Tilt first-half output beats long-term projection
By Gavin Evans
Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) - Tilt Renewables said stronger than expected wind conditions in New Zealand and Australia pushed first-half production 6 percent ahead of plan.
The company generated 590 gigawatt-hours of electricity in the September quarter, 7 percent more than a year earlier. New Zealand production at 169 GWh was 7 percent higher than a year earlier and in line with long-term expectations. Production in Australia rose to 421 GWh, 7 percent more than a year earlier, including output from the Salt Creek project commissioned in Victoria in July.
“The Salt Creek Wind Farm produced 57 GWh in the quarter, 9 percent above long-term expectation,” the Melbourne-based company said.
Tilt, subject to a takeover offer from major shareholders Infratil and Mercury NZ, is ramping up its development programme in Australia to take advantage of demand for renewable generation there. It completed the 54 MW Salt Creek project in July and is approaching an investment decision on the A$560 million, 336 MW Dundonnell project in the same state.
Tilt said generation for the past six months totalled 1,070 GWh, 23 percent more than the year before and 6 percent ahead of long-term expectations. Australian output of 712 GWh was 20 percent higher than the year before and 4 percent more than long-term projections.
New Zealand output came to 358 GWh, 29 percent more than a year earlier and 10 percent more than long-term expectations.
Tilt noted that about 6 percent of its year-to-date production in South Australia has been lost due to curtailment required by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
That was more than expected, because of the stronger wind conditions. Tilt said that should normalise during the summer months when increased gas-fired generation is expected to reduce the number of constraint periods.
Tilt shares rose 2 cents to $2.31 before the announcement and have gained about 13 percent this year. Infratil and Mercury are offering $2.30 for the 22 percent of the company they don't already control.