RWE buys Con Edison’s renewable energy subsidiaries, adds 3GW of operating US assets

Once the acquisition complete, it would establish RWE as the second largest solar operator in the US. Image: RWE.

German utility RWE has signed a purchase agreement with Con Edison to acquire all the shares in its renewable energy subsidiaries, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses (CEB).

The transaction has been valued at US$6.8 billion and is expected to close during the first half of 2023, pending customary regulatory approvals.

With nearly 3GW of operational assets, 90% of which are solar PV, the acquisition of Con Edison CEB will almost double the German utility’s renewables portfolio in the US to 7.2GW.

Furthermore, New York-headquartered Con Edison has a development pipeline of more than 7GW, bringing the combined projects pipeline to 24GW of solar PV, onshore wind and battery energy across the US.

This is the latest step in RWE’s global renewables expansion after its recent acquisition of Polish developer Alpha Solar with a project pipeline of nearly 3GW.

So far in the first half of the year the company has invested nearly €2 billion (US$1.95 billion) into its renewables portfolio and expects to raise that number to more than €5 billion by the end of the year.

Acquiring Con Edison CEB will come on top of RWE’s growth plans in the US with the company earmarking up to €15 billion for investment in the country, more than a third of the €50 billion it has set aside for global investments by 2030.

Financing of the acquisition and further growth activities are funded through debt instruments and an equity capital measures undertaken by RWE, the company said in a statement.

With the addition of more than 500 employees – bringing the total to 1,400 staff – it will help boost RWE’s growth and investments plans in the US in the coming years, according to Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE.

“The combined development pipeline, one of the largest in the US, provides tremendous opportunities for sustainable and value accretive growth, backed by a strong financial position,” Krebber said.

Once the transaction is completed, this will make RWE the fourth renewable energy company and the second largest solar operator in the US, according to RWE.

As a result of the deal and due to the pending transaction, Con Edison intends to forego its plan to issue up to US$850 million of common equity in 2022 and withdrew its equity guidance for 2023 and 2024.

“The transaction we announced today will allow Con Edison to sharply focus on our core utility businesses and the investments needed to lead New York’s ambitious clean energy transition,” said Timothy Cawley, chairman and CEO of Con Edison.

This is one of the latest solar assets acquisition in the US which has seen some large movements lately with Brookfield Renewable’s double acquisition last week, Canadian fossil fuel giant Enbridge buying Global Energy for US$270 million, Matrix Renewables’ 4.6GW US development acquisition and Onward Energy’s 1.2GW solar assets, among others.

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