WATERLOO WINDFARM STAGE 2
Project development and delivery with Palisade Investment Partners and Waterloo Wind Farm Pty Ltd of a 19.8MW expansion to the existing Wind Farm at Waterloo, South Australia.
June 2015 – Dec 2016.
When first commissioned in 2010, the 111MW Waterloo Wind Farm consisted of 37 Vestas V90-3.0 MW turbines, majority owned by EnergyAustralia. EnergyAustralia subsequently sold its stake in the Waterloo Wind Farm (completed in May 2015) to joint equity partners Palisade Investment Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners, including the development rights for Stage 2.
Ekistica was engaged first by Palisade Investment Partners to help develop the project through to financial close, and then by Waterloo Wind Farm Pty Ltd to help deliver the $39.6M, six turbine project.
The project entailed construction of six 3.3 MW Vestas wind turbines, south of the existing stage 1 infrastructure, and required a deep understanding of the unique context of the project. This included the continuation of construction along the topographic longitudinal ridge-line, a natural and distinct geological feature of the district, along with lease agreements signed with two landholders for the turbines and a further one for the cable route back to the existing infrastructure transformer. The transfer of ownership also required a complete overhaul of the underlying business model, with the energy generated by Waterloo Wind Farm Stage 1 sold to EnergyAustralia and Hydro Tasmania via long-term purchase agreements, while the energy from stage 2 sold independently to customers via the National Electricity Market - the first Wind Farm development in Australia to go merchant.
Ekistica’s work with Palisade Investment Partners involved leading the project development process through to Final Investment Decision, inclusive of facilitating a comprehensive risk management strategy development process for the project, provision of technical due-diligence and advisory support services, and contract negotiations with Vestas and debt providers.
With Waterloo Wind Farm for the implementation of the project, Ekistica provided Project Directorial services, Project Management services and Owner’s Engineer services.
In all of our work with our partners, Ekistica focuses on understanding and translating the complexities of the project into meaningful solutions that effectively manage all of the associated risks and opportunities; engaging and communicating effectively with all stakeholders and delivering innovative and high-quality technical solutions that reflect the needs and interests of all the parties.
The system was commissioned in late 2016 on-time and on budget.
DARWIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 4MW PV SYSTEM + 1.5MW EXPANSION
Project development and delivery for Northern Territory Airports Pty Ltd of 5.5 MW of airside solar PV at Darwin International Airport.
April 2014 – Dec 2017.
In response to a number of developments at the Darwin international Airport, including expansion of the international terminal and planned and predicted price increases from the site utility provider, the airport owner, NT Airports Pty Ltd, engaged Ekistica to investigate options for managing their expenditure on electricity. Aside from the technical feasibility, NT Airports also wanted to explore the various options for financing and delivering the project, and to build their internal knowledge and capability to derive further benefits from the resultant investment in new infrastructure.
The feasibility study delved deeply into the various challenges and complexities of the site and potential responses including: the installation of gas turbines, rooftop and ground-count PV systems, and upgrades and modifications to the site’s electrical services control and integration system. Its final recommendation was the development of a 4 MWp PV system on undeveloped airside land as a key mechanism for reducing the airports peak demand and aggregate expenditure on electricity, with the proposed PV system to be integrated into the existing HV Network included new controls implemented to manage ring main switching and integration with operation of existing gensets. Aerodromes are, however, highly regulated environments and the construction of any new infrastructure near to operating runways and control towers is subject to a variety of stringent design and installation considerations which needed to be addressed during the design phase in order to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed.
The project also presented complexities during delivery. Airports are busy places and careful consideration and planning was needed to manage the impact of construction works on the daily operation, safety and security at the facility. Effective stakeholder engagement was critical to identifying the key issues and challenges with the delivery phase and the deployment of appropriate technical and non-technical solutions for these.
Ekistica worked closely with NT Airports from the inception of this project at both the operations and board level, with a focus on reciprocal knowledge and capacity building that ensured a comprehensive understanding of context informed the final technical, economic and delivery responses adopted. This included developing a business case for the project that made it Australia’s first privately financed multi-megawatt solar PV system.
