Forrest to advance 14 GW of new clean energy in Australia

11th January 2024 By: Bloomberg

Forrest to advance 14 GW of new clean energy in Australia

Billionaire Andrew Forrest pledged to develop 14 GW of new clean power projects in Australia by 2030, offering a boost to the nation’s efforts to accelerate investments in renewable energy.

Forrest’s closely held Squadron Energy aims to add facilities that can power the equivalent of six-million homes, and will account for about a third of the clean electricity generation required for the nation to meet government targets, according to a statement.

“The time for talk is over, we are investing right now in Australia’s green energy transition,” Forrest said Thursday in the statement, as he launched construction of the Uungula wind farm in New South Wales state.

Under the plans, Squadron has signed a A$2.75-billion pact with GE Vernova for the supply of wind turbines and engineering to projects in New South Wales, Squadron said.

Investment in utility-scale solar and wind projects in Australia was about $1.4-billion in the first nine months of 2023, compared with a full-year total in 2022 of $6.2-billion, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF. Rising costs of wind and solar projects, the slow expansion of the nation’s grid infrastructure and uncertainty over government policy have all been factors that have hampered projects.

Australia’s government late last year announced plans to stimulate new investment by expanding a policy to underwrite renewable energy projects to about 32 gigawatts. The shift comes as the nation — which still relies heavily on coal and gas — aims to lift the use of renewables to 82% of overall power consumption by 2030.

Forrest’s Squadron Energy currently has about 1.1 GW of renewable energy projects in operation, making it among Australia’s largest developers, and a total pipeline of about 20 gigawatts of projects.