Australian industry superannuation fund Hostplus and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have backed a renewable energy platform launched by Octopus Group’s Australian arm.

Australian government-owned CEFC has committed A$75m to the open-ended Octopus Australia Sustainable Investments (OASIS) fund which currently has a wind, solar and storage portfolio worth A$3bn and a A$5bn pipeline of investment opportunities.

Details of the cornerstone investment from Hostplus was not disclosed, but IPE Real Assets understands it is scalable, with the industry super fund planning to step up its commitment as the fund grows.

Octopus Australia expects the fund to grow to A$10bn.

CEFC executive director, Monique Miller said the $75m cornerstone commitment to the OASIS will help address the need for new investment in utility-scale renewable energy projects and facilitates the entry of a major global fund manager into the Australian market.

Sam Reynolds, managing director of Octopus Australia, told IPE Real Assets that a conversation was ongoing with other Australian super and global pension funds interested in investing in OASIS.

“The fund is open to domestic and global institutional investors,” he said, citing the example of the UK’s NEST, which is a key investor in the Octopus Renewables Sky Fund.

“The Sky Fund is an investor in OASIS,” he said.

Reynolds said OASIS planned to deploy its capital over the next five to 10 years.

“We are in the process of making our next acquisition,” he said, but declined to offer details except to say that it could cost around A$600m and is located in Queensland.

Aside from the first close of OASIS, Octopus has simultaneously closed the Octopus Renewable Energy Opportunities (OREO) fund - with each reaching their (undisclosed) target fundraise.

Both funds are co-investing into a multi-billion-dollar Australian renewable energy portfolio.

Together, they are acquiring the 333MW Darlington Point Solar Farm, Australia’s largest operational solar project, which is located in NSW.

The Octopus Australia platform will also support and fund projects that are generated from its joint venture and Indigenous-owned renewable energy company, known as Desert Springs Octopus.

Hostplus, chief executive officer, David Elia, said: “Reflecting our commitment to both net zero 2050 and to reconciliation, we are particularly excited to help support and finance projects developed by Desert Springs Octopus.”

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