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June 21, 2022
The planning and approvals system is complex, and its potential impact on the cost, timeframe and overall success of your renewable energy or storage project should never be underestimated. Investing time and energy in planning for project approvals makes it more likely that your project will get off the drawing board and into reality. The […]
Getting your renewable energy project through planning and approvals
June 21, 2022
Access to quality long-term records is crucial for dam safety. Read what our specialists have to say about keeping your records under control. The ANCOLD (Australian National Committee on Large Dams) guideline on dam safety management recommends regular reviews on different timescales – including routine inspections undertaken by the operator (daily to monthly), intermediate inspections […]
Keeping close tabs on your dams
March 17, 2022
Conducting field investigations in remote areas is no ‘walk in the park’. On top of the investigation activities themselves, there are the complex logistics of getting personnel and equipment into hard-to-reach places, the imperatives of maintaining safety and managing community expectations, and the significant challenge of conducting works but leaving minimal impact on the landscape. ‘Leave […]
Field investigations in remote locations – factors for success
February 17, 2022
One contributing factor for dam safety is the ability to rapidly lower the water level in an emergency. But how can dam designers and owners appropriately determine the need for a dewatering outlet or its optimum size in the absence of a consistent international standard? Dam safety must begin long before the dam is filled […]
Dam Emergency Dewatering Outlets: A ‘Must Have’, or a ‘Nice to Have’?
December 16, 2021
With the current bow wave in publicly announced emerging and committed storage, wind and solar farms in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), it is now more important than ever that your connection application processes are rigorous and efficient. This article charts a path of least resistance within the framework of the Australian Energy Market Operator […]
NEM connections, complexity, risk and tolerance: achieving a balanced approach to grid connection
September 23, 2021
In previous thought leadership articles, we’ve argued that the downstream consequence of dam failure is a better measure of dam risk than the size of the dam. For example, saddle dams can often have significant consequences downstream, despite being smaller than the main dam. The same applies to cofferdams. A cofferdam is a temporary dam that […]
What levels of flood protection and downstream risk are acceptable for cofferdams?
July 6, 2021
Everyone in the energy industry is talking about green hydrogen, and the buzz just keeps on growing. It’s been clearly demonstrated technically that with an adequate supply of water and renewable energy, green hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis for local use or for export – with no associated emissions. The role for green hydrogen […]
Green hydrogen: big buzz or good business?
April 27, 2021
How can owners or developers assess alternative options for hydropower and dam projects objectively and consistently? How can you maintain an appropriate balance among the environmental, social, financial and technical risks? If you place a value on the non-cost aspects of projects, how can you confidently assess the many criteria that your project options bring […]
Make better decisions about hydropower and dam project options using risk-based multi-criteria assessment
March 9, 2021
Depending on when and where you want to connect your new solar farm or wind farm, the network service provider or your consultant may tell you that you’ll need a synchronous condenser. That may not be good news, because these machines don’t come cheap and they usually don’t provide a direct revenue stream. What should you do next?
What to consider when you’re thinking about a synchronous condenser
February 23, 2021
When a dam is being considered, there’s usually a primary purpose. But are there also secondary purposes that can benefit the local and wider community? Have you thought about the potential additional economic development that can stem from a multipurpose dam? Multipurpose dams combine two or more functions of traditional single-purpose dams into one dam […]
Multipurpose dams: maximum value for money?
December 8, 2020
In remote or isolated locations, hybrid renewable energy systems offer an effective option for meeting energy goals. With the plummeting costs of solar PV and its ease of installation, is there still a role for wind turbines in the design of a hybrid system? Our answer is yes; however, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best configuration for your location and needs.
Is there still a role for small wind turbines in hybrid systems?
August 13, 2020
While some aspects of fieldwork can be modified through technological innovation, there are other things that simply can’t be done without getting out on the ground or in the water. How can we make fieldwork not only efficient and effective, but also COVID-safe?
Making progress in the field, despite pandemic challenges
June 2, 2020
It’s a major challenge to keep an existing local project running during these tricky times (let alone an interstate or international project!), but how can we start new projects as the ground shifts around us and as regulations around Australia change?
