Partners Group backs third wind farm project in Australia

Swiss private equity firm Partners Group has invested an undisclosed amount in Australia’s Bango Wind Farm, the investment manager’s third wind farm investment in the country under its Grassroots Renewable Energy platform.

Bango Wind Farm is a 244-megawatt construction-ready project in New South Wales with a total project value of A$500 million ($337.5 million). It will be the first wind farm in the world to use 46 GE Cypress 5.3 MW turbines, which are the largest onshore wind turbines currently in production.

In a statement, Partners Group said construction of Bango will start this month. Once operational by mid-2021, the wind farm is projected to generate clean energy to power over 100,000 households. The project has already secured a 15-year contract with Snow Hydro for 100MW of its capacity, according to Partners Group.

“Bango will be Partners Group’s fifth renewables project in Australia, bringing our total renewables commitment in the country to almost A$1.2 billion to-date,” said Partners Group managing director and head of private infrastructure for Asia, Andrew Kwok.

The PE firm’s Grassroots Renewable Energy platform invests in the development of large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia on behalf of its clients. It was established in May 2018 by Partners Group and CWP Renewables.

The two other projects under the Grassroots platform are the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm and the 135MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, which are both located in the state of New South Wales.

Despite ongoing market challenges related to grid congestion and uncertainty over future green energy policy, Partners Group operating partner Benjamin Haan said there is still a market opportunity for investors in renewable energy in Australia.

As of the first half of 2018, Partners Group had developed around 2GW of solar and wind energy capacity on behalf of its clients across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia.

Previous investments include a 550MW Taiwanese solar power development platform and the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm development in Australia, which Partners Group invested into in August 2016 and June 2015, respectively.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Partners Group was planning to raise its new fourth buyout fund, with a target of up to $5.8 billion, this year.

The Baar, Switzerland-based manager raised €3 billion ($3.4 billion) for its last buyout fund in 2017 with an additional €3 billion euros from investors in other vehicles.