Italy’s Enel enters Australia’s crowded retail power market

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MELBOURNE, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Italy’s Enel Group on Monday said it would start selling power to Australian businesses, vying against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and Australia’s dominant electricity retailers.

Enel said it won a retail energy license from the Australian Energy Regulator to enter the National Energy Market, where it will be competing with Shell, which acquired the country’s biggest power retailer to businesses two years ago.

The country’s other major power retailers include AGL Energy , Origin Energy, while top telecoms firm Telstra Corp is also making inroads.

Enel plans to use Enel Green Power’s Australian solar farm output combined with Enel X’s technology platforms, including battery energy storage, a virtual power plant and electric vehicle charging, to offer energy to commercial and industrial customers to help them meet their green goals.

“As a vertically integrated retailer with wholly owned assets, and a global leader in demand response services …, Enel’s green retail offering will be unique in the marketplace,” Enel X Head of Asia Pacific Jeff Renaud said in a statement.

Enel recently considered acquiring online power retailer Powershop Australia, which sells to households, but Enel Green Power’s Australian manager Werther Esposito said the company decided not to submit a final bid.

Shell, working with an infrastructure investor, won the bid for Powershop Australia last month.

Enel said it eventually plans to expand to selling power to households as it grows its renewable generation assets in Australia, where Enel Green Power currently has three solar farms with a total 310 megawatts of capacity.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Photo – The Italian electricity firm Enel in viale Regina Margherita in Rome. EPA/FRANCESCA RUGGIERO

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