Australian renewable energy development company Windlab hassecured an investment of $US10 million ($A14 million) to boost its East African project pipeline, which consists of 16 projects totalling around 1,650MW of potential capacity.
Windlab announced on Tuesday that it had secured the investment of $10 million from Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, a holding company of Eurus Energy Group, Japan’s largest wind power developer, and which is a partner in its world-leading wind-solar-battery project at the soon-to-be completed Kennedy Energy Hub in north Queensland.
The investment will be focused on supporting Windlab Africa, the company’s South Africa registered subsidiary, which holds Windlab’s existing project development assets as well as the right to future projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi.
These projects range in size from early-stage projects to the already-approved 300 MW Miombo Hewani Wind Farm in Tanzania, which has been short-listed in the government’s sponsored off-take process.
Eurus will acquire a 25 per cent stake of Windlab Africa through the investment, and will also have the right to proportional board representation, customary minority protections, and a first right to provide equity – although Windlab’s assets in South Africa and Mozambique are not part of the signed transaction.
“We are delighted to secure the support of Eurus as a partner in [Windlabs Africa (WA)],” said Roger Price, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Windlab.
“We will work together to expedite the development of our projects in this region. Whilst many of these markets are not without challenges the need for significant investment in electricity generating infrastructure is clear.
“Wind and solar are by far the cheapest and fastest technology to deploy and accordingly we anticipate most new demand will be met with renewable energy. WA’s diversified portfolio and the Company’s development experience positions it well to capitalise on these opportunities.”
Windlab, which was spun out of the CSIRO initially as a wind monitoring company, and then as a developer, has been behind six wind farms in Australia – including the 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm which, upon completion in late 2019, will be the country’s largest wind farm.
The Kennedy project could develop into a massive 1,200MW facility. The first stage will consist of 43.2MW of wind, 15MW of single-axis tracking solar PV, and a 4MW/4MWh lithium-ion battery storage system supplied by Tesla.
“Eurus enjoys a long and successful working relationship with Windlab having completed the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm and innovative Kennedy Energy Park hybrid project together,” added Hideyuki Inazumi, Chief Executive Officer of Eurus.
“We applaud their technological ability to identify and develop the best wind resources and are delighted to have the opportunity to further our partnership and work together in these exciting emerging markets.”
The investment is subject to the customary conditions including the completion of corporate structuring and statutory filings and approvals.