28 Jul 2012

Trustpower set to expand South Australian windfarm

5:15 pm on 28 July 2012

Trustpower says the expansion of its South Australian windfarm is set to go ahead, now the financing of the deal has been sorted out.

The Tauranga-based listed firm says the 270-megawatt farm near Adelaide is expected to cost up to $439 million, 6% less than earlier estimates.

Chief executive Vince Hawkesworth says they expect to make nearly $A20 million, or 7.9 New Zealand cents a share, in the first full year of operation.

He says the strong Australian dollar has been to the company's advantage.

Mr Hawkesworth says the project has all the characteristics of a good windfarm, being well-positioned in the transmission network and having good reliable wind.

But he says the development of more windfarms in New Zealand is on hold until power demand picks up.

Mr Hawkesworth says its options in New Zealand are equally as good as in Australia, but load growth has been sluggish over the past three or four years and it's just not the right time.

He says there will be a time when Trustpower reinvests in New Zealand and launches projects of the same quality as the Australian one.