- Maoneng and Gaw Capital Partners have launched an Australia focused JV called GMR
- It will fast-track 1.9 GW utility scale solar and storage projects in Victoria, NSW and South Australia
- Gaw will arrange equity and debt financing for this portfolio through its institutional investors
Maoneng Group has joined hands with Hong Kong based real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners to launch a joint venture (JV) and fast-track 1.9 GW utility scale solar and storage projects in Australia, marking the foray of Gaw into Australia’s renewables market.
All of the 1.9 GW capacity is under development in Victoria, New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia. Gaw Maoneng Renewables (GMR), as the JV is christened, will start with a 240 MW/480 MWh Mornington Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). Beyond these assets, it will also explore new renewable energy opportunities.
The entire portfolio worth over AUD 2 billion will be financed through a mix of equity and debt with Gaw’s securing the same through its existing stable of institutional investors that are interested in Australian renewable energy infrastructure. Gaw has acquired majority stake in Maoneng’s Australian business through its growth equity arm Gaw Growth Equity Fund I.
Gaw Capital’s Managing Principal, Global Head of Capital Markets and Co-Chair of Alternative Investments, Christina Gaw explained the rationale behind investing in renewables as due to ‘growing interest’ from many of its institutional investors to invest in ‘tangible assets in clean energy and ESG space in Asia and Australia’.
“We have been looking for some time at a suitable entry into the clean energy investment sector, and utility-scale batteries underpin the dispatchable energy requirements for the grid to transition from its mix from coal and gas to renewable energy generation,” added Director, Head of Venture and Growth Equity of Gaw Capital, Herbin Koh.
Batteries are a key piece to the puzzle in facilitating higher grid penetration by solar and wind, according to GMR Chief Executive and Managing Director Morris Zhou who sees the partnership with Gaw as getting the job done sooner.
Earlier in May 2022, Maoneng proposed to build a 550 MW AC solar and 400 MW storage grid connected project in NSW (see New Solar & Storage Hub For NSW, Australia).