Crow Holdings to launch renewables arm and invest in community solar

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Solar panel installation in the US. Credit: Raze Solar via Unsplash

US real estate company Crow Holdings has launched a renewable power arm, which will work to develop community solar projects and what it calls “mid-sized, utility-scale projects”.

The new business, Crow Holdings Renewables, aims to develop the renewable facilities in the US states California, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey, and plans to expand its reach into other states in the future.

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The company announced that its work will focus on “the entitlement and development” of community solar projects, with an average capacity of 5MW, and related battery storage projects. Its mid-sized projects, meanwhile, will have an average capacity of 25MW.

“The country’s energy transition and renewables have demonstrably expanded opportunities in recent years, through federal and state support, improving technologies, declining costs and customer engagement,” said Crow Holdings CEO Michael Levy. “We are seeing material growth across the sector that we expect to continue for the foreseeable future, and we are excited to launch Crow Holdings Renewables at such a critical time.”

The news follows a number of recent commitments made to renewable power by Crow Holdings. In 2018, it worked with “an external advisor” to improve its compliance with environment, sustainable and governance issues, and in 2022 appointed Don Brooks as its head of sustainability.

These moves also exist against the backdrop of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Biden’s landmark piece of legislation which has incentivised new clean energy investments across the US. While Crow Holdings has not announced financial figures for its new renewable developments, Lightsource BP and Nexamp both invested around US$400 million into US solar last week, as tangible investment in US solar reaches new heights.

The Nexamp deal in particular could set a precedent for Crow Holdings, as the acquisition saw Nexamp invest in up to 250MW of community solar in particular. Renewable power developers are viewing the financial support offered by the IRA, and the need to decarbonise the world’s energy mix, as an opportunity to change the power generation infrastructure of the US, with many developers targeting local-scale solar to better deliver reliable power to specific communities.

“The launch of Crow Holdings Renewables is a natural outgrowth of our seven-plus-decade legacy in development, our ability to evaluate the entire real estate market and our proven success in pursuing the right opportunities,” said Crow Holdings senior managing director Laurence Pelosi, who will be one of the leads of its renewables arm.

“We’ve had tremendous interest from our partners and industrial tenants in providing lower-cost energy, and we have an opportunity to help meet the energy needs of hundreds of businesses and thousands of residential customers across the country,” added Pelosi.

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