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Monday 21 July 2014

Special Edition 93

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ARENA tips $18m into remote-hybrid project


The Australian Renewables Agency has announced $18.5 million for a hybrid renewables-diesel project in South Australia's Coober Pedy, which could pave the way for the technology to be deployed to other sites.
The hybrid plant is seeking to integrate up to 2MW of solar photovoltaics, 3MW of wind "and enabling technologies" – such as fast-start diesel engines and an advanced control system – into an existing 3.9MW diesel power station, while also harnessing significant battery storage, the preliminary design having 0.75 MWh of storage with capacity for 2MW of instantaneous output.
“These enabling technologies have been successfully tried and tested by Hydro Tasmania at the ARENA-supported King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project and this represents an opportunity to see them evolve for use on the mainland and in an outback community that has few alternative energy options,” ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said.
The project, by ASX-listed Energy Developments (ENE), promises to provide the remote town with 70% renewable energy over the life of the plant.
Energy Developments – which currently owns or operates 368MW of remote, off-grid energy across 33 Australian sites – reiterated that the project could pave the way for more off-grid hybrid systems.
"This project highlights the company’s potential to implement renewable hybrid systems in off grid applications to provide customers with innovative energy solutions. It also strategically positions ENE to be a leader in renewable hybrid systems in the remote off grid sector," company managing director Greg Pritchard said.
“We see this ARENA supported project as the precursor to other renewable hybrid projects that we are keen to implement throughout Australia to meet our customer’s growing interest in these energy solutions, and to significantly displace existing diesel generation.”
The first stage of the funding agreement process involves ENE undertaking a "detailed project assessment", and key funding agreement commitments are conditional on and subject to ENE’s final investment decision, execution of project agreements and satisfaction of other project conditions, the company said.
Mr Frischknecht said the further demonstration of the enabling technologies was expected to reduce costs over time and improve opportunities for future deployment without subsidies.
“ENE has identified a long-term pathway to commercialisation by demonstrating the potential to progressively deploy renewable solutions at off-grid locations as technology costs reduce and fossil fuel costs increase," he said.
“ENE intends to restructure its existing power purchasing agreement with the District Council of Coober Pedy with a new 20-year agreement, providing a long-term customer base to support the renewable energy project.
The project is subject to final investment approval from ENE, and if approved will be complete in mid-2017, the company said.

Two arrested over crime series - Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy Police have arrested a man and a teenage girl after they were allegedly located in a stolen car and committed several offences in metropolitan Adelaide.

Just after 2pm on Wednesday 16 July, police patrols located the pair on Seventeen Mile Road in car stolen minutes earlier in Coober Pedy.
Further investigation revealed the couple had also allegedly stolen a car from Klemzig in Adelaide and been involved in further offending including, theft of number plates, petrol and numerous other items such as computer and electronic equipment, mobile phones, and keys.
The 21-year-old man and the 16-year-old girl both of no fixed place, were arrested and charged with numerous offences including illegal use, property damage, several counts of theft, and unlawful possession.
They have both been refused police bail and will appear in court at a later date.
Police enquiries are continuing.

Caution needed on same-sex parenting study

FamilyVoice Australia
“A widely reported Melbourne study has found that children raised by same-sex parents are healthier than those in the general population – but this result should be treated with great caution,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“Thestudy design has serious methodological flaws.”
Ros Phillips pointed out that:
• The gay and lesbian parents were not randomly selected – rather, they volunteered.
• The children were not independently assessed – their own parents reported on their progress.
• The research team was led by Dr Simon Crouch, who is raising two young children with his male partner.
• At least two other members of the five-member team are also reported to be raising children in same-sex relationships: Dr Ruth McNair and Jennifer Power.
• The authors have failed to acknowledge these conflicts of interest in their published paper.
“Volunteer bias is a major problem with the study,” Ros Phillips said. “Same-sex couples whose children have health or behaviour problems would be most unlikely to volunteer. Those who did volunteer, knowing that the results could be used to further the gay lobby’s agenda, would be reluctant to report unfavourably on their children’s progress.
“The fact that at least 60% of the research team were themselves raising children in same-sex relationships would suggest that the motivation for the study may have been partly political. Its findings have been published at a time when debate on a Greens bill to recognise foreign same-sex marriages is likely to resume very soon.
“To quote a former high school pupil of mine, ‘It sounds suss!’”

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