Solar developer Aspen Power secures US$350 million investment from Carlyle

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Aspen has acquired New York-based solar developer Safari Energy. Image: Aspen Power Partners.

Aspen Power Partners, a US distributed generation developer, has received a US$350 million investment from global investment firm Carlyle. It said that the funds will be used to fuel its growth and acquisitions strategy.

As part of this acquisition-based growth strategy, targeting the community, multifamily and commercial and industrial (C&I) solar and storage markets, Aspen has acquired New York-based solar developer Safari Energy from PPL Corporation. This transaction represents one of the largest solar C&I transitions in the US to date, Carlyle said.

Safari Energy has acquired or developed over 600 C&I solar projects across the US since its foundation in 2008, spanning 24 states and Washington DC. Carlyle said that Safari’s projects have developed over 893MWh of electricity. Aspen has acquired all of Safari’s assets and development platform, including 220MW of operating and under-construction distributed generation solar assets.

Aspen said that following the investment from Carlyle and the Safari acquisition it’s on track to achieve a gigawatt of capacity by mid-decade. “During this critical climate decade, as demand for solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging continues to expand, the Carlyle investment and Safari transaction provide a clear path forward for our team to execute a step-change in the scale of our impact,” said Jackson Lehr, Aspen co-founder and CFO. 

Pooja Goyal, chief investment officer of Carlyle’s infrastructure group, said: “At Carlyle, we believe investing in renewables includes investing across the value chain. This includes investing in not only large utility-scale renewable energy assets, but also community solar and distributed generation more broadly.”

Aspen’s US$120 million fundraise was one of the five largest VC-funded deals of Q1 this year, though total corporate funding of solar fell in the US in the first half of 2022, as reported in PV Tech.

Carlyle invested US$374 million in Canadian renewables developer Amp Energy last year.

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