Hume Power Station sold to Kiwis

HUME Power Station will come under foreign control within weeks.

Trustpower of New Zealand has bought the 58-megawatt hydro-electric station located at the Hume Dam.

The people of NSW have owned it for 57 years.

Trustpower has paid $72.2 million for five NSW-owned hydro and wind generators from the state government corporation Green State Power, including the 27.2 megawatt one at Burrinjuck on the Murrumbidgee.

Trustpower — which creates about 5 per cent of New Zealand’s power and operates 34 hydro stations there — said it expected to settle on the deal by July 31.

As well as Hume and Burrinjuck power station, Trustpower acquires the Keepit hydro station near Tamworth, the Blayney wind farm near Bathurst and 80 per cent of the Crookwell wind farm.

All are part of Green State Power, created last year with privatisation in mind.

The Border Mail yesterday asked Trustpower what plans it had for the Hume station, but it didn’t respond.

“Trustpower believes these assets will perform well within its existing renewable energy portfolio and that it is well experienced in the operation and maintenance of the type of assets being purchased,” it said earlier in a statement.

It estimated Hume and the other hydro and wind assets would produce about 270 gigawatt hours of power a year, contributing income of about $8.5 million.

Hume Power Station was completed by the NSW Electricity Commission in 1957.

It is linked to the high-voltage grid by a transmission line to the main Albury substation in Lavington and another line to Wodonga.

Wilson Transformer Company’s Melbourne plant won the $4 million tender to manufacture and install two replacement transformers after fire destroyed one of them in 2012.

Greens MP John Kaye described the total deal as a set-back for renewable energy in NSW.

And Unions NSW assistant secretary Adam Kerslake slammed the deal as a short-term fix.