Infigen Energy to sell US solar project pipeline

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Infigen Energy will offload its US solar development pipeline, after agreeing to sell it to an unnamed global solar company for $US37.9 million.

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Australian listed renewables company Infigen Energy will offload its US solar development pipeline, after agreeing to sell it to an unnamed global solar company for $US37.9 million.

The mostly wind energy focused company said on Friday it had been “delighted with the success” of its US solar activities since undertaking them just over three years ago, in 2012.

According to its website, the US solar project pipeline includes the 40MW Aragonne and 25MW Caprock Solar  plants in New Mexico (both have completed permitting, are pursuing PPAs); the 20 MW Rio Bravo Solar PV plant in California (conditional permit, pursuing PPA); and multiple other early-stage solar developments in Texas, north-eastern and south-eastern states.

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As reported here, Infigen’s solar power play kicked off in Australia in September 2013, with the switching on of an experimental 200kW solar PV plant in NSW – the company’s first – as part of a trial to see how solar energy, wind energy and battery storage might be combined in a single project.

“We think that this is a great project,” said Infigen Energy CEO Miles George at the time. “It has helped us learn a lot about solar PV.”

Last year in the US, Infigen sold two construction-ready 20MW solar projects in California – the Pumpjack and Wildwood Solar Power Projects – to Duke Energy Renewables. The projects both had 20-year power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison.

That sale left Infigen with a portfolio of another 120MW of solar PV projects in the south-west of the US.

“We are very pleased that our first development efforts in solar PV have succeeded in bringing together strong counterparties such as Southern California Edison and Duke Energy,” Infigen’s head of US operations, Craig Carson, said in a statement at the time.

“We expect that the experience gained and the relationships created through these solar projects will deliver significant benefits for our future development opportunities.”

Earlier this week, Infigen – which suffered a 23 per cent fall in its Australian revenue in 2014 – in said it had commissioned the development of a new wind risk management facility that would better protect it against wind resource variability across its Australian wind farms.

The new wind risk hedge, purpose-built for Infigen by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, will index the risk to actual energy production across the company’s entire portfolio of wind farms in South Australia, NSW and WA – an excess of 500MW of capacity – and pay Infigen a fixed amount per megawatt-hour for power not generated due to low wind.

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