Australian investors launch big-hitting solar and battery project developer in US | RenewEconomy

Australian investors launch big-hitting solar and battery project developer in US

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Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners launches spin-off company to specialise in “critically important” solar and battery project development across North America.

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Australia-founded global energy investment outfit Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has announced the launch of a spin-off company that will specialise in the “critically important” development and operation of large-scale solar and battery storage projects across North America.

The new California-based company, Primergy Solar, will hit the ground running with Quinbrook’s massive $1.1 billion, 690MW Gemini solar and battery project being developed in Clark County, Nevada.

That project, which was given the final all-clear by the US federal government just last week, is the largest of its kind in the US, and is believed to be the world’s largest solar PV and battery storage project announced to date.

As RenewEconomy reported last week, Gemini also has links with billionaire investor Warren Buffet via co-developer Arevia Power, which is part of an integrated resource plan approved last year for NV Energy – Nevada’s largest utility that is owned by Buffett.

Quinbrook said in a statement on Monday that Primergy would make direct investments in solar and battery projects ranging from early-stage development through to operational assets, both on its own and in joint venture with Quinbrook’s existing “family” of development partners.

“The industry is recognising the increasingly important role that solar-plus-battery storage solutions will play in accelerating the energy transition,” said Quinbrook co-founder and managing partner David Scaysbrook, whose home base is on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“Moreover, there is a growing realisation that investing in the building of new renewable energy infrastructure will be crucial to driving sustainable economic recovery and job creation across America.

“Through our investment in the formation of a ‘best in class’ team at Primergy, Quinbrook intends to remain a leader in solar and battery storage for decades to come.

“We believe that solar plus battery storage will dominate new energy infrastructure investment in the years ahead. Launching our latest portfolio company led by this exceptional team is an exciting new initiative for Quinbrook’s investors, development partners and energy customers.”

Leading the new company will be CEO Ty Daul, whose resumé includes heading up Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy Group, and a stint on the board at 8point3 Energy Partners, the SunPower-First Solar publicly traded ‘yieldco.’

Tim Larrison, formerly of ENGIE Storage and Yingli Solar Americas, has been appointed CFO, and Adam Larner, who held a prior role at SunEdison, has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer.

Scaysbrook said that investing in a proven leadership team was a top priority in the establishment of Primergy.

“Ty and Tim are both seasoned leaders in the U.S. renewables industry with the ability to execute complex and high value transactions. Adam brings the technical ‘can do’ that will ensure that our projects get built on time and on budget. Their combined industry experience position them well to lead the ambitious growth plans Quinbrook has set for the business,” he said.

Daul said it was “an extremely exciting time” to be taking the helm at a company that had already established an impressive pipeline of projects in the most critical part of the new energy industry.

“Together with Quinbrook as sponsor, we have all the capability and experience we need to execute on our growth plans and deliver very tangible impact for Quinbrook’s investors as a leading developer, owner and operator of a large and diversified portfolio of solar and battery storage assets across North America,” Daul said.

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