Wind farm owner and developer Tilt Renewables has revealed its June quarter output has been hit by lower than average wind speeds and curtailment of its Snowtown 1 wind farm in South Australia because of system strength restrictions.
The output of its existing wind farms – not including the Snowtown 2 wind farm recently sold for $1 billion – was down more than 12 per cent on the same period last year, and more than 10 per cent below expectations.
It says this was driven primarily by wind speeds below long term forecast levels and the curtailment of the 101MW Snowtown 1 wind farm due to the South Australian System Strength constraint imposed by the Australian Energy Market Operator. It says this amounted to 4 gigawatt hours during the quarter.
Overall production was 23 per cent higher at 347GWh thanks to an additional 81GWh of output from the newly connected but only partially commissioned 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm in Victoria.
Dundonnell is so far operating at 116MW of capacity, but Tilt revealed last week that it had been told by AEMO that commissioning of the rest of the wind farm’s capacity would be delayed due to unspecified network issues. Tilt has lamented the lack of clarity on the issue from AEMO and says it has followed its connection agreement to the letter.
The delay in full commissioning has forced the company to write down its full year profit predictions to a range of $65 million to $80 million, assuming average wind conditions, from its previous forecast (made less than two months ago) of a profit in the range of $80 million to $95 million.
Snowtown 1 sells its output into the spot market, while Dundonnell has 93 per cent of its full output contracted to the Victoria government, Snowy Hydro and Aldi, although it will initially sell the output at spot prices until the PPAs come into effect. It says it cannot now say with certainty when it will reach full commissioning for Dundonnell even though all 80 turbines are now erected.