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Wind Wire: New Zealand firm snaps up wind farm

AUSTRALIA: Transfield Services has finalised the sale of its 70MW Mount Millar wind farm in South Australia to New Zealand's largest energy retailer, Meridian, for A$191 million ($167 million).

Transfield Services, an Australian-listed international provider of operations, maintenance and asset management services for the mining, transport and utility sectors, is using the sale and a discounted share offering to reduce its substantial net corporate debt.

But, Transfield says, progress on the company's development pipeline of 13 wind farms totalling 1.2GW will not be affected by its ongoing debt problems. Meridian says Mount Millar will become more significant once power purchase agreements for the farm expire at the end of 2012, when Meridian could take advantage of stronger market prices.

Mount Millar marks increased interest by Meridian in the Australian wind market. It is also involved in a joint project with Australian energy retailer AGL Energy, developing the 330-360MW Macarthur wind farm in Victoria.

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