110,000 Australian homes are to be powered by renewable energy sources before the end of 2018. Much of this is thanks to Partners Group - the global private market investment manager. They will be investing a total of AUD$700 million in a renewable energy platform named the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform.
The investment will, over four years, help add 1.3GW of new wind power, solar power, and battery storage projects in Australia. It is not the first time Partners Group has thrown their weight behind the Australian renewables sector. In 2015, they pledged AUD$450 million for the building of the Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria. The local developer utilizing the funds and building the farms is CWP Renewables. They are in the business of delivering energy, and powering communities.
Then in 2016, the investment firm pumped a further AUD$250 million to complete the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm in New South Wales. This particular wind farm is going to be the most important player in the new Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform the company plans to perfect in Australia. It is thought that the wind farm would be paired up with an upcoming solar and battery storage project.
This cash injection is changing the face of power generation in Australia. The Head of Private Infrastructure Asia-Pacific at Partners Group Benjamin Haan said:
“When we invested in Sapphire Wind Farm, one of the key attractions for us was the project’s potential to anchor an Australian renewable energy platform. Partners Group and CWP have a project in the pipeline of 1.3GW in generation capacity across wind and solar power, offering the scope to be selective and develop Grassroots into a quality renewables platform of significant scale. We look forward to working with the CWP team to further support the generation of clean energy in Australia.”
CWP boss, Alex Hewitt, believes that the platform will undeniably help Australia transition from a fossil-fueled electricity industry to one powered by renewables at ‘very affordable prices’. An added benefit of bringing the wind farms online will be a marked decrease in carbon emissions.
Not stopping there
An extra 55,000 homes will be getting clean power in 2019 when the second project, the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, is completed. That farm will produce 135MW in Mudgee, New South Wales. And of course power isn’t the only thing being generated – jobs are too. By September of next year the General Electric wind turbines will be erected, producing 75 full time jobs.
Partners Group adds that over its lifetime, the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, will offset eight million tonnes of carbon emissions.
And if all goes well, with continued innovation in renewables, the Grassroots platform could indeed become an Australian clean energy superpower. Talking to Clean Technica, Haan concluded:
“In Australia’s energy market, a significant transition away from fossil-fuel power is now underway. The compelling economics of renewables and the age of older coal plants is driving that change, the speed of which is ramping up. While it is true that political instability has delayed the transition in the past and the sector is still somewhat fragmented, the Grassroots platform is aimed at this transition and its business plan is robust enough to deal with any likely outcomes from the current political debate. We believe Grassroots has the scale and competitive edge to succeed and become a significant renewable IPP in Australia.”
“Partners Group to Invest AUD 700 Million in Australian Renewable Energy Platform; Announces Imminent Construction of Crudine Ridge Wind Farm.” Private Investors, www.partnersgroup.com/en/news-views/investment-news/current/detail/article/partners-group-to-invest-aud-700-million-in-australian-renewable-energy-platform-announces-imminent-construction-of-crudine-ridge-wind-farm/.
“Swiss Equity Firm Commits To 1.3 Gigawatt Australian Renewable Energy Platform.” CleanTechnica, 29 May 2018, cleantechnica.com/2018/05/29/swiss-equity-firm-commits-to-1-3-gigawatt-australian-renewable-energy-platform/.