Ararat Wind Farm

Flow Power will expand its Melbourne HQ, establish offices in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, and put on 50 extra staff in the next 12 months, following Canadian pension fund OPTrust taking a 51 per cent stake in the company – a move that could see Flow Power grow tenfold in just a few years.

Flow Power is an electricity retailer at the forefront of the renewable energy power purchase agreement market, providing large customers with cheap access to energy direct from renewable energy farms, such as the Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria.

The takeover is expected to see Australia’s renewable PPA boom continue at pace, with OPTrust previously flagging intentions to invest heavily in the renewables sector in Australia.

Flow Power managing director Matthew van der Linden told the Australian Financial Review that OPTrust had plans to grow the company’s $100-million-plus turnover tenfold within just a few years.

The company will first establish a Sydney presence before establishing Brisbane and Adelaide offices later this year. Staff is expected to grow from 45 to almost 100.

OPTrust, which has about $20 billion under management, has already invested more than $500 million in Australia across private equity and infrastructure assets.

Its Sydney managing director Stan Kolenc will join the Flow Power board.

“We were drawn to Flow Power as a first mover in an industry that is well suited to a company as innovative as Flow Power,” Mr Kolenc said.

He said the Flow’s IP and tech held “real promise”, and OPTrust was excited about the growth opportunities.

“Australia is a key market for us, and has seen significant growth in recent years. Carefully selecting the right investments is our key priority, as we are looking to back more ethical, innovative and profitable companies like Flow Power.”

Mr van der Linden said he was delighted by the deal.

“We look forward to the opportunities it will enable Flow Power to provide for customers as we continue our momentum in transforming the Australia power market,” he said.

The purchase also includes energy management sister company Utilacor.