The federal government’s investment fund, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), has doubled its funding for Infradebt, pouring another $100 million into the ACT-based renewable energy financing company, bringing total aid to $150 million .
Infradebt is a specialist fund manager/financier of infrastructure projects, providing capital for renewable energy and battery storage projects, as well as social infrastructure, stepping in where traditional financing models cannot fit. It has nearly 30 projects funded so farfrom solar parks to hospitals, schools and conference centres.
The CEFC co-invests alongside funds managed by Infradebt in small to medium renewable energy projects, and its investment mandate has now been extended to larger projects up to 50 MW.
The latest funding comes 15 months after Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes backed Infradebt with $200 million from his family-owned private VC firm Grok Ventures. That funding was supplemented by a secret “meaningful investment” by Cannon-Brookes for a minority stake in Infradebt.
The fintech has two funds: the Infradebt Ethical Fund (IEF), which finances Australian infrastructure projects with a focus on renewable energy and social infrastructure, and a recently launched fund focused solely on grid-scale energy storage – the Energy Transition Fund (ETF). . The IEF has achieved a return of about 6% since its inception. The ETF will provide senior debt financing to 6-8 battery projects with a total capacity of 1.5-2 GW in the coming years.
Alexander Austin, CEO of Infradebt, said nine projects have been funded under the existing CEFC mandate.
“Infradebt welcomes the increased mandate commitment of the CEFC. This capital will enhance Infradebt’s ability to continue providing debt financing to Australian sustainable projects,” he said.
Monique Miller, CEFC’s Chief Investment Officer, Renewables and Sustainable Finance, said Australia has very ambitious renewable energy targets as part of its national commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“This requires a substantial and sustained increase in investment in additional renewable energy generation, which presents exciting opportunities for private investors such as Infradebt’s managed funds and customers,” she said.
“This CEFC investment, with its focus on small-scale generators, complements our focus on large-scale solar and wind generation, essential energy storage and grid transmission, all of which will play a critical role in powering our net zero future.”
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