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AGL Energy Sells Australian Wind Farm, Keeps Electricity

AGL Energy Ltd., the Australian electricity retailer, sold its 67.2-megawatt wind park in Victoria state to an unidentified investor and will continue to develop the project until completion in early 2012.

The Melbourne-based utility will recoup the approximately A$164 million ($171 million) it has spent and will receive a A$38 million development fee to complete the Oaklands Hill Wind Farm in Victoria state power station south of Glenthompson, it said today in a statement.

Utilities in Australia and Europe are recycling investments in renewable-energy assets and keeping the electricity for their own use to help fund new projects while meeting emissions goals. AGL will operate and maintain the project and buy all of the electricity produced at prices that are pegged to the wind’s strength, it said.

“The payments made by AGL under the off-take arrangements will reflect a sharing of the risks associated with the wind speed variability at the site,” AGL said.

The utility will retain until 2036 the rights to all renewable energy certificates from the wind farm, according to the statement sent to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The development fee will be received from the Australian buyer when construction is completed with about A$30 million to be paid in the financial year 2011 and the balance in 2012.

The project, currently under construction by Suzlon Energy Ltd., is scheduled to be completed in early 2012. The buyer will fund all remaining development and construction costs, AGL said.

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