Meridian Energy to buy 749GWh of Australian hydropower, solar, and wind projects
The New Zeland-based energy company, Meridian Energy, has announced its purchase of solar, hydro, and wind projects in Australia.
The firm has invested AU$168mn in three hydro plants, all based in New South Wales, from New Zealand’s Trustpower.
Among the wind and solar investments – all Power Purchase Agreements – are the 37-turbine windfarm owned by CWP Renewables in NSW, Salt Creek Wind Farm in Victoria and stage one of the Kiamal Solar Farm, also in Victoria.
The projects combined create a total renewable capacity of 749GWh.
“Meridian is pleased to add hydro, wind and solar generation capacity to our existing wind generation,” commented Ed McManus, CEO of Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop 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.”
“Powershop, Meridian Australia’s retail arm, has been on a strong growth trajectory since its launch in 2014, with customer numbers now more than 100,000.”
“Acquiring the three hydro power stations along with the three PPAs for wind and solar farms in New South Wales and Victoria allows Powershop to continue to cover its growing retail position.”
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.
Meridian was also recognised as one of the most sustainably perceived brands in New Zealand in a recent consumer survey by Colmar Brunton.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.