Catalyze acquires C&I solar developer PermaCity to reach pipeline of more than 2GW

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Catalyze said the acquisition will allow it to deploy rooftop projects more efficiently. Image: Catalyze via Twitter.

US independent power producer Catalyze has expanded its project pipeline to more than 2GW through the acquisition of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar developer PermaCity.

Colorado-headquartered Catalyze, which develops and operates renewable distributed generation and storage projects for C&I customers, said the deal will allow it to establish a stronghold in California’s distributed PV market.

The transaction is also expected to produce “substantial” synergies, with Catalyze able to use PermaCity’s proprietary SolarStrap rooftop solar panel mounting technology to deploy projects more efficiently. For PermaCity, the tie-up will allow it to provide battery storage solutions for its customers.

Catalyze CEO Steve Luker said the addition of the SolarStrap rooftop installation strategy will decrease construction time “and allow us to deploy more capital across a larger number of rooftop projects”.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, PermaCity was founded in 2003 by Jonathan Port and has to date developed more than 100MW of rooftop solar generation, including the 16.4MW Westmont Solar Energy project, which is said to be the US’ largest rooftop PV installation.

The PermaCity business unit will continue to be led by Port, who will also join Catalyze’s executive leadership team. “We looked at several options for financing projects, but the magnitude of the opportunity created by integrating PermaCity and Catalyze went far beyond that of any other mere capital provider and we can now offer more complete solutions to customers plus pursue previously unavailable opportunities,” he said.

The deal will also provide PermaCity access to Catalyze’s REenergyze software solution, which was launched last year to help accelerate and scale the adoption of C&I solar and storage in the US. The platform is used to identify, evaluate and manage projects throughout their lifecycle.

Catalyze, which is backed by energy investors EnCap Investments and Yorktown Partners, recently bought two community solar projects in New York totalling 13MW and also acquired battery storage provider Prisma Energy Solutions.

The PermaCity acquisition comes as companies across the US are turning to on-site solar to help meet clean energy procurement targets and reduce energy costs. A report published in October from the Solar Energy Industries Association found that more than 8,350MW of commercial solar capacity has been developed across more than 38,000 US systems.

Recent deals in the space have seen EDF Renewables North America acquire New York-headquartered EnterSolar to take advantage of C&I solar market growth, while Engie North America has secured funding for a US portfolio of C&I, community and rooftop PV projects and solar-plus-storage installations.

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