A new $20-million-strong clean energy fund for the financing of commercial solar energy projects was recently established in Australia by a Sydney-based company, according to reports.
The Clean Energy Crowd is managing the new fund, the Solar Clean Energy Fund No1 — which was set up with the intention of facilitating Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to small + medium solar energy projects.
Considering the current dearth of such initiatives on the Australian continent, the new fund — which was put together by a group of ex-banker and fund managers — looks to tap a field mostly empty of “competition.”
The director and co-founder of the group, Matthew Glendinning, recently spoke with RenewEconomy, and commented that lack of investment into the commercial sector drove the creation of the fund.
“We’re targeting the commercial solar market, which is currently at only about 3–4% of penetration. That’s a large market for solar to be useful. We want to reduce the up-front cost to commercial customers in going solar. So they can go green at no up front cost, but also (get access to) cheaper electricity.”
Apparently the fund’s primary target will be small-medium businesses, especially those aiming for the installation of systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in size.
According to Glendinning, the target (for $20 million) is likely to be increased during the next few months — with a “minimum of $5 million to go ahead with their plans.”
Here’s a few more details:
The fund is seeking to attract institutional and “sophisticated” investors – the minimum investment required will be $100,000 – both onshore and offshore.
CEC forecasts year-one income at 35-40% of funds invested with combined income of Small – Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and solar energy revenue.
“We want to make superannuation funds aware that these are viable investments,” Glendinning noted.
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