Green Energy: More Australian renewables assets hit the market through ASX-listed Meridian
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• Meridian Energy plans to sell Australian renewables projects
• AGL’s Liddell next proposed site as $27 million Carwarp solar project gets under way
• Prominence shares up on Patriot Hydrogen business model
Another ASX-listed company has launched plans to sell off its green energy assets, with Meridian Energy (ASX: MEZ) announcing it will partially or completely divest its Australian business after an operational review.
Lazard has been engaged to run the process.
Meridian houses 294MW of renewable capacity across a suite of wind and hydro energy projects on the east coast with 150MW under development.
It also owns a retail business called Powershop Australia, which sells electricity to 140,000 customers and gas to another 40,000.
Meridian, which also operates a suite of renewable power plants and retail electricity businesses in New Zealand where it is also publicly-listed, noted a small hit to earnings from a drop in prices at its Australian operations in the first half of the financial year.
The ageing Liddell coal plant – due to close in 2023 – could host a solar-thermal plant on the back of a major investment from energy supplier AGL Energy (ASX: AGL) and renewable technology firm Raygen Resources.
A pre-feasibility study for an installation at Liddell is under way.
It will follow the construction of a $27 million solar-thermal storage project at Carwarp in north-west Victoria, which Raygen is building to supply energy to AGL via an offtake deal.
AGL’s interim CEO Graeme Hunt said the project will underpin AGL’s transition to renewable energy supply.
“AGL is committed to leading the business of transition and developing the future of renewable energy storage at scale, ensuring Australian households and businesses have affordable, sustainable and reliable electricity,” Hunt said.
“The system is powered by a field of smart, rotational mirrors whose concentrated solar energy is combined with the energy stored across two water reservoirs to create a ‘hot and cold’ solar hydro solution.
“The Carwarp plant will be able to deliver four megawatts (MW) of solar generation and 50 megawatt hours (MWh) of storage to produce electricity on demand – improving grid stability, as well as supplying reliable, synchronous power.
“We believe the technology can be just as successful in the Hunter region and a key feature of our plans to transition the Liddell site into an Energy Hub, alongside grid-scale batteries and a waste to energy facility.”
Raygen banked $42 million in new funding to back the project, including $27 million in equity from AGL, Schlumberger New Energy, Photon Energy, and Chevron Technology Ventures alongside new and existing investors, and $15 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
Oil and gas play Prominence Energy (ASX: PRM) announced its entry to the emerging hydrogen space last week with a 20 per cent purchase of private Victorian waste-into-hydrogen developer Patriot Hydrogen.
Patriot is developing units which will use “pyrolysis” to convert woody biomass into about 4t per day of biochar, 2t of syngas and about 1t of green hydrogen depending on conditions, and expects to have the first unit in operation by early 2022.
Prominence revealed more about the proposed business plan today, prompting a 7.1% spike in its share price in early trade.
Patriot expects to both develop its own sites and sell a series of modular “P2H” units, valued at around $2.9 million plus annual licence fees.
Iron Road (ASX: IRD) is a partner in the H2U green manufacturing plan at Cape Hardy Port in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Despite having no news to report it enjoyed an almost 20 per cent bump this morning.
The project has drawn investment from Mitsubishi and includes the planned development of up to 5GW of electrolyser capacity for starters.
Iron Road owns the high grade 12Mtpa Central Eyre Iron Project, which would be an early mover in the export of “green” iron ore pellets.