German investor buys 400MWh big battery portfolio in Australia

German investor Aquila Capital has entered the Australian utility battery storage market by buying a portfolio of projects totaling 220MW and 440MWh.

The deal with Spanish company Grupo Gransolar is for three battery energy storage systems (BESS) projects. Ground is set to be broken on the first project in 2023 and Gransolar’s energy storage arm E22 will continue to manage the projects for Aquila.

Aquila says it has been looking at Australian battery, wind and solar opportunities since it established an Asia vanguard in Singapore in 2020, while Gransolar has been active in Australia since 2017.

Gransolar is developing a total of 13 big battery projects in South Australia, NSW and Victoria with a total capacity of 300MW and mostly two hours storage, and earlier this year said it had “supercharged” its activities here following a major investment from international financier, Trilantic Europe, which took a 60% stake in the company.

In Australia, Gransolar has built more than 1GW of solar and battery storage, including the recently connected 200MW Blue Grass solar farm in Queensland.

Aquila Capital CEO APAC Alexander Lenz says the investor is looking for other renewable energy opportunities in Australia after establishing a foothold in the country, and wants to open a local office this year.

“In the clean energy mix, battery storage is crucial for system stability and efficiency, which makes them a key component of our investment and development strategy,” he said.

Its purchase follows the move by global funds giant Blackrock to buy Melbourne-based Akaysha Energy and pledge $1 billion to roll out the first three of nine battery storage projects in Australia.

more to follow

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