CleanCapital announced that it has acquired landfill and brownfield development specialist, BQ Energy, as well as the company’s entire development pipeline.
According to CleanCapital, BQ Energy will continue operations as a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary, and CleanCapital will fund the development of projects in BQ’s substantial long-term project development pipeline. BQ said its pipeline is comprised of more than 300 MW of late-stage development solar projects, bolstered by over 700 MW of mid-stage development solar projects, comprised of community solar, commercial & industrial (C&I), and utility-scale assets on landfills and retired industrial sites including refineries, steel mills, coal plants, and mines.
“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.”
The deal also represents action on CleaCapital’s evolving philosophy on its place in the renewable energy transition, as it looks to move from acquiring operating solar assets to a more expansive approach including development and construction of solar and storage assets.
According to CleanCapital, the acquisition was enabled by the $300 million investment that Manulife made in CleanCapital in 2021. That same investment also enabled CleanCapital’s Feb. 2022 acquisition of a 39-project, 65.3MW portfolio of solar assets spanning 12 states from BR Group Holdings.
The 39 projects outlined in the acquisition are spread across 91 total sites, ranging from 0.2 MW to 6.5 MW in size. The portfolio includes a number of projects providing solar energy to schools, including 20 carport assets serving California’s Stockton Unified School District and 16 sites serving the Hawaii Department of Education. The portfolio also includes 11.5 MW of Minnesota community solar projects with various C&I off-takers.
To date, CleanCapital has successfully acquired and managed 200 projects in 24 states totaling more than 300 MW.
BQ Energy is one of the developers of a 52 MW solar project is set to be installed on a former landfill site in Houston, Texas. Most of the project, 50 MW, will be utility-scale electricity, delivered by Centerpoint Energy, and owned and operated by BQ, as well as fellow developer, Wolfe Energy. The remaining 2 MW will be dedicated as community solar projects.
The project is expected to bring 100 jobs to the local community, create enough power for 5,000 to 10,000 homes with clean, locally generated electricity, and offset 54,432 metric tons of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent of the carbon output of 43,000 gas-powered cars on the road annually. It is slated to break ground in early 2023 and reach commercial operations in July 2023.
Rocky Mountain Institute said there are more than 10,000 closed and inactive landfills across the country, offering an opportunity for solar development. It developed a comprehensive report, “The Future of Landfills is Bright,” designed for elected officials, policymakers, planners, and developers, to learn how landfill solar can be part of a broader clean energy and land-use strategy to achieve ambitious community-wide climate, sustainability, and environmental justice goals.
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