Spark Infrastructure: Investing in a cleaner Australian electricity grid
Australia has historically relied heavily on coal for electricity generation. That is changing as the country moves to embrace a cleaner future. Households have done their part, installing rooftop solar panels in record numbers. Some of the country’s biggest coal-fired power plants are set to close and be replaced by large-scale renewable power. These changes will require a significant buildout of Australia’s transmission infrastructure. That’s where we are playing a role in Australia’s energy transition, too, through our investment in Spark Infrastructure.
Spark Infrastructure owns interests in electricity transmission and distribution businesses that collectively serve more than 5 million homes and businesses in Australia. In recent years, it has also made a move into renewable power generation. Under our ownership, Spark Infrastructure’s electricity distribution businesses, Victoria Power Networks and South Australia Power Networks, will be strengthened and augmented to enable Australia’s shift to widespread rooftop solar generation. Meanwhile, its electricity transmission business, Transgrid, will be responsible for the construction of hundreds of kilometers of new transmission lines across the state of New South Wales, where more than 10GW of coal-fired generation needs to be retired over the next 25 years to clean up Australia’s grid.
Spark Infrastructure is very proud to be an important contributor to the energy transition in Australia. South Australian Power Networks is the first gigawatt distributor to be a net exporter of electricity to the transmission system in the world and have done so without incurring significant costs, in addition they are working with other distributors and regulators in Australia to pass on their learnings. Both distributors provide connection services to renewable projects through their unregulated businesses, and Transgrid is involved in the substantial transmission build that is required to support the growth of largescale renewable generators in New South Wales.
- Laura Reed, Chair of Spark