Australian clean energy fund initiates AMI funding


Australian based Clean Energy Finance Corporation has completed its first smart meter technology financing, further extending the benefits of distributed clean energy to Australian households and businesses.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $35 million of debt finance towards the expansion of intelliHUB, a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and global smart meter leader Landis+Gyr.

The new intelliHUB joint venture will be a leading Australian provider of smart meter solutions, servicing Australian energy retailers and consumers.

The Acumen business included the existing management and servicing of an already deployed 170,000 meters and the combined business has future, long-term contracts with Origin Energy and other retailers, that will see it rollout and manage more than 1 million smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “Smart meters give energy consumers better control over their energy consumption, which is essential for lowering carbon emissions. They also give consumers the ability to better understand where and how they can benefit from behind-the-meter solar pv and energy storage solutions.

“Electricity is one of the largest sources of emissions for Australia. It’s essential that we address this by acting right across the energy market. This includes investing in more renewable energy, as well as implementing a range of proven measures to lower day-to-day energy consumption. We see smart metering as an essential part of an integrated clean energy future and we’re very excited to be part of this market evolution.”

The CEFC investment is part of a debt finance package to support both the Acumen acquisition and intelliHUB’s growth plans for the business.

Power of Choice

Acumen has already installed 170,000 smart meters for Origin customers, and this is set to grow as ‘Power of Choice’ reforms are rolled out. Introduced on 1 December 2017, Power of Choice requires all new and replacement electricity meters to use smart technology, to give consumers more control over their energy use.

intelliHUB CEO Adrian Clark said: “The CEFC is one of a number of high profile investors to sign up to back intelliHUB’s planned metering deployments. “I am delighted the CEFC is supporting intelliHUB through our financing structure and I am confident that together we can deliver technology and innovation in smart metering and drive connectivity and competition.”

CEFC Grid Solutions and Storage Lead Simon Brooker added: “There are some 9 million metering points in the National Electricity Market. By accelerating their conversion to smarter technologies, customers will benefit from more meaningful information relating to their energy consumption. These customers will be better informed when considering investment in solar and storage solutions by matching system specifications to actual consumption patterns.

“Through improved data provision. electricity network operators will be able to harness greater insights to enable a smoother operation of the energy grid, facilitating improved integration of renewables and energy storage.”