Written By: John Shimkus
Sydney, Australia-based CBD Energy has finalized a joint venture with the China Datang Renewable Power Co. and solar company Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co. The venture will form a new company called AusChina Energy Group.
AusShina Energy Group seeks to develop $3 billion of wind and solar power plants in Australia over the next three years, targeting $6 billion within eight years.
CBD General Manager Gerry McGowan believes the partnership would push wind energy into a grid price range competitive with coal power within three years. “We expect interest rates will be lower than what we can get domestically and the gearing can be higher than we can achieve in Australia, so it will lower our cost base. Also, the cost of manufacturing is coming down significantly and the output of turbines is going up significantly.”
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McGowan notes the joint venture as CBD Energy’s first big push into the renewable energy sector. ''We're not one of the big players in this area yet, but we have a desire to grow our business in the renewable space,'' McGowan said. CBD will serve as project management as well as negotiate approvals and power purchase agreements. The Chinese firms involved will provide equipment and funding for projects, lowering project costs.