OMERS Acquires Navisun, Gets Into Distributed Generation Space
Canadian investor OMERS Infrastructure said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire US distributed generation solar power producer Navisun LLC from a fund managed by Ares Management Corp (NYSE:ARES).
The move marks an entry for OMERS Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment manager of Canadian pension plan OMERS, into the distributed generation space.
Set up in 2017, Hingham, Massachusetts-based Navisun co-develops, acquires, builds, owns and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar and storage projects, typically 1 MW to 30 MW in size, across the US.
OMERS Infrastructure said it will support Navisun in growing into a major distributed generation solar power and storage platform.
Navisun will add to OMERS Infrastructure’s renewable energy investments, which include Leeward Renewable Energy, an owner of more than 2 GW of installed renewable energy capacity in the US. Earlier in 2021, OMERS Infrastructure acquired a 19.4% stake in Indian renewable power producer Azure Power Global Ltd (NYSE:AZRE). In October, it agreed to buy 49% of the Aussie unit of Spain-based Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV).
OMERS put out a press release on this deal earlier today:
- Canadian Pension Plan Accelerates Sustainable Investing Momentum
- OMERS Infrastructure Portfolio Marks Fourth Renewables Deal of 2021
NEW YORK and TORONTO, Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OMERS Infrastructure today announced that it has signed an agreement with a fund managed by Ares Management Corporation to acquire 100% of Navisun LLC, an independent distributed generation solar power producer. Navisun acquires, co-develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout the United States.
“We are pleased to announce our investment in Navisun and look forward to working with founders John Malloy and Doug Johnsen and the rest of the management team to continue to scale its business. Navisun, like OMERS Infrastructure, is truly focused on building long-term partnerships. We are excited at this opportunity to help Navisun realize its objectives of growing into a major distributed generation solar power and storage platform,” said Tom Frazier, Managing Director, Americas, OMERS Infrastructure.
“Navisun will be a superb addition to OMERS Infrastructure’s portfolio of high-quality infrastructure assets. Our work with Navisun will not only position us to further participate in the ongoing global energy transition, but also signals our formal entry into the distributed generation space – helping bring additional diversity to our global renewable energy holdings, which now stretch across three continents,” added Gisele Everett, Senior Managing Director, Americas, OMERS Infrastructure.
“We are excited to announce Navisun’s partnership with OMERS, a deeply-experienced global investor. Our shared goal is to significantly expand Navisun’s position as a leading solar and storage independent power producer. OMERS long-term backing further strengthens the execution certainty for which Navisun is proudly known. The powerful combination of OMERS as investor with Navisun’s capabilities and track record in distributed generation positions us to deliver on a wider array of opportunities to increase Americans’ access to clean, renewable solar power,” said John Malloy, Navisun’s co-founder and Managing Partner.
“We are delighted that OMERS will continue to build Navisun into a premier renewable energy asset. The creation of Navisun in 2017 reflects Ares’s commitment to climate infrastructure, meeting our sustainability objectives and being at the forefront of the renewable energy transition. Navisun experienced strong growth during our ownership, and we are proud of the team’s success in creating clean power and jobs across the United States,” said Mike Roth, Managing Director in Ares Infrastructure and Power.
Based in Hingham, Massachusetts and founded in 2017, Navisun targets solar power and storage projects ranging from ~1MW to 30 MW. The company’s many competitive advantages include deep expertise in all aspects of the solar and storage value chain such as development, engineering, construction, finance, operations, and asset management.
CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities LLC served as financial advisor to OMERS. Shearman & Sterling LLP was OMERS legal advisor. The transaction is expected to close Q1 2022, subject to regulatory requirements. Further financial information will not be disclosed.
Note to Editors – OMERS Renewable Investments:
OMERS Infrastructure’s global renewable energy holdings include Leeward Renewable Energy, which owns and operates a portfolio of 22 renewable energy facilities totaling more than 2 GW of installed capacity across the U.S. In April, Leeward closed on the purchase of a utility-scale solar project platform which included approximately 10 GW of development projects from First Solar. Leeward now has 17 GW of projects under development across wind, solar and storage.
Earlier this year OMERS Infrastructure acquired an approximately 19.4% stake in Azure Power Global Limited (NYSE: AZRE), a leading independent renewable power producer located in India, with an asset base of ~2 GW of operational capacity and ~5 GW of capacity under construction or awarded. In October, OMERS Infrastructure signed an agreement to buy 49% of FRV Australia, a key solar power producer in that country, with 637 MW of capacity already operational or under construction, and more than 3 GW of multi-technology development projects.
This is a big deal for OMERS Infrastructure as its the first foray into the distributed generation space.
You can learn more about Navisun here:
To be a leading solar and storage independent power producer driving the transition to a
To work collaboratively with our trusted partners and customers to co-develop, acquire, build,
own and operate high-quality solar and storage projects – investing our reputation in each and
So what? What does this mean in practical terms?
Well, let me give you a concrete example.
In August, Navisun announced that its community solar landfill project in Linden, New Jersey will expand equitable clean energy access as it nears completion:
Navisun LLC, a solar independent power producer that co-develops, acquires, owns, and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar projects, announced that its Linden Hawk Rise 4.5 MW community solar project in Union County, New Jersey is nearing completion. Built on the City of Linden's former landfill, this project is converting a previously unusable site into a productive solar farm that will provide more affordable clean energy access to about 800 residents, over half of whom are low- and moderate-income (LMI).
The Linden Hawk Rise project is one of 45 solar projects, totaling 78 MW, that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) rigorously reviewed, scored and awarded in Program Year 1 of New Jersey's Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. As part of the program, the Linden Hawk Rise project enables PSE&G utility customers in Linden and adjacent municipalities to access clean energy from solar energy projects located remotely from their property – without having to purchase and install solar panels. To expand equitable access to clean electricity, the program also provides guaranteed savings of 10 to 15 percent for all customers. Residents who are interested can go to https://njlocalsolar.com/ or call (732) 847-4876 to sign up.
"We are pleased to support both the City of Linden as well as the State of New Jersey in leading the way forward to our collective carbon-free future by providing clean energy access, and associated savings, to local residents," said Carl Engelbourg, Marketing Consultant at Navisun. "As a long-term owner and operator of community solar facilities, we are proud to work with the community and be a part of New Jersey's community solar pilot program."
Clean energy equity is a critical goal of New Jersey Governor Murphy's push to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. It is estimated that only half of U.S. residents have rooftops suitable for solar energy installations, as nearly 80 percent of U.S. states now have community solar projects in place to overcome this clean energy access disparity. With over 135,000 solar installations, New Jersey is the number one state in the country for installed solar capacity per square mile, and has the most planned community solar capacity serving LMI households. Due to the success of Program Year 1 of the state's community solar pilot program thus far, the NJBPU doubled the size of Program Year 2 projects awards, all of which include LMI requirements.
The rules for New Jersey's nation-leading community solar program were set by the NJBPU, which continues to closely regulate the program. Subscribers can cancel their subscription at any time, do not have any upfront costs, and will have their bill credits shown clearly on their PSE&G bills. Subscriber payment information is also protected by Payment Card Industry compliance standards. For more information and to subscribe to clean energy access, and associated savings, from the Linden Hawk Rise project, please visit: https://njlocalsolar.com/
Navisun LLC is a solar independent power producer within the United States that co-develops, acquires, owns, and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar projects. The Navisun team has completed numerous projects for municipal, commercial, industrial, utility, and institutional partners throughout the United States, with typical project sizes ranging from 1 to 30 megawatts. For more information, visit www.navisunllc.com.
This isn't just ESG investing, it's more like ESG investing with emphasis on the "S".
For those of you who don't know:
Linden is a city located in Union County New Jersey. With a 2020 population of 42,233, it is the 20th largest city in New Jersey and the 931st largest city in the United States . ... The average household income in Linden is $84,499 with a poverty rate of 8.26%.
Not everyone at Linden can afford to install solar panels on their roof, and the same goes for many other cities in the United States.
This is where Navisun comes in, allowing utility customers in Linden and adjacent municipalities to access clean energy from solar energy projects located remotely from their property – without having to purchase and install solar panels.
To expand equitable access to clean electricity, the program in Linden also provides guaranteed savings of 10 to 15 percent for all customers.
In other words, not only does it provide clean energy, it provides significant savings to working class and low-income residents of Linden, New Jersey.
All this to say, this is another great acquisition for OMERS Infrastructure which already has one of the best infrastructure portfolios in the world.
I've covered OMERS' big stake in India's Azure Power as well as its acquisition of Leeward Renewable Energy.
The acquisition of Navisun from Ares complements these deals and I look forward to see OMERS Infrastructure support Navisun in growing into a major distributed generation solar power and storage platform.
Below, community solar is a new business model for residential power enabling people to switch to solar without the upfront cost of home installation, a critical step in bringing lower-income Americans into the green fold.Watch this and learn more about Navisun's community solar project in New Jersey by watching another clip here.
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