For sale: As new solar farm, only 220 gigawatt hours on the clock, sunny location, good off take agreement with respectable client, guaranteed to work for the next 25 years, battery not included. Regulators and rule makers on our Xmas card list.
The number of large scale solar farms up for sale in Australia continues to grow. By the latest count, there at least 15 large scale solar projects seeking offers from would-be buyers, individually or as part of a portfolio, and a few wind farms too.
There’s been a flurry of activity in the corporate space this year, with Windlab and Infigen Energy already privatised and delisted from the stock market by their deep-pocketed buyers – billionaire Andrew Forrest in the case of Windlab and Spanish-based global energy giant Iberdrola in the case of Infigen.
That could be followed by a takeover of Tilt Renewables, the last remaining listed renewable energy play of any scale in Australia, with its major shareholder Infratil saying this week it was having a good think about the investment after becoming aware of several interested parties circling the asset.
Clearly, there is buying interest a plenty. And the other big moves are coming in the shifting and switching and recycling of solar portfolios, now that many projects are complete, offtake agreements locked in, connections sorted, commissioning completed, and they have some visibility over the earnings for the next decade.
The latest solar farms to hit the market, according to the various “insider” columns in the main newspapers, which the investment bankers use to fly their kites, test the market and tell everyone how busy they are, are two solar farms owned by Blackrock, the co-located Hayman and Daydream solar farms known as the Gretel portfolio.
If that name sounds familiar it is because it was the construction cost blowouts and delays at “Project Gretel” that was identified by the liquidators of the collapsed contracting company RCR Tomlinson as one of the main reasons for its undoing a few years ago.
New Energy Solar, frustrated that its listed stock price fails to recognise what it sees as the true value of its portfolio, is seeking offers for the 55MW Manildra solar farm and the 110MW Beryl solar farm in NSW.