May 30, 2018 Read More →

Australia’s CWP Sees Baseload Opportunity With Hybrid Renewables Combination

Renew Economy:

Australian renewable energy developer CWP Renewables has joined forces with global private markets investment manager Partners Group to build a total of 1,300MW of wind, solar and battery projects that they say will beat coal power on price and reliability.

The commitment from Partners Group will see the 135MW Crudine Ridge project south of Mudgee begin construction soon, but Partners will inject a total of $700 million to ensure CWP’s entire 1,300MW portfolio of wind, solar and batteries goes ahead. The investment is designed, and timed, to take advantage of the closure of Liddell, and is built on expectations that closures of other coal-fired generators will follow.

“We can, from this large portfolio, produce 24/7 baseload renewable power at very competitive prices,” CWP chief executive Alex Hewitt says. “This is the future of large-scale generation in Australia.”

These projects – dubbed the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform – include the 230MW Sapphire solar farm and 70MWh battery storage, which will combine with the 270MW Sapphire wind farm near Glenn Innes (pictured above) that is nearly complete. It also includes the 140MW Bango wind project, the Glen Ellen and Sundown solar projects, and the massive Uungula wind and the solar project that will total 400MW of capacity, along with other storage.

Hewitt says these projects will allow morning and evening wind generation to be combined with daytime solar generation and battery energy storage. This will provide the ability to deliver “base-load” capacity or, at the very least, a “firm” supply of energy for business and other customers. The ability to firm is not just essential for business users, but could also be imperative under the new National Energy Guarantee.

“We see a massive transition away from fossil fuels over the next 10 years,” Hewitt says. “The transition is on. The economics are there, and the window is there now to move really fast.” Hewitt says the combined cost of wind and solar and “firming capacity” is cheaper than the $100/MWh plus cost of keeping Liddell open, or for that matter building new coal generators.

More: CWP Brings in Partners for 1,300MW of Wind, Solar and Batteries


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