OMERS Infrastructure buys 49% stake in FRV’s Australian renewables business

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An operational solar plant from FRV in Uruguay. Image: FRV.

Canadian pension investor OMERS Infrastructure has acquired a 49% interest in the Australian renewable energy platform of utility-scale solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV).

The deal includes six operational and under construction solar assets with a combined capacity of 637MWdc as well as a development pipeline comprising around 2.7GWdc of solar plants and ~1.3GWh of battery energy storage systems.

FRV, which was acquired by Saudi Arabian conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel in 2015, said the deal will accelerate its growth in Australia with new projects and an expansion into new technologies.

FRV last year signed a power purchase agreement for a 90MW solar farm in the Australian state of New South Wales and has since started construction of its first hybrid solar-storage project, which is being built in Queensland and is expected to be operating at full capacity by early 2022.

The strong outlook for solar in Australia was recently revealed in research from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which said accelerating PV and wind deployment means much of the country could have sufficient renewables generation to meet 100% of consumer demand at certain times of the day by 2025.

For OMERS Infrastructure, the transaction sees it build its renewables portfolio following its 2018 acquisition of project developer Leeward Renewable Energy, which earlier this year acquired a 10GW utility-scale solar platform form First Solar. The investor also owns a 19.4% stake in Indian independent power producer Azure Power.

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