BayWa r.e.'s first project in Down Under
Setting the scene
Over the last few years, BayWa r.e. has expanded into many new international markets. The 20 MW solar project at Hughenden, in Queensland, will always be a special project for us as it was our first in Australia.
The project was an ideal investment opportunity for BayWa r.e., with the objective of constructing and then selling the project on, while continuing to provide ongoing operations and maintenance.
Hughenden created quite the logistical challenge as we needed to finance and construct the project while simultaneously undertaking its sale. In July 2017, we successfully sold the project to Australian infrastructure investment specialists, Lighthouse Infrastructure.
Meeting the Challenge
Not only was this BayWa r.e.’s first project in Australia, but it also had a very challenging timeframe and location. Due to the project being purchased in pre-development, it left us with a short timeline of just ten weeks to both construct and get the solar plant operational. The site was also in a very remote location, on the outskirts of Hughenden in the Queensland outback.
Being our first installation, we had to move very quickly to establish a team. Our project management teams in Melbourne and Bangkok brought together their combined expertise while working in close collaboration with local Australian contractor Beon.
Our financial teams in Munich and Freiburg then led on coordinating the sale of the project to Lighthouse Infrastructure.
Establishing good relationships on the ground was also important. The team worked closely with Flinders Shire Council, who were very supportive of the scheme, which created over 100 jobs for the local community during construction.
From start to finish, the project was a great example of how BayWa r.e. is able to effectively bring together knowledge and expertise from across its global business to help support, deliver and manage the sale of individual projects.
Getting the result
In little over six months we have purchased, developed, sold and constructed an operational 20 MW solar installation in a remote rural location. Testament to our project development and supply chain management expertise, collaborative business culture and financial acumen.
Hughenden is just the start of our plans in Australia, and we have already invested in a further three large projects in Northern Victoria and Queensland. These projects, once operational, will have a combined output of just under 280 MW. All three are set to be generating electricity before the end of 2018.
The Lighthouse Solar Fund provides capital to support Australia’s renewable energy transformation. BayWa r.e. has brought its experience, expertise and professionalism to projects in this country. We hope that the […] Hughenden Solar facility is the first step in a successful long-term partnership.