Former CEFC chief to lead board of battery developer GMR Energy


A veteran executive of Macquarie Bank, with more than 15 years committed to advancing renewable energy projects and developing low emission solutions, Yates will join representatives from Gaw Capital Partners, Humbert Pang and Herbin Koh, as well as chief executive and co-founder, Morris Zhou, on the board.

Yates said GMR Energy, a Gaw Capital Partners portfolio company which is developing one of the largest independent portfolios of energy storage assets in Australia consisting of five BESS projects in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, and an energy hub in NSW’s Upper Hunter, aims to play a key role in the nation’s transition to renewable energy.

“I am pleased to lead the GMR Board and to contribute my experience and passion to shaping the development and delivery of this portfolio of strategic energy storage assets,” he said. “There could not be a timelier moment to invest in large scale batteries amidst the rollout of substantive government policy support to ensure Australia builds the critically needed infrastructure to facilitate the growing penetration of renewable energy generation as aging fossil fuel generation assets fail or are compelled to exit by the urgent need to reduce national and global carbon emissions.”

Gaw Capital Partners is a private equity firm with 11 offices around the world and over $55 billion under management and has recently diversified into ESG assets with a focus in clean energy storage and generation, the circular economy and carbon mitigation.

Herbin Koh, Head of Growth Equity for Gaw Capital Partners and GMR Energy Board member said: “Gaw Capital recognized that utility scale batteries play a critical role in providing the firming capacity to accommodate intermittent renewable energy generation on the grid by stabilising the network and managing imbalances in energy supply and demand.

“Our investment in GMR Energy’s portfolio will help to ensure the various state and federal governments’ renewable energy targets are met or exceeded.”

With the support of Gaw Capital Partners, GMR Energy has already commenced early works with AusNet, the network service provider for the Mornington BESS project, and obtained development and planning approval for its Gould Creek BESS in South Australia.   Its other four projects are progressing well, with development applications lodged.

Zhou said: “We welcome Oliver to the team and look forward to working with him to progress the development and buildout of our battery assets, as well as to identify new opportunities through his extensive network. With his guidance, GMR Energy is certain to forge a path of commercial success in line with government, social and community objectives.”