Origin adds more renewables, storage to plug pending coal gap


Origin Energy has reached agreement to acquire the Yanco Delta project being developed in the New South Wales (NSW) Riverina region from Virya Energy in a deal worth $300 million (USD 196.2 million) as part of its plan to replace the capacity set to be withdrawn from the grid with the impending closure of the nation’s biggest coal-fired power station.

The electricity and gas company announced it will provide an upfront payment of $125 million to Virya to acquire what it described as “one of the largest and most advanced wind and energy storage projects” in the state. An additional payment of up to $175 million is to be made conditional on the project achieving certain development milestones.

The Yanco Delta project is being developed on a 33,000-hectare site near Jerilderie in the Riverina district. The site is located in the NSW government-designated South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

Origin Chief Executive Frank Calabria said the project is strategically located next to key transmission infrastructure with key planning and regulatory approvals already secured.

Calabria said the acquisition of the construction-ready project, which will be capable of powering more than 750,000 households and is forecast to avoid up to 4.5 million tonnes of emissions a year by displacing coal generation, represents a major step forward in Origin’s journey to transition its generation portfolio to cleaner energy.

Calabria said the Yanco Delta project will provide “benefits of scale” as Origin, the owner of the 2,880 MW Eraring power station in the NSW Hunter Valley that is slated to shut down in August 2025, looks to accelerate the development of large-scale renewable energy projects that will play a key role in the transformation of the NSW energy sector.

“Origin has made rapid progress in building out a portfolio of renewable and storage projects at varying stages of development, and Yanco Delta represents a unique opportunity to bring a material volume of renewable energy supply into the market relatively quickly,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with the local community and other stakeholders and bringing Origin’s expertise and track record in developing large-scale energy projects to progress this project to construction.”

Origin’s portfolio of renewable and storage projects includes Walcha Energy’s proposed 450 MW Salisbury Solar Farm project near Uralla in the New England REZ, while progress continues on large-scale batteries at Eraring and Mortlake power stations in NSW and Victoria respectively.

Earlier this week it announced its first offtake contract for a battery energy storage system, reaching agreement with Quinbrook Infrastructure to take 100% capacity of the first 250 MW / 500 MWh battery being built as part of the Supernode project being developed in Queensland.

Origin said completion of its acquisition of Yanco Delta is subject to conditions typical for transactions of this nature.

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