A new $100 million renewable energy investment fund that is aiming to buy established solar farms in Australia has been launched by Melbourne-based Impact Investment Group, with some backups from high profile names that includes respected economist Ross Garnaut and the Lieberman family said PV Magazine.
The Solar Income Fund will be led by the Lane Crockett, the former chief of Pacific Hydro and Clean Energy Council director; it will also be chaired by Garnaut, will target “blue chip” solar infrastructure assets specifically assets ranging between 1 MW to 30 MW in size. Unlike the publicly traded Yield Co., which have become very popular and effective investment schemes among major world solar companies, IIG’s unlisted capital will only get fully operational solar farms, with regulated off-take arrangements in place. IIG will secure them through “high credit quality counterparties like Australian governments.
According to a statement that was released last week, the Fund has already secured exclusive rights to get $60 million of solar projects that are presently in different stages of construction and development, including the Karratha Solar Farm in Western Australia. It will also include Mount Majura and the Williamsdale solar farms in the ACT.
According to IIG Chief Chris Lock, bringing Garnaut and Crockett in to oversee the initiative into renewables is essential to the company. Lock said Crockett, who had come on board at IIG last October, has been helpful in getting the seed investments, while Garnaut was giving valuable expertise specifically in the area of corporate governance. Lock also stated that renewables investment in Australia can be divided into two major classes – first are the ones supported by the government and the second one is those that were stacking up on their own merits.
He said that most of the seed investments fell into the former category, having been supported at some stage of their development by governments. But he also expects future investments go up, economically on their own.