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One billion for Australian renewable energy projects

Staff writer |
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Palisade Investment Partners have announced a new strategy aimed at accelerating the development of Australian renewable energy projects valued at $1 billion.

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CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the strategy, which involves funds managed by Palisade, meets the growing appetite from mainstream investors for renewable energy projects. At the same time it will help unlock much needed capital to support accelerated growth in the renewable energy sector.

“Australia has a considerable funding gap in new investments in renewable energy if we are to meet the Renewable Energy Target, Mr Yates said. “We expect this transaction will play an important role in catalysing new finance to help close that gap and accelerate our overall renewable energy capacity.

“Traditionally, institutional investors have tended to buy into built infrastructure projects. Through this strategy we are looking to attract investors at an earlier stage of project development, so we can more effectively accelerate the construction of commercially-viable projects. This means we can inject equity into projects at the time they need it most, so they can begin generating energy as soon as possible.”

This focus on financing renewable energy developments complements the CEFC’s extensive program to help drive clean energy investment in the broader infrastructure market. This includes both social and economic infrastructure assets, such as hospitals, schools, transport and rail.

The CEFC is allocating up to $100 million of equity to the initial $1 billion investment strategy. Palisade is committing up to $400m of additional equity through a combination of managed funds and its Direct Investment Mandate clients.

Among others, Palisade’s current Direct Investment Mandate clients include VicSuper, LGIAsuper and Qantas Super. NAB and Commonwealth Bank will work with the CEFC and Palisade to provide debt financing for these renewable energy projects.

Palisade Investment Partners CEO Roger Lloyd said Palisade would build a portfolio of renewable energy projects in excess of $1 billion, based on the investment mandates agreed with the CEFC and the other major investors.

In addition to its Direct Mandates, Palisade is also launching a pooled renewable energy fund (Palisade’s Renewable Energy Fund, or PREF) to be launched in the second half of 2016 which will provide a broader range of investors with access to investments in renewable energy.

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