KKR and EIG invest more than $1 billion in equity and debt financing in Avantus


Global investment firm KKR announced the signing of an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Avantus, marking KKR’s first U.S. investment under its global climate strategy.

The investment reflects the rapid growth in solar in the U.S. In 2023, solar made up over half of new generating capacity for the first time. The report estimates that in 2023, the U.S. solar market installed 32.4 GWdc of capacity, a 51% increase from 2022. This was the industry’s biggest installation year by far, exceeding 30 GWdc of capacity for the first time.

“Solar is the fastest growing electricity source in the U.S., and along with energy storage, will serve as the backbone of a modern electric grid that is clean, reliable and resilient,” said Patrick Goff, chief financial officer at Avantus. “KKR’s investment provides Avantus the financial backing and expertise to execute on our ambitious portfolio and lead the energy transition across the Western United States.”

Founded in 2009 as 8Minute Solar Energy by Tom Buttgenbach with the intention of fighting climate change by developing renewable energy at scale. The company expanded that vision in 2022 to include what it calls an “advanced ecosystem” of clean energy products and services. With the expanded vision came the new name, Avantus, and the plan to bring to life one of the largest clean energy development pipelines in the country.

Avantus has a project pipeline of 30 GW of solar and 94 GWh of battery storage, enough to provide 20 million people with clean energy. The company has developed and sold 6.5 GW and 6.3 GWh of solar and storage projects, respectively.

Following the close of the transaction, KKR and existing investor EIG, will be the sole equity investors in Avantus. Both equity sponsors secured commitments for a development financing facility alongside their equity commitments to the company, totaling upwards of $1 billion in the aggregate.

“To support an economy-wide energy transition, there is a need to significantly expand renewable energy generation by 2050 and enable grid electrification,” said Charlie Gailliot, partner and co-head of global climate strategy, KKR. “Because of these tailwinds, we see enormous opