CleanCapital acquires brownfield solar developer BQ Energy


CleanCapital acquired 100% of the ownership interests in BQ Energy (BQE), a renowned landfill and brownfield renewable energy developer, and plans to leverage its expertise in this segment as a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of CleanCapital. CleanCapital will fund the development of projects in BQE’s substantial long-term pipeline.

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The acquisition of BQE includes a pipeline of late-stage development solar projects totaling over 300 MW and mid-stage development solar projects totaling more than 700 MW that have a likelihood of becoming interconnected in late 2022 or early 2023.

“CleanCapital prides itself in leading the investment community into new clean energy segments,” said Thomas Byrne, CEO of CleanCapital. ”BQE finds land left in environmental disrepair and gives it new life with on-site clean energy projects, doubling the climate-related impact of these assets. We are excited to welcome their exceptional team into the CleanCapital family.”

CleanCapital continues to deepen its position in the clean energy market (and move up the leaderboard in solar’s mid-market), evolving from simply acquiring operating solar assets to a more expansive approach that includes development and construction of solar and storage assets.

BQE develops community solar, commercial & industrial (C&I) solar, and utility-scale solar assets on landfills and retired industrial sites including refineries, steel mills, coal plants, and mines, converting environmentally compromised land into a source of clean, renewable energy for the benefit of surrounding communities.

“We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the considerable opportunities in this space,” said Paul Curran, CEO of BQ Energy. “Working under the CleanCapital umbrella provides tremendous synergies for our teams. With CleanCapital’s financial backing, our development team can focus on what they are great at—rather than raising capital piecemeal, we can get more brownfield solar projects developed and built.”

Annapolis Solar Park, Md.

This acquisition, along with a 65 MW acquisition announced in February, is part of a series of investments that followed CleanCapital’s $300 million commitment from Manulife announced last year. To date, CleanCapital has successfully acquired and managed 200 projects in 24 states totaling more than 300 MW. Its cumulative acquisitions total more than $800 million, solidifying its position as one of the top ten commercial solar asset owners in the U.S.

CleanCapital engaged Kirkland & Ellis LLP as buyer’s counsel on this transaction. BQ Energy was represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Brownfield properties are often affected by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. The EPA estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, uses existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, opens land and improves and protects the environment. Furthermore, installing solar and storage on these properties provides local tribes and other communities with clean energy and increased resiliency.

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