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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Origin Energy (Origin) has acquired renewable energy developer Walcha Energy, including its proposed Ruby Hills Wind Farm and Salisbury Solar Farm projects with a planned capacity of more than 1,300 MW.

The acquisition complements the purchase of the nearby ‘Warrane’ property in July 2023, increasing Origin’s renewable project development interests within the NSW Government designated New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

Origin’s Head of Energy Supply and Operations, Greg Jarvis said, “The acquisition of Walcha Energy is consistent with Origin’s ambition to lead the energy transition, and specifically our strategic priority to accelerate renewables and storage in our portfolio.

“Through Walcha and the earlier acquisition of the ‘Warrane’ property, Origin’s portfolio now includes several projects with promising wind and solar resources within the New England REZ, close to recently published transmission line investigation routes.

“We look forward to building on the work already completed on these renewables projects, bringing Origin’s scale, expertise and track record in developing and operating large scale energy and resource projects across Australia.

“We’re committed to keeping the community informed and updated about our plans and will work closely with host landholders, councils, traditional owners, and key community stakeholders as we progress these development projects through the approval stages and beyond.

“We plan to add to the strong local presence Walcha Energy have had in the New England region for over a decade and will continue with the shop front presence in Walcha,” Mr Jarvis said.

Origin’s immediate focus will be on engaging with landowners and the local community, and completing the technical studies required for a scoping report which will inform a future Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The proposed Salisbury Solar Farm is around 10km south of Uralla and the proposed Ruby Hills Wind Farm is 10km west of Walcha, in the southern part of the New England REZ.

In 2023, Origin acquired the ‘Warrane’ property, which is around 18km north-west of Armidale in the central part of the New England REZ. A lease arrangement is in place to maintain and manage the property as an ongoing agricultural operation and this will continue during the development of a wind farm project, to be known as the Northern Tablelands Wind Farm.