UPC and AC Energy have launched a $777 million bid for listed Australian renewables company Infigen Energy, as it seeks to combine its own ambitious development portfolio with that of one of the country’s most established independent players.

UPC and AC Energy, who are linked with the Philippines-based Ayala Corp through a complex ownership structure, made the bid for Infigen on Wednesday after snapping up a 12.8 per cent stake in their target company in a market raid late Tuesday.

UPC and AC Energy’s development portfolio includes one of the country’s biggest wind projects, the proposed Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park and Jim’s Plain Renewable Energy Park in north-west Tasmania, sized at up to 1,200MW, and which would form a key part of the state’s “Battery of the Nation Project”.

It is also seeking to develop the 720MW New England Solar Farm in regional NSW, the 300MW Bridle Track solar project in South Australia, the 160MW Axedale solar project in Victoria, and the Baroota pumped hydro project (250MW and eight hours of storage) also in South Australia.

Infigen owns a range of wind projects in NSW and South Australia, along with the Lake Bonney big battery and has recently bought the Smithfield fast-start gas generator in NSW and will lease similar fast-start generators from the South Australia government, and will use them to play a similar firming role.

“The businesses of Infigen and UPCAC Renewables Australia are complementary from an investment perspective,” UAC chairman Anton Rohner said in a statement.

“We have ready access to capital and significant renewable energy expertise that will position us well to support Infigen’s pipeline of projects and focus on much needed renewable energy investment and associated employment in Australia.”

More to come.

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.

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