Shell-backed Silicon Ranch closes funding to support more than 1GW of new solar

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Silicon Ranch’s portfolio includes more than 2.5GW of solar PV systems that are contracted, under construction or operational. Image: Silicon Ranch.

US independent power producer Silicon Ranch Corporation has closed an investment round that attracted US$225 million in new equity capital.

The round was funded by the company’s existing shareholders, which includes oil and gas major Shell and institutional investors TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund and Mountain Group Partners.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch said it will use the equity raise to support the construction of more than 1GW of new solar projects over the next two years as well as to enter new markets and pursue strategic acquisition opportunities.

The firm’s portfolio includes more than 2.5GW of solar PV systems that are contracted, under construction or operational in more than 15 US states.

Reagan Farr, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Ranch, said the company is “honoured” by the support from its shareholders, whose commitment “will help fuel our growth and enable us to make meaningful capital investments in communities across the country”.

Shell announced in 2018 a deal to acquire a 43.83% interest in Silicon Ranch for up to US$217 million. The agreement also included the possibility for Shell to increase its position after 2021. While Silicon Ranch is described as Shell’s US solar platform, the oil firm also has a large-scale solar presence elsewhere thanks to its purchase of stakes in both Southeast Asian installer Cleantech Solar and Australian PV developer ESCO Pacific.

“Silicon Ranch has tripled its contracted portfolio since our initial platform investment in 2018 and continues to impress with its track record of successful project delivery,” said Elisabeth Brinton, executive vice president of new energies at Shell.

As well as developing what is said to be Tennesse’s largest solar PV project, Silicon Ranch also has agreements to construct solar farms to power Facebook data centres in Georgia, with the 107MWac Snipesville II plant due to come online next year.

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