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CEFC, Octopus Australia JV powers Gippsland clean energy park


The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will finance up to $8.5 million in a joint venture with Octopus Australia to deliver a large-scale clean energy park in Gippsland. 

In a major boost for energy supply in the region, the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP) will deliver clean energy to the National Electricity Market, to help replace the fossil fuel supply that will be lost when the Yallourn coal fired power station closes. 

“Gippsland has been a powerhouse for the National Electricity Market for many years,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said. “With the planned construction of both solar and storage at the site, the GREP also offers an exciting opportunity for the Gippsland community to benefit from the clean energy economy. 

“We are delighted that Hostplus has come on board, building its future green investment pipeline on behalf of its diverse 1.4 million members, and delivering on the CEFC commitment to attract private sector capital to renewable energy developments.” 

The joint venture has also attracted superannuation fund, Hostplus, which will invest via an Octopus Australia-managed platform to help develop the GREP. Octopus Australia will also invest in the project. 

“Today is an especially historic day for the fund as we announced this morning our commitment to Net Zero by 2050,” Hostplus CEO David Elia said. “We’re privileged to take part in this pioneering venture, which has the potential to aid Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy and generate valuable jobs in Gippsland, all while delivering the potential for strong investment outcomes to our members.” 

The GREP development will be a multi-staged project and will investigate the deployment of various technologies at utility scale, including solar, wind, battery storage and the potential of green hydrogen. 

The 3000-hectare GREP site is in the heart of the proposed Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone (GREZ). Octopus Australia estimates that construction and development of the GREP will generate several hundred jobs in a region that has been hit by bushfires and the decline of local industries including timber and coal-based generation. 

The GREP follows the joint venture’s recent acquisition of the Perry Bridge and Fulham solar farm development projects, also in the Gippsland region. The solar farms and GREP project are a critical part of the new energy generation that will be required to replace the Yallourn power station, which is due to close in 2028. 

Octopus Australia is a subsidiary of the Octopus Group, which is one of the world’s largest investors in clean energy with over $6 billion deployed across more than 300 projects. 

“We are very excited to be able to work with such well respected partners in bringing the GREP project to life,” Octopus Australia managing director Sam Reynolds said. 

“It is a great opportunity to combine the resources and capital of each group into a collaboration that can build GREP in a way that benefits not only Australia’s clean energy future, but equally as importantly, the local Gippsland community.” 

The CEFC investment supports the federal government’s Technology Investment Roadmap energy storage targets. 

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