Goldwind Australia selling Stockyard Hill Wind Farm after just 15 months

The project in Victoria has a long-term PPA agreement in place with Origin Energy and is expected to appeal to mid-market renewables investors.

Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, owned by Chinese-backed Goldwind Australia and with a long-term PPA in place, is up for sale, Infrastructure Investor understands.

Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is under construction and consists of 149 wind turbines located approximately 35 kilometres west of Ballarat in Victoria. It will have a total capacity of 530MW, with the potential to provide enough power for approximately 391,000 homes per year, and will be the largest wind farm in the country once completed.

The asset’s current owner, Goldwind Australia, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese company Xinjian Goldwind Science & Technology. It has only owned Stockyard Hill for 15 months, when it acquired the asset from Origin Energy for A$110 million ($80.26 million; €69.4 million).

It is now looking to sell the asset, according to a source familiar with the deal, with the sale process set to begin before the end of this year. The percentage equity stake that will be up for sale is not yet known. It is unclear why Goldwind has decided to sell the wind farm within such a short time. The company had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.

As part of the sale to Goldwind in May 2017, Origin Energy signed a long-term power-purchase agreement for all the power generated by Stockyard Hill and its associated Renewable Energy Certificates, lasting from its commencement of operations in 2019 until 2030.

The presence of a long-term PPA is likely to make the asset more attractive to mid-market renewable energy investors amid an uncertain regulatory environment in Australia following the collapse of the proposed National Energy Guarantee and continuing turmoil over the leadership of the federal government.

In a statement to the ASX at the time of the sale, Origin Energy described striking the agreement at a “market-leading PPA price” of below A$60/MWh. The deal was designed to cover a large portion of the load that Origin lost from the closure in March 2017 of its coal-fired Hazelwood Power Station.

Construction on the project began in June this year, with Goldwind providing engineering, procurement and construction services, and set to provide operation and maintenance services once it is complete.