POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Australia's Clean Energy Finance Group invests $71.82m in renewables fund

The fund focuses on large-scale wind and solar as well as energy-from-waste and battery storage.

Clean Energy Finance Group (CEFC) invested $71.82m (A$100m) in the Australian Renewables Income Fund (ARIF), a fund managed by asset manager Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG), marking its largest equity investment to date.

According to an announcement, the investment represents an almost 40% increase in the CEFC’s renewables equity portfolio, which now stands at A$355m.

ARIF will focus on proven large-scale wind and solar technologies, as well as emerging opportunities in energy-from-waste, large-scale battery storage, and pumped hydro.

The CEFC has committed more than A$2b in debt finance to accelerate the development of almost 3GW of renewable energy since it began investing in 2013.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth commented, “Renewables still represent less than 20% of total electricity generation, highlighting the very large investment opportunity in order to deliver a clean energy electricity grid. Our investment in the Australian Renewables Income Fund is about creating new opportunities for institutional investors to take a larger role in our clean energy transition.”

“Through ARIF, investors will have exposure to a broad range of renewable energy technologies, providing attractive options to deepen their exposure to clean energy opportunities,” the executive added.

ARIF will invest in operating assets as well as new developments. “ICG has invested in renewable energy assets on behalf of investors since 2007, over which time institutional demand has grown significantly,” ICG managing director Tom Laidlaw said.

In addition to the ARIF investment, the CEFC has also made renewable energy-related equity investments with Palisade Investment Partners, the Foresight Group, and HRL Morrison & Co.

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