Australia Solar Plant Ropes In Singapore’s Keppel Renewable As Partner

Australia Solar Plant Ropes In Singapore’s Keppel Renewable As Partner NX Horizon solar tracker featured on Moree Solar Farm (70 MW), NSW, Australia

Singapore-based Keppel Renewable Energy 9KRE), is investing for a 45% stake in Harlin Solar, which is developing a 500 MW solar farm at Harlin, about 100 kilometers northwest of Brisbane, Australia. This is KRE’s first large scale solar plant anywhere. The group has a 2030 target of 7 GW of renewable energy projects.

The investment, broken up between a nominal AUD 540 for a 45 percent stake. In addition, it will provide a loan of up to AUD$3.24 million (approximately S$3.28 million) to Harlin Solar for funding development costs of the project. Upon reaching certain agreed development milestones, Keppel has options to acquire all the remaining stakes in Harlin solar for an aggregate maximum consideration of AUD$52.35 million (approximately S$53.01 million).

Keppel Energy will also take over the development and operation of the project, even as original promoters Anthony John Youssef and New Energy Development will continue to hold the remaining 55% of shares in Harlin Solar. KRE provides end-to-end solutions from project funding and development to asset operation and capital recycling.

Australia has seen solar growth in both the rooftop and utility scale solar, leading in the use of solar powered battery storage too, with its Hornsdale battery, and now, the Victoria battery storage. In fact, growth in the past two years has been fast enough to create some grid balancing issues early on, which has made the case for large batteries early on, being easier to deploy.

The 500 MW Harlin solar farm  is being built on a 2,055-hectare site, making it the largest in Australia. For Keppel Renewable Energy, part of the large Keppel Corp group with interests in  the oil, shipping and other sectors, this is the first major investment into Australia. The Singapore firm’s investment also follows some major energy plans between the two countries, including SunCable’s ambitious plans to link Singapore directly with Australia to import solar power to the island nation from Australia.

Other Singapore based firms like Sembcorp have also started scouting actively in the solar space, with investments in India, among other countries set to go up.

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