts a power.
Mr Green said that Australia was "very naive" about the role that large-scale batteries – which can be turned on almost instantaneously – were already playing in ensuring system reliability and cutting off peaks in demand. He said Lyon's technology was already in use in the US and Chile.
Construction of the solar PV (photovoltaic)/battery storage project is due to start in October, involving 70 workers for nine months.
Lyon Infrastructure Investments said the project with a 26-megawatt solar PV plus five-megawatt-hour battery storage would be unique as it integrated solar and storage with a systems management process on the edge of a power grid.
Construction of Conergy’s $42.5 million Lakeland Solar and Storage Project has passed the halfway mark, putting the world’s first utility-scale solar and storage project on track for completion in April this year.
Located off the Mulligan Highway at Lakeland in Far North Queensland, the project is the first integrated solar, storage and fringe-of-grid project of its scale, and will demonstrate grid-to-islanding functionality.
The project consists of a 13MWp/10.8MWac solar power PV ground-mounted array (featuring 41,440 solar panels), with a 1.4MW/5.3MWh Conergy ‘CHESS’ storage solution which will create a consistent power supply when combined, even during times of cloud cover.
It has been designed to consistently feed renewable energy into the grid and demonstrate the capability for large-scale solar and storage to provide reliable future power quality and supply at fringe-of-grid locations.
When commissioned around April this year, it will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 3000 homes, and will connect to Ergon Energy’s existing substation – one of the most remote National Electricity Market (NEM) connected substations in Australia.
UP to 800,000 individual solar panels will make up the world’s largest solar plus battery project which is targeted for construction in regional South Australia next year.
The combined utility scale, solar and battery technology will allow large users to store solar generated electricity to provide the level of energy security not previously available at no capital cost to the resource company (BHP) he said.
The scheme will be in two stages:
Stage 1, a 20MW solar PV plus minimum 2MW battery storage with around 160,000 panels is planned for early next year.
Stage 2 will see an expansion to 100MW, a 20MW battery and 800,000 panels, with a completion due by late 2018.
Solar closing cost gap with wind, conventional power in Australia
January 15, 2017
AFR 16/1/17 " The latest batch of large-scale solar projects have revealed a "new cost paradigm" for the technology in Australia, although costs remain more than double the lowest-cost projects overseas, experts say."
"The costs are half of what the the capital intensity was of the ones that are on stream and were built over 2015 and 2016," Mr Farruggio said. "It's a huge step forward for the industry and for the future of solar in Australia."
Prof Ray Wills and Prof Dudley Kingsnorth discuss the future of batteries and where the lithium is going to come from to meet the forecast demand. Presentation materials can be downloaded from http://www.neometals.com.au/reports/6...
This is an excellent presentation on the future of solar power, batteries etc.