One of Australia’s oldest and most successful behind the meter solar and battery storage companies, Autonomous Energy, has been bought by Iberdrola, further expanding the Spanish energygiant’s presence in Australia as a “one stop shop” for renewable energy solutions.
The acquisition was announced on Friday morning by the two companies, rounding out what has been a rollercoaster 2021 for Autonomous, after it narrowly avoided being dragged under by its former parent, Forum Group.
Autonomous Energy, which was founded in 2003 and has delivered some of Australia’s largest commercial solar and battery projects to date, in June became one of 24 companies owned by Bill Papas and his Forum Group of Companies to placed under administration.
Disaster was averted in August when creditors approved a buyout of the company, financed by its management group, including non-executive director Daniel Wright, CEO Matthew Linney and chief financial officer Simon Mason, and backed by private investor John Rakic.
In comments on LinkedIn at the time, Linney said that after an “intense” couple of months, Autonomous Energy was coming out the other side in a stronger position than ever.
“I’m particularly stoked that we have retained 100% of our team (the best group of people I could hope to be working with) and we’re all ready to get back to doing great projects, creating renewable energy generators and saving forward thinking companies money,” he said.
Iberdrola has clearly seen the value in the respected company, describing it on Friday as “one of Australia’s leading providers of smart solutions and behind the meter green energy technologies,” including rooftop PV, solar car park shading, ground mount solar, battery storage, microgrids, and energy management.
For Iberdrola, the acquisition of Autonomous Energy rounds out a major buying spree in the Australian market, including snapping up Infigen Energy – one of Australia’s first pure-play renewable energy companies listed on the ASX – in a takeover deal worth almost $900 million.
Since being rebranded as Iberdrola Australia, Infigen’s assets have been added to Iberdrola’s massive global renewable energy development pipeline of almost 75GW, and a commitment to invest as much as €150 billion (A$235 billion) by the end of the decade.
In its statement, Iberdrola said the acquisition of Autonomous Energy would position the company as “a one-stop-shop for customer-centric green energy solutions for commercial, industrial and business customers.”
Iberdrola Australia chief Ross Rolfe said Autonomous Energy’s “market leading capabilities” in behind the meter technologies would offer customers a wider range of products to help meet their financial and sustainability goals.
“We will also use Autonomous Energy as a platform to deploy Iberdrola’s global expertise in smart solutions into the Australian market,” Rolfe said.
“We look forward to working closely with Autonomous Energy’s people, customers and suppliers as we begin this new chapter of growth together.”
Autonomous Energy’s Linney said the company and its staff and stakeholders were “very pleased” to be joining forces with Iberdrola.
“With our technical expertise in behind the meter technologies and Iberdrola Australia’s large and rapidly growing portfolio of renewable assets, we will be able to offer customers a set of innovative and integrated green energy products that lower customer energy costs.”
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