AGL Energy is reportedly sounding out potential buyers to sell its stake in the Macarthur wind farm, the largest wind energy project in Australia that was completed in early 2013.
AGL Energy has a 50 per cent stake in the Macarthur wind project, along with Malakoff Corp, a Malaysian company that bought that stake from co-developer Meridian Energy.
The sale process was reported by Thompson Reuters, which suggested that Malakoff was the most likely buyer of the stake. hompson Reuters says the stake has a book value of $659 million, but that includes debt of $529 million.
The decision to make the sale is seen as part of AGL Energy’s strategy to finance and develop wind farms and then sell the asset, while retaining the rights to the output.
But it comes at an interesting time for the company, which is seeking to bolster its “green energy” credentials. It recently completed the construction of the 102MW Nyngan solar farm, and also said it would exit coal fired generation – but not until its last generator, the Loy Yang A brown coal plant in Victoria, completes 64 years of output and shuts down in 2048.
The Macarthur wind project, made up of 140 3MW turbines, is located on three sheep and cattle properties about 16km east of the town of Macarthur, between Hamilton and Warnambool in south western Victoria. In the six months to December, 2014, it produced 492GWh of electricity, at a capacity factor of 27 per cent.