EnergyAustralia said it would buy 500MW of power from new wind and solar energy projects in eastern Australia, representing power purchase contracts valued at about A$1.5 billion ($1.12 billion; €1.04 billion).
As its first commitment under this scheme, the company has agreed to buy all of the electricity produced by a 42.6MW solar farm in Manildra, New South Wales. The project, developed by First Solar, is backed by the government-run Australian Renewable Energy Agency. A final, 13-year PPA is expected before this year’s end.
“Owning big power plants comes with the responsibility of promoting and leading the development of cleaner forms of energy. That’s why we’re committing to buy 500MW of power from new solar and wind projects around the country, providing the support they need to get built,” said Catherine Tanna, managing director of EnergyAustralia. The company owns two of the largest coal-fired plants in the country.
She added that negotiations between EnergyAustralia and proponents of other solar and wind projects across the region were well advanced. “These are the projects which will come to underpin energy supply in Australia as coal-fired power plants are retired,” she said.
The company said it had supported more than A$1 billion of capital investment in new renewable energy generation. Its existing renewable energy investments include the rights to purchase more than 450MW of electricity from wind farms in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
EnergyAustralia said this would contribute to the country’s national Renewable Energy Target, which aims to have 23 percent of its total energy provided by renewable sources by 2020.