September 10 (Renewables Now) - Swiss investment manager Partners Group AG is acquiring the 226-MW first stage of the Murra Warra wind farm in Australia from UK-based developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Macquarie Capital, the parties said today.
Partners Group will, on behalf of its clients, invest over AUD 200 million (USD 142m/EUR 123m) in equity to acquire and build the project.
Construction of the wind farm started in March this year, after debt financing was secured, and completion is expected in the middle of 2019. Murra Warra I, located north of Horsham in the state of Victoria, will be made up of 61 Senvion 3.7-MW turbines. Senvion SA (ETR:SEN) is building the facility together with Downer EDI Ltd (ASX:DOW). The project has long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a substantial part of its output with customers, including Telstra Corp Ltd (ASX:TLS), Coca-Cola Amatil, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), the University of Melbourne and Monash University.
RES and Macquarie Capital will continue to develop the 55-turbine Murra Warra Stage II project, as well as a solar farm and energy storage project at Murra Warra. RES will also remain involved in Murra Warra I as construction and asset manager.
"We continue to believe the Australian renewable energy sector is benefiting from a transformative trend, with a significant amount of coal-fired generation retirements expected in the coming decade," said Partners Group's Benjamin Haan, noting that this is the company's fourth major wind farm investment in Australia since 2015.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.712/EUR 0.615)