The Chinese state-owned utility State Power Investment Corp has deepened its investment in Australian renewable energy assets, buying the 107MW Taralga wind farm in NSW for $300 million, just months after agreeing to the $2.5 billion acquisition of Australian renewable company Pacific Hydro.
The Taralga wind farm, which has a 10-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia, was built at a cost of around $280 million and the sale price will include its current debt, equivalent to around $200 million, which SPIC is likely to refinance.
The deal marks the further commitment of SPIC to Australia, but also the departure of what once was the largest financier to renewable energy projects in the world, Spanish group Banco Santander.
Taralga was sold by a subsidiary of Banco Santander, which had built the project, but decided to put it up for sale as it chose investment options elsewhere in the world following the freeze in investment in large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia following the election of the Abbott Coalition government.
The Taralga project will join SPIC’s Pacific Hydro portfolio, including 19 wind aand hydro electricity projects in Austrlia, Chile and Brazil totaling 900MW, with another 1.8GW of projects in development.