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.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.