Equis Energy continues Australian expansion after $5bn deal

The Singapore-based developer is committed to building over $795m of new projects in the next two-to-three years. It was recently acquired by a consortium of led by GIP for $5bn, the largest renewables deal to date.

Equis Energy, Asia’s largest renewables IPP recently acquired by a Global Infrastructure Partners-led consortium, has achieved financial close on the 127MW Tailem Bend solar project, in south Australia, and is on track to build over A$1 billion ($795 million; €637 million) of new projects over the next two-to-three years.

The A$200 million solar project has secured a power-purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro under which the Australian hydroelectric utility will purchase all the electricity produced from Tailem Solar for at least 22 years. The project will commence construction this month and is expected to be operational in Q1 2019.

Equis Energy noted that the project will be one of the lowest-cost solar facilities in Australia, and it has reserved a project site to accommodate a future battery installation with storage of up to 100MWh. The firm is also developing the second phase of the Tailem Bend project, which will install and additional 111MW of capacity and further bring down power prices by leveraging existing infrastructure.

“Australia represents one of the most exciting solar power generation markets globally and Equis expects to build over A$1 billion of new projects over the next 24-36 months,” said David Russell, who has now become a director at Equis Energy (he was previously the chairman).

Equis Energy has built an over 11GW portfolio of renewables assets, including projects in operation and under development in Australia, Japan, India, Taiwan and Southeast Asia since 2012. The developer debuted in the Australian market in February 2017 with an A$400 million investment in two solar farms.

Equis Energy was previously owned by Singapore-based fund manager Equis. The latter sold its 100 percent ownership in Equis Energy to a consortium comprising Global Infrastructure Partners, PSP Investments and China Investment Corporation in a $5 billion deal which closed last month. The transaction is the largest renewable energy generation acquisition to date.