SUSI Partners commits to buildout of distributed energy systems in Australia

  • SUSI Partners, through its Energy Transition Fund (SETF), acquires a 50% stake in Australian clean energy developer Starling Energy Group (Starling)
  • In addition, SETF commits to providing capital for the rollout of more than 10,000 distributed solar and storage systems
  • Transaction supports Australia’s move towards an energy system that is decentralised, clean and empowers consumers

Zug/Zurich, 9 December 2021 – SUSI Partners, through SETF, has acquired a 50% interest in Starling, a clean energy company specialised in delivering integrated solar and storage systems to residential energy consumers through its Plico Energy business. As part of the agreement, SETF commits to providing additional capital for the rollout of more than 10,000 systems over the coming years, further underscoring SUSI’s firm belief in the benefits of a decentralised energy system.

Through Plico Energy, Starling enables homeowners to become largely self-sufficient energy consumers through a combined offering of rooftop solar panels, a battery storage unit, and software-driven dispatch optimisation. SETF’s funding commitment ensures that customers face no upfront costs, thus significantly increasing demand and accelerating the deployment of the systems. Against a contracted monthly payment, customers reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint from day one. Once sufficient scale has been reached, individual systems can be operated as a virtual power plant (VPP). VPPs use cloud-based software to optimise consumption and dispatch patterns of multiple distributed energy systems and can provide grid services and feed surplus electricity to the transmission grid for further upside potential.

Due to Australia’s low population density and the resulting high costs for the transmission of electricity from large-scale power plants to customers, retail energy prices remain comparatively high in the country. On top of that, the energy mix is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, particularly carbon emissions-intensive coal plants. Energy consumers are therefore especially incentivised to find more affordable and cleaner ways to meet their energy demand.

SETF was launched in 2020 as SUSI’s flagship equity fund. The fund has an evergreen structure and invests in sustainable energy infrastructure with a focus on OECD countries, covering the wide spectrum of investment opportunities arising from the energy transition, including clean energy generation, energy efficiency measures, and energy storage and integrated customer solutions.