Photon Energy has sold its stake in the 160MW solar farm it is has brought to shovel-ready status in New South Wales’ central west, to better focus on its collaboration with RayGen to develop solar co-generation and electro-thermal energy storage technologies.
The Australian arm of the Netherlands-based Photon said on Monday that it had sold its 65% stake in the Maryvale solar farm to global renewable energy group Wirsol, for an initial payment of €500,000 ($A793,706).
According to the agreement with German-backed Wirsol, another two milestone-related payments were to be paid to Photon Energy upon successful completion and commissioning of the project by Wirsol. Construction of the project is currently slated for the second quarter of 2022.
“Having Wirsol as a partner in Maryvale confirms the quality of our assets and will allow us to accelerate our growth in renewables within the framework of an efficient and sustainable energy transition,” said Michael Gartner, CTO and country manager Australia of Photon, in a statement on Monday.
Photon Energy, which Gartner says has plans to add more than 500MW of PV generation capacity before the end of 2024, in 2020 bought a minority shareholding in Melbourne-based solar plus storage developer RayGen Resources.
Along with the small stake in RayGen – roughly 9 per cent – Photon agreed to act as project developer and EPC contractor for future projects, including plans for a 200MW solar plant with around 100MW/1000MWh storage.
Melbourne-based RayGen has been chipping away at the Australian renewables market for some years now, trying to commercialise its “solar hydro” storage technology, which captures sunlight with mirrors and stores energy in water.
Photon in April made a further equity investment of $3 million in RayGen and said its exit from Maryvale left it free to “fully focus its future project development activities in Australia” based on the unique RayGen technology.
“RayGen technology tackles head-on the problem of intermittency of solar energy as it combines high efficiency concentrated PV generation with thermal absorption and storage, providing for the highest energy density of any solar technology available today,” said Gartner in comments in April.