Pine Gate sheds its in-house EPC, launches Blue Ridge Power

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Pine Gate Renewables has launched Blue Ridge Power, an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company that will house Pine Gate’s current EPC operations. Along with the launch, Blue Ridge Power acquired the solar division of Horne Brothers Construction, one of the largest mechanical and civil contractors in the country.

With the addition of Horne Brothers, Blue Ridge Power said it will be one of the largest independent solar energy EPC companies in the U.S.

The move by Pine Gate reinforces a recent trend of large solar companies outsourcing their EPC to third parties or subsidiary companies. The trend began in July 2019, when Cypress Creek Renewables announced it would wind down its internal EPC business, shortly after acquiring North Carolina-based FLS Energy. According to Cypress Creek, “EPC made sense when we were concentrated primarily on deploying solar in the Carolinas, but as we have expanded outside of the Carolinas, it makes less sense.”

Later in 2019, First Solar also announced it would shed its EPC arm to “leverage third-party EPC services.”

The rationale was much the same for Pine Gate, with new Blue Ridge CEO, Chris Dunbar, stating that the shift will enable the company “to serve a broader market and cater to the needs of clients looking for a turnkey project solution.”

Blue Ridge Power will maintain its partnership with Pine Gate, serving as exclusive EPC contractor. Pine Gate Renewables said it expects to construct more than 5 GW of projects over the next three years. Beyond of the 5 GW pipeline, the Blue Ridge Power has 700MW currently under construction with 2,500MW forecasted for 2021/2022. It counts more than 550 employees and a construction presence in 17 states.

Pine Gate Renewables was represented on the transaction by Gibson Dunn. Truist Securities Inc. served as financial advisor to Horne Brothers and Smith Anderson provided legal representation.

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