Infradebt and Cannon-Brookes Team Up to Power Up Australia with $1B Battery Pipeline

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Infradebt and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes have joined forces to create a $1 billion pipeline of battery storage projects across Australia.

Following the first investment round for a new fund centred on grid-scale batteries in Australia, Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes’ company Infradebt will allot financing to up to eight battery projects. This groundbreaking debt provider is revolutionising infrastructure with its innovative approach.

To support the construction of six to eight batteries, each having a capacity of 1.5-2 gigawatts, Infradebt has taken up the challenge. To begin with, Neoen’s Capital Battery in the ACT and Genex Power’s Bouldercombe BESS in Queensland are set for financing by this venture.

Alexander Austin, CEO of Infradebt, announced that the fund is projected to reach between $750 million and $1 billion. The first round of funding will finance two batteries and their short-term project pipeline. Mr Austin also showed optimism by claiming they aim to finish the remaining batteries before 2025 ends.

According to Mr Austin, Australia’s financing authorities still need to come to terms with the unusual methods for computing returns from batteries; as a result, funding new battery projects can be pretty challenging.

“Batteries are uniquely equipped to generate profit from low-cost and high-cost events. They’re the only power source that can be lucrative even when pricing is negative!” said Mr Austin.

“Nevertheless, numerous batteries constructed in recent times are deriving some of their incomes from trading activities such as frequency control ancillary services or arbitrage trading. The problem is banks are unable to comprehend how these cash flows function and how to grant loans against them.”

To kickstart the new fund, Grok Ventures (a company owned by Mr Cannon-Brookes), JANA Diversified Infrastructure Trust and a collection of family office clients from Infradebt have made investments.

“Since investing in Infradebt Ethical Fund in 2017, Grok Ventures’ CEO and CIO Jeremy Kwong-Law has witnessed this venture’s enormous potential. Not only is it helping accelerate Australia’s decarbonisation efforts, but it also provides attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors.

“We are confident that Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) will generate returns and hasten the decarbonisation of our grid,” he added.

Mr Austin asserted that Infradebt would require another round of funding depending on the batteries selected for investment.

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