Silicon Ranch, a Nashville-based solar developer, capped 2022 with a $375 million equity raise completed at the end of the calendar year, with the developer intending to disclose an additional $225 million add-on round in the coming weeks.
The utility-scale solar and storage developer capped off $775 million raised over the last year with $1 billion in total funding to be used for construction of its contracted pipeline, new project development, entering new state markets, hiring efforts, as well as new strategic partnerships and acquisitions, Matt Beasley, chief commercial officer, told pv magazine USA.
Additional funding will support the operations and maintenance of its growing operating portfolio consisting of 150 solar projects with 2.3 GW of generation capacity in 15 states, and accelerate its growth strategy with the development of new projects to meet customer needs in markets across the country. The company is on track to double its operational portfolio by late 2025, Beasley said.
The developer’s latest $375 million round was led by existing shareholders which include Manulife Investment Management, TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund, a unit of TD Asset Management, and Mountain Group Partners. The company spokesman said the company’s $225 million round will come from existing shareholders, but declined to mention which investors will fund its last fund raise of the 2022 fiscal year.
“Silicon Ranch has an important role to play in the energy transition, but what makes the work we do so rewarding is to witness the positive impact of our significant investments in communities all across this country,” said Reagan Farr, co-founder and chief executive officer of Silicon Ranch.
For 2023, the developer is nearing completion on two near-term solar facilities for social media giant Meta, the 125 MWAC DeSoto I Solar Farm in Lee County, Georgia, and the 70 MWAC McKellar Solar Farm in Madison County, Tennessee.
Meta is partnered with Silicon Ranch on 16 solar projects in Georgia and Tennessee with total generating capacity of 1.5 GWAC. Eight of the projects are operational generating 630 MWAC of power. Each of the Meta projects uses Silicon Ranch’s Regenerative Energy agrivoltaics model of land management, a solar design and construction approach that co-locates renewable energy production with regenerative agriculture practices.
Silicon Ranch said its agrivoltaic business model is combined with Clearloop, which allows customers to reclaim their carbon footprint in various applications such as farming, commercial or industrial use.
In 2022, despite global supply constraint headwinds affecting the U.S. utility-scale solar market’s importing of solar panels, the company circumnavigated global constraints by signing supply agreements for U.S.-made components from First Solar, Nextracker and SOLARCYCLE.
Silicon Ranch is procuring 4.7 GW of First Solar thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules as well as 1.5 GW of Nextracker solar trackers for the next few years. In September, the company also partnered with SOLARCYCLE as the Oakland, California-based solar module recycling company’s first utility-scale customer.
“While Silicon Ranch’s long-term strategy was already projecting significant growth in the years ahead, the passage of the IRA should present additional opportunities in the decade to come,” said Beasley. “For example, the extension of the investment tax credit does provide a longer runway and more long-term visibility into the ITC, and Silicon Ranch recognizes opportunities to build a meaningful pipeline– through both greenfield development and acquisitions– over the next few years with an eye toward delivery well beyond 2025,” he said.
Silicon Ranch was formed in 2011 by former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen and Matt Kisber, now the company’s chairman. To date the company has raised $1.55 billion from equity investors including TD, Manulife and Shell New Energies, its majority shareholder from a January 2018 acquisition of a 43.83% stake in the company.
The company partners with utilities and regional cooperatives such as Mississippi Power, the United Power Cooperative, Walton Electric Membership Corporation and the Tennessee Valley Authority, with Silicon Ranch typically owning the assets on its balance sheet upon completion. Corporate PPA offtakers of the company include Meta, Nike, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Volkswagen, and Green Power EMC
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