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Plico wins multi-million investment partnership

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Charlie Gunningham
// // Perth-based renewable energy business Plico has closed a big deal with Swiss fund manager SUSI

Fresh from winning the Startup of the Year at the annual Business News Rise Awards, Perth-based Plico Energy has finalised an agreement with Swiss private fund manager SUSI Partners for a multi-million dollar investment.

Specialising in sustainable energy infrastructure investment, SUSI has joined as an equal partner in the business and, in addition, has committed to fund the further rollout of Plico systems over the next few years. Their Energy Transition Fund (SETF) received investor commitments of more than $450 million in its first closing in July 2020.

Plico has installed 430 solar-powered battery systems in the past 18 months, and plans to more than double that number in the next year.

On their way

Founded in Perth in 2019, Plico combines the latest technology in residential and business rooftop solar panels with their high-quality batteries and inverters, enabling them to build Australia’s largest community-owned virtual power plant.

Plico Co-CEO, Ms Kerry Milne said this investment sends a strong signal to the Australian market that Plico has officially moved from startup to significant player in the solar battery sector.

This investment is more than just accelerating our growth plan. It’s about demonstrating to our current and future customers that we’re a quality solar and battery provider, with global backing that they can trust to give them a powerful solution to their energy needs.

Kerry Milne, Co-CEO, Plico Energy

“We’re here for the long haul to help businesses and households move away from the grid and … fossil fuels. We know that people want to reduce their carbon footprint without reducing their energy consumption. Plico does both. We provide a long-term affordable solar and battery system that helps people go beyond just putting solar panels on their roof,” she said.

Well funded partner

With SUSI Partners, Plico has found a partner with longstanding experience in financing energy transition and a shared purpose of contributing to global carbon neutrality.

“We have found a financial partner that shares our vision of clean energy, who also has more than a decade track record of successfully pursuing this goal,” Kerry said.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO) in their Renewable Energy Integration – SWIS update report (Sept 2021), renewable generation is already meeting up to 70% of total energy demand in certain SWIS time intervals, 56% by rooftop solar generation. With installed rooftop solar capacity in the region expected to double in the next decade, that share is bound to increase even further.

“At SUSI Partners, we are committed to supporting the move away from centralised and emissions-intensive energy production towards an energy system that is decentralised, clean and empowers consumers,” said Richard Braakenburg, Managing Director in SUSI Partners’ investment team.

Western Australia is perfectly positioned to be at the forefront of this shift that needs to take place on a global scale to mitigate climate change, and we are happy to partner with Plico and WA communities to deliver this change.

Richard Braakenburg, SUSI Partners

Founded in 2009, SUSI Partners has specialised in sustainable energy infrastructure investments with EUR1.6B in capital commitments from institutional investors. The firm’s investment strategy focuses on private equity and credit opportunities across the energy transition spectrum, including clean energy generation, energy efficiency measures, and energy storage and integrated solutions.

They have closed 120 transactions across 20 countries to date.


For more: Plico Energy.

Listen to Plico Energy founder Brian Innes, on previous episode of Startup West.

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Picture of Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.
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