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Japan’s Sumitomo Buys Australia’s Solar Power Group Infinite Energy

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Sumitomo has acquired 100% of Infinite Energy (IE) through its completely owned subsidiary Summit Southern Cross Power Holdings (SSCPH).

IE develops and sells distributed solar power systems, installs storage batteries, and is into electricity retailing.

Financial details of the deal, which were effective from 24 January, have not been disclosed.

Summit Southern Cross Power is an electric power holding company in Australia.

With the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), larger amounts of electric power will be needed.

Dipping prices for solar panels and the governmental support for small distributed solar power projects that use rooftops of residential and commercial properties, have led to reduced retail power prices for households and business users.

According to Sumitomo, given the significant sunshine Western Australia (WA) receives, it is feasible to launch solar power systems in the state, where power prices are high due to costs incurred in transmitting power through areas of low population density.

IE holds a leading share in the solar power systems market of WA.

“SSCPH aims to build a platform for power retailing that utilises distributed solar power generation and battery storage in Australia.”

IE also acts as an electricity retailer, selling electricity procured through solar power systems and the wholesale electric power market to users through existing power grids.

Its share in the state's retail electricity market is less than 1%. IE co-founder and managing director Aidan Jenkins was quoted by The West Australian as saying that “under the new ownership we're obviously looking to grow that substantially.”

“We're expanding our commercial solar business on the east coast at the moment, so this gives us the balance sheet to accelerate that growth. But it also gives us access to generation to grow the electricity retailing business here in WA.”

IE has strategic partnerships with several local major companies.

SSCPH bought business interests in the Kwinana Power Plant in 2009 and the Bluewaters Power Plant in 2013, as part of its strategy to become an important player in Australia's electricity generation business.

These two power plants cater to about 30% of the electricity requirement of WA's grid, which is sufficient to power about 800,000 households.

By bringing its considerable corporate resources to IE's existing business operations, SSCPH aims to build a platform for power retailing that utilises distributed solar power generation and battery storage in Australia.

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