Australian based renewable energy developer CWP Renewables and the Swiss-based money manager Partners Group are to merge the bulk of their Australian assets and will target more than two gigawatts of new wind and storage capacity.
“We’ve joined up now with Partners Group to create what would probably the largest unlisted IPP (independent power producer) in the renewable sector,” CWP’s Alex Hewitt told the AFR energy summit. (France’s Neoen may dispute that title).
“In Australia, we’ve been working with Partners now for three years, mobilized around about $1.7 billion in investment into wind, and we are doubling down on wind and solar, in particular in New South Wales.
“And we’ve got a massive investment program. We’re looking to construct another two gigawatts over the next four years. So that’s exciting. We’ve got a good team there of 70 people there and we’ve got about 560 people working on the construction of a couple of wind farms.”
The two companies are already closely linked, having formed an investment partnership called the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform, including the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm, which was due to add up to 200MW of solar and a big battery – one of at least four battery storage projects to be partly funded by the NSW government.
The portfolio also includes the 135MW Crudine wind farm and the 245MW Bango wind projects under construction in NSW.
The merger, however, will not include CWP’s leading role in the 25GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub in WA’s Pilbara region, which is targeting renewable hydrogen to be exported for use in multiple sectors, and used at home, offering significant manufacturing opportunities in Western Australia and cheap, clean power for mines and communities.
“It’s going to be the largest project in the world,” Hewitt said. “And we’re talking to the technology providers at the moment. It’s challenging, it’s big, but it’s a huge opportunity.
“And whether whether it’s scale on the East Coast or scale on the West Coast for export, it’s all positive. And apart from leading to low prices, it gives a real opportunity to create the platform to bring back manufacturing to do a whole lot of other stuff with cheap energy.”
Details of the merger are to be released later this week.