Green energy-oriented electricity retailer Powershop Australia, owned by New Zealand’s utility Meridian Energy, has significantly expanded its Australian renewable energy portfolio, signing a deal for the output of two wind projects and the 200 MW Kiamal Solar Farm – Stage 1 in Victoria.
Located in North-West Victoria, the Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is developed by Total Eren, French independent power producer, as its first investment in Australia, and due for completion mid-2019.
Additionally, Powershop has also purchased three hydro power stations in New South Wales from New Zealand energy retailer Trustpower for $168 million and agreed to take the output of the 135 MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm in New South Wales and the 54 MW Salt Creek Wind Farm in Victoria, due for completion in 2019 and late 2018 respectively.
The renewable deals were signed to support Powershop’s continued customer growth, adding 749 GWh and taking Meridian’s annual renewable generation to roughly 1,300 GWh in Australia.
“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 Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia’s Chief Executive Ed McManus, noting that Meridian is pleased to add hydro, wind and solar generation capacity to its existing wind generation, the Mt Millar wind farm in South Australia and the Mt Mercer wind farm near Ballarat in Victoria.
Meridan has been growing its retail customer numbers through its Powershop brand in Australia since 2014, and according to McManus the customer numbers in Australia currently exceed 100,000.
“Powershop’s steady growth is proof that Australians have a strong desire to support a green energy company,“ he underlined, adding that Powershop continues to grow, the company plans to invest in more renewable energy generation.
“Additionally, the opportunity to acquire hydro assets in Australia is extremely rare and having a balanced portfolio of wind, solar and hydro allows us to more effectively manage risk in the market,“ McManus said, adding that Meridian would continue to monitor new technology, such as pumped hydro, batteries and thermal solar to ensure a diversified portfolio of technologies and generation.
Powershop Australia is the only electricity retailer to be certified 100% carbon neutral by the Australian Government and has been ranked by Greenpeace as the greenest power company in Australia for two years running.