Palisade launches A$500m renewables fund

The vehicle has secured an A$100m cornerstone investment from Australian renewables financier CEFC.

Palisade Investment Partners has launched a renewable energy-focused fund with a target size of A$500 million ($382 million; €351 million). 

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia's government-run renewables financier, has committed A$100 million of cornerstone equity to the fund through a direct investment mandate managed by Palisade, according to a statement by the firm. 

The Sydney-based fund manager plans to deploy the fund into more than 500MW of renewables projects, with a focus on wind and solar assets in Australia and New Zealand, over the next five years.

The fund, which targets double-digit IRRs, has a mandate that allows it to invest in greenfield projects at the stage of pre-financial close.

The vehicle is seeded with two brownfield wind projects – the 94.5MW Hallett 1 Wind Farm and 131MW Waterloo Wind Farm – with a combined investment value of A$72 million. The two projects are expected to provide five-year cash yields in excess of 9 percent and an initial IRR of more than 10.75 percent. 

The firm said it is in advanced negotiations to invest in wind and solar projects representing a total value of A$750 million. 

In recent months, Palisade has expanded its investment committee and management teams in a bid to bolster its renewables capabilities.

Steve Brown joined the firm in June as general manager following Clint Purkiss' hire last November as development manager. Both of them came from Australian utility EnergyAustralia. Karen Gould then joined in September as an investment manager from Macquarie in London while Jonathan Liong, previously at CEFC, was appointed as an investment associate this month. 

Steve MacDonald was also recently appointed as an independent member of Palisade's investment committee. He was until then managing director of Australian developer Zinfra Group, a role he retains.

Palisade estimates that more than A$10 billion in investments will be required in the next five years to help the country meet its renewable energy target, through which it hopes to generate 23 percent of Australia's energy consumption from renewables by 2020.