Macquarie Group awarded electricity retail licence

Just months after revealing plans to start a solar leasing business in Australia, Macquarie Group has been awarded an electricity retail license.

Macquarie, who last December committed nearly $200 million to the solar leasing industry in the UK, says its initial plan for Australia is to use the licence to service large customers only.

And while it is not unusual for solar leasing businesses to seek electricity retail licences – in the last few weeks a number of solar companies have all applied for exemptions to sell power directly to their customers – the move by the deep-pocketed investment bank has caught the attention of the incumbent industry.

Macquarie has assembled a team of 10 people, led by Andrew McGrath to run the retail business, which it says will look to provide a range of “vanilla and tailored risk management products” to large entities with high electricity use.

It says it hopes to provide savings for users currently stuck with a standard fixed price, variable volume contract from a retailer.

Earlier this year, a separate Macquarie division revealed that it was establishing a solar financing business.

This is not mentioned in the bank’s electricity retail licence application, but could presumably be incorporated into any future package for large energy users.

 © 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson