One of the world’s biggest clean-energy investors is buying a pair of U.S. renewable developers for $1.5 billion, in bets that add to the money flooding into projects despite this year’s market volatility.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s renewable power unit is acquiring wind and solar firm Scout Clean Energy LLC for $1 billion. It is also buying Standard Solar Inc. for $540 million, company officials said, after originally saying they’d pay $530 million. Brookfield said it could invest more than $500 million more across the two companies to help them grow faster.
Large investors such as Brookfield are pouring money into clean-energy firms, betting that strong demand will support renewable developers through a period of rising interest rates and economic uncertainty.
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The money for the deals comes from a $15 billion Brookfield fund dedicated to the energy transition that is co-led by Mark Carney — the former head of central banks in the U.K. and Canada and the United Nations’ point person on climate finance — and Connor Teskey, head of the firm’s renewables unit. The megafund and other funds backed by TPG Inc., Blackstone Inc. and others are betting heavily on clean-energy projects.
Brookfield agreed to both deals before long-term renewable and battery-storage tax credits that are part of the health care, climate and tax act became law. But now it has more confidence putting additional money into projects for both companies, Jehangir Vevaina, managing partner in Brookfield’s renewable power and transition group, said in an interview.
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“It’s going to supercharge our development,” he said.
Specific terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. Both Scout Clean Energy and Standard Solar will operate independently within Brookfield’s portfolio.
Boulder, Colorado-based, Scout operates large wind and solar projects across the country in states including California, Texas and Illinois. Brookfield is buying the company from another clean-energy investor, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, which acquired Scout in 2017.
Scout could also benefit from tax credits for hydrogen that is produced using renewable power that are part of the new law because hydrogen producers will need large amounts of renewables. The company could also consider expanding into clean-hydrogen production itself using its own clean power, Vevaina said.
Standard Solar specializes in on-site projects for businesses and community installations that allow buyers to purchase clean power from centrally owned arrays in states including New York. The Rockville, Maryland-based, company was founded in 2004 and is currently owned by Quebec-based energy firm Énergir LP.
Brookfield’s U.S. renewables portfolio includes wind, solar and hydropower projects in 34 states.
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The manager of roughly $750 billion across units including real estate and infrastructure is expected to spin off and publicly list a quarter of its asset-management business by the end of the year.
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