Sanjeev Gupta: The ‘saviour of Whyalla’

Sanjeev Gupta and GFG Alliance have some lofty goals to help move Australia’s energy future in the right direction. A recent presentation has revealed more about the company’s plans and some of its revised energy targets. 

Sanjeev Gupta and GFG Alliance

Sanjeev Gupta - CEO of GFG Alliance (source: whyallanewsonline.com.au)
Sanjeev Gupta – CEO of GFG Alliance (source: whyallanewsonline.com.au)

Mr Gupta was due to speak in Australia this week but a late change saw a colleague discuss GFG Alliance‘s plans to help shape Australia’s solar future

Presenting at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition in Adelaide,Liam Reid, the head of power business development at GFG Alliance, said the company’s initial plan for 1 gigawatt of power supplies has been upgraded 10x – to 10GW.

“Sanjeev has asked us to go hard on solar,” Reid said. “We want to make more that what we can possibly consume, and share elsewhere.”

The basis of this program is up to 1GW of solar to be constructed in and around Whyalla, so more great news for South Australian  solar. Reid told the solar conference that the first step is an 80MW solar farm “behind the meter” near the Whyalla Steelworks, and after this they will install 200MW of grid connected solar on property owned by GFG Alliance.

According to the Whyalla News Online, GFG Alliance will also be investigating the installation of a pumped hydro energy storage plant with an approximate size of 90MW / 390MWh (for the first project – presumably subsequent pumped hydro could store even more).

GFG plan on utilising depleted mine pits to “unlock a legacy of past activity for the benefit of future generations”

A 120MW / 140MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility will also be installed in Port Augusta and Whyalla.

Lastly, GFG are also hard at work trying to offer solar and energy storage solutions for GFG employees, and have also got their eye set on solar projects at many industrial and distribution sites in Australia.

We look forward to seeing what GFG come up with over the next 18 months and applaud their hard work in spreading the renewable message to Australia.

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New Energy Solar raising funds for IPO.

American based sustainable investment fund New Energy Solar is hoping to raise up to $300m as they prepare to float on the ASX. Applications for the Retail Offer are expected to open this Friday – their prospectus and product disclosure statement was lodged with ASIC last Thursday and anyone looking to invest in the company should start doing their due diligence!

About New Energy Solar

New Energy Solar, established in 2015 and run by John Martin, is an unlisted investment fund that invests in large-scale, cashflow-positive solar power stations. According to the Australian Financial Review, they then sign fixed-price and escalating PPA (purchase power agreements) with customers which are generally for 13-15 years. After the PPA terms expire the plants can re-contract with their customers or sign a new contract with someone else.

The company website notes that they have already generated 189,000MWh of electricity in Q1 and Q2 of 2017 – this represents 105,000 tonnes of displaced CO2 emissions – equivalent to pulling 50,000 cars off the road and powering 44,500 homes. 

New Energy Solar currently has four solar power stations on their books and they hope to use funds raised by the ASX IPO to buy more plants in the United States and also expand into buying solar plants in Australia. 

Their current projects include:

  • North Carolina 43MW Project
  • North Carolina 47MW Project
  • Stanford 67.4MW Project
  • TID 67.4MW Project

A media release said that they are also in binding contracts to purchase 14 more American solar plants, with a total output of 130MW. This will bring New Energy Solar’s total holdings to “a diversified 345MW portfolio of large scale solar power plants underpinned by highly creditworthy off-takers and a weighted average PPA term of 16.4 years”.

John Martin, New Energy Solar CEO was quoted as saying “These high-quality projects and the proposed PPAs with creditworthy off-takers greatly increase our scale as an investor in solar and also enhance the diversity of our portfolio.”

The exact timing of the New Energy Solar IPO is as yet unknown and will depend on how successful it is in the opening stages – we’ll update this article with some progress as soon as we hear any more. It’s exciting to see more private solar investment in Australia and we’ll follow New Energy closely over the coming weeks and months. 

Click here to view their website about the IPO and download the offer document. 

New Energy Solar ASX IPO
New Energy Solar ASX IPO (source: newenergysolar.com.au)

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