Image: Hannon Armstrong
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.
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".
Jan 20, 2021 GMT
Virtually all PV modules for large-scale utility-based solar sites are imported to the US, especially from Chinese companies using manufacturing sites across Southeast Asia. This puts extreme pressure on US site developers, EPCs and investors, in understanding fully the differences between the companies offering imported PV modules How credible are the companies supplying the products? What is the financial health of the parent entity? Where is the module produced, and is this undertaken in-house or through third-party OEMs? What is the supply-chain for the module sub-components including wafers and cells? And then, how will the modules perform in the field, and is it possible to gauge reliability levels benchmarked against competitors? This webinar will provide insights from two of the leading experts in PV module manufacturing, supply, performance and reliability: Jenya Meydbray of PV Evolution Labs and Finlay Colville from PV-Tech. The 1-hour session will include presentations from Jenya and Finlay, and then a brand-new supplier scorecard matrix that combines the key outputs from PVEL's Module Reliability Scorecard and PV-Tech's PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings, with specific focus on module supply and use in the US market.