Western Australia’s largest operational wind farm is now entirely owned by an Australian superannuation fund, after UBS Asset Management sold its 60 per cent stake in the 207MW Collgar project to Rest Industry Super, already the owner of the other 40 per cent.
The deal, announced on Monday, makes Rest responsible for up to half of Western Australia’s renewable energy generation capacity, with Collgar’s 111 turbines currently generating enough to power up to 170,000 of the state’s households a year.
It also makes Collgar – located near Merredin on the Western Australia central wheatbelt – one of the largest solar or wind energy projects to be directly owned by an Australian super fund. No financial details of the sale have been made public.
Collgar was completed in 2011 at a cost of $750 million, and while it remains – to this day – the largest operational wind farm in the state, it will soon be beaten in size by the 212MW Yandin project, which is being developed by Alinta, north of Perth.
For Rest, which has had a stake in the Collgar project since construction began in 2010, the move to 100 per cent ownership is about harnessing sustainable cash flows.
“Collgar Wind Farm is a premium infrastructure asset that has been delivering strong returns for Rest members,” said George Zielinski, the chief investment officer at Super Investment Management, Rest’s internal investment manager.
“Taking full ownership is a great opportunity to drive further value from the asset and strengthen Rest’s infrastructure portfolio.
“We are confident it will help grow members’ retirement savings into the future.”
UBS Asset Management head of infrastructure Tommaso Albanese said the company was proud of the project’s long-term environmental contribution and looked forward to its continued success under Rest’s full ownership, according to the SMH.