GREEN DEALS: Sunshine State's solar statement

The Sunshine Coast unveils plans for a major solar development, geothermal group Petratherm moves into shale, CBD Energy shareholders have a nervous wait and a new NSW wind farm seeks planning approval.

Sunshine Coast solar

A $24-$30 million solar development is being planned by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.

The around 10MW facility will meet half of its electricity needs for at least 30 years, with construction slated to begin next year.

The Council will soon call for expressions of interest from companies to design and build the development, which would be one of Australia’s largest.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the solar power project would deliver a multi-million-dollar saving for ratepayers.

“If our market-sounding exercises stack up, we would be the first council to build a solar farm at utility scale in Australia, and it will be potentially the largest in the nation,” Jamieson said.

“This would save money, reduce our carbon footprint and take the Sunshine Coast one step closer to becoming the most sustainable region in Australia.”

Petratherm

Geothermal company Petratherm is chasing riches in the shale oil & gas sector, applying for a Petroleum Exploration Licence in Tasmania.

While the company insists it remains focused on its flagship Paralana hot rocks project, it is another show of retreat from geothermal in this country and perhaps leaves Geodynamics as the only serious company in the industry for a little while. The good news is there has been strong progress at Geodynamics this year.

There have been problems with government programs and the geothermal challenge has been greater than first thought, but the sheer number of companies who entered the ASX five or so years ago with little more than some prospective land reeked of opportunism. With both sides of politics onside it appeared geothermal was set to take off and plenty of companies entered the marketplace cap in hand, but we have very little to show for it five-ten years on. While Petratherm has shown more initiative than most, excuse this writer’s scepticism of the latest move from a geothermal company to a new ‘hot’ energy source – shale gas.

CBD Energy

In the most recent Green Deals column we discussed the possibility of a potentially make or break funding announcement from CBD Energy. Well, we hold our breath a little longer as the company has now entered a trading suspension that is expected to last into next week.

“CBD Energy Limited requests an immediate voluntary suspension, pending the release of an announcement by CBD regarding the outcome of discussions between CBD and its financiers and major creditors in relation to a proposed restructuring of CBD,” the company told investors in a statement.

With its shares trading at 1.1 cents, the company doesn’t have the greatest bargaining power.

Newtricity

Plans for a new wind farm south-west of Sydney have been sent to the NSW Department of Planning, according to the ABC.

Newtricity is looking to construct a 40 turbine wind project near Crookwell, with the $30 million Biala wind farm due to be built between 2015 and 2017.

Algae.Tec

Algae-to-biofuels group Algae.Tec has completed a share purchase plan, raising just shy of three quarters of a million dollars at an issue price of 22 cents a share. Demand wasn’t as strong as hoped and while the offer was extended by a month to accommodate more interest, the company fell short of its target.