Elliott Green Power Australia (EGP) has confirmed it has received local government approval to develop a 50 MW/100 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) adjacent to its Susan River Solar Farm in southeast Queensland.
EGP said the Fraser Coast Regional Council has approved the development of a utility scale battery to be connected to the grid at the same location as the existing Susan River Solar Farm near Maryborough, about 300 kilometres north of Brisbane.
A source close to the company said the BESS development aligns with the Queensland Government’s ambition to introduce more storage solutions that support the continued uptake of renewables and provide security for the state’s electricity network.
“Given the market dynamics in Queensland, solar plus storage adds significant operating flexibility and value to existing high-quality generation capacity,” the source told pv magazine.
The Susan River BESS project is the latest in EGP’s battery developments with the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of United States-based hedge fund management company Elliott Investment Management, progressing development of 125 MW of battery storage across its Australian solar PV assets.
The company has already secured development approval for a utility-scale storage asset to be connected at its 56 MW Childers Solar Farm in southeast Queensland. The 25 MW/50 MWh project is expected to reach financial close before the end of the year.
EGP is also continuing to progress a utility-scale storage project at the 105 MW Nevertire Solar Farm in north-west New South Wales. The 50 MW/100 MWh project is currently progressing through approvals.
The source said the development of energy storage systems alongside the solar farms would enhance the operational profile of EGP’s existing assets and open new revenue opportunities including ancillary services and merchant arbitrage.
The expansion plans come despite EGP confirming it remains committed to the sale of its Australian portfolio with Bank of America appointed to oversee the sale.
The company said it would “not comment on market speculation” but the source told pv magazine 100% of EGP will be sold, with no complex minority shareholder considerations or listed company considerations.
The source said EGP has already received “significant inquiry in its portfolio of premium, highly contracted, de-risked strategically located assets”.
“Institutional investors, infrastructure funds and international strategics without a renewables presence in this market are seeking strategic market entry,” the source said.
“The combination of operational assets, development pipeline and management team are highly attractive to these investors.”
EGP is not alone in its decision to pull out of the Australia sector, with a number of renewable energy players looking to exit the large-scale wind and solar market.
Another portfolio could soon be on the block with U.S. private equity fund Denham Capital looking to offload its Australian solar PV assets.
Denham Capital, which owns 95% of Nexif Energy, has reportedly hired U.S. investment banking giant JPMorgan to oversee the sale of its renewable energy assets in the APAC, among them the soon-to-be-completed 464 MW Lincoln Gap Wind Farm in South Australia.
The 126 MW first stage of Lincoln Gap project has already been completed and construction has commenced on the 86 MW second stage. Plans and approvals are also in place for another 252 MW. The project also includes 10 MW/10 MWh of battery storage.
Singapore-based Nexif Energy also owns the 154 MW Snapper Point peaking generator in South Australia and a number of renewable energy assets in Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.
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