Alinta seeks 1,000MW of large scale renewable projects

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Alinta seeks offers for renewable projects 50MW or bigger to help deliver 1000MW of wind and solar by 2020, helping it “make good” on its recent shortfalls.

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Energy retailer and generator, Alinta Energy, on Friday announced it was seeking expressions of interest for up to 1,00MW of renewable projects sized over 50MW.

Alinta is best known as a coal and gas plant operator which has chosen in the past to pay the shortfall penalty for failing to meet its renewable energy target obligations.

In 2016, it closed the Northern brown coal generator in South Australia, but it recently bought the Loy Yang B brown coal generator in Victoria and also put in a $250 million bid for the Liddell coal generator that AGL plans to close in NSW.

Alinta is seeking to challenge the dominance of the big four “gen-tailers” in the National Energy Market, and says it is growing its customer base by around 2,000 customers a day, and now has more than one million customers.

Hence the need for more renewable generation to deliver “more affordable energy” to its customers.

Managing director Jeff Dimery says the company has around 3,000MW of  owned and contracted capacity in its generation portfolio already, and is eager to secure additional generation.

“We’re working to deliver 1000 megawatts of owned and contracted renewable generation by 2020, so we welcome any contact from renewable energy developers who are prepared to work with us to deliver more affordable energy to our customers,” Dimery said in a statement.

“As a retailer that is determined to drive down the cost of energy for our customers and is looking to challenge our larger competitors, I can assure those with suitable projects that you will find a partner that is ready, willing and able in Alinta Energy.”

Alinta is not the only utility on the hunt for new or recently completed wind and solar projects, with AGL and Snowy Hydro also conducting tenders to meet their needs.

Alinta’s website lists 2,000MW of baseload, intermediate and peaking power generation, almost exclusively fossil fuel generation.

It has previously contracted with the 130MW Badgingarra Wind Farm in Western Australia, and in February last year announced it had bought the development rights to around 500MW of renewable energy project pipeline, including the 300MW  Yandin Wind Farm development.

It had also agreed terms to contract for a 34MW  wind offtake in Victoria and with a 58MW  solar offtake in Queensland.

However, it admitted at the time that it had not built or contracted enough capacity to meet its renewable energy target obligations, and would pay the shortfall penalty instead, and make up for that in coming years.

Retailers have a three-year grace period to make up any shortfall and recoup their penalty payments. It would seem this new tender is part of “making good” on that shortfall.

Alinta says interested parties should email [email protected] on or before August 3, 2018. (That’s tomorrow week). RenewEconomy contacted Alinta to seek more information but did not get a response before publication.

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11 Comments
  1. GlennM 3 months ago

    Well…terribly late. However when someone who would rather pay penalties than build RE admits that RE will decrease costs then there is no one left in the power industry who thinks RE is expensive.

    Any who so long as this results in another 1000MW of funded RE development then it is a good thing. It will be interesting to see the contracts signed, hopefully they will contract say 50% of X project and enable the other 50% to be co funded, that way this will spur 2GW not 1GW.

    With the timeline they state they must be after well established projects in the pipeline either financially closed or close to it.

    • phillyc 3 months ago

      How much are the penalties when calculated out from a certificate price into a MWh basis?
      From that we could calculate that RE MWh is therefore at most / lower than Brown Coal (Loy Yang A) MWh cost plus penalty per MWh.
      Most recent RE estimates and auctions have come in at the $55MWh region.

  2. Joe 3 months ago

    So all the while that Alinta was chasing hard after Andy V to get hold of Liddell, Alinta was short with its RE side of things and happy to pay the ensuing penalties. Now all of sudden we are to believe that Alinta is so caring that it wants to “deliver more affordable energy to our customers”. Alinta, by all means get the party started with going hard on RE but please spare us the PR and Spin.

    • charles frogg 3 months ago

      Someone has finally told Alinta about the huge slush bucket full of taxpayer funded subsides for renewable projects in Australia. Everyone else in the world has heard about it even the Sauda’s have put their hands out for a donation from Australian taxpayers.

  3. Chris Fraser 3 months ago

    RE investment would be a bargain compared with Liddell, with its steam pipes one day threatening to explode.

  4. phillyc 3 months ago

    With 2000MW of FF generation capacity of varying capacity factors, adding 1000MW of renewables with varying capacity factors is a nice step forward to 2020. Hopefully the renewables are accretive and aren’t just buying up of existing renewables. We need more and more renewables.

  5. Crankydaks 3 months ago

    You’ve got to be kidding, just purchased Loy Yang B, trying for Liddell and now going green. Looks like an each way bet

  6. Alastair Leith 3 months ago

    Seems to hinge on Alinta’s unmet RET obligations. So why are ALP not proposing to extend the RET targets to 2025 and 2030?

  7. Jon 3 months ago

    Looking for Renewable Power and buying Liddell for a bargain price we’re both the same for Alinta, cheap power they can sell to make a profit.
    The penalties they paid are also reimbursed if they meet their requirements inside the three years.
    I don’t agree with their ethics but the decisions they are making are just business decisions to get more exposure into the market.

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