Essen,
14
February
2018
|
10:04
Europe/Amsterdam

Expansion of solar business in Australia

Summary

> Acquisition of project rights for two solar power plants with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts in New South Wales
> Total investment volume of more than €400 million including project rights
> Start of construction planned for 2018
> A year after the acquisition of BELECTRIC, innogy is making further progress on its strategic plans for growing a value accretive solar business
> innogy benefits from BELECTRIC’s experience in constructing and operating utility-scale solar power plants

innogy SE continues to implement its growth strategy: Just one year after the successful acquisition of the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC, innogy SE is progressing in growing a value accretive solar business through the purchase of two large-scale solar development projects from Overland Sun Farming (“Overland”) in Australia, one of the leading Australian development companies. The projects “Limondale” and “Hillston” with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts (MW) are located in New South Wales. The parties signed all relevant contracts, with the transfer of the project companies to innogy anticipated to take place in the second quarter of this year. All parties involved have agreed to keep the terms and conditions of the transaction confidential, including the purchase price. The acquisition is subject to certain standard conditions, including land and planning arrangements, as well as review by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and approval from Australia’s Federal Treasurer from a foreign investment perspective. It is anticipated that the various conditions will be completed in the second quarter of 2018, enabling the entire transaction to complete.

 

Uwe Tigges, CEO of innogy SE
“With the acquisition of two of Overland’s Australian solar development projects, innogy is entering into a strongly growing renewable energy market. This is a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver sustainable bottom line growth in accordance with innogy's financial targets to maximise value for the company and our shareholders. Execution of the two photovoltaic power plant projects is in line with innogy’s hurdle rate framework and funding capacity.”
Uwe Tigges, CEO of innogy SE
Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE
“Taking over the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC was the first step to gaining a reliable footprint in photovoltaic power plant technology. Thanks to BELECTRIC’s existing network, we have been able to make our first significant utility-scale solar investment, not just anywhere, but in Australia – the continent with the highest solar irradiation per square meter. Australia is an excellent starting point for innogy to grow a valuable solar business.”
Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE

The two projects are already in a well-advanced development stage, with all land, planning and connection processes, arrangements and approvals as well as detailed designs and construction arrangements expected to be finalised during the second quarter.

“Limondale”, the first development project with a planned installed capacity of 347 MWp, will be located at Balranald, New South Wales. Construction works are expected to start in the second quarter of this year. Commissioning of the plant will be gradually realised. Full commercial operation is expected by the end of 2019. The second development project, “Hillston”, has a planned capacity of 115 MWp. Construction works are anticipated to commence at the latest by the third quarter of this year to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2019.

The planned investment volume of both projects including acquisition of project rights totals to more than €400 million. At completion of the transaction, innogy will become the sole owner of the two projects. The final investment decision to construct both projects will be taken in line with its targets regarding leverage and financial stability. innogy will review all options regarding the ownership and financing structure of the project in order to maximise value for the company and shareholders.

Under current planning innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC will be in charge of construction works (EPC) and take over the operation and maintenance (O&M) for both solar plants as service provider. The company is an experienced player in the global solar market with close to two gigawatt of executed projects all over the world, including projects in Australia, and is among the world´s leading O&M providers.

innogy has considerable experience in developing, designing, financing, constructing and operating renewables assets, both independently and with project partners and investors. innogy will establish a new subsidiary and team based in Australia: In addition to solar, innogy is also investigating project opportunities for battery storage and onshore wind in Australia.