Long-term PPA signed for Tauhara geothermal project, NZ

Long-term PPA signed for Tauhara geothermal project, NZ Screenshot from the video featuring Contact Energy's Te Mihi geothermal power plant in NZ
Alexander Richter 12 Aug 2021

Contact Energy to sell 63 MW of the 152 MW Tauhara geothermal power plant under construction in New Zealand under new PPA with Genesis Energy to start 2025.

In a release today, NZ-based power company Contact Energy announced it has signed an agreement to supply Genesis Energy, an electricity and gas supply company, with renewable electricity for 15 years from 2025, as part of a new, long-term power purchase agreement  after key terms were signed.

The agreement will see Genesis take up to 62.5 MW of electricity, equating to 41% of the output capacity from Contact’s geothermal power station being developed at Tauhara. The 152-MW power station is under construction and expected to be completed in the middle of 2023.

Planned set up of the Tauhara geothermal power plant, NZ (source: Contact Energy)

Contact CEO, Mike Fuge, said the agreement with Genesis was a strong vote of confidence in the Tauhara project and aligned with both companies’ commitment to decarbonisation.

“It’s fantastic to see customer support for the country’s leading renewable development. These sort of long-term commitments, backed by the lowest cost projects, are good for New Zealand as they keep electricity prices as low as possible and encourage the development of new renewable generation.

“It also demonstrates the importance of the Tauhara development’s role in helping reduce New Zealand’s emissions. The power station will operate 24/7, have low emissions and will not be reliant on the weather.

Tauhara is expected to replace 1.3 terawatt hours of thermal generation from New Zealand’s electricity system, displacing 450,000 tonnes per year of carbon emissions.

Genesis CEO, Marc England, said the agreement is a result of the RFP process that the company has run to support its Future-gen strategy to displace 2,650GWh of baseload thermal generation by 2030.

“This arrangement with Contact will help us deliver on both our Future-gen strategic targets and our commitment to remove at least 1.2m tonnes of annual carbon emissions by 2025.

“We understand the role we have to play in the country’s transition to a low carbon future and we have further renewable opportunities to announce shortly.”

Mr Fuge said Contact had made no secret of its willingness to form long-term power purchase agreements. “It’s great to see the industry working to deliver low carbon solutions for electricity generation. We want to grow demand for our renewable electricity by displacing thermal generation and supporting new electricity demand, and there are a raft of opportunities to pursue on this front.”

The Contact/Genesis agreement will commence on 1 January 2025 and the financial details remain confidential.

Source: Contact Energy