For the period ending on 31 December 2022
- Operational improvements at Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, resulting in improved earnings outlook with annual EBITDA forecast to exceed $800,000
- Ongoing execution of Build Own Operate (BOO) strategy, with final-stage approvals for several projects and an extensive pipeline of additional clean energy assets where MPower holds exclusive development rights
- Further refinement of unique solar farm development specification, including hybrid designs that leverage the group’s expertise in battery storage capacity
- Cash receipts from operating activities totalled $1.641 million, an improvement of $300,000 from the previous quarter, and reflecting the ongoing contribution from Lakeland
Sydney – 31 January 2023 – MPower Group Limited (ASX: MPR)
MPower, Australia’s leading specialist renewable energy, battery storage and microgrid business, is pleased to provide the following report on its activities for the quarter ending on 31 December 2022 (Quarter).
The Quarter’s operational highlights included the delivery of several cost-saving initiatives and improved operational efficiencies at the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, following the acquisition of the asset in the September quarter.
Located in Cooktown Shire, North Queensland, Lakeland comprises a 10.8MWac solar farm and an associated 1.4MWac/5.3MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility. The project has been in operation since 2017 and generates consistent revenues through a long-term power purchase agreement with Origin Energy for 100% of the solar power output, which runs until 2030.
MPower initially estimated that Lakeland would contribute around $800,000 in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) (refer ASX Announcement 16 May 2022) from annual revenues of around $1.8m, before it took formal control of the asset in August (refer ASX Announcement 12 August 2022).
The group has leveraged its operating expertise to successfully implement several cost-saving initiatives, led by infrastructure upgrades and the planned implementation of MPower’s proprietary remote monitoring and control technology. During the December quarter, MPower advised the market that due to those operational improvements – combined with Lakeland’s consistent revenue profile through its long-term agreement with Origin Energy – the Company now expects Lakeland’s annual EBITDA contribution will exceed its initial estimates, thereby enhancing the value of the project which is 100% owned by MPower.
The Lakeland project’s combination of solar energy output with lithium-ion battery storage aligns with MPower’s strategy to build a portfolio of clean energy projects that serve specific targeted regions with associated battery storage.
The strategy is designed to address an important market niche within Australia’s broader clean energy transition, by providing tech-focused clean energy supply hubs that operate at manageable scale, serving high-demand regional areas.
With a successful project (Lakeland) now operational in Queensland, the Company is advancing an innovative development pipeline of renewable energy projects at a number of designated sites across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Cash receipts from operating activities totalled to $1.641 million during the Quarter, an improvement of $300,000 from the previous quarter, and reflecting the ongoing contribution from Lakeland. The largest outflow during the Quarter was $728,000 for staff costs. Cash at the end of the Quarter totalled $1.355 million.
MPower is well-positioned for further growth in revenue and EBITDA through the development of its Build Own Operate (BOO) strategy with an expanding pipeline of development assets being pursued by the company together with its development partners.
Post Quarter-end, MPower completed the acquisition of the Faraday Renewable Energy Project in regional Victoria for a total consideration of $462,000 (refer ASX Announcement 30 January 2023). Acquisition of the shovel-ready Faraday development assets follows an extensive period of collaboration with the development vendor and local authorities since the Asset Purchase Agreement was first announced in 2021. It marks the next step forward in MPower’s long-term portfolio strategy, and directly aligns with its stated goal to create a distributed portfolio of small utility-scale renewable power and battery storage projects capable of supplying clean energy to high-demand regional areas in a flexible and cost-effective way.
As the Company continues to advance development at Faraday and its other 5MW projects, it is also developing two hybrid clean energy projects in South Australia, both of which will comprise a 5MW solar farm with DC-coupled battery storage. Following its successful rollout in Queensland, the group’s hybrid strategy is expected to have a particularly effective application in the South Australian market, where battery storage can play a key role in the provision of flexible power generation to take advantage of negative pricing periods.
Along with those opportunities, MPower also holds exclusive development rights at a further six project sites across NSW and Victoria. With Lakeland now contributing positively to net group earnings, the Company is uniquely positioned to repeat that success at other sites following the pending receipt of final development approvals, providing it with a unique opportunity to generate a material uplift in operating revenues and net earnings over the medium to long-term.
Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise commented: “Following an extensive period of collaboration with our project partners and energy authorities, it was pleasing to see those efforts convert into real market momentum in the December quarter. In turn, that has laid an exciting platform for the growth of MPower’s BOO development strategy in 2023. The early success at Lakeland highlights the Company’s ability to leverage its technical and operational expertise to drive value from renewable energy assets operated by our team, and the earnings contribution from that project is an exciting indicator of MPower’s profit outlook as it brings more projects into the portfolio. Within Australia’s clean energy transition, MPower’s stated strategy – to build a distributed portfolio of flexible clean-energy supply hubs serving high-demand regional areas – is proving to be an effective operating model and we look forward to providing more updates on the rollout of more earnings-accretive clean energy supply hubs in the months ahead.”
Payments to related parties
Payments of $165,000 to related parties and their associates relate to remuneration payments made to the directors of the company.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
(02) 8788 4600
Six Degrees Investor Relations
0413 150 448
This announcement has been authorised by the board of MPower Group Limited.
MPower Group Limited (ASX: MPR) is a technology-led company with a long history specialising in the delivery of reliable on-grid and off-grid power solutions for blue chip corporate and government customers. Headquartered in Sydney, MPower's team of professionals has successfully delivered turn-key solar, battery storage and micro grid projects across the region.