The Australian Solar Industry is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets globally. Developers and innovators have been active the last few years. They have been able to generate capital, secure long-term financing and even make cross-border arrangements with other companies for technological aid and transfer for improved outcomes. According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), nearly 10% of Australia’s electricity in 2020-21 was generated through Solar power systems. In 2022 30% of Australian residential units had a rooftop solar PV and is one of the fastest-growing sectors in renewable energy right now. The dropping costs for Solar PV has made the technology affordable for domestic consumers. Between 2010 and 2019, the prices for large scale solar PVs decreased by 85%. The sector aligns with the mission of the Australian government for net-zero emissions.
Bouldercombe Battery venture has caught the attention of the US company Tesla
Recently, the Bouldercombe Battery venture has caught the attention of the US company Tesla, and in the first, it is partnering with Genex, the developer of the Battery storage project. Tesla will be providing long-term financial support to the program and procuring 40 megapacks and a platform for energy storage and trading. Another great news for Genex is that they have also entered a contract with Tesla to provide them with their algorithm-powered system to sell energy.
According to Genex, the collaboration has unique contours and is the first such arrangement in Australia. However, Tesla is not new to the Australian market; they have been supplying their signature automated market bidding systems for quite some time now. But Tesla has never put their weight behind an Australian developer and offered to take on long-term revenue support and share the profits from the project.
Genex has been marketing the fact that Tesla’s involvement is an indicator of the project’s economic potential. Estimates by the developers are promising and will likely reduce 22,655 tons of carbon emissions per year and power 4,167 residential units. The project is constructed 23 KM south of Rockhampton; land procurement has gone smoothly, and work on the grid connection is in progress.
The project is set to become the first battery storage facility on such a large scale in Queensland. The storage facility will become operational in 2023 and will be an integral part of Genex’s strategic network. The arrangement between Genex and Tesla includes the Megapacks (Lithium-ion battery system), which will be shipped to the developer assembled and tested. In addition, Tesla has also agreed to operate the Megapacks for Genex for the first eight years and ensure a steady revenue stream for the developer.
Bouldercombe is close to load centres in Gladstone and other renewable power resources, making it an ideal location for the storage project.
Genex has been looking for financing options. In January 2022, the developer was able to come to an agreement with “Infradebt”; an infrastructure investor, for $35 million in financing for the Bouldercombe battery project.
Infradebt has agreed to a long-term partnership with Genex and will finance other largescale battery projects that will operate on a merchant basis in Australia. The overall financing committed by “Infradebt” is $50 million. The debt facility has improved the economic prospects of the project. The exposure and the returns when the project operationalizes are promising. Genex has stated that the arrangement with Tesla paved the way for financing the Bouldercombe project.