New Zealand utility Trustpower has revealed plans to use Melbourne as the regional headquarters for its soon to be de-merged renewables-only entity, Tilt Renewables – bringing with it a $1.3 billion portfolio of Australian and NZ wind assets and “significant” plans to develop and buy more large-scale wind and solar in Australia.
In a strategic move along the lines of that taken by European renewables giant E.ON, Trustpower has decided to split its business, dividing it between the old – the NZ utility, which will rebadged as New Trustpower – and the new, its significant wind energy portfolio.
The choice of Melbourne as the regional home base for the new entity, Tilt Renewables, was announced by the Victorian government on Thursday as a big win for the state, that would create up to 35 new jobs and bring investment to the state.
Up to 5400MW of new large-scale renewable energy capacity is expected to be built in Vcitoria by 2025 to meet the Andrews government’s recently adopted – and highly ambitious – 40 per cent by 2025 renewable energy target.
According to company documents, Tilt Renewables has around $A100 million of committed debt facilities available for future development, acquisitions or expansion of solar or wind assets, and $A15 million for working capital requirements.
“Growing renewable energy means growing jobs and we want a big boost to both right here in Victoria,” said state energy minister Lily D’ambrosia. “The world is shifting to renewable energy and Victorians want to be at the forefront of that.”
For Tilt, the plan is to more than double current operating renewable generation capacity over the next five years (to 1,500MW) and position the new company – which will be listed on the Australian and NZ stock exchanges – for growth beyond 2020.
“Tilt Renewables will be a significant owner of wind generation assets in Australia and New Zealand and the creation of the Australasian headquarters in Melbourne will allow us to achieve our vision for significant growth and investment in the years ahead,” said Tilt managing director Bruce Harker in a statement on Thursday.
“With planning approval for our Dundonnell wind farm received recently, we are in a strong position to support the Victorian Government’s renewable energy target and progress Australia towards a greener energy future.”
According to the company’s website, it’s plans for the Australian market include the consideration of further acquisition of consented wind/solar sites to bolster its existing pipeline. Tilt also plans to achieve of financial close on “at least one major project by first half of 2017.”
Other plans include the determination of contracted revenue options post maturity of Snowtown 1 PPA in Dec 2018.