Credit: Phoenix Solar

Credit: Phoenix Solar

Oil and gas giant Shell has signed an agreement to acquire a 43.83% interest stake in US solar developer Silicon Ranch Corporation from investment manager Partners Group for US$193-217 million.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2018. Shell also has the option to increase its ownership after 2021.

Partners Group will continue to support Silicon Ranch through a newly issued junior debt financing simultaneous with the closing of the sale.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch will continue to operate under its existing management and the Silicon Ranch brand. The firm has doubled its operating portfolio for three consecutive years, with approximately 880MW of PV systems contracted, under construction, or operating in 14 states, with a further 1GW in the pipeline.

The company said that the transaction would enable it to accelerate its growth strategy by developing new projects, entering new markets, and expanding product offerings across its portfolio.

"We were impressed by Silicon Ranch's proven track record, its market-led development strategy, and its long-term ownership model and commitment to the communities it serves," said Marc van Gerven, Shell vice president of Solar. "Partnering with Silicon Ranch progresses our New Energies strategy and provides our US customers with additional solar renewable options. With this entry into the fast-growing solar sector, Shell is able to leverage its expertise as one of the top three wholesale power sellers in the US, while expanding its global New Energies footprint."

Matt Kisber, Silicon Ranch co-founder and CEO, said: "By pairing our solar expertise and trusted brand with the scale, resources, and brand equity of Shell, we are well-equipped to collaborate with our utility partners to provide comprehensive, win-win energy solutions for them and their customers.”

Last week, Shell announced it was developing a 20MW solar plant at Moerdijk in the Netherlands where it runs one of Europe's largest petrochemicals manufacturing sites.

Tags: shell, silicon ranch, us, acquisitions, usa, oil and gas, fossil fuels, energy transition

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