US investment giant Brookfield says it has sealed the deal for the purchase of Australian energy utility Origin Energy, paving the way for a $20 billion plus splurge in renewables and storage assets over the next decade to fast-track the transition from coal to clean energy. The $18.7 billion purchase of Origin – made through a scheme of arrangement in conjunction with Mid-Ocean Energy, which will buy Origin’s LNG business – was sealed on the same day as the landmark Safeguard climate deal in federal parliament, and came after months of negotiations and due diligence. The deal was sealed with the help of Singapore investment giants GIC and Temasek, who will be minor shareholders in the Origin energy business. Brookfield says it will also bring in Indian energy giant and solar module maker Reliance to collaborate on renewable energy. It is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, but the major hurdles – satisfying itself about the price, the finance, and the approval of the Origin board – have been successfully negotiated. Brookfield – which manages more than $1 trillion of assets across the globe – says its plans will result in up to 14GW of new large scale renewable and storage facilities in Australia – nearly as much as has been built in the whole of Australia over the last 10 years. It says this will enable the retirement of Australia’s largest coal-fired power generation plants, the 2.8GW Eraring facility in NSW, which is owned by Origin and currently scheduled to close in August, 2025. “The acquisition of Origin Energy presents Brookfield with a unique opportunity to invest at least $20 billion and make a material difference to achieving Australia’s net zero targets,” Brookfield Asia Pacific CEO Stewart Upson said in a statement. “Brookfield has the capital, expertise, supply chain strength and global track record that’s needed to transform Origin’s generation fleet to greener sources and accelerate Australia’s energy transition while ensuring network security and reliability.” Brookfield is one of the world’s largest owners, operators and developers of renewable power, with approximately 25GW of generating capacity and a 110GW development pipeline globally. Blair Thomas, the head of Mid Ocean parent EIG, says LNG will be critical to deliver energy transition targets. It will buy Origin’s 27.5 per cent stake in Australia Pacific LNG and will sell a 2.49% interest in APLNG to ConocoPhillips, enabling that company to take half ownership and take over upstream operations at APLNG. But Mark Carney, the head of transition investing and chair of Brookfield Asset Management, and an outspoken supporter of strong climate policy when head of the Bank of England, says will have only an interim role in the switch to renewables. “As the energy transition gathers pace, what’s needed is increasingly clear: faster deployment of large-scale renewables, the accelerated, responsible retirement of coal generation, and an interim, supportive role for gas as the dependable back-up fuel,” Carney said. :Brookfield is determined that the new Origin Energy Markets will lead the way in all respects at this critical moment for the Australian economy.” Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of the EV-focused The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 40 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.