Carnegie Clean Energy sees rapid growth after embracing solar power

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 10, 2017 10:35 PM

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Carnegie Clean Energy expects annual revenue to surge 17-fold over a two-year period, its managing director told Reuters, thanks to a push into solar power with the recent purchase of fellow Australian firm Energy Made Clean (EMC).

The company, which recently changed its name from Carnegie Wave Energy, sees revenue rocketing from A$1.7 million last year to more than A$30 million by 2018, mainly due to the targeted revenue growth of solar and battery company EMC.

"That is a game changer for Carnegie, where we've gone from being an R&D company to being a company with rapidly growing revenues," Managing Director Michael Ottaviano said in an interview on Tuesday.

Initially announced in October, the A$13 million acquisition was completed last month.

The firm has also teamed up with one of the country's biggest residential developers, Lendlease Group, to bolster its position in Australia.

Carnegie's share price has doubled to A$0.07 since the deals, recently hitting a more than three-year high of A$0.079.

Before the acquisition, Carnegie was mainly focused on developing a reliable way to tap waves for power, but decided to diversify as the technology was years away from hitting the market.

"We saw (the acquisition) as a way to broaden the offering of the company, bring in revenues earlier and mitigate risk," Ottaviano said.

Now he sees the company expanding in tandem with the fast-growing microgrids market, which Navigant Research estimates will grow at 50 percent a year to an estimated $20 billion by 2020.

Microgrids are electricity supply systems that can work independent of existing grids or linked to them, which can help secure cheap and reliable power for remote locations.

Ottaviano said he saw opportunities in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Carnegie's partnership with Lendlease Group is aimed at winning Australian contracts to design, supply materials and build solar and battery storage systems.

Lendlease tied up with Carnegie after working with EMC to develop a residential community called Alkamos in Western Australia, where every house has solar panels connected to a centralised array of batteries.

Meanwhile Carnegie is developing its wave energy technology, with a 9.6 million pound ($11.7 million) grant from the European Regional Development Fund for a UK project, plus funding from Canberra and Western Australia for a project at home.

The dream is to eventually tie wave power into microgrids, along with solar and batteries.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Randy Fabi)