Blackstone $850M commitment repositions Connecticut solar power firm for growth

Blackstone | January 14, 2020

Private equity giant Blackstone is recapitalizing a U.S. solar power company with $850 million in new investment. Altus Power America, based in Connecticut, announced the Blackstone contribution to refinance its existing capital structure and fund future development. Blackstone made the investment through its GSO Capital Partners LP and Blackstone Insurance Solutions (BIS) Groups. “We’re incredibly enthusiastic to be partnering with Blackstone as we position our business for accelerating growth,” said Gregg Felton, managing partner of Altus Power. “By providing Altus with a full capital structure solution, including investment-grade rated permanent senior financing, Blackstone is empowering Altus to be one of the most competitive capital partners in distributed generation solar.” Altus Power America provides clean electricity options for commercial, industrial and municipal clients across the U.S.

Spotlight

The United States has an abundance of natural resources. For much of the nation’s history, energy availability was not a concern as commerce and industry needs could be met by domestic supplies. However, industrialization and population growth, and the continuing development of a consumer-oriented society led to a growing dependence on foreign sources of energy during the 20th century to supplement the demands of a growing economy.

Spotlight

The United States has an abundance of natural resources. For much of the nation’s history, energy availability was not a concern as commerce and industry needs could be met by domestic supplies. However, industrialization and population growth, and the continuing development of a consumer-oriented society led to a growing dependence on foreign sources of energy during the 20th century to supplement the demands of a growing economy.

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ENERGY,PRODUCTS

Cleco Power and DESRI Announce 240 MWac Solar Power Agreement

Cleco Power and DESRI | August 19, 2022

Cleco Power (Cleco) and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), a leading renewable energy producer in the U.S., announce a long-term renewable energy off-take agreement. The Dolet Hills Solar Project includes a 240 MWac facility to be constructed at the recently retired Dolet Hills lignite-fired power plant in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. The Dolet Hills Solar Project supports Cleco's growing renewable energy fleet and follows the company's recent announcement of Project Diamond Vault, a major economic development and decarbonization initiative to build a state-of-the-art carbon capture facility at its central Louisiana Brame Energy Center. "This solar project is another step forward in Cleco's journey to becoming Louisiana's leading clean energy company,This project continues our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint while affordably and reliably serving our customers." -Bill Fontenot, President and CEO of Cleco Corporate Holdings. Pending project approvals, Dolet Hills will boast one of the largest solar facilities in Louisiana and will represent more than $250 million invested towards powering approximately 45,000 homes. While Dolet Hills Solar is the first power purchase agreement between the companies, DESRI's portfolio in Louisiana will now total nearly 700 MWac in construction and contracted clean power projects. DESRI is proud to deliver low-cost, clean, reliable power to Cleco and its customers from this landmark solar energy facility," said Hy Martin, Chief Development Officer of DESRI. Alongside our partners at Cleco, the project will provide local economic benefits to DeSoto Parish and the surrounding communities for years to come. In addition, the project will replace lignite-fired electricity with renewable power sited on reclaimed mining lands. The Dolet Hills Solar Project is expected to deliver significant community benefits, including the creation of local construction jobs and tax revenue for the Parish. When asked about the project, DeSoto Parish President, Ernel Jones, stated "Cleco has been an integral part of the DeSoto Parish community for over 70 years and we look forward to our continued partnership. At the same time, we welcome DESRI and believe the Dolet Hills Solar Project will lead the way for future economic growth in our area. About Cleco Power, LLC Cleco Power is a regulated electric public utility that owns nine generating units with a rated capacity of 3,035 megawatts. Assets also include 1,335 miles of transmission lines and 12,152 miles of distribution lines. Cleco Power uses multiple generating sources and multiple fuels to serve approximately 291,000 customers in 24 of Louisiana's parishes through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Parishes served include Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Catahoula, DeSoto, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Vernon and Washington. About D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and its affiliates develop, acquire, own, and operate long-term contracted renewable energy assets in the U.S. DESRI's portfolio of contracted, operating and in-construction renewable energy projects currently includes more than 65 solar and wind projects representing more than 6 GWac of aggregate capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $60 billion in investment and committed capital as of June 1, 2022, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

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ENERGY

Nano One and BASF Have Signed a Lithium-ion Battery Materials Joint Development Agreement

Nano One | May 31, 2022

Nano One® Materials Corp. (Nano One), a clean technology battery materials inventor, and BASF SE (BASF), an internationally engaged chemical business with substantial experience in the development and manufacture of battery materials, have announced a joint development agreement (JDA). Based on BASF's HEDTM-family of advanced CAM and using Nano One's unique One-Pot method and metal direct to CAM (M2CAM®) technologies, the two companies will work together to develop a way to make next-generation cathode active materials (CAM) commercially available with fewer waste products. BASF has a family of CAM products that are well-suited to the increasing needs of automotive drivetrain batteries, as well as track experience of developing these products in conjunction with others. Nano One and BASF will also use the M2CAM®process to make their manufacturing strategies and product performance more flexible and to use less energy and leave less of an environmental footprint. The collaborative development plan, which comprises several phases and stage gates, is the outcome of Nano One's methods and products being evaluated. The signing of the JDA is a significant step forward in BASF and Nano One's business relationship. "BASF is a global leader in chemistry and high performance lithium-ion battery cathode materials, and we are proud to be forging new ground with them to improve performance, cost, and environmental footprint for CAM production. There is a tremendous opportunity to jointly differentiate the production processes and productsfor a more resilient and sustainable supply chain. We look forward to advancing this partnership." - Dan Blondal, Nano One CEO

