Blackstone lends US$200 million construction finance for US commercial PV developer Altus

Altus Power specialises in C&I, community and public sector PV projects like the one shown. Image: Businesswire.

Global alternative asset manager Blackstone is lending US$200 million towards the construction of new solar PV projects in the US by Altus Power.

The construction finance deal was announced yesterday (13 November) by Altus Power, which is specialised in commercial market segment solar PV development, including commercial and industrial (C&I), community-scale solar as well as electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions and battery storage.

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On the same day, Altus released its third quarter financial results, in which it reported Q3 2023 revenues of US$45.1 million, up 22% from the same period in the previous year, adjusted EBITDA of US$29.1 million – a 50% increase from Q3 2022 – and reaffirmed guidance for adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be in the range of US$97 million to US$103 million, and adjusted EBITDA margin “in the mid-to-high 50% range”.

The Blackstone Construction Facility will be put towards construction of commercial solar assets, with the money to be used for expenses like labour, equipment, grid interconnection and development fees.

It marks an ongoing relationship between the two companies, with Blackstone, through its Blackstone Structure Finance group launched in 2021 having backed Altus Power’s development activities with a similar amount of funding towards 220MW of community solar PV projects towards the beginning of this year, as reported by PV Tech.

That followed a raise of another US$200 million in late 2022 to support the company’s growth, with joint bookrunners and lenders Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase Bank, KeyBank National Association and Truist Securities.

Altus Power CFO Dustin Webber said the additional line of capital was secured with Blackstone despite challenging economic circumstances at a macro level, or as Webber put it, “in an environment where bank lending and conventional construction facilities are extremely limited”.

“This new facility provides a significant advantage as we look to optimise our working capital to support our targeted expansion in 2024 and beyond.”

Blackstone Structured Finance global head of asset-based finance Robert Camacho remarked that the construction facility was launched on behalf of the fund’s insurance clients. Those clients, Camacho said, “have significant capacity for the high quality long-duration investments that Altus is originating”.

Altus Power, headquartered in Connecticut, develops, owns and operates the assets it works on, providing end-to-end solutions for both private and public sector customers. The company’s portfolio of operational assets reach approximately 721MW by the end of Q3, according to its recent financial release.

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