GIG makes Asian solar and storage push with Conergy deal

Macquarie’s green infra investment arm buys the development portfolio, which contains no operational sites, in its drive to build an Asia-Pacific platform.

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has acquired a solar development portfolio from Conergy Asia & ME, in addition to an 88-strong team based in the region.

Macquarie declined to disclose the size of the portfolio but it is believed that the deal paves the way for a joint push in the region for solar development alongside energy storage assets. The pipeline is comprised of assets at various stages of development.

The acquisition does not comprise any operational assets, with Conergy’s existing portfolio of large-scale solar plants across the Philippines, Thailand and Japan remaining with Conergy Asia & ME, which was bought from Kawa Capital Management by Tennenbaum Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs BDC in August 2017. A team of 88 based in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Germany and the Philippines will join GIG as part of the deal.

“We are pleased to enhance our solar energy capabilities from development through to design, engineering, procurement and delivery management, to build on Macquarie Capital’s solar energy track record across Asia-Pacific,” said Neil Arora, head of Macquarie Capital for Asia and the Middle East. “Today’s acquisition will also further strengthen our battery storage expertise and allow us to pursue other investment opportunities in a rapidly growing region for the renewables sector.”

Macquarie Capital’s John Walker the once-in-a-century investment opportunity offered by renewables in the region.

Macquarie’s main investment drive in the region to date has been its involvement in offshore wind in Taiwan. However, a partnership with Lightsource Renewable Energy to fund about 300MW of solar in India was the first move by the former Green Investment Bank abroad following Macquarie’s takeover last year. It has since unveiled investments in North America and Sweden.

Asia-Pacific last year became the location for the world’s largest renewable energy transaction to date when Global Infrastructure Partners led a deal to buy Equis Energy from Equis for $5 billion. The transaction “set some important benchmarks for renewable energy in Asia”, Andrew Affleck, founder and managing partner of Armstrong Asset Management, told us earlier this year.