A group of companies that includes units of Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) has been greenlit to jointly tender and negotiate off-take contracts with a new or existing solar or wind park in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given a 24-year authorisation to the group so it could conduct a joint procurement process for an aggregated hedged volume of electricity and equivalent volume of green products from a grid-connected renewable energy plant. According to the final determination, the counterparty to the power purchase agreement (PPA) is likely to be a solar or wind farm in New South Wales.
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The applicants are led by US data centre major Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX) and apart from Nike and Goldman Sachs affiliates, it also includes the local banking unit of HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) and the finance arm of Swedish clothing retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB (STO:HM-B). Now, they are allowed to pool their electricity demand for the signing of such a contract with a term until September 30, 2045.
“The ACCC considers that the conduct is likely to result in public benefits in the form of transaction cost savings, greater investment in and competition for the supply of electricity, and environmental benefits through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” the commission says in its final determination and adds that the combined volume of electricity that will be sought accounts for a relatively small proportion of power demand in New South Wales.
Meanwhile, Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) is awaiting a positive response from the ACCC with regard to a similar application. A month ago, the commission issued a draft determination proposing to grant such authorisation to Macquarie Capital as well. If the final outcome of this process is the same, Macquarie will seek a group of buyers to collectively negotiate PPAs with the developer of a new renewable energy project in Victoria.