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Super fund ups stake in renewable company

A $55 billion super fund has upped its stake into renewable energy company Powering Australian Renewables (PowAR) for an undisclosed figure.

Hostplus has increased its investments in PowAR, which operates wind and solar generation.

The super fund said the investment is made via its existing direct holding in PowAR and the QIC-managed Global Infrastructure Fund.

Together with Mercury NZ, PowAR is in the process of acquiring Tilt Renewables, which is listed on both the ASX and New Zealand's stock exchange NZX. The Future Fund is part of aconsortium attempting to acquire Tilt.

If the acquisition of Tilt passes regulatory and shareholder approvals, PowAR will have an installed capacity of 1313MW and a pipeline of new projects of more than 3500MW, Hostplus said.

Hostplus chief executive David Elia commented that this is a milestone in the fund's commitment to stepping up investments in renewable energy and supporting Australia's transition to a sustainable energy future.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today and our holding in PowAR is just one element of our commitment to investing in the solutions that will be critical to transitioning to a low-carbon economy. PowAR's acquisition of Tilt Renewables is a game-changer in this space and we are proud to be a part of this transaction," he said.

Hostplus recently updated its sustainable investment option on the back of growing demand from members who want a more sustainable approach to their investments.

The Socially Responsible Investment Balanced option (SRI) now excludes a range of industries that includes companies that own reserves, explore, mine, extract, produce, refine or generate energy from fossil fuels.

The fund flagged that it was actively considering a net-zero emissions target as part of reviewing its approach to climate-related risk management at its December 2020 annual members' meeting.

"As a significant investor in unlisted assets such as infrastructure, property and venture capital, Hostplus' members are invested in companies such as PowAR that are at the forefront of ensuring a smooth transition towards a low-carbon economy," said Elia.

Read more: HostplusTilt RenewablesDavid EliaFuture FundGlobal Infrastructure FundMercury NZ