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Origin Energy expands clean power portfolio with $300m Yanco Delta wind farm acquisition

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By Colin Hay - 
Origin Energy ASX ORG Yanco Delta wind farm acquisition

Leading Australian gas supplier Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) continues to build on its renewable energy project stable with an agreement to acquire the large Yanco Delta wind farm in NSW.

Origin currently has around 4.2 million electricity, gas and LPG customer accounts and has been building a significant portfolio of clean energy assets in recent years.

This time it has agreed to invest up to $300 million in an agreement with Virya Energy to acquire Yanco Delta, one of the largest and most advanced wind and energy storage projects in New South Wales.

The consideration for the acquisition includes an upfront payment to Virya Energy of $125m and an additional variable payment of up to $175m conditional on the project achieving certain development milestones.

Government-designated site

Yanco Delta is in the New South Wales government-designated South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and consists of a 1.5 gigawatt wind farm along with an 800-megawatt-hour battery.

Located on a 33,000-hectare site in the Riverina district, the project has received both NSW government development and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation approval.

Origin chief executive officer Frank Calabria said the acquisition of the project is a major plank in the company’s growing renewable energy asset structure.

“Yanco Delta is a large-scale, advanced and therefore highly strategic wind development project,” Mr Calabria said.

“With the key planning and regulatory approvals secured and with significant plans for supporting infrastructure and transmission in place, the acquisition of Yanco Delta represents a major step forward in our journey to transition Origin’s portfolio to cleaner energy.”

“Origin has made rapid progress in building out a portfolio of renewable and storage projects at varying stages of development and Yanco Delta represents a unique opportunity to bring a material volume of renewable energy supply into the market relatively quickly, to help meet the needs of our customers.”

Construction options

Mr Calabria said Origin will assess a range of capital-efficient options available to finance construction of the project, including through partnerships with capital providers.

Origin’s portfolio of renewable and storage projects includes Walcha Energy’s proposed Ruby Hills Wind Farm and Salisbury Solar Farm projects in the New England REZ in NSW, with a planned capacity of more than 1,300MW.

It has also acquired ‘Warrane’, a 500-MW greenfield development opportunity now known as the Northern Tablelands Wind Farm, while progress continues on large-scale batteries at Eraring and Mortlake power stations.

Through joint venture Australia Pacific LNG, Origin supplies around 30% of the east coast demand and exports LNG to customers in Asia.