Hydro Tasmania wants to treble its wind farm operations under a deal with Chinese energy company Shenhua Group.
Hydro has signed an agreement to look at projects over the next seven years which might be worth up to $1.6 billion.
The agreement signed in Beijing yesterday is not binding and is not tied to any particular projects.
Under the agreement, the parties will develop and build 700 megawatts of wind farms across Australia in the next seven years.
Hydro chief executive Roy Adair would not speculate on specific details, but said the state-owned company wants to build on its current wind farm projects.
“If you look at Woolnorth and Musselroe, the two of those add up to 308 megawatts so we’d be looking at adding 700 to that,” he said.
“We’d be looking at trebling the size of what we currently have.”
Hydro is confident the plan will not be jeopardised if the Coalition wins this year’s federal election.
Mr Adair says the profitability of wind projects is dependent on the Federal Government’s renewable energy target continuing.
He believes the Opposition is committed to the plan to increase renewable energy to 20 per cent of total power production.
“This legislation is what I would call investment class. Shenhua has already invested more than $170 million in Hydro’s northern Tasmanian wind farms,” he said.
A subsidiary of Shenhua already owns 75 per cent stake in the Musselroe wind farm in Tasmania’s north.
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