The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has increased its mandate with Infradebt from $50 million to $150 million. The boutique infrastructure fund manager is partly owned by Grok Ventures, the family office of MIke Cannon-Brookes, which took on a material stake last year.
The mandate was first established in 2019, and allows CEFC to coinvest in small to medium-sized renewable energy projects alongside Infradebt managed funds. The new mandate saw the CEFC’s capacity extended to include larger projects up to 50 MWac, from the previous limit of 35 MWac.
“Infradebt is proud of its work with the CEFC and the nine projects that have been financed under the existing mandate. Infradebt welcomes the increased mandate commitment from the CEFC. This capital will boost Infradebt’s capacity to continue to provide debt finance to Australian renewable projects.” says Alexander Austin, Infradebt CEO.
Small to mid-market renewables developments have traditionally found it hard to access financing. This additional commitment will help drive private sector investment into this sector.
Infradebt’s flagship Infradebt Ethical Fund (IEF) will invest alongside CEFC in new renewable generation projects. Infradebt recently launched a separate fund, the Energy Transition Fund (ETF), focused solely on grid-scale energy storage.
The CEFC-Infradebt collaboration has successfully financed projects such as the Peak Hill and Trundle solar farms in central-west NSW, Photon Energy’s solar farm at Leeton in NSW, and a portfolio of five solar farms in northern Victoria developed by Sungrove Energy.
Infradebt CEO Alexander Austin expects solar projects to remain the primary focus, with wind projects also likely, although wind projects tend to be larger in capacity.
The CEFC’s investments through Infradebt will complement their focus on large-scale solar and wind generation, essential energy storage, and grid transmission, all crucial for powering Australia’s net-zero future.