A privately owned funds management company has bought an 11MW solar project in the Australian Capital Territory as part of a major push into the Australian solar market.
Impact Investment Group announced last Wednesday that its newly created Solar Development Trust had bought the 11MW Williamsdale solar project – one of three winners of a 20-year feed-in tariff from a reverse auction tender conducted by the ACT government in 2013.
The purchase is the first significant one in the solar sector by the $400 million funds management group, which is looking to raise tens of millions to build a broad portfolio of solar assets across Australia.
Impact Investment CEO Chris Lock says the group, only established 3.5 years ago, is attracted to the solar sector by the reliable nature of the investment.
“It has a predictable source of energy with a fixed price attached to it. So it’s got a reliable cash flow,” Lock told RenewEconomy in an interview.
“We are attracted to solar as part of a bigger picture. We believe in the future of renewable energy and the need for renewable energy. This solar asset has 20-year committed cash flows, so assets like these are attractive to all investors, not just those with attraction to renewable energy.”
Lock says Impact is also looking to create a solar investment vehicle to attract at least $50 million from high net worth individuals and other investors.
Impact will take the $30 million Williamsdale project on balance sheet, and will then likely to sell it into the new solar investment vehicle. It has hired Lane Crockett, the former Australia head of Pacific Hydro, to lead its renewable energy investment team.
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