Greenbacker quits distributed solar in strategic ‘narrowing down’ shift

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Source: Greenbacker

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co has left the US residential solar market with the sale of its last two residential portfolios to Spruce Finance.

The portfolios in question comprise 27.6MW of rooftop assets, bought in a series of transactions between 2016 and 2017 for a cumulative US$34.5 million.

“By narrowing down our investment focus to C&I and utility-scale, we can provide strong returns for our investors through sustainable and impactful investing,” Charles Wheeler, Greenbacker chief executive officer, said in a press release about the sale on Friday.

The New York-based renewables company announced its exit from residential solar a couple days later, shortly after it revealed the purchase of a 7MW solar portfolio from HESP Solar.

San Francisco-based Spruce Finance, which specialises in small-scale solar, said that the acquisition from Greenbacker will push its portfolio beyond the 200MW mark.

Vice president of corporate development Tim Distler said on Friday that Spruce Finance sees “significant opportunity to consolidate an increasingly mature market through capital deployment.”

The offloaded portfolios, which include 3,668 sites, were sold “at a considerable premium” according to Greenbacker.

They are Spruce Finance's second largest acquisition to date.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in the US will take centre stage at Large Scale Solar USA 2020 (Austin, Texas, on 23-24 June 2020).

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