Hannon Armstrong to invest US$663 million in Clearway renewables projects

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 Green finance group Hannon Armstrong is to invest US$663 million in seven onshore wind and utility-scale solar managed by US developer and operator Clearway Group.

The portfolio covers 1.6GW energy generation capacity across three wind, one solar and three solar-plus-storage projects in California, Hawaii, Texas and West Virginia, and covers 395MW of energy storage.

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Two projects have already been completed, including the 192 MW utility-scale Rosamund Central solar project located in Kern County, California, which Clearway closed debt financing on in May this year, and the 419 MW Mesquite Star wind project in Fisher and Nolan County, Texas. The remaining projects are either under construction or due to break ground within the next two years.

Hannon Armstrong, which finalised the investment on Monday (21 December), now holds a preferred equity interest in the Clearway subsidiaries managing the projects. The company has invested US$200 million in Clearway’s renewable power projects so far and expects to spend a total of US$663 million from 2021 to 2022.

Jeffery Eckel, Hannon Armstrong’s chairman and chief executive, said the assets offer “increased scale and diversity” to the investor’s portfolio.

Clearway is one of the largest renewables developers in the US, with approximately 9GW of capacity in its development pipeline.

Clearway Energy Group chief executive Craig Cornelis said the “geographically diverse” project portfolio will allow both companies to hold ground in current hotspots for the US renewables market. The Solar Industries Association anticipates that more than 4GW of solar capacity could be installed in Texas by 2025. Clearway claims to operate more than 1.1GW of renewable energy assets in Kern County alone.

Meanwhile, California has been tipped to add more than 25GW of renewables by 2030, according to the California Public Utilities Commission, including 11GW of utility-scale solar.

Cornelius said that the projects will be “pivotal in Clearway's continued ability to provide clean energy at the scale our country demands while helping to deliver on investors' growing interest in climate change solutions”.

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