Origin signs wind offtake agreement with TrustPower

Origin Energy and New Zealand-based TrustPower have announced the signing of Origin’s largest-ever wind power purchase agreement, for the energy generated by TrustPower’s planned Snowtown 2 Wind Farm in South Australia.

The Snowtown 2 Wind Farm, which is set to comprise 90 turbines with an installed capacity of 270 MW, will be located adjacent to TrustPower’s 100 MW Snowtown Wind Farm – with which Origin holds an existing power purchase agreement.

Under the terms of the new 15 year agreement, Origin will be supplied with 100 per cent of the output and Rewewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Snowtown 2, which is expected to commence operations in 2014. Origin will pay only for the energy and RECs generated by the wind farm.

The Snowtown 2 Wind Farm will be located approximately 160 km northwest of Adelaide. Construction is expected to commence in late 2012, subject to the completion of a number of conditions.

Meanwhile, Origin Managing Director Grant King has said in a presentation to investors that Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) is not adjusted to reflect actual demand for energy, and that it is resulting in higher costs for consumers.

Mr King said that lower energy demand forecasts to 2020 (differing from the original demand forecasts predicted by the Australian Energy Market Operator when the RET was established in 2009) have meant that an actual 20 per cent RET target would result in a large-scale RET contribution of 27 TWh. The fixed volume target for the RET is 45 TWh, in addition to 15 TWh of existing renewable energy.

The existing RET is based on a forecast 2020 demand of 300 TWh. Origin forecasts 2020 demand of 250 TWh.

Mr King also called for the rationalisation of state-based energy efficiency and carbon reduction schemes, and for confirming or bringing forward current planned reductions in the small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme multiplier.

Members of the clean energy industry, such as the Australian Solar Energy Society and Climate Spectator Editor Tristan Edis have said that if Mr King’s suggestions were adopted, Australia’s solar, wind and other renewable energy companies would be negatively impacted.

EcoGeneration’s Wind Map of Australia 2012 shows the locations and details of all under construction and completed wind energy projects in the country.

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