UK-based investment firm Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities says it will make a $95 million entry into the Australian clean energy market, through the acquisition of two Australian solar farms.
GSEO’s entry into the Australian market will occur through two stages – starting with the purchase of 17MW of solar projects across South Australia and Queensland worth $28 million, with ambitions to ultimately pair the projects with battery storage.
“We are very cognisant of the journey which Australians have embarked on to meet the challenges of addressing climate change, whilst ensuring that the country benefits from a reliable energy system in which renewable power generation becomes fully integrated,” co-chief investment officer Richard Lum said in a statement.
“We are thrilled through this acquisition, to be part of this strong momentum to achieving global sustainable energy through investing in the fight against climate change and ensuring energy access for local communities and businesses in Australia.”
GSEO is backed by the London-based investment fund Victory Hill, which recently completed a £242.6 million (A$458 million) listing on the London Stock Exchange. The firm said that it would focus its push into the Australian market on projects located nearby to remote and regional hubs.
“A critical part of the investment strategy will be to help stabilize the grid and decrease the curtailment of renewable power generation by adding 1 to 2 hour battery storage capacity at each site,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The deployment programme will continue to extend across the country and focus on remote sites that are typically located close to clusters of commercial and industrial consumers.”
“The aim of the strategy is to provide greater access to clean and dependable energy in remote load centres while helping accelerate the energy transition in Australia.”
The entry into the Australian market will be assisted by the locally based Birdwood Energy, which will use its experience with battery storage projects to deliver on GSEO’s strategy pair its newly acquired solar farms with battery storage capacity.
“The Australian market is ripe to benefit from additional flexibility by utilising energy storage,” Birdwood energy CEO Scott McGregor said.
The deal caps off a busy period for clean energy deals in Australia and the completion of the sale of assets by both New Energy Solar and Tilt Renewables.
This week, New Energy Solar said that it had completed its exit from the Australian solar market with the sale of its only two Australian solar farms, the Beryl and Manildra solar farms to Thailand’s Banpu Energy – which will enter the Australian market for the first time through the $88 million deal.
Also this week, the Powering Australian Renewables Fund announced that it had completed the acquisition of Tilt Renewable’s Australian assets, in a deal worth $3 billion.
Through the acquisition the PowAR fund, which serves as a partnership between AGL Energy, QIC and the federal government’s Future Fund, purchased Tilt’s renewable energy project portfolio that included the Snowtown North solar farm and the Dundonnell wind farm, along with a 2.2GW development pipeline.