INFRASTRUCTURE CAPITAL GROUP
Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG) is an Australian owned infrastructure investment manager with 18 years of experience and over $1.8 billion invested in Australia. We specialise in the infrastructure sector with investments in renewable energy, gas pipelines, generation and transportation. Investors in our managed funds are predominantly Australian superannuation funds, including the WA Local Government Superannuation Plan and The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Perth.
We are one of Australia’s largest private renewable energy infrastructure managers, with over 450MW of renewable energy generation capacity. ICG is also one of the largest private infrastructure managers in Western Australia. Over the last 16 years it has delivered investments in the Esperance Energy Project, Mumbida Wind Farm, Port Hedland International Airport, Kwinana Power Station and the Neerabup Power Station.
In December 2018, ICG raised over $150 million of further funding for its dedicated renewable energy fund. The funds raised include an $100 million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The CEFC is responsible for investing in clean energy projects on behalf of the Australian Government. This commitment to ICG is the CEFC’s largest investment in renewable energy to date.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ESPERANCE
ICG has been investing in Esperance since 2003.
Our 35MW natural gas fired power station and 342km gas pipeline from Kambalda to Esperance services the electricity requirements of the region through long term power purchase agreements with Horizon Power and the Southern Ports Authority. The power station has a strong record of delivering safe and reliable energy to the region.
We also supply natural gas to approximately 400 residential and business customers including the Esperance Hospital, hotels and grain handlers in Esperance.
Esperance Power Station is powered by natural gas, however it also buys all available wind power from the nearby wind farms for use in the Esperance town and region. In 2018, 23.3% of the power used by the Esperance region was produced by the Esperance Wind Farm.
An engineering study conducted in late 2018 shows the Esperance Power Station is at mid-life, which means we can continue providing reliable power to the region for at least another 15 years.
We are committed to the Esperance community and have supplied free gas to the Esperance Leisure Centre for its pool heating since 2005, which is valued at over $3million. All our staff working at the power station and on the gas pipeline live in Esperance.
RELIABLE BASE LOAD POWER TO SUPPORT MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY
A base load power plant is a power station that can provide a continuous supply of electricity throughout the year. This ensures all customers have a reliable supply of energy at all times.
Base load power plants can be powered by hydro, diesel, geothermal, nuclear, coal or natural gas. Current battery technology can also provide short term base load power but requires further research and development to become more efficient and affordable. Base load power plants will continue to play an important and critical role in any future energy supply mix.
In the Esperance region, Horizon Power is currently considering the supply of base load power from diesel, natural gas or LNG (liquefied natural gas) generation to support an increase in renewable energy generation use.
Renewable energy has an important role in our energy supply mix and we will consider options that may be integrated into a future power solution for Esperance.
Distributed and/or centralised renewable energy technology such as solar, battery storage and wind generation will be considered and evaluated, supported by traditional diesel, natural gas or LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuelled generation.
Esperance Power Project Fact Sheet, Horizon Power.
If there are high wind conditions during a weekend, the Esperance Wind Farm can supply up to 50% of the Esperance community energy needs through the Esperance Power Station. However, wind conditions at Esperance change very quickly and wind farm generation requires a continuous backup base load generation to prevent unplanned outages or black-outs.
We provide reliable power supply to Esperance. Esperance Power Station’s primary fuel is natural gas that is supplied through 2500km of underground pipelines from Dampier in the north of Western Australia.
Our natural gas supply prices are approximately 25% to 40% lower than alternative gas supply options and natural gas is clean energy and more environmentally friendly than diesel generation.
THE FUTURE OF ENERGY SUPPLY IN ESPERANCE
ICG supports an increase in renewable generation within the Esperance region. We believe there is an opportunity to immediately increase the amount of both wind and solar generation, while maintaining reliability of supply through our natural gas power plant. Battery technology may also assist in maintaining grid stability whilst the town transitions to a renewable future. During this transitional phase, it is important that the existing customers of Esperance have access to a reliable source of base load power. Reliability is also critical in attracting new business. The existing power station has a strong long term track record of delivering safe and reliable energy to the region.
ICG has the funding and expertise to immediately develop new renewable generation in the region as it transitions to a low emissions future. By investing now, we can deliver more renewable, affordable and reliable energy today to the community. This would create more local jobs and give certainty to all our Esperance customers and the community at no cost to State Government.