Brookfield Sees Investors Joining Original $13 Billion Green Push

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(Bloomberg) – Brookfield Asset Management Inc. expects to win backing from other institutional investors to fund 20 billion Australian dollars ($12.8 billion) in projects to make Origin Energy Ltd. Australia’s leading clean energy provider.

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The fund is leading an A$18.4 billion bid to acquire the utility with a massive investment program through 2030 to add more capacity in renewables and energy storage.

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While Brookfield’s Global Transition Fund will contribute to these expenses, it is likely that “other institutional partners will join us,” the company’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, Stewart Upson, said in an interview Thursday. .

Read more: Brookfield leads $12 billion climate change bet in Australia

Part of Origin’s appeal to Brookfield is that it has a fleet of gas-fired power plants that can serve as peaking plants – rapidly increasing supply to supplement renewable power generation by period of high demand for electricity, according to Upson.

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Having these capabilities will allow Origin to add more clean power without compromising the stability of the power grid, and will give the utility time to work towards the ultimate replacement of gas facilities with cleaner alternatives. Additional investment in gasworks is unlikely, he said.

“That means you can develop renewable energy and use that peak gas as firming capacity while you develop longer-term firming in the form of batteries and pumped hydro,” Upson said.

Brookfield has also pledged to close Origin’s Eraring coal-fired power station, Australia’s largest, although Upson has said that won’t happen until an existing 2025 target.

Origin’s gas retail business would also be reduced over time as the electrification of heating and cooking in households increases, he said.

Robert D. Coleman