The CEFC and Ironstone Capital have signalled their intention to increase their commitment to clean energy investments through the creation of a specialist joint venture, Warada Capital.
Warada is a new, integrated development and fund management company that will draw on the established experience and networks of its two founders.
It will focus on investments in early stage greenfield projects across a range of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities, recognising such projects can struggle to raise essential early-stage risk capital.
Warada will also invest in operating brownfield assets where there is a capacity to improve returns and sustainability through technology enhancements.
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Warada CEO Alistair Craib said, “We see investment potential across early-stage solar and wind projects, energy storage, electricity network enhancements and the use of distributed energy technologies across the built environment.
“We’re also targeting clean energy related investments in the natural resources, transport and agriculture sectors which involve sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy and low carbon opportunities.
“Through Warada, we will provide end-to-end project development and investment management services to achieve robust sustainability outcomes while maximising returns for our clients.”
Warada is an indigenous word for Waratah, an iconic Australian flower known for its adaptability. The CEFC, which is acquiring a 50 per cent equity stake in Warada, is committing up to $100 million for potential investment in projects identified by the new entity. Ironstone is a leading adviser in the renewable energy sector.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said, “By investing development equity through Warada, we can become more closely involved in project conceptualisation, design and implementation, while ensuring a pathway for potential further investment in projects at financial close.
“This also provides us with the opportunity to further develop the Australian domestic capabilities in the local renewable energy sector, which is currently dominated by offshore participants. This is pivotal to our policy objective of supporting the orderly transition of the Australian economy to a decarbonised future.”
Ironstone director Michael Siede said, “Warada is an excellent example of how Ironstone develops innovative solutions to serve and support our clients. We are wholly committed to assisting our clients meet their investment objectives across the full breath of our financial services capabilities.”
The CEFC has developed a $1.2 billion equity portfolio since it began investing, working alongside 11 key fund managers.