Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has today announced its plans to launch a new specialist offshore wind business – Corio Generation (Corio). Corio will commence operations in April 2022 with a project pipeline of over 15 GW – one of the largest in the world.
A GIG portfolio company operating on a standalone basis, Corio will take projects from origination, through development and construction, and into operations. Corio will 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.
Corio will continue the development of GIG’s existing portfolio – which includes previously announced projects in the UK, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia. The business will also seek new opportunities to create world-class offshore wind assets that support local economies while meeting the energy needs of communities and corporate off-takers – sustainably, reliably, safely and responsibly.
Corio will combine GIG’s sector-leading expertise in financing and structuring major renewables projects with its growing bench of offshore wind development and technology experts. Over 100 staff will be transferred into the new business as it begins operations in April, and it will continue to recruit more staff in the coming year.
Corio will be led by Jonathan Cole, who will join the business as CEO after more than a decade as leader of Iberdrola’s offshore wind business. He has a track record of developing a major international pipeline of offshore wind projects, and was previously responsible for the development, construction and operation of over 30 GW of projects in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
"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. 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.”
Incoming CEO, Corio
Samuel Leupold, who is currently Green Investment Group’s Chairman of Offshore Wind Energy, will also join Corio as Chair. Mr Leupold brings to the role over 20 years of professional experience in the energy sector from past roles at Ørsted, ABB and McKinsey.
The creation of Corio is GIG’s latest commitment to offshore wind and builds on its pioneering work in the sector. GIG played a pivotal role in the development of the UK’s offshore wind market – now the most mature market in the world – and with our parent company Macquarie, supporting over 50 per cent of the UK’s current offshore wind capacity. Over recent years GIG has used that experience to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind in new markets like Taiwan and Korea, building up a +15 GW global development pipeline which will now be taken forward by Corio.
"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. 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.”
Global Head, Green Investment Group
Corio will be headquartered in the UK with offices in London and Edinburgh, and active in a variety of European markets as well as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia. The business will also explore opportunities to enter the Americas. As with previous projects, the business will look to work with, and develop, local supply chain partners to maximise local economic value from the next generation of large offshore projects.
Corio has been established at a time when the demand for green electricity continues to rise – with the total capacity of offshore wind farms expected to reach 228 GW in 2030.1 This requires greater collaborative action from businesses and governments around the world as well as around US$500 billion of investment in offshore wind by 2030.