Shell gets into U.S. solar industry with latest acquisition

Shell Solar panels

Shell acquires interest in U.S solar company Silicon Ranch. Progresses our New Energies strategy and provides our U.S. customers with additional solar renewable options. (PRNewsfoto/Shell)

If you can’t beat ’em, acquire ’em. Shell is expanding its reach into renewable energy, signing an agreement to acquire a 43.83 percent interest in U.S. solar company Silicon Ranch Corp. from funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group. Consideration for the shares is between $193 and $217 million contingent on Silicon Ranch achieving predetermined milestones. A separate agreement with Silicon Ranch will give Shell the possibility to increase its ownership after 2021. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2018.

“Partnering with Silicon Ranch Corporation progresses our New Energies strategy and provides our U.S. customers with additional solar renewable options,” said Marc van Gerven, Shell Vice President of Solar. “With this entry into the fast-growing solar sec-tor, Shell is able to leverage its expertise as one of the top three wholesale power sellers in the U.S, while expanding its global New Energies footprint.”

This investment is part of Shell’s New Energies power portfolio, which prioritizes low carbon generation and storage. Shell’s interest in Silicon Ranch includes an existing portfolio of approximately 880 megawatts of projects in operation or contracted.

Who is Silicon Ranch? Based in Nashville, it specializes in full service development of commercial and utility-scale projects, building over 2.5 gigawatts of conventional and renewable generation assets, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP represented Shell in the acquisition. Eversheds Sutherland’s US Energy and Infrastructure Partner Ram C. Sunkara led the deal team with support from US Corporate Partner Michael J. Voynich, US Tax and Tax Equity Partner Amish M. Shah, and US Energy and Infrastructure Associate Kyle E. Wamstad.

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