C&I developers attracts backing from investment giant

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Established in 2017, Green Peak Energy is tackling the notoriously tricky commercial and industrial (C&I) segment of the Australian solar market. Since the majority of C&I spaces are rented, their vast rooftops are often left untapped with landlords unwilling to fork out for solar which primarily benefits tenants. 

Green Peak Energy’s model then is to itself fund the installation, operation and maintenance costs for renewable energy systems and sell the electricity they generate behind the meter to the space’s tenant, often offering the building’s landlord rent for its rooftop.

The model has drawn the attention of U.S. company CBRE Investment Management (CBRE IM) which has a whopping US$133.1 billion (AU$186.3 billion) under management and advice. Precisely how much of its portfolio the global giant plans to invest in Green Peak Energy has not been disclosed, and is unlikely to be made public due to confidentiality agreements, pv magazine Australia has been told. Nonetheless, the deal – which will see CBRE IM invest in the company’s Australian behind-the-meter renewable energy platform, provide it with credit for projects, as well as become a shareholder (though this aspect of the deal remains subject to further regulatory approvals) – was described by Green Peak’s CEO Myles Carrucan as “a huge moment”.

“CBRE IM’s investment in the business brings on board both a financial and strategic partner that will help accelerate the rollout of Green Peak Energy’s high quality on-site clean energy projects across Australia and the region,” Carrucan said.

For CBRE IM, Green Peak Energy provides an avenue into both the Asia Pacific region and into Australian corporates’ push towards sustainability fuelled by increased importance of ESG reporting. “The investment in Green Peak Energy provides an attractive opportunity to invest in the burgeoning behind-the-meter solar space for commercial & industrial clients in Australia and the broader APAC region,” Asif Hussain, a Managing Director with CBRE IM in its Toronto office, said. 

“We see strong tailwinds in this sector with C&I customers increasing their focus on lowering their carbon footprint and adopting behind-the-meter renewable energy solutions. The Green Peak Energy team has built a strong business delivering PPA solutions to help lower the energy costs of their customers,” Hussain added.

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