IJ Global: SEEIT Acquires Solar and Storage ProjectsCommercial/ 24 December 2020
SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEEIT) has agreed to acquire a series of portfolios of commercial and industrial on-site solar and energy storage projects in the US. As part of the deal, SEEIT has taken a 50% interest in the platform that developed the projects – Onyx Renewable Partners – from funds managed by Blackstone for a consideration of around $150 million. Blackstone will remain a 50% shareholder of Onyx. SEEIT will acquire a 100% interest in 4 portfolios totalling over 175MW, which provide renewable energy generated on-site directly to the end-user, and a 50% interest in Onyx’s follow-on pipeline, which is projected to exceed 500MW over the next 5 years.
The 4 portfolios comprise over 200 operational, in-construction, and development-stage rooftop, carport and ‘private wire’ ground mounted solar PV projects, located in 18 US states. Clients include municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, military housing providers, utilities and corporates. The operational projects are contracted under long-term power purchase agreements with predominantly investment grade C&I counterparties. At present about 27% of the portfolio (by installed megawatts) is operational or near operational, with the remainder expected to become fully operational over the next 12 to 18 months. It will develop and manage further C&I on-site solar and energy storage projects in the US, which SEEIT will have a right of first refusal to purchase at a pre-agreed rate of return.
The acquisition will be funded from existing cash reserves and debt facilities. Onyx’s existing project debt finance facilities, which are equivalent to about £27 million at acquisition, will remain in place. Completion of the acquisition is expected in the coming weeks.