Ekistica then supported NT Airports through the detailed engineering and delivery phases of the project including undertaking the engineering design work; preparation of tender documentation, tender and contract management; and provision of project management services for the installation and commissioning of the system.
The 4 MW array was commissioned in May 2016, and a 1.5 MW expansion, developed and delivered by Ekistica with NT Airports, was commissioned in Dec 2016. Together they are the largest airside PV system in the southern hemisphere, and the largest fully privately financed solar PV system in Australia.
COOK ISLANDS - UIRA NATURA KI TE TOKERAU
(SOLAR POWER FOR THE NORTH)
Technical advisory and support, design engineering and project implementation of a remote community power supply upgrade program for the Government of the Cook Islands and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. January 2012 – June 2015.
In 2011, the Government of the Cook Islands committed to the goal of having 50% of the country’s electricity provided by renewable energy by 2015 and 100% by 2020; starting with the conversion of the power systems in the remote Northern Group of islands from diesel to solar PV. This ambitious plan recognised the need to partner with experienced external service providers who could provide the necessary technical skills while building the local capacity to manage the infrastructure being developed and lead the further work being planned in the main island, Rarotonga and the Southern Group of islands.
The Northern Group project began in early 2012 and concluded in mid - 2015 with the installation of stand-alone renewable mini-grids in eight communities across six islands of the remote Northern Group of the country. These systems were specifically designed to be robust and suited to the harsh climate and extreme remoteness, and to offer value-for money in terms of both operational and capital expenditure. They are standardised, stand-alone solar photovoltaic power systems, with battery storage and backup diesel generators, designed to provide highly reliable 24 hour a day supply to domestic, community and commercial consumers.
Specific challenges that had to be addressed during the development, engineering design and delivery phases of the project included the extreme remoteness of the islands, a lack of docking facilities on many of them, seasonal cyclones, multi-party funding arrangements and requirements, and constrained technical capabilities on many of the islands. Ekistica spent significant time and effort engaging with central and island government authorities, communities and funding agencies to understand the full context of the project and the expectations and requirements of all stakeholders. This allowed us to then effectively translate these challenges into innovative solutions for the technical design, delivery and ongoing management and operation of the systems that reflected the needs and interests of all the stakeholders.
Over the course of its continuing engagement in this project, Ekistica staff worked intensively with the Government of the Cooks Islands and its primary funding agencies, including NZ MFAT, to plan, develop and implement the systems, inclusive of an overall project feasibility study, technical designs, procurement strategy development, O&M structures, economic and financial assessments, independent construction supervision and the determination of appropriate governance and management structures for electricity supply across the entirety of the Outer Islands groups.
FIJI MICRO PROJECTS PROGRAMME - CONSTRUCTION & PROCUREMENT CONSULTANCY
Ekistica was engaged by the Pacific Community (SPC) to provide technical services to support SPC’s implementation of the EU-funded Fiji Micro-Projects Programme, with a focus on activities associated with the improvement and rehabilitation of WASH facilities in cane belt schools affected by tropical cyclone Winston.
This work was undertaken in close collaboration with SPC, Fiji Ministry of Education and other partners supporting the recovery of cyclone affected schools, with the clear goal of strengthening the capacity of Government to support school communities in achieving and maintaining access to safe water and sanitation facilities and undertake good hygiene practices into the future.
Working closely with the wide range of stakeholders involved, Ekistica helped to streamline and improve project delivery functions while also building knowledge and capability amongst partner organisations. Over the course of the project, Ekistica facilitated the identification of target schools for support under the Programme, established consensus as to the design parameters for new disaster-resilient and disaster-ready WASH facilities in accordance with Fiji standards and guidelines, provided assistance to Fiji Government in the assessment of needs and the scoping of works required at individual schools, prepared all necessary tender documents and Letters of Agreement, and coordinated and managed the procurement process in accordance with SPC procurement policies.