New circumstances, new projects, new regulations
May 13, 2020
There are very few areas in the consulting life in which we can simply say ‘we’ll wait until this is all over’. Life, and projects, must go on. Here, Entura’s Environment and Planning team continue to apply their proactive approach to keeping projects alive in the current circumstances, and explain how they are continuing their activities on two international projects despite the travel restrictions that are making it impossible to visit the project sites.
Keeping international projects moving, even when we’re grounded
April 28, 2020
A vital part of the success of all projects, whether they are new or operational, is maintaining progress towards milestones and retaining currency in the social and regulatory realms. How can we achieve this during a global pandemic?
Don’t let COVID-19 stop your project
December 12, 2019
For your pumped hydro project to be suited to future energy market conditions, you need to understand the technology options available – because pumped hydro plant is not one-size-fits-all.
What’s the best technology for your pumped hydro project?
September 5, 2019
When engineers think about the future, do we get so engrossed in the complex technical problems that we don’t attend enough to the human angle?
Engineering – by humans, for humans
June 6, 2019
How can a small island become a giant battery for a nation? We’re finding the answers in increasing interconnection, developing new pumped hydro and repurposing our existing hydropower assets.
Becoming the Battery of the Nation
May 7, 2019
Even a single day of load shedding makes people doubt the national grid’s robustness. How will the grid cope if we experience extreme weather conditions more often?
Can the power grid weather the weather?
February 26, 2019
Beyond the typical images of blue water, white sand and sunny days, many Pacific islands are becoming visions of renewable energy innovation ...
Powering up the Pacific with hybrid renewables
February 14, 2019
Examples from around the world demonstrate the devastating consequences of dam failures. Safety must be every dam owner’s key concern, but how should action be prioritised across a large portfolio of dams?
Safer dams are a matter of priority
December 17, 2018
New functionality, increased visibility of plant, greater security … SCADA systems are rapidly advancing. So, should you stick with what you have, upgrade some components, or embrace a complete replacement?
Should you upgrade or replace your SCADA system – which option is best?
November 1, 2018
Integrating renewables into grids and markets is a hot topic worldwide, with many challenges and approaches to explore...
Limber up for a more flexible electricity grid and market
October 10, 2018
In the hydropower sector, we’re all trying to do more with less. And as hydropower assets age, there’s always more to be done...
Are you an asset manager or an ‘asset guesser’?
September 26, 2018
The failure of a dam in July 2018 in Laos highlights again how crucial it is that dams are designed, constructed and operated safely – regardless of their size...
Size isn’t everything when it comes to dam risks: a ten-point plan for safer dams
September 7, 2018
To keep communities and assets safe during flood events, dam operators need to make rapid and difficult decisions. The best protection is having the right systems in place before an emergency arises...
What can dam owners do to better manage floods and avoid the blame game?
August 23, 2018
Renewables are now the cheapest form of new energy generation, but to make variable renewables ‘dispatchable’, we need to add storage...
Are batteries the best way to go?
August 6, 2018
Although hydropower is older than wind and solar generation and battery storage, its role in Australia and around the world has never been more important...
Rethinking the role of hydropower in Australia
July 18, 2018
How can a wind farm realise its full lifetime potential in an increasingly cost-sensitive market?
Asset management trends for profitable wind farms
July 4, 2018
Building, maintaining and operating power and water assets involves a level of environmental risk. If you can identify and manage these risks early, your projects or operations are far less likely to run into trouble down the track...
Early action is the best approach for operational environmental management
June 5, 2018
Sedimentation is a problem for water storages, particularly in Asia. It is a major concern for all communities and industries that depend on water storages for water, food and energy security...
Can the sedimentation problem be solved?
May 22, 2018
Anyone who’s ever had a cold understands the discomfort of blocked airways. Congestion challenges, albeit slightly different ones, also face developers of new renewable energy generation...
Congestion and losses: more than a blocked nose for new renewable generation
May 10, 2018
Whether on-grid or off-grid, hybrid renewable energy systems offer exciting potential for achieving a sustainable and reliable power supply...
Hybrid renewables deliver sustainable, reliable power for Rottnest Island
April 26, 2018
Effective engagement can reduce community opposition to a solar farm, but, better yet, it has the potential to create a level of community support that results in locals themselves promoting it...
Winning over your solar farm community
April 16, 2018
There are many thousands of potential sites for pumped hydro energy storage developments across Australia, but how can a developer filter these down to the best few?
Identifying Australia’s best sites for pumped hydro development
April 3, 2018
Ambitious renewables targets, movements away from thermal generation, increasing demand for electricity … it’s boom time for renewables around the world. Yet the global energy transformation brings some challenges...
Tackling renewable energy integration: five lessons from Sri Lanka
March 14, 2018
As Australia replaces retiring coal generation with renewables, can we achieve an energy future that is affordable and sustainable as well as reliable?
Dispatchable renewables: a contradiction in terms?
March 9, 2018
Big investments require confidence – however, caution in unlocking funds is perfectly reasonable. A thorough due diligence is the key to building investment confidence by identifying and quantifying the project’s risks, costs and benefits...
Six steps to reduce risks when investing in renewable energy projects
January 29, 2018
Cities in flood-prone areas have much to gain from effective flood forecasting, because they have so much to lose through flood damage to property and business...
Forecasting for smarter flood solutions
January 22, 2018
Location, location, location!’ It’s a familiar catch-phrase in the real estate industry, but it’s just as relevant in the power and water sector...
Maximising the benefits of GIS for better business decisions
January 8, 2018
As the proportion of renewable energy in the grid continues to grow, pumped hydro energy storage offers a solution for greater reliability. But can the business case for storage stack up?
Is there an economic case for pumped hydro?
November 30, 2017
Flood forecasting is critical for protecting infrastructure and public safety.
Key considerations for better flood forecasting
November 1, 2017
Technology and expectations are constantly evolving for the dam engineer but the ultimate goal remains the same: safe, lasting dams. Are you fully equipped to make that target a reality?
Six sink-or-swim questions for the modern dam engineer
October 17, 2017
Installing a SCADA system is a major outlay. With the ever-increasing pace of technological change, how can you ensure your new system or upgrade will repay your investment and deliver maximum benefits?
Do you have the right SCADA strategy for your business?
September 27, 2017
Big data and advances in artificial intelligence hold extraordinary potential for transforming the energy sector. But is change in the wind sector likely to be transformational, or can we expect only incremental performance improvement?
Can big data and artificial intelligence transform the wind sector?
September 12, 2017
On any large-scale renewable energy project, every opportunity to reduce costs counts...
The foundations of successful large-scale solar farms
August 30, 2017
As the global population continues to grow, how can utilities and water managers balance the increasing and interrelated pressures on water, energy and food?
‘Nexus thinking’ for a secure and sustainable future
August 11, 2017
A sustainable grid needs sustainable energy sources. While there’s no doubt that it makes sense to store renewable energy, whether in batteries or in a pumped hydro scheme, just how sustainable are these technologies?
Batteries vs pumped hydro – are they sustainable?
July 14, 2017
Climate change presents major risks for power and water businesses. To best prepare for the impacts of extreme or changing weather conditions, asset managers need to act now to build climate resilience into operations and ongoing risk management...
Building climate resilience into operations: Hydro Tasmania’s journey
July 5, 2017
Dams, water courses and water bodies typically offer a range of recreational benefits enjoyed by many. But where there’s water, there’s inherent danger...
Keeping safe around dams
June 21, 2017
Two very different storage technologies – one old, one new; one that takes years to build, one that can be built ‘within 100 days (or it’s free)’. How else do they differ, and is there a place for both?
Batteries vs pumped hydro – a place for both?
May 31, 2017
Global declines in water storage are increasingly troubling. With greater hydrological variability due to climate change, more storage will be vital to provide the same level of security of water, food and energy...
More water storage needed for a sustainable future
May 24, 2017
If you are planning to generate some of your own electricity, such as through a few wind turbines or a small solar farm, you’ll need to know about islanding...
Protecting your embedded generator from islanding without breaking the bank
April 18, 2017
The potential for successful large-scale solar in Australia is enormous, but problems with financing can spell death for your project...
Following the money: financing your solar farm
March 29, 2017
As the network continues to incorporate increasing levels of inverter-based asynchronous generation such as wind and solar, connection standards in the weakening grid are tighter than ever before...
Connecting renewables in a changing grid
March 14, 2017
The issues and trends we’re seeing playing out right now relating to hydropower and the clean energy sector are not unique to our region...
Shifting directions for hydropower in Asia-Pacific
March 6, 2017
Is designing a solar farm child’s play… a simple matter of snapping some Lego together? Not if you’re after maximum efficiency, operability and value...
Six essentials for solar farm design
February 22, 2017
With energy reliability a hot topic in Australia, eyes are now turning to pumped storage hydropower… but what has been holding it back?
Overcoming the barriers to pumped storage hydropower
February 2, 2017
Like many stories of island journeys, the pursuit of high levels of renewable energy in the Pacific involves good planning and skilled navigation to stay safe and on course, and holds the promise of rich rewards...
Planning a renewable energy journey in the Pacific
December 12, 2016
For dam owners, measuring the right things in the right locations is essential for a successful dam safety program...
Is your dam instrumentation telling you what you need to know?
November 30, 2016
Planning regimes for large-scale infrastructure are rarely simple. Investing time and energy in planning for project approvals makes it more likely that your solar project will succeed...
Planning for solar success
November 16, 2016
Pumped storage hydropower projects are a natural fit in an energy market with high penetration of renewable energy as they help to maximise the use of the renewables that are subject to the vagaries of the weather...
Is pumped storage hydro the key to increasing renewables in Australia?
October 24, 2016
Not fully understanding the geological conditions is one of the biggest risks in a hydropower project, and can lead to large cost blow-outs, major repairs and even public safety issues...
Five steps to better understanding geological risks in hydropower projects
October 5, 2016
A portfolio risk assessment allows owners of dams and other water assets to see the bigger picture of how to prioritise their efforts and resources to achieve the best safety result across their whole portfolio...
Portfolio risk assessment takes dam safety programs to the next level
September 26, 2016
With 2020 and its renewable energy targets fast approaching, the race is on to deploy renewable energy developments in Australia. Efficient and right-sized grid connection can get projects moving quickly and...
The art of solar grid connection
September 12, 2016
Perhaps the greatest gift to any agricultural region is increased certainty of reliable, available water...
Maximising irrigation certainty and security with the right data
September 6, 2016
In recent years, India has emerged as a world leader in renewable energy and this growth is presenting opportunities for businesses looking to diversify their activities.
Hydropower generates opportunities for businesses in India
August 26, 2016
Can our network and market frameworks support two to three times more renewables in Australia in the next ten to fifteen years without radical or innovative actions?
How can we manage a network with more renewables?
August 2, 2016
If you are planning a utility-scale solar development, how can you avoid the potential pitfalls and maximise success?
Overcoming potential roadblocks when developing a solar farm
July 13, 2016
So, you want to develop a hydropower project? Any hydropower development is a major undertaking, so you need to be sure you get it right...
Getting hydropower right: The six key considerations for a successful project
June 20, 2016
Safety risks around high-voltage electrical assets are far from trivial, particularly those risks associated with earthing hazards during construction activities...
Keeping construction workers safe around high-voltage assets
May 26, 2016
What do you need to know to minimise your risk and maximise the value of your commercial-scale solar and storage system?
How can businesses get more value from their investment in solar and storage?
May 12, 2016
There is banter doing the rounds of social media: One person asks, ‘What if we develop our people and they leave?’ The retort that quickly follows is, ‘What if we don’t develop our people and they stay?’
Are you investing in your most valuable asset?
April 28, 2016
What value can you derive for renewable energy projects through developing accurate models?
Finding the right value in dynamic modelling of renewables
April 8, 2016
How can distribution network service providers best take advantage of the emerging opportunities presented by...
Can commercial solar and storage reduce risk in an evolving electricity grid?
March 15, 2016
All power and water projects involve risks. The key to project success and sustainability is being able to...
Managing risks for successful, sustainable projects
March 2, 2016
The right data and analysis could unearth new strategies to get more from your infrastructure, and that’s too good an opportunity to miss...
Do your water assets hold unexplored potential?
February 18, 2016
For power and water businesses, information is one of the most valuable assets. But good data you can’t find or use is a wasted opportunity...
Smarter data management rewards power and water operations
February 4, 2016
Like having a pile of puzzle pieces but no box, are you drowning in data but unsure what it is telling you about your power and water assets?
Getting the bigger picture from your data
January 13, 2016
The security of an electricity network is threatened by the rise of sophisticated controls on modern generating equipment. These controls lead to complex interactions with the electricity network and must be managed carefully to...
Binary states: the rise of the switching controller
December 1, 2015
An arc flash is one of the greatest dangers electrical workers face, with potentially tragic consequences...
Saving lives and protecting assets by reducing arc flash hazards
November 19, 2015
Whether your focus is on a single dam or a whole portfolio, a risk assessment process helps you decide how best to intervene, and when, to get the maximum improvement...
Using risk assessment to guide dam safety upgrades
November 5, 2015
The measures taken to address safety risks at the underground Rouna 2 hydropower station in Papua New Guinea offer a timely reminder of the basic requirements for adequately managing safety risks...
Prioritising safety at Rouna 2 hydropower station, PNG
October 12, 2015
Hydropower stations can pose significant safety risks to those who work in them, but there is no excuse for injury or death in our workplaces...
Safer hydropower stations for safer workers
September 23, 2015
Because electricity has inherent risks with serious consequences, safety should always be a fundamental concern of consultants and clients...
Starting safe, staying safe: building safety into electrical design
September 7, 2015
An effective flood forecasting system is a vital tool for managing the significant risks that floods pose to communities, infrastructure and the environment...
Flood forecasting for a safer dam upgrade
August 27, 2015
As the electricity sector is revolutionised by new distributed generation and storage, can all the players survive?
Smart communities: a win–win for all grid players?
August 11, 2015
Almost every day, somewhere in the world, floods are putting lives at risk and causing major damage and financial impacts to...
Buying time: managing risks with flood forecasting
July 22, 2015
Asking ‘what is the best dam type for my dam site?’ is a key question in the early stages of planning a dam project. A number of dam types are being used around the world, such as...
What is the best dam type for my dam site?
July 1, 2015
A lot of the talk about the ‘death spiral’ in the demand for electricity from the grid in Australia has centred on the distribution end of the equation and the downside or asset risk associated with ‘disruptive’ technologies such as solar PV and storage...
How can the grid survive distributed generation and storage?
June 11, 2015
The remote Ok Menga hydropower station in the Western Province of PNG is vital to the operation of the Ok Tedi mine. It offers an example of just how expensive it can be when ageing power stations deteriorate and become increasingly unreliable
Breathing new life into ageing assets: asset management in practice in PNG
May 28, 2015
The Grattan Institute’s recently released report ‘Sundown, sunrise’ observes that household solar PV will soon be cost-competitive under existing tariff structures...
‘Sundown, sunrise’ or ‘reform or die’?
May 26, 2015
When you are considering investing in a renewable energy project, a thorough due diligence investigation can identify the costs, benefits and risks, and lead to well-informed decisions...
Eight principles for successful investment in renewable energy projects
May 14, 2015
Climate change poses new uncertainties and risks to power and water asset developers, operators and financiers, in addition to the challenges already facing these sectors. Higher temperatures, changes in water availability and rainfall, more frequent and severe weather events, and natural disasters may pose threats to...
Climate resilience in practice
May 4, 2015
Hydropower stations, like all technology or infrastructure, won’t stay efficient, reliable or safe without regular and ongoing attention...
Less risk, more benefit: managing assets for long-term gains
April 21, 2015
Many countries are experiencing huge increases in distributed generation. Utilities are wondering whether it's a blessing or a curse
ADAPT, OR DIE? SWIMMING AGAINST THE DEATH SPIRAL
March 26, 2015
Dam safety is a crucial aspect of modern dam building. Ensuring the safety of existing dams is a key concern of any dam owner, whether the dam is for generating power...
Dam safety: protecting lives and driving efficiencies
March 23, 2015
Remote area power systems that integrate renewable energy sources such as solar and wind with storage or diesel backup are increasingly allowing remote communities to become more self-sufficient and sustainable...