February 1 (Renewables Now) - Meridian Energy Ltd (NZE:MEL) on Thursday unveiled a contract to buy a hydropower plant (HPP) portfolio in Australia and off-take deals for renewable energy plants in Victoria and New South Wales.
The New Zealand hydro and wind power company has signed a conditional agreement with Trustpower Ltd (NZE:TPW) to acquire GSP Energy Pty Ltd, the operator of three HPPs, for AUD 168 million (USD 134.7m/EUR 108.4m). The facilities, named Hume, Burrinjuck and the Keepit, are all located in New South Wales.
In a separate deal, Meridian has agreed to buy power from the 135-MW Crudine Ridge wind project of CWP Renewables in Pyramul, New South Wales, slated to begin operations next year. It has also signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with French renewables developer Total Eren for part of the output of the first stage of its 200-MW Kiamal solar park in Victoria. The project is currently in advanced development and is scheduled for completion in the middle of 2019.
Under the third PPA, Meridian will buy power from the 54-MW Salt Creek wind park in Victoria, owned by TILT Renewables. The plant is currently being build and is expected to go live in mid to late 2018.
The deals will help Meridian lift its renewable energy generation by 749 GWh and bring its annual renewables output in Australia to about 1,300 GWh.
“These agreements expand our portfolio of 100% renewable generation allowing us to support our growing customer base and drive further demand for large scale renewable energy in Australia,” said Ed McManus, Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia’s CEO.
Meridian noted it will continue to monitor new technology, such as pumped hydropower and solar thermal, so as to make sure it has a “diverse range of technologies and generation.”
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.802/EUR 0.645)