Georgia 24.5MW acqusition marks start of RET Capital-Origis collaboration

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Renewable Energy Trust Capital (RET Capital) has, in the process of signing a collaboration framework agreement with developer Origis Energy, acquired three PV plants in the US state of Georgia which total 24.5MW of generation capacity.

RET Capital, one of solar’s top five venture capital-funded companies in 2014, is a privately held equity investment company which acquires solar PV projects with long-term contracted cash flows in place. The three plants, Camilla, Upson and Camp, have been bought from developer and financier Origis Energy, which has offices in Florida, Cyprus and Belgium.

In striking up the new deal, RET Capital and Origis have signed a collaboration agreement to continue working together on “co-development and acquisition efforts”. RET Capital will, as might be expected, provide long-term capital, while Origis will serve as operations and maintenance (O&M), engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and asset management partner. RET Capital talked up the deal as a source of “substantial benefits and accelerated growth” for both parties. Origis president Guy Vanderhaegen said the two partners had ambitions to develop and own projects across the entire US.

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are in place with local utility Georgia Power for the sale of electricity from the three Georgia projects for a period of 20 years, with Origis contracted for O&M duties for all three facilities. The 24.5MW of plants were built as part of Georgia’s Large Scale Initiative programme.

Recent analysis from Mercom Capital showed that RET Capital was one of 2014’s five biggest recipients of VC-funding in solar, attracting US$125 million and placing it third in the rankings. RET Capital’s lead investor is BlueMountain Capital Management, which holds over US$19 billion in assets.

Through a subsidiary in Ontario, RET Capital has already this year acquired two utility-scale plants from Canadian Solar, with a third to be built as part of that deal. In addition to focusing on growth and asset management, RET Capital appears to value working at scale and in a statement to announce the latest acquisition referred to a strategy of “collaborating with middle market developers and other industry stakeholders to lower their cost of capital, increase standardisation, and facilitate accelerated growth”.

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