21 November 2002 – Australia’s Pacific Hydro Ltd has almost completely sold the electricity from its planned Portland Wind Farm after today finalising a long-term power purchasing agreement with major energy retailer TXU.
The news sparked a 15 cent rally in the renewable energy producer’s shares, which closed at $A2.99 ($1.67). Pacific Hydro said it expected to sign an agreement by the middle of December for the sale of the remaining energy produced by the 180 MW wind farm, to be constructed late next year.
“We’ve got a heads of agreement for the sale of more than we can produce,” said Pacific Hydro managing director Jeff Harding. Construction of the farm, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest, is expected to take 18 months and cost $A270m. When complete, it will more than triple the amount of energy produced by windfarms in Australia.
The new contract binds TXU to purchase about 150 GWh of energy for the next ten years. “This contract doesn’t impact on the bottom line this year but it certainly will ensure future growth of the earnings of the company,” Mr Harding said. Having had a “reasonable” year thus far, Pacific Hydro was “travelling nicely”, and currently expected its 2002/03 profit before abnormals to exceed last year’s $A26.6m.
Future growth is very much on the minds of Pacific Hydro’s executives – Mr Harding said the company had a “very large” portfolio of development projects ahead. “We’ve identified at least 2000 MW of additional capacity that could be developed in the next five to ten years,” he said. “It’s spread around Australia, in every state.” Construction has commenced on Pacific Hydro’s 52.5 MW farm was “going very very well”, Mr Harding said.