Global Head of Clean Technology Renewables Group and the Internet of Things in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs
NEW YORK —June 17, 2019—CleanCapital announced today that it has closed on a refinancing of its largest solar portfolio, Tahoe. The 46.9 megawatt portfolio, one of the largest independent C&I solar portfolios in the U.S., was acquired from ATN International, Inc. subsidiary Ahana Renewables. Lenders for the $85.7 million financing that matures in 2026 are Santander Bank, N.A. (“Santander”) and CIT Bank, N.A. (“CIT”).
CleanCapital has grown rapidly over the last year, acquiring more than 84 MW of distributed operating solar since April 2018. The Tahoe portfolio was acquired by CleanCapital last November as part of its partnership with BlackRock’s Renewable Power Group. The underwriting of the debt by Santander Bank and CIT signals confidence in CleanCapital’s track record of quality execution in C&I solar.
“As we continue to build up our assets under management and optimize the value of those portfolios, partnering with the top banks in the market gives us best-in-class execution,” said CleanCapital Chief Investment Officer Matt Eastwick. “We’re pleased to work with CIT and Santander Bank on this refinancing, which enhances investor returns on our largest and most diverse solar portfolio.”
“Sustainability financing is a core competency at Santander Bank and we are thrilled to support CleanCapital and BlackRock in their clean energy endeavors” said Nuno Andrade, Managing Director and Head of Structured Finance for North America at Santander Bank, N.A.’s Corporate & Investment Banking Group. “We are proud to have structured the financing of this complex C&I solar portfolio to support our valued and strong partners.”
“CIT is proud to support the continued growth of CleanCapital in renewable energy with the successful refinancing of this major solar portfolio,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Power and Energy business.
CleanCapital is an industry-leading clean energy investment platform. Its mission is to accelerate investment in renewable energy to address the urgent threat of climate change. CleanCapital’s leading edge technology platform facilitates the evaluation and acquisition of clean energy assets with speed and certainty. Since 2015, CleanCapital has leveraged investments from BlackRock, CarVal Investors, John Hancock, and other partners to acquire more than $300 million of distributed operating solar assets. Learn more at cleancapital.com | Twitter: @cleancapital_ | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/cleancapital/
NEW YORK – April 2, 2019 – CleanCapital, an industry-leading clean energy investment platform, announced today a new investment in the firm from funds managed by BlackRock’s Renewable Power Group, which bolsters the ability of the two firms to invest together in clean energy projects.
The investment provides for the continued growth of CleanCapital as it expands into new markets and new renewable energy asset classes, with a specific focus on distributed solar and energy storage.
“The investment from BlackRock’s Renewable Power Group will accelerate CleanCapital’s investment in clean energy, allowing us to enter new asset classes, like energy storage, and expand into new markets. With this investment, we will continue to build out our portfolio and do what we do best: use our proprietary underwriting tools and software to quickly evaluate assets and efficiently close acquisitions,” said Thomas Byrne, CEO and co-founder of CleanCapital.
The latest transaction marks a deepening of the relationship between CleanCapital and BlackRock after the two firms closed on CleanCapital’s largest transaction to-date in November, the acquisition of a 46.9 megawatt portfolio of 60 operating solar energy projects.
“As the clean energy space evolves, the distributed generation sector is expanding and plays an increasingly important role in the U.S. energy transition,” said Martin Torres, Head of the Americas for the Renewable Power Group at BlackRock. “This partnership allows us to access CleanCapital’s platform capabilities as we seek to invest in the assets meeting the demand for clean energy while delivering value to our clients.”
Launched in 2015 by co-founders Thomas Byrne, Jon Powers, and Marc Garrett, CleanCapital today owns and manages $300 million of distributed operating solar energy assets in the United States, with a combined capacity of more than 100 MW. The firm owns and operates 108 solar energy systems in 11 states, ranging in size from 25 kW to 12.6 MW.
CleanCapital is an industry-leading clean energy investment platform. Its mission is to accelerate investment in renewable energy to address the urgent threat of climate change. CleanCapital’s leading edge technology platform facilitates the evaluation and acquisition of clean energy assets with speed and certainty. Since 2015, CleanCapital has leveraged investments from BlackRock, CarVal Investors, John Hancock, and other partners to acquire more than $300M of distributed operating solar assets. Learn more at cleancapital.com | Twitter: @cleancapital_ | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/cleancapital/
This was originally published by Matt Eastwick on LinkedIn.
When I started at CleanCapital last year, I joined a team that was already making a mark in transforming the clean energy finance market. By bringing efficiency to deal process, we continue to make great strides in simplifying investments with the goal of introducing more institutional investors to the renewable markets. We achieved another significant milestone last week by signing a $250 million equity partnership with CarVal Investors, a well-established investment firm, that enables us to acquire $1 billion in clean energy assets. The purpose of the deal is to provide the capital and other resources to support our rapidly growing pipeline of solar acquisitions. It also puts the pieces in place for us to achieve a number of financial market objectives.
Building a Flexible Capital Base
There are a broad range of acquisition opportunities emanating out of CleanCapital’s origination program, and this deal gives us the ability to apply the right capital and structure to each one. Solar projects are underpinned by a robust base of high-quality contracted cash flows, and having a degree of flexibility allows us to optimize each investment opportunity.
Adoption of Technology Platform
Our use of data and technology is one of CleanCapital’s many differentiating characteristics in the market. By having an institutional partner that completely onboards and digests deal information through our proprietary technology platform, we believe that we are making advancements in streamlining the institutional investment process.
To date, we’ve acquired nearly $100 million in operating solar, leveraging our proprietary platform to streamline and expedite due diligence, closing complex deals across ten states. We cut out the middle man, which means better prices. Our proprietary platform systematically processes due diligence and analysis, allowing deals with a wide range of complexity to all close in less than 60 days. Examples of our portfolios include assets such as a 100kW system in California (power sold to a hospital), a 1.2MW system in Colorado (power sold to a university) and a 2.4MW system in New Jersey (power sold to a Fortune 100 company).
C&I Solar Securitization
CarVal is a seasoned practitioner in the structured products market and shares our view that the most efficient debt can often be found there. Together, we will be working towards the first “pure” small scale solar C&I securitization transaction. Being able to pool these assets and to tranche (or divide) them according to risk, the core tenets of securitization, will open up additional financing markets going forward.
In addition to CarVal’s equity commitment, we will access up to $750 million of debt capital that, in total, will provide for up to $1 billion in the coming months and years. The first tranche of this capital is being deployed immediately, and this stockpile even further accelerates our speed and ability to execute deals.
The rationale of the transaction can be summed up by the words of CleanCapital CEO Thomas Byrne, “We leverage data and technology to attract more investors to clean energy and accelerate clean energy adoption.”
We believe that CarVal, with its 30-year track record focused on credit-intensive investments and market inefficiencies, is the type of nimble, innovative capital partner that fits perfectly into CleanCapital’s capital markets strategy. Combined with our best-in-class underwriting and straight-forward approach to asset management, this deal brings us one step closer to our overarching objective of bringing great investment opportunities to a broader investor base. Clean energy projects provide solid, high-performing cash flows and should be a staple of every institutional investor’s asset allocation.