Denham Capital invests $75m in Aussie wind

The global energy-focused PE firm will join local project sponsors to invest in a portfolio of Australian wind power projects currently under development.

Denham Capital, a global energy-focused private equity firm, has announced plans to invest $75 million of equity in a 1-gigawatt portfolio of Australian wind power projects currently under development, according to a company statement.

The private equity firm will be joining the existing project sponsors – Enersis Australia, National Power and Kato Capital – which have been developing this portfolio since 2009. Together, the group of investors will create OneWind Australia out of the portfolio.

The projects currently in the portfolio include Glen Innes, a 100-megawatt venture in New South Wales; Lincoln Gap, a 250-megawatt project in South Australia; and Cattle Hill, a 240-megawatt development in Tasmania. OneWind will initially focus on the late-stage development and financing of these projects, and Denham’s investment will accelerate their development, according to the statement.

The firm’s goal is to achieve financial closing on several phases of this investment in the second half of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. The deal is still subject to some procedural closing conditions.

OneWind Australia will operate out of Sydney, and Denham has appointed Michael Toke as its managing director. Toke was formerly the chief executive of Cannon Power Group – a California company that has successfully developed, financed and constructed more than 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity globally – and brings 10 years of experience in the wind energy industry to OneWind, according to the statement.

The relevant teams of Denham Capital could not be reached for comment by press time.

Denham just opened an office in Perth, Australia in February, primarily to capitalise on the metals and minerals activity in the region, according to the firm. Worldwide, Denham has $7.3 billion assets under management.