Aus & NZ: Partners Group spends AUD 700m on renewables pipeline

28 May 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Partners Group is investing AUD 700m (USD 528.2m) in new renewables projects in Australia following the financial close of its latest investment, Crudine Ridge Wind Farm.

The projects will be held by a vehicle known as Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform and developed by CWP Renewables. They involve around 1.3GW capacity combined and will be developed over four years.

The platform is being seeded with the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm, in which Partners Group had already invested AUD 250m with CWP Renewables in December 2016. Construction is due to be completed by October.

Partners Group will also add the 135MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm to the platform. This project reached financial close on Friday (25 May) and is due to complete construction in September 2019.

It is understood three lenders are backing the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm with approximately AUD 120m to 130m of debt. These are: Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Sumitomo Banking Corporation and Westpac bank.

Partners Group is understood to have about AUD 150m invested in Crudine Ridge and, as for Sapphire, will own more than 90% of the project, with CWP owning a small stake. CWP already owns a 3% stake in the Sapphire Wind Farm. 

“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,” said Benjamin Haan, Head Private Infrastructure Asia-Pacific at Partners Group, in a statement.

Other sources close to the deal said further projects on the Grassroots platform will be developed in conjunction with CWP, although there may be scope later to add non-CWP projects. So far all of the projects identified for investment will be based in New South Wales.

There are three CWP projects in Australia that it is understood will be the next projects to add to the Grassroots platform.

These are: the 230MW Sapphire Solar Farm plus 75MW/hr battery, to be co-located with the wind farm; the 200MW Bango Wind Farm and; the 600MW Sundown Solar Farm.

The Sapphire solar farm and battery is likely to be the next project to reach financial close, with a target at the moment of the third or fourth quarter of this year.

CWP’s 400MW Uungala Wind Farm may also be added to the platform, but it is understood this would require Partners Group to invest more equity than it has committed to the Grassroots platform.​​​​

Partners Group has developed about 2GW of solar and wind energy projects in Asia-Pacific, including investments in the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria in 2015 and 2016 and a 550MW Taiwanese solar power development platform. It also exited from the 610MW Japan solar platform which it had co-invested in alongside Equis (now called Vena Energy) in 2013, and exited in tandem with the sale of the latter’s portfolio.

 

Partners Group