Hostplus and Clean Energy Finance Corporation back Octopus in $10 billion renewable energy campaign

The platform will have $3 billion in assets already secured at its core, with a “visible pipeline” of another $5 billion, including a “build-ready” behind-the-scenes acquisition that Reynolds says , would be announced shortly.

The secured portfolio includes the Darlington Point solar farm in western New South Wales which is already online, the Gippsland renewable energy park – where CEFC and Hostplus have already invested alongside Octopus – and Blind Creek’s $700 million solar project and storage just outside of Canberra.

Unique opportunity

The platform will also support and fund projects generated by Octopus’ renewable energy joint venture, Desert Springs Octopus, which is examining renewable energy infrastructure opportunities in northern Western Australia, Queensland and the North territory.

The initiative includes two funds: Octopus Australia Sustainable Investments (OASIS), which is open to institutional investors, and the Octopus Renewable Energy Opportunities (OREO) fund, open to wholesale investors.

Mr Reynolds said it presented wholesale investors with a unique opportunity to invest alongside institutions in large-scale renewable energy projects. Octopus is expected to raise the targeted $10 billion over five to ten years.

CEFC executive director Monique Miller said the fund is investing $75 million in the OASIS fund to help meet the need for new investment in large-scale renewable energy projects.

It was “great to make this investment alongside key superannuation funds, showing the strong opportunity for institutional capital to meet the continued demand for exposure to renewable energy investments.”

Hostplus Chief Executive David Elia said the company is eager to be involved in the full life cycle of investment opportunities that have opened up through the energy transition, and expressed a particular interest in support projects developed by Desert Springs Octopus.

The OASIS fund will include a vehicle that invests in development opportunities, while OREO will stick to assets under construction and in operation. Other institutional investors are involved alongside Hostplus and CEFC, including Octopus Renewables’ Sky Fund, which is backed by leading institutional investors in Europe.

The launch of the platform continues a global renewable energy strategy developed by UK-based Octopus over the past 15 years. Octopus Australia, 80% owned by the UK-based group, is a sister company to Octopus Energy’s UK retail operation, which is part-owned by Origin Energy.

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