Mercury NZ and Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PowAR), a consortium consisting of AGL Energy (20% stake), the Future Fund and Queensland government-owned investment manager QIC (80% stake), took full control of New Zealand’s Tilt Renewables yesterday after an almost $2.7 billion takeover back in March 2021.
In an announcement to the NZX and ASX, Tilt Renewables confirmed “that its New Zealand incorporated subsidiaries were acquired by Mercury Wind Limited this morning and, following that, 100% of the shares in Tilt Renewables were acquired by Powering Australian Renewables.”
With the change of ownership, trading on the bourses of Tilt’s shares have officially stopped today, and PowAR has become the largest owner of wind and solar in Australia, not to mention the largest renewable energy generator (after Snowy Hydro), and all on the same day that CEO of PowAR, Geoff Dutallis, told the Australian Financial Review that it was time for the Australian federal government to make a net zero commitment.
It’s time to “put a target on the hill like everyone else,” he said, “We already have the technology [to decarbonise the grid]”. And after the acquisition of Tilt Renewables, PowAR now plans to expand its pipeline of projects (which now includes the 100 MW Dysart Solar Farm in QLD, and the 80 MW Illabo Solar Farm in NSW), specifically on the east coast section of the National Electricity Market (NEM).
“In the near term, Liverpool in NSW is very attractive,” Dutallis told AFR, “- the central states of the NEM. The Wadding project in WA is in a different market but we want to enter.”
Dutallis said there remained a strong need of utility-scale solar and wind projects, as well as storage, to “do the heavy lifting” even despite the world-leading rooftop solar integration. “At the utility scale there’s more than enough to keep us busy. You need reliance of the grid, you can’t solve everything with the metre rooftop solar.”
QIC’s head of global infrastructure, Ross Israel, also spoke to AFR, saying the demand for tangible assets in an uncertain world was driving the recent spate of takeover bids. Speaking of the assets involved in the Tilt Renewables takeover, Israel said, “Some of the assets in question will be resilient and essential in the nature of a potentially more inflationary environment.”
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