Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Energy answer blowing in wind as China chips in to $6b project

Courier Mail
14 April 2011, Page: 54

A PARTNERSHIP of Australian and Chinese companies plans to build $6 billion worth of wind and solar farms in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and become a significant energy market player. Sydney based renewable energy company CBD Energy's managing director Gerry McGowan yesterday said a final agreement to be signed on monday would see CBD Energy in a joint venture with China Datang Renewable Power Co and Tianwei Baobian Electric Co.

They will create a JV company called AusChina Energy Development, which plans to develop and retain ownership of $6 billion worth of wind and solar power plants in Australia within eight years. CBD Energy's alliance will benefit its Queensland based solar subsidiary, eco-Kinetics, which separately is partnering with Tianwei to establish a solar panel manufacturing facility. Production of solar panels for export from the new factory will start in mid year, with output forecast at 60 MWs of solar modules a year.

Mr McGowan said the new JV company aimed to make wind and solar power stations which don't generate greenhouse gas emissions competitive with the coal and gasfired power plants that are a major cause of global warming. "We'll be accessing turbines made in China and debt from China, and we think we can significantly reduce the cost of renewable energy", Mr McGowan said. "We're hoping we can reach grid price parity in a short space of time".

He said AusChina Energy would be viable even without a carbon price being legislated here, but he said carbon pricing was important to provide long term certainty to help underpin investment in clean energy assets. Separately, the Federal Government yesterday committed $34.9 million to help construct a $105 million project to add 44 MW of solar power capacity to Queensland Government owned CS Energy's coal fired Kogan Creek power station near Chinchilla.