UK investment group takes majority stake in Queensland solar farm

31 Aug 2020

UK investment group United Green has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the Rodds Bay Solar Farm from the current project owner, Renew Estate.

Located 50 kilometres south of the township of Gladstone in Queensland, the 300MW Rodds Bay Solar Farm will be one of Australia’s largest renewables projects.

An integrated storage facility has also been approved for the site and will connect to Queensland’s 275kV transmission network between Bororen and Rodds Bay.

When completed, the Rodds Bay Solar Farm is expected to produce 625GWh of renewable energy each year, enough to power approximately 88,000 homes.

‘We are delighted to be announcing our first project in Australia, in such a dynamic part of Central Queensland,’ says Tim Mole, United Green’s Chief Investment Officer.

‘The strength of support for this project from the Queensland Government, the local community, local businesses and other stakeholders gives us great confidence in taking this project forward to construction and marks Renew Estate as one of Australia’s leading renewable energy developers.’

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the equity investment from United Green is a vote of confidence in Queensland’s renewables sector.

‘While there are still some steps for this project to follow, this major investment will mean hundreds of new jobs in the Gladstone region when the project is due to start later this year,’ she says.

This is United Green’s first entry into the Australian energy market. The Rodds Bay Solar Farm joins the group’s portfolio of utility-scale wind and solar developments in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

‘United Green’s involvement demonstrates that Queensland’s renewables sector is internationally competitive and smart money is looking to invest here, particularly in regional Queensland,’ says Glenn Butcher, Queensland’s Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing.

Renew Estate Director Vincent Dwyer says the Rodds Bay project was a commitment to a sustainable future for the Gladstone region.

‘We are passionate about the potential for Central Queensland as a renewable energy hub supporting heavy industry and are committed to supporting an energy transition there in partnership with the community,’ says Dwyer.

‘We are delighted to have secured such a capable and experienced partner in United Green, with a shared vision for Queensland as a renewable energy powerhouse.’

It is the latest project for Renew Estate, a joint venture between Australian companies Energy Estate, Beast Solutions and global solar operator WIRSOL Energy (the Australian arm of Germany’s WIRCON Group, which also owns the Whitsunday, Hamilton and Clermont solar farms in Queensland).

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