Australian electric utility Snowy Hydro has signed contracts for 888MW of renewable projects, comprising new wind and solar generation across New South Wales.
Snowy Hydro said that the eight new renewable projects it has awarded contracts will produce around 2.8 terawatt hours of energy annually to meet the power consumption needs of 500,000 households. All the eight winning renewable projects are anticipated to enter into services within the next two years.
The Australian electric utility said that the new renewable energy contracts will allow it to come up with very competitive, firm wholesale prices. It further revealed that it can now offer firm supply contracts under A$70 ($50.66)/MWh for a flat load, for up to 15 years.
Snowy Hydro said that there have been quick changes in the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the last 12 months and also in competitive pricing for all power generation technologies, which have resulted in lowering of renewable cost.
The power company claimed that its Renewable Energy Procurement Program saw over 17.6GW of projects submitted through the procurement process.
The utility in a statement, said: “Snowy Hydro is a key provider of fast-start, “capacity”-type products, and we keep the lights on at times of high demand. However, we are ‘energy short’ (meaning that we do not generate enough energy from own power stations to cover all of our customers) so we have to purchase energy from the wholesale market.
“We are one of the largest energy buyers in the NEM and, just like households, we are exposed to high wholesale prices.”
Headquartered in Cooma, Snowy Hydro owns and operates the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme, made up of nine hydro-electric power stations and sixteen dams. It is the owner of two electricity retailing businesses, Red Energy and Lumo Energy, which put together serve more than a million customers.
The electricity generation and retailing company also owns and operates three gas-fired power plants, two located in Victoria and one in New South Wales. In South Australia, the company owns three diesel power stations.