Australia’s Impact launches $77m solar fund

The family office-backed manager has identified three seed assets worth $46m for the fund.

Melbourne-based Impact Investment Group (IIG) has launched a A$100 million ($77 million; €69 million) Solar Income Fund with exclusive rights to acquire a portfolio of seed assets currently under construction. 

The fund, led by the firm’s head of renewable energy infrastructure, Lane Crockett, aims to provide a pre-tax IRR of approximately 10 percent and now targets wholesale investors to co-invest with IIG.  

It will be invested in commercial and utility-scale Australian solar farms secured by long-term offtake arrangements. It will only acquire fully operational solar farms and will not take any development or construction risk, the firm said in a statement. 

The seed assets it has exclusive rights to, collectively valued at A$60 million, include the Karratha Solar Farm in Western Australia and the Mount Majura and Williamsdale solar farms in the Australian Capital Territory. 

“Our mandate is to bring a product to the Australian market which blends financial returns with positive impact,” said Chris Lock, chief executive of IIG. 

“The IIG Solar Income Fund comes at a crucial time for the renewables sector,” said Ross Garnaut AO, the fund’s chair. “Bold steps by investors like IIG will support Australia’s utilisation of its opportunity to be a superpower of the low carbon world economy.” 

Owned by Lock and Small Giants, the family office of Daniel Almagor and Berry Liberman, IIG said it had over A$400 million in funds under management. In addition to renewables, it invests in commercial buildings, hospital facilities and value-driven businesses. 

The firm established the renewable energy infrastructure team in 2015 in response to new opportunities emerging in the solar sector. Prior to that, IIG raised equity in 2014 through its IIG Wind Trust to fund the construction of a wind farm in Chepstowe in Victoria, which was commissioned in April 2015.