Western Australian households are embracing renewable energy tech at record rates with new figures pointing to 3,000 homes undertaking rooftop solar panel installations each month – an increase of more than 600% since 2011.

Last year, WA households added 191 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity to their rooftops bringing the total amount of residential solar capacity in the South West Interconnected System to 1,362MW.

More than 400,000 WA homes and businesses, or around 36 per cent of customers, now have rooftop solar connected to WA’s main grid.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said over the past 10 years, rooftop solar increased by more than 600% in the state, with 50% of WA households expected to have solar panels by 2030.

“These rapid changes to the energy landscape have presented a range of challenges and opportunities, which we are addressing to ensure electricity remains affordable and reliable,” he said.

The collective capacity of residential solar generation has also exceeded the gross output capacity of WA’s largest power station – Synergy’s 854MW Muja Power Station.

To enable the continued uptake of rooftop solar panels on WA homes and avoid blackouts, the McGowan Government has introduced a range of policies, products, and initiatives.

This includes the new Emergency Solar Management rules which start on February 14, WA’s biggest battery in Kwinana, community battery storage trials and virtual power plants.


To ASX news

Meridian completes sale of Australian business

Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) completed the sale of its Australian business to the consortium of Shell Energy Operations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell and Infrastructure Capital Group, at a final sale price of $740m.

Shell is now the owner of the retail business, Powershop Australia, while ICG is now the owner of the infrastructure assets (Mt Mercer and Mt Millar wind farms, Hume, Burrinjuck and Keepit hydro power stations and development assets).


Sparc enters trading halt ahead of JV news

South Australian company Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) – focused on the research, development, and commercialisation of graphene-based technologies – has revealed this morning it will be entering a trading halt in regards to a material joint venture.

Unless the ASX decides otherwise, SPN says its securities will remain in a trading halt until the beginning of normal trade on Thursday, February 3.


Magnis’ New York lithium-ion battery plant advances

Vertically integrated lithium-ion battery company Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) is in the ‘semi-autonomous phase’ of its gigawatt-scale lithium-ion battery plant, meaning batches of cells can be produced for both marketing and due diligence purposes.

Full automation by its subsidiary, Imperium3 New York (iM3NY) is expected to be achieved in the first half of 2022.

Its tech partner, C4V, has produced exciting initial results in their Extra Fast Charging battery program with 7Ah (Amp hour) commercial cells using their patented BMLMP Technology.

MNS says these results “show no capacity loss” after 250 cycles with 15 min charge and variable discharge rates.

Positive feedback has also been received regarding its New York State Energy Research & Development Authority EFC Bus Program, designed to illustrate that C4V’s Extra Fast Charging technology can be applied to State Transit Buses in New York State.

Work continues to ramp up at its Nachu Graphite Project in Tanzania as it moves closer to beginning construction.

It is expected that during Q1 2022 the construction of the village will start as clearing works near completion and roadworks get under way.


Global Energy Ventures appoints new director and chair

Global Energy Ventures (ASX:GEV) has appointed Greg Martin as an independent non-executive director and new chair.

Martin has more than 40 years’ experience in energy, utilities, resources, and financial services in Australia as well as overseas.

During his executive career, he spent 25 years with The Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) and was CEO and managing director of Murchison Metals (ASX:MMX) after that.

Current executive roles include serving as deputy chair of Western Power, chair of Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU), Mawson Infrastructure Group Inc, and Hunter Water Corporation.