Building and construction industry super fund Cbus will partner with renewable energy asset manager Brookfield Asset Management to boost its investments in innovation and solar technology.
The partnership would see Cbus invest in technology-enabled, growth-orientated businesses with a connection to the built environment, while leveraging Brookfield’s industry insight and operating capabilities.
The commitment would capitalise on key built environment themes that had been accelerated by the pandemic, including increased digital connectivity, health and liveability, and sustainability.
Kristian Fok, Cbus chief investment officer, said the market for emerging technology servicing the built environment was growing rapidly and would accelerate post-COVID, primarily across real estate and construction, transport and logistics, and healthcare.
“The disruption caused by COVID-19 has rapidly changed the way businesses operate, with increased reliance on technology and innovative business models as more people work from home,” Fok said.
“The Brookfield growth technology initiative will invest in the digital transformation of the built environment – linking technology, innovation and disruption.
“The strategy also supports the broader building and construction industry. The significant investment has a number of benefits, including the opportunity to leverage built environment innovation into Cbus’ assets.”
The super fund had also completed the acquisition of a direct interest in two solar photovoltaic projects from LS Power, in partnership with Capital Dynamics and other co-investors.
Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure portfolio included a 100% interest in Centinela Solar Energy (252 MWdc) located in Imperial County, California and a 30% interest in Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (175 MWdc) located in Maricopa County, Arizona.
“This is a significant investment for Cbus, providing our members with strong risk-adjusted returns, underpinned by long-term Power Purchase Agreements with an investment grade counterparty,” Fok said.
“There is also the opportunity to optimise the assets alongside the deep experience of the Capital Dynamics management team.
“The investment aligns with our commitment to sustainability and reducing emissions, while building on our direct investment strategy to deliver stronger returns for our members.”