Clean energy investor Octopus Investments Australia has launched a AU$10 billion (US$6.9 billion) platform that will finance renewables assets and has already acquired Australia’s largest operational solar project.
A subsidiary of the UK’s Octopus Group, Octopus Australia set up the platform to finance the full renewables life cycle, from development, construction and long-term operations.
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The company said it has simultaneously closed two funds that are co-investing into a multi-billion-dollar Australian renewables portfolio: the Octopus Australia Sustainable Investments (OASIS) Fund, open to institutional investors, and the Octopus Renewable Energy Opportunities (OREO) Fund, open to wholesale investors.
They have jointly acquired the 333MWp Darlington Point Solar Farm, which was completed last year in New South Wales and is Australia’s largest operational PV project.
Among OASIS’s institutional investors are the Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and pension fund Hostplus.
The platform’s secured portfolio sits at AU$3 billion across wind, solar and storage, with a visible pipeline of an additional AU$5 billion, Octopus said, adding that further information on the next acquisition will be announced shortly.
“We saw early on the massive opportunity in Australia and how a portfolio approach to the market could align our institutional customers (in OASIS), alongside our family office and advised investors (in OREO) to create defensible and sustainable value into the future,” said Sam Reynolds, managing director at Octopus Australia.
As sister site Energy-Storage.news reported earlier this year, Hostplus will invest in a joint venture between Octopus Australia and the CEFC to build a 1.5GW renewable energy park that will help to replace a coal-fired power station in the state of Victoria.
Financial commitments for new renewables projects in Australia fell by more than 17% between 2020 and 2021, according to research from renewables association the Clean Energy Council, which suggested the drop was due to policy uncertainty and challenges associated with connecting projects to the grid.
Australia’s energy minister, Chris Bowen, said last month that the country’s new government wants to “unleash private investment” in renewables and take advantage of “the world’s best solar resource”.