Australian fund buys up Portuguese wind farms for €900 million

Concerns over the long-term viability of wind farms have not worried Australian fund First State Wind Energy Investments which has just sealed a €900 million deal to take over all the farms owned by the Portuguese subsidiary of Italian group Enel.

As well as the parks – which are in the north and centre of Portugal – the deal involves shares in consortiums Eneop – Eólicas de Portugal and Empreendimentos Eólicos do Vale do Minho.

The transaction was part of a five-year strategic plan to “seize opportunities in countries with greater development potential”, said a source from Enel.

Público explains that First State Wind Energy Investments is linked to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, “one of the greatest suppliers of financial services in Australia”, and is the second Australian entity to invest in Portugal’s energy sector “in a space of months”.

Australis Oil & Gas was recently awarded three onshore prospecting licences for the area known as the Lusitanian Basin, comprising Pombal, Batalha and Cadaval.

Australis CEO Ian Luster told the meeting organised in Lisbon last week to discuss oil and gas plans for Portugal (see: that Australis had “had its eye on Portugal for some time”.

Popularity of onland wind farms has been a thorn in the side of governments for years, with experts attesting to the fact that turbines do not last anything like as long as original estimates, and their power “has to be backed up by other technologies, such as coal and nuclear”.

In UK now, subsidies that used to be offered to wind farms have been revoked, though the legislation only comes into effect next year.

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