Forrest promises financing for 14 GW of clean energy projects

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Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has committed to financing Squadron Energy’s 14 GW development pipeline of clean energy projects to support the Australian government in achieving its target of 82% renewable energy by 2030.

Squadron, part of the Forrest’s family’s private investment company Tattarang Group, said the 14 GW of new renewable power will power the equivalent of six million homes. The company also noted that there is a further 6 GW of renewables projects in Squadron’s development pipeline to follow.

Forrest, who is among the world’s loudest green hydrogen enthusiasts, said the commitment was huge from a major Australian company that is getting on with the job of building the renewable energy capacity required to deliver green power.

“The time for talk is over. We are investing right now in Australia’s green energy transition and creating jobs and economic development for regional Australia,” he said.

The announcement was welcomed by Australia Energy Minister Chris Bowen, who described the “ambitious” development pipeline as “proof renewable energy investors are getting on with the job, capitalising on Australia’s huge renewable potential, and helping transform our energy grid for the 21st century.”

Bowen recently announced an expanded Capacity Investment Scheme that is targeting 32 GW of renewable generation and storage capacity to support the nation’s clean energy transition.

“Firmed renewable energy and storage is not only the cheapest form of energy but provides crucial reliability as increasingly old and unreliable coal fired power stations inevitably exit the system,” he said.

Squadron’s commitment will come through a combination of wind, solar and battery energy storage projects.

The first project to be delivered will be the 414 MW Uungula wind farm near Wellington in central-west New South Wales (NSW) where a ceremony was held on Thursday to mark the start of construction of the $1 billion-plus project.

Andrew Forrest joins in the sod-turning ceremony to launch the start of construction of the Uungula wind farm in NSW.

Image: Squadron Energy

The project, which last month secured an underwriting contract from the state government in NSW’s latest round of auctions for new clean energy supply, is among those added to Squadron’s portfolio after its $4 billion purchase of CWP Renewables in 2022.

Others projects in Squadron’s near-term pipeline include the 700 MW Spicers Creek wind project west of Gulgong, also in central-west NSW, and the 400 MW Jeremiah wind farm near Gundagai in the state’s west.

It is also looking to install a 30MW battery at its 270 MW Sapphire wind farm near Glen Innes in the state’s north, where it also has approval for a 180 MW solar farm.

Squadron also announced it has signed a $2.75 billion agreement with GE Vernova to supply wind turbines for the Uungula, Spicers Creek and Jeremiah projects.

Jason Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of Squadron, said the strategic alliance would strengthen the company’s rollout of renewable energy projects and “significantly reduce the risk on the supply chain for upcoming projects.”

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