A new partnership may provide China’s Risen Energy may assist it to develop more merchant PV in Australia. The partnership, allied with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), promises greater expansion on Risen Energy’s already impressive Australian portfolio. In addition to the 100MW (AC) Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland, Risen Energy also completed the acquisition of 100 MW (DC) Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia late last year. Sydney-based Providence lists Yarranlea as one of its large scale renewable investments.
The strategic partnership comes as little surprise after being strongly hinted at in mid-April with the announcement by UNSW Digital Futures Grid Institute of a hybrid lithium-ion/hydrogen fuel cell hybrid technology that is to be trialled at Yarranlea. However, the confirmation does itself confirm that Risen Energy’s ambitious 2 GW target is no pipedream, especially considering this announcement suggests one of the major hurdles has been negotiated, namely, capital.
According to a press release from Risen Energy, “The two parties signed an agreement whereby they will collaborate on investment and on the development of solar photovoltaic power projects. This partnership will provide Risen Energy with strong financial support, helping the company accelerate its expansion into overseas markets.”
“Providence Asset Group is an innovative investment and asset management company with strong capabilities in the management of capital and a comprehensive financial service system,” Risen Energy chairman Lin Haifeng said in the announcement. “We expect the partnership to provide us with the capital support necessary to develop solar power projects in Australia in the future,” added Mr. Lin,
“PV energy will play a key role in tomorrow’s energy sector [and] we plan to fully integrate superior industry resources to accelerate expansion into new frontiers, especially in photovoltaic energy, while further promoting the high capacity and large-scale application of energy storage in the renewable energy sector.”
Following on from well-publicised comments by outgoing APA Group CEO Mick McCormack last week, in which McCormack stressed the necessity of solar PV+hydrogen production on the outskirts of the grid, a significant part of Australia’s renewable energy future will need to be shouldered by hybrid technologies. The Risen/Providence strategic partnership could not only boost potential large scale PV projects around the country, but also the future of hybrid renewable technologies in Australia, such as those being developed at UNSW.
Alongside PV and hybrid projects, Providence is also an investor into early Australian cleantech companies including hydrogen developer H2Store. It has signed a ten-year joint research and collaboration initiative with the UNSW.
Author: Blake Matich