Thailand's Wind Energy debuts in Australia

The firm's investment in CWP Renewables will allow it to access an 800MW pipeline of projects ready for construction next year.

Thailand's Wind Energy Holdings has agreed to invest in CWP Renewables, an Australia-based renewables developer and asset manager. 

The deal will see Wind Energy acquire a 50 percent stake in CWP's Australian business, including an 800MW development pipeline, from Continental Wind Partners and the Wind Prospect Group, the two founding renewables developers. 

The deal marks the Thai company's debut investment overseas. Wind Energy Holdings is majority-owned by Thai conglomerate KPN Group. 

Backed by its founding partners, CWP's track record has included developing and managing 4,200MW of installed capacity across 20 countries, according to its website. Having entered the Australian market in 2007, CWP has since developed the 113MW Boco Rock Wind Farm, completed in 2014, and established a pipeline of projects totalling 800MW.

As part of the latest round of the Australian Capital Territory's large-scale wind auction, CWP recently won a contract to sell power from the 100MW second phase of its Sapphire wind farm in New South Wales at A$89.1 per MWh.

“The Australian market offers tremendous potential over the long term and this is the opportune time to invest in the country, with increasing government support and positive moves around certificate pricing promoting the growth of the renewable industry,” said Emma Collins, Wind Energy's chief executive.

“The investment into CWP and its development pipeline is the first of what we expect will be a number of global initiatives for the company, as we move into the next phase of our international growth plans,” added Nop Narongdej, Wind Energy's chairman, in a statement.

Thai renewables developers are not alone in exploring the renewables space Down Under. 

China's state-owned utility State Power Investment Corp recently agreed to acquire the 106.8MW Taralga Wind Farm in New South Wales from Spain's Banco Santander for an enterprise value of about A$300 million, according to reports. 

The deal, hot on the heels of its A$3 billion Pacific Hydro acquisition from IFM Investors, came along with a 10-year power sale contract with power retailer EnergyAustralia.