Sydney-based ACE (Australian Clean Energy) Power, which has the backing of German investment holding Pelion Green Future, was officially launched this week, revealing it already has 10 renewable energy projects – including the 277 MWdc Loxton Solar Farm in South Australia – under development across the National Electricity Market (NEM).
ACE Power co-founder and director of development Koovashni Reddy told pv magazine Australia four of the company’s solar projects – the 140 MW Kerang and 52 MW Tatura East solar farms in Victoria, and the 129 MW Burdekin and 72 MW Mareeba solar farms in Queensland – have already been approved.
“Four of the projects have planning approval and we’re progressing the planning approvals on the others,” she said. “And we’re progressing the network connections on all of the projects.”
The projects, including the 108 MW Yabula Solar Farm in Queensland, the 71 MW Red Cliffs Solar Farm in Victoria, and the 150 MW Narrabri and Forbes solar farms and 150 MW Jones Creek wind farm in New South Wales, are set for completion between 2024 and 2025. All of will include battery energy storage systems with size and duration yet to be determined.
Reddy said the solar and wind portfolio, purchased from Australian renewable energy developer CleanGen Projects, will help to strengthen and stabilise the NEM and is expected to produce more than 2,700 GWh of clean energy each year, equivalent to powering more than 450,000 homes or removing 624,000 cars off the road.
Reddy, who founded CleanGen in 2012 and teamed up with former Wirsol Energy executives Mark Hogan and Andy Scullion to establish ACE Power, said the company will develop, build, own and operate the renewable energy assets.
“It’s a new model where we perform all of the functions as opposed to just parts of it and then sell it off,” she said.
“We are well placed in the renewable energy market with our access to projects, funding and proven delivery team, aiming to achieve nothing short of excellence.”
Scullion, who has been appointed director of operations at ACE Power, is a former managing director of Wirsol where he delivered more than 575 MW of solar and battery storage projects across Australia.
“I am looking forward to deploying our industry knowledge and technical experience to deliver clean, reliable and economic renewable energy solutions for the Australian community,” he said.
The launch of ACE Power comes despite a slowdown in Australia’s large-scale renewable energy market and Reddy said the federal government’s lack of clear policy shouldered much of the blame.
“For solar and renewables to grow we need clear policy, and the government policy is sadly lacking,” she said.
“We don’t need government intervention, we need government leadership which means emissions targets and that will translate into the market, building business confidence.”
Reddy, whose resume includes time at Pacific Power, AGL, Energy Australia and Integral Energy, said in the absence of clear federal government policy, the state governments have stepped up, pointing to the grid strengthening and renewable incentives rolled out in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
“The biggest issue in the market at the moment is the lack of grid strength,” she said.
“The market has stagnated over the past two to three years because of the issues with system strength but we see that changing with all of the new investment from state governments.
“The new transmission lines coming through will really help us get connected sooner rather than later.”
The launch of ACE Power marks Pelion’s entry into the Australian market and founding partner Jeremias Henrich said he excited by the prospects.
“We are very excited to make our debut in the Australian market and look forward to supporting ACE Power’s growth,” he said.
“Renewables is the key sector for Pelion globally and Australia is one the most promising markets based on its fundamentals.”
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