Origin has sold its 530 megawatt Stockyard Hill wind farm in Victoria to Chinese-owned Goldwin, and has signed a power purchase agreement to buy back the energy at below $60/MWh, which Origin says is a “market leading” price.
In comparison, recent data from ANU found the cost of new-build gas was $78/MWh and supercritical black coal was $66/MWh.
“Today’s announcement is important as it indicates just how fast the transition is occurring in Australia’s energy market,” Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said.
“Not only is renewable energy being rolled out rapidly, the costs have fallen at a very fast rate.”
Mr Calabria said Goldwin’s development would become “Australia’s largest wind farm”, with 149 turbines.
“Stockyard Hill’s development will boost the clean energy credentials of Victoria, which up until now has been known for having the most carbon-intensive energy supply of any Australian state or territory,” he said.
The news was welcomed by Environment Victoria, which said it showed that the financial markets had decided renewable energy was the future.
“Prior to Hazelwood’s closure we heard scaremongering that the lights would go out in Victoria,” Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said.
“Now that Hazelwood has closed, we are seeing space in the electricity market for new, job-creating and pollution-reducing renewable energy projects.”
Mr Wakeham said about 300 jobs would be created during construction, along with 30 ongoing jobs for regional Victoria, with the wind farm located 35km west of Ballarat.
“Regional Victoria is experiencing huge benefits from investment in renewable energy, which makes it so puzzling that the Victorian Coalition has promised to scrap the state’s renewable energy target if elected in 2018,” he said.