Monday, 1 July 2013

Denham invests in Australian wind power
9 May 2013

US PRIVATE equity firm Denham Capital Management has strengthened its commitment to Australia's renewable sector, investing $US75 million in a portfolio of wind power projects forming the basis of new entity OneWind Australia. Denham, which has more than $US7.3 billion in assets, is joining the Australian arm of Portugal's Enersis Group, National Power and Kato Capital to create OneWind.

The new venture will develop and finance several wind farms in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania with a total capacity of one GW, The Australian Financial Review reports. The projects, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, would help meet Australia's 2020 renewable energy target, which is expected to be almost entirely filled by wind power.

The investment follows Denham's decision last year to set up a new office in Perth, where it has been scouting for opportunities in metals and mining. The firm already backs international solar power developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, which is developing solar ventures in Australia.

Denham co-founder Carl Tricoli said last November that the firm may invest up to $US600 million of its latest $US3 billion fund in Australia across its three key sectors: metals and mining, oil and gas, and power and renewables.

Scott Mackin, co-president of ­Denham and head of the firm's power and renewables team, said on Tuesday that Denham's investment would accelerate the pipeline of projects, which has been developed by the other partners.

"We believe that the combined skills, capital and projects that we collectively bring to the table create exciting opportunities for the partnership", Mr Mackin said. He said late last year that he was particularly interested in solar and wind projects that could undercut the cost of "brown" coal-fired power, including remote mining sites.

The portfolio of projects in OneWind includes the 100 MW Glen Innes wind farm in NSW, the 250 MW Lincoln Gap project in South Australia, and the 240 MW Cattle Hill venture in Tasmania.