Australian utility AGL Energy has secured deals to acquire two commercial and industrial (C&I) solar companies, Solgen Energy Group and Epho, as it looks to strengthen its existing PV capabilities.
AGL, which operates the largest electricity portfolio in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) and is the country’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, said the acquisitions will allow it to deliver “more tailored and innovative” energy solutions for businesses.
Established in 2008, Solgen is among Australia’s largest commercial solar providers, having delivered more than 15,000 projects in the last decade. It also owns solar equipment distribution business Sol Distribution.
Epho, which AGL will acquire from Anchorage Capital Partners, specialises in the construction and maintenance of large-scale systems and has carried out more than 400 solar installations in Australia, including a 6MW PV park at Brisbane airport.
Oliver Hartley, managing director at Epho, said the acquisition will allow the company to provide a “full suite of on- and off-site renewable energy retail solutions” that its clients require to meet their environmental commitments.
“We can make a material difference to the carbon foot-print of corporate Australia,” he added.
AGL CEO Brett Redman said the two acquisitions will allow the utility to deliver more than 70MW of commercial solar projects each year. “This part of the energy sector has seen significant growth over the last ten years, as businesses right across Australia seek out solar offerings to help them decarbonise, reduce costs and create sustainable operations.”
Recent figures from the Australian Energy Council revealed that the amount of rooftop solar installations in Australia grew by 18% last year. Despite the impact from COVID-19, some 2.6GW of capacity and 333,978 rooftop PV installations were added to the grid during 2020. In Western Australia, rooftop PV is set to be the fastest-growing form of new capacity, with the expansion displacing coal as well as large-scale solar projects.
Alongside the rise of Australia’s C&I market, the amount of corporate power purchase agreements (PPA) in the country from last year are expected to reach record levels. A report published in December from Business Renewables Centre Australia found more than 3GW of renewables have been contracted since 2017 in the country through corporate PPAs.