HomeInfratil News2012TrustPower advances Australian Snowtown Wind Farm Expansion

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TrustPower advances Australian Snowtown Wind Farm Expansion

2 May 2012

TrustPower has concluded a number of conditional agreements that have significantly advanced its plans for an expansion of its existing 100MW Wind Farm at Snowtown, 160km North West of Adelaide, in South Australia.

TrustPower has entered into a power sale and purchase agreement for the output of Snowtown II with Origin Energy, which already has a purchase agreement for 89% of the Snowtown 1 facility.

Under the terms of a new 15 year agreement, Origin will be supplied with 100% of the output and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), with the agreement expected to take effect in 2014 following the wind farm’s construction and commissioning.

The Snowtown II Wind Farm, as the expansion will be known, will be located adjacent to the existing Snowtown 1 facility and comprise 90 turbines with an installed capacity of 270MW. The 3MW turbines for the expansion will be supplied by Siemens.

TrustPower is pleased to have the support of the local community for this expansion, which will further cement the positive relationships established with the Snowtown Lions club and the establishment four years ago of the TrustPower Snowtown Lend a Hand Foundation.

New Zealand based TrustPower has been active in Australia for 10 years, as a result of the support by successive Australian governments of the 20% Renewable Energy by 2020 target.

TrustPower Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth says the Australian Government’s commitment to the 20% by 2020 policy directly resulted in the building of Snowtown 1, and now looks likely to make another sustainable leap forward with the building of Snowtown II.

“We believe that continued support of the Renewable Energy Target will result in further investment to achieve the policy objective. As part of our broader strategy, TrustPower is pursuing additional opportunities in Australia because of that. “

It is intended that Snowtown Stage 2 will be split into two separately metered wind farms, 144MW which will be owned by TrustPower and 126MW by a co-investor. TrustPower will be the operator for the total Snowtown wind farm site under a long term management services arrangement. TrustPower is currently running a targeted selection process to identify a co-investor and hopes to make an announcement within the next few months.

About TrustPower:
TrustPower is New Zealand’s fifth largest electricity retailer /generator, and the sixth largest company by market capitalisation on the NZX.

From its base in Tauranga, TrustPower manages a portfolio of 36 hydro generation stations, geographically spread across New Zealand, the Tararua wind farm, New Zealand’s largest, on the North Island’s Tararua Ranges, a second wind farm at Mahinerangi in the South Island, a diesel peaking plant adjacent to the New Zealand oil refinery at Marsden Point, and the Snowtown wind farm in South Australia.

TrustPower, which has shareholder funds in excess of $1.4 billion and annual operating revenue in excess of NZ$750 million, is 50.5% owned by New Zealand Infrastructure Investment company Infratil, and 33% by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust. The company, which employs some 480 people, has around 210,000 retail customers in New Zealand, where it generates, approximately, 2,425 GWh per annum.

TrustPower has been active in Australia for the past decade, and in addition to its successful Snowtown Wind Farm in South Australia, is actively exploring wind farm investment opportunities at sites it has been evaluating in several other states.

TrustPower’s largest shareholder, Infratil, is also active in Australia via its Lumo Energy electricity retailing operation and Infratil Energy Australia, which has investments in three peaking power stations with a total of 100MW capacity, the Hunter Power station in NSW, and a 65MW peaking facility at Port Stanvas in South Australia which is currently under construction. Infratil Energy Australia also holds 82% of shares in Perth Energy, which has recently completed construction of a 120MW dual fuel power station at Kwinana.

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