Plans for a 200MW-plus wind farm in Victoria look set to go ahead, following a deal between federal government-owned gen-tailer Snowy Hydro and international outfit Global Power Generation – a joint venture majority-owned by Spain-based Naturgy Energy Group.
The 218MW, $A359 million Ryan Corner wind farm is planned for construction around 300km west of Melbourne, near Port Fairy. Under Nature’s previous name of Union Fenosa, it gained development approval back in 2017 for no more than 56 turbines.
The new deal between GPG and Snowy Hydro appears to have revived the project, however, with Naturgy confirming on the weekend that it is now expected to start operations in the second half 2022.
The project is the third being developed in Australia by Naturgy, via GPG, which is 25 per cent owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority. The JV is also behind the 96MW Crookwell 2 wind farm (in operation), and the 180MW Berrybank Stage-1 wind farm, which is nearing completion.
Ryan Corner is, however, the GPG’s first Australian renewable energy project to be underwritten by a corporate PPA – a 15-year contract-for-difference for 75% of the energy produced by the wind farm.
“Given the characteristics of the awarded contract and the conditions of the Australian market, one of the most attractive countries to invest in renewables, the project fully complies with the investment and profitability criteria required by Naturgy for value creation,” the company said in a statement.
Naturgy also noted that it is finalising the permitting of various renewable projects in Australia, which could involve the development of more than 400MW of additional capacity, increasing by 150% its current installed capacity in the country.
“The company has a project pipeline of more than 600MW in the country and aims to become one of the main independent renewable operators in Australia in the next three years, reaching a total capacity of more than 1.3 GW,” it said.
For Snowy Hydro, Ryan Corner looks to be additional to the eight wind and solar projects that formed part of its landmark deal for cheap and “firmed” renewables.
That 15-year power purchase deal contracted a total of 888MW of capacity to Snowy Hydro, which in turn aims to deliver – with the help of its existing hydro plants – “firm” renewables at a cost of well below $70/MWh.