Royal Dutch Shell-backed Silicon Ranch announced the raise of $775 million in equity capital. The round was led by new investor Manulife Invesment Management, a division of Canada’s largest life insurance firm, which contributed $400 million. Existing investors Shell TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund and Mountain Group partners participated, as well. The deal is expected to close Q1 2022.
Silicon Ranch operates out of Nashville, Tennessee, owning and operating PV assets in 15 states. Shell invested in the developer in 2018, and now owns roughly 45% of the company.
Chief executive Reagan Farr told Reuters the new funds will support the buildout of about 2 GW of PV projects over the next 24 to 36 months, which would double the firm’s installed capacity. The firm has expressed interest in continuing to make acquisitions like last year’s purchase of Clearloop, a firm that sells carbon offset contracts to corporations, and uses the funds to build solar projects in low-income and high-carbon communities.
Last year, Silicon Ranch partnered with Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives to build the 100 MW Lumpkin Solar Farm in Georgia, part of a 435 MW portfolio designed to supply Facebook datacenters with power in pursuit of its 100% renewable energy procurement goals. The project included the installation of more than 300,000 First Solar Series 6 modules. An estimated 300 construction jobs in Georgia were created by the project.
The investment comes as the United States is projected to install 348 GW of solar over the next ten years, representing more than triple the current installed capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
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