A Newcastle company has secured a $700 million investment from Swiss private equity firm Partners Group to build large-scale wind, solar and battery projects in NSW.
CWP Renewables said the deal, announced on Monday night, will build enough renewable energy [more than 1300 megawatts] to help replace the Hunter’s coal-fired Liddell power station.
Annual generation from this would be equivalent to about 50 per cent of Liddell, the company said.
More than 400 megawatts of these projects are already under construction.
The entire plan, known as the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform, is set to be built over the next four years.
“These projects will help with the transition away from fossil-fuelled electricity [in NSW],” CWP Renewables CEO Alex Hewitt said.
“Significantly, our portfolio combines the benefits of wind and solar generation with large-scale batteries, allowing morning and evening wind-generation to be combined with daytime solar-generation and battery energy storage.
“This is the future of large-scale generation in Australia. We can, from this large portfolio, produce 24-7 baseload renewable power at very competitive prices.”
Partners Group head of private infrastructure Asia-Pacific, Benjamin Haan, said: “We look forward to working with the CWP team to further support the generation of clean energy in Australia”.
CWP Renewables, which has its office in Hunter Street, is set to begin its third large-scale wind farm in NSW.
The $250 million Crudine Ridge Wind Farm – 45 kilometres south of Mudgee in central-west NSW – will power 55,000 households annually.
Chief operating officer Ed Mounsey said the company was “proud to be leading the transition to a clean energy future from within the Hunter”.
The company is also constructing the $588 million Sapphire Wind Farm project, west of Glen Innes in the New England area.
These two projects will involve more than 1000 wind-turbine components coming through the Port of Newcastle.
Port of Newcastle’s executive manager for trade and business development, Ian Doherty, said the port had a “proven track record in the delivery of wind-turbine imports servicing the multiple wind-farm developments across NSW”.
CWP Renewables is also developing a 200-megawatt solar and battery-storage project at the Sapphire site to complement the wind farm.
This battery, combined with wind and solar power, was a “game-changer” that would allow “low-cost, firm-volume electricity” to be provided to commercial and industrial users.
“We’ve developed our NSW portfolio out of our Newcastle offices. It would be great to go full circle and contract some of this renewable power to commercial and industrial users in the Hunter,” Mr Mounsey said.