UK renewables giant targets Australian solar with $145 million spending spree


Glennmont Partners has announced its intention to enter the Australian market as it looks to rapidly grow its business in the region as part of a global investment mandate.

The London-based Glenmont is one of the world’s largest renewable energy investment managers with more than $5.56 billion (EUR 3.6 billion) of renewable power generation projects and assets under management across Europe. The fund manager is 100% owned by US asset manager Nuveen, which has an estimated $1.88 trillion in assets under management.

Glenmont said it will target both combined and standalone solar and energy storage projects, with a view to developing, constructing and operating the assets.

While Glennmont has not yet provided any timelines for its entry into the Australian market, it is seeking to recruit a renewable energy investment manager to drive the company’s Australian investment agenda.

Glennmont Partners Chief Executive Officer Joost Bergsma told the Australian Financial Review the company initially plans to acquire, build and operate solar farms of more than 100 MW, and to spend upwards of $145 million in Australia.

“We’re getting into solar at an early stage,” he said. “We typically look at getting in almost at development phase … and at that scale, battery storage can help with grid issues.”

The move is part of a plan to grow the business in the Asia region with Bergsma saying the Australian market has become increasingly attractive with the change of federal government bringing a change of tack on climate policy.

The federal government has passed a climate change bill which enshrines a 43% emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050 into law. This is underpinned by the government’s Powering Australia Plan which aims to see 82% of the nation’s power derived from renewable energy by the end of the decade.

“I think there’s a much broader commitment now to the clean energy transition than there was three or five years ago, when it seemed to be a bit more politicised,” Bergsma said.

“Now, I think there’s a combination of the political landscape, with the populace really wanting to drive this energy transition, as well as the fact that solar is cheap, it’s really economic now.”

Glennmont’s move into the Australian market follows recent entries into the US, Swedish, and South Korean markets. In the US, the fund manager has teamed with GreenGo Energy to develop more than 1 GW of standalone solar and energy storage projects, with the first projects expected to come online in 2025.

In South Korea, Glennmont is investing in 80 MW of solar projects as part of a joint venture deal with South Korean renewables developer SK D&D.

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