Goldwind Plans New Wind Projects to Tap Australia’s 2020 Target

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., China’s largest wind-turbine maker, is studying new projects to take advantage of Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.

Australia is set to install as much as 8,000 megawatts of wind power by the end of the decade, and Goldwind is “looking to be a serious participant,” John Titchen, managing director of its local unit, said in a Dec. 14 interview in Sydney. “We see a range of project opportunities,” he said.

Goldwind is among windpower companies seeking to expand in Australia, which intends to generate at least 20 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2020. Australia requires electricity retailers to buy renewable energy certificates from producers of wind and solar power, providing an incentive to developers of the projects.

Goldwind, which entered Australia in 2009, started construction last month on the 165.5-megawatt Gullen Range wind farm in New South Wales state, the second project in the country to use the Chinese company’s turbines. Gullen Range is scheduled to start operating in early 2014, Titchen said.

Wind developers in Australia will increasingly focus on Victoria and New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, Titchen said, declining to discuss projects being considered. Urumqi, Xinjiang-based Goldwind said in June it sold its Mortons Lane wind farm in Victoria state to China Guangdong Nuclear Wind Energy Co.

Smallest Share

Goldwind has the smallest share of the Australian wind turbine market among nine companies, with Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Suzlon Energy Ltd. the biggest suppliers, according to data provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

While a glut of renewable energy certificates has driven their price down and discouraged investment in new wind farms, Goldwind expects demand to increase, Titchen said.

The Climate Change Authority is scheduled to release its final report reviewing Australia’s renewable energy policy on Dec. 19. In a preliminary review in October, the government adviser said that the goal of generating 41,000 gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 should be retained in its current form to boost investor confidence.

“There were some difficult times in the market in recent years, but we’re now coming out of that oversupply,” Titchen said. “The report on the government’s policy also shows the CCA’s view that the market is working and that the rules should be left alone so we can get on with the job.”

Goldwind, whose stock dropped 25 percent in Hong Kong this year through Dec. 14, is facing competition from local and overseas companies including Denmark’s Vestas. Goldwind said in October it expects a 50 percent decline in earnings this year as heightened competition drives prices lower.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg 

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