Spanish giant plans $26 billion investment in Australian renewables following government change


Acciona is currently constructing Australia’s largest wind farm, the 1 GW MacIntyre complex on Queensland’s southern tip, with a price tag just shy of $2 billion. 

The company’s chairman, José Manuel Entrecanales, has now told The Age the company plans to increase its Australian renewable capacity six fold, targeting 6 GW with an investment forecast sitting at $26 billion.

The plan, Entrecanales said, has been enabled by the new Albanese’s government’s pledge to invest $20 billion in Australia’s electricity transmission grid through its ‘Rewiring the Nation’ policy, intended to unlock renewable development by allowing more projects to connect without the current curtailment woes.

Alongside Australia’s vast renewable resources, its AAA credit status and reliable legal system, the new government’s policy is something of the finishing touch, facilitating an ideal investment environment for the Spanish giant.

“Australia can be possibly the most effective destination for our investment,” Entrecanales said in an interview with the Fairfax newspaper.

Almost one fifth, 18%, of Acciona’s business in generated in Australia, where the company not only develops wind and solar projects but also public transport and other construction jobs. Acciona’s revenue was $11.9 billion (€8.1 billion) in 2021.

The Age reports of the company’s $26 billion future project pipeline in Australia, 10 projects worth $7 billion are “pending resolution” while the rest of the planned investment, $19 billion, is in tenders under development.

Alongside its flagship MacIntyre Wind Farm, the company owns a number of assets in the country, holding total installed capacity of 435 MW here in 2021. Its 158 MW Mortlake wind farm is currently under construction in Victoria, where it already operates the 132 MW Mt. Gellibrand and 192 MW Waubra wind farms.

The company also owns the 64 MW Cathedral Rocks wind farm in South Australia and 47 MW Gunning wind farm in New South Wales. 

Late last year, Acciona signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Queensland government-owned generator Stanwell Energy which could see energy generated at the proposed 600 MWp Aldoga Solar Farm power a 3 GW green hydrogen project being developed near Gladstone on the central Queensland coast.

Acciona is also currently testing Sydney company Gelion’s zinc-bromide Endure batteries at its Montes del Cierzo testing field in Navarra, in the north of Spain.

The proposed Aldoga Solar Farm is set to deliver renewable energy to the CQ-H2 project.

Image: Acciona

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