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SUSTAINABILITY

Machine learning-led decarbonisation platform Ecolibrium launches in the UK

Ecolibrium | June 13, 2022

Machine learning-led decarbonisation platform Ecolibrium has today launched its revolutionary sustainability solution in the UK, as the race to reduce carbon emissions accelerates across the built environment. Relocating its global headquarters to London, Ecolibrium has raised $5m in a pre-Series A funding round as it looks to expand its international footprint to the UK. The round was co-led by Amit Bhatia's Swordfish Investments and Shravin Bharti Mittal's Unbound venture capital firm, alongside several strategic investors. Ecolibrium launches in the UK today having already signed its first commercial contract with Integral, JLL's UK engineering and facilities service business. The fundraising and UK expansion builds on Ecolibrium's considerable success in Asia Pacific, where its technology is being used across 50 million sq ft by more than 150 companies including Amazon, Fiat, Honeywell, Thomson Reuters, Tata Power, and the Delhi Metro. An annual reduction of 5-15% in carbon footprint has been achieved to date by companies which have deployed Ecolibrium's technology. Ecolibrium has also strengthened its senior UK management team, as it prepares to roll-out its green platform across the UK, by hiring facilities and asset management veteran Yash Kapila as its new head of commercial real estate. Kapila previously held senior leadership positions with JLL across APAC and EMEA regions. Introducing SmartSense At the heart of Ecolibrium's offer is its sustainability-led technology product SmartSense, which assimilates thousands of internet of things (IoT) data points from across a facility's entire energy infrastructure. This information is then channelled through Ecolibrium's proprietary machine learning algorithms, which have been developed over 10 years by their in-house subject matter experts. Customers can visualise the data through a bespoke user interface that provides actionable insights and a blueprint for achieving operational excellence, sustainability targets, and healthy buildings. This connected infrastructure generates a granular view of an asset's carbon footprint, unlocking inefficiencies and empowering smart decision-making, while driving a programme of continuous improvement to deliver empirical and tangible sustainability and productivity gains. Preparing for future regulation Quality environmental data and proof points are also providing a distinct business advantage at this time of increasing regulatory requirements that require corporates to disclose ESG and sustainability performance. Ecolibrium will work closely with customers to lead the way in shaping their ESG governance. According to Deloitte, with a minimum Grade B Energy Performance Certification (EPC) requirement anticipated by 2030, 80% of London office stock will need to be upgraded – an equivalent of 15 million sq ft per annum. Research from the World Economic Forum has found that the built environment is responsible for 40% of global energy consumption and 33% of greenhouse gas emissions, with one-fifth of the world's largest 2,000 companies adopting net zero strategies by 2050 or earlier. Technology holds the key to meeting this challenge, with Ecolibrium and other sustainability-focused changemakers leading the decarbonisation drive. "Our mission is to create a balance between people, planet and profit and our technology addresses each of these objectives, leading businesses to sustainable prosperity. There is no doubt the world is facing a climate emergency, and we must act now to decarbonise and protect our planet for future generations. By using our proprietary machine learning-led technology and deep in-house expertise, Ecolibrium can help commercial and industrial real estate owners to deliver against ESG objectives, as companies awaken to the fact that urgent action must be taken to reduce emissions and achieve net zero carbon targets in the built environment. Our goal is to partner with companies and coach them to work smarter, make critical decisions more quickly and consume less. And, by doing this at scale, Ecolibrium will make a significant impact on the carbon footprint of commercial and industrial assets, globally." -Chintan Soni, Chief Executive Officer at Ecolibrium The UK expansion has been supported by the Department for International Trade's Global Entrepreneur Programme. The programme has provided invaluable assistance in setting up Ecolibrium's London headquarters and scaling in the UK market. In turn, Ecolibrium is supporting the growth of UK innovation, promoting green job creation, and providing tangible economic benefits, as part of the country's wider transition to a more sustainable future. About Ecolibrium Ecolibrium is a machine learning-led decarbonisation platform balancing people, planet and profit to deliver sustainable prosperity for businesses. Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur brothers Chintan and Harit Soni, Ecolibrium provides expert advisory as well as technology-driven sustainability solutions to enable commercial and industrial real estate owners to reduce energy consumption and ultimately achieve their net zero carbon ambitions. Ecolibrium's flagship technology product SmartSense is currently being used across 50 million sq ft by more than 150 companies including JLL, Amazon, Fiat, Honeywell, Thomson Reuters, Tata Power, and the Delhi Metro. SmartSense collects real-time information on assets, operational data and critical metrics using internet of things (IoT) technology. This intelligence is then channelled through Ecolibrium's proprietary machine learning algorithms to visualise data and provide actionable insights to help companies make transformative changes to their sustainability goals.

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