Spruce Finance, the largest private owner and operator of distributed generation solar residential assets in the U.S., has bought Clearway Energy’s entire portfolio of residential solar assets. The deal is Spruce’s largest to date and the latest example of the company’s residential solar asset “growth by acquisition” strategy in the U.S.
The 53 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar assets acquired from Clearway expands Spruce’s portfolio by 20 percent to more than 250 MW. This brings Spruce’s year-to-date portfolio growth to more than 30 percent, which already matches the 30 percent increase that the company achieved during 2019.
The deal also benefits Spruce’s independent subsidiary, Energy Service Experts (ESE), which has entered into a transitional asset management services partnership with NRG. As a result, ESE has grown to become one of the largest independent providers of residential solar servicing in America, with more than 70,000 customers nationwide.
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“Despite the current global crisis, we expect strong and stable returns—both financial and environmental—from investing in a renewable future,” said Christian Fong, CEO of Spruce Finance. “The Clearway acquisition comes because of our strong relationships with others in the industry, and underscores our ability to stay the course in a challenging time. As a preferred sector in the broader energy and power industry, we are enjoying continued access to the capital markets and keep growing in our residential and distributed generation solar markets.”
News of the Clearway deal comes on the back of Spruce’s recent announcement that it closed a $124 million debt financing deal for its portfolio of residential solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and leases with Vantage Infrastructure and Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund (SEQI). A portion of the capital infusion from those funds has been used to acquire the Clearway assets as part of Spruce’s strategic plan for expanding its holdings through organic growth and M&A activities.
— Solar Builder magazine