Infrastructure investment giant launches Corio Generation in bid to accelerate offshore wind development

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has today announced plans to create a new specialist offshore wind business called Corio Generation, which is set to boast one of the largest project pipelines in the world when it formally launches next month.

GIG, the green infrastructure division of Macquarie created in 2017 when the Australian banking giant acquired the UK government’s Green Investment Bank, has a track record as a major investor in UK offshore wind projects.

Now Macquarie has decided to spin out its offshore wind operations to establish Corio as a “GIG portfolio company operating on a standalone basis”. It will boast a project pipeline of over 15GW and will be tasked with taking projects from origination, through development and construction, and into operations.

The company, which will be headquartered in the UK, said it would “apply a long-term partnership approach to the creation and management of projects, underpinned by access to long-term capital sourced both within Macquarie and from third parties”.

Macquarie added that Corio would continue the development of GIG’s existing portfolio, including previously announced projects in the UK, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia, and seek new opportunities around the world, including in the Americas.

Over 100 staff will be transferred into the new business with the subsidiary led by Jonathan Cole, who joins Corio as CEO after more than a decade as leader of Iberdrola’s Offshore Wind business.  

“I am hugely excited by this unique opportunity to lead a business that combines some of the world’s best financial and industrial expertise – and I believe that Corio will play a significant role in accelerating the deployment of offshore wind around the world,” said Cole. “From day one, we will be able to work with partners, suppliers and investors to deliver a major project pipeline that will not only provide vast quantities of clean affordable electricity but will also support thousands of green jobs.”

Samuel Leupold, who is currently Green Investment Group’s Chairman of Offshore Wind Energy, will also join Corio as Chair.

Mark Dooley, global head of GIG, said the move would help to further accelerate the company’s development of offshore wind farms. “We were one of the earliest investors in the offshore wind market, and over the last decade we’ve built one of the world’s largest development portfolios across the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, and beyond,” he said. “Consolidating that momentum and capability into Corio gives this business the opportunity to be a leading player in the next era of offshore wind. By leveraging deep expertise and access to capital, Corio will apply all its energy to deliver the next generation of offshore wind projects in established and emerging markets worldwide.”

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