Aware Super to invest $2 billion in renewables

Wind turbines and solar panels against beautiful sky (gamuda)
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Australian superannuation fund Aware Super has announced it intends to invest up to $2 billion in a venture specialising in smaller-scale solar and battery installations, Reuters reports.

Aware Super, which has $160 billion under management, announced a $300 million partnership with Birdwood Energy to finance distributed renewable energy projects, and expects its investment to grow to up to $2 billion.

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The planned investments in smaller-scale projects will help diversify Aware Super’s existing $2 billion portfolio of larger-scale wind and solar projects, Aware Super portfolio manager Jired Zhou said.

“We see tremendous opportunities in the renewable energy transition sector,” Zhou said.

“The reason not many institutional investors have done distributed energy is scale. Single projects are quite small … The structure we’ve tried to set up is to create a platform at scale so we can more efficiently manage and invest.”

Birdwood Energy CEO Scott McGregor said filling the $2 billion pipeline would also mean investing in some larger projects, although the focus would be smaller projects of between 30-100MW.

“We believe we can roll out faster and cheaper to get the country to net zero,” McGregor said.

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“Others are doing this as well but we want to do this on a big scale.”

Early investments include two solar farms currently being fitted out with batteries, with a further 10 solar and battery projects ready for construction.

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