Meridian Energy adds hydro, solar and wind projects

Monday, 05 February, 2018

Meridian Energy adds hydro, solar and wind projects

Meridian Energy Australia has entered into an agreement with New Zealand power company Trustpower to purchase GSP Energy, as well as signed three power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable projects in Victoria and NSW.

The $168 million agreement with Trustpower sees Meridian Energy take ownership of 100% of the shares of GSP Energy and, with them, GSP Energy’s three hydro power stations. The Keepit, Burrinjuck and Hume Power Stations are all located in NSW and have a combined capacity of 92 MW.

The PPAs are meanwhile intended to support the continued growth of Meridian Energy’s retail arm, green energy company Powershop. The Crudine Ridge Wind Farm has a generation capacity of 135 MW and is due for completion in 2019; the proposed Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 200 MW on completion in 2019; and the Salt Creek Wind Farm, currently under construction, has a capacity of 54 MW and is due for completion in mid- to late-2018.

“Meridian is pleased to add hydro, wind and solar generation capacity to our existing wind generation,” said Ed McManus, chief executive of Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia. “These agreements expand our portfolio of 100% renewable generation, allowing us to support our growing customer base and drive further demand for large-scale renewable energy in Australia.

“Powershop, Meridian Australia’s retail arm, has been on a strong growth trajectory since its launch in 2014, with customer numbers now more than 100,000. Acquiring the three hydro power stations along with the three PPAs for wind and solar farms in NSW and Victoria allows Powershop to continue to cover its growing retail position.

“Our business model has always been based on having a balanced portfolio of generation and retail. Powershop’s growth has created the need for us to make this move in the market. As Powershop continues to grow, we will invest in more renewable energy generation.

“Additionally, the opportunity to acquire hydro assets in Australia is extremely rare and having a balanced portfolio of wind, solar and hydro allows us to more effectively manage risk in the market. Meridian will continue to monitor new technology, such as pumped hydro, batteries and thermal solar, so that we can ensure we have a diverse range of technologies and generation.”

The combination of these hydro, wind and solar projects will add 749 GWh, taking Meridian’s annual renewable generation to roughly 1300 GWh in Australia.

Image caption: The Burrinjuck Power Station.

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