Meridian wind takes on Aussie retailers

The $260 million Mt Mercer wind farm has finally been given the go-ahead and it will form a key plank in an ambitious Australian push by New Zealand’s Meridian Energy – one that will see it join Pacific Hydro in establishing a retail arm.

Meridian Energy, a state-owned utility across the Tasman, is pushing forward on the oft-delayed 131 MW Mt Mercer wind farm without a power purchase agreement as it sets its sights on building a vertically integrated renewable energy business. Already the company has launched a trial of its online electricity retail offering in Victoria – Powershop – and if it goes well, a national rollout is on the cards.

It is a sign of growing frustration amongst indepedent power producers, who can see the need for new projects to meet the renewable energy target, but have been unable to interest electricity retailers in long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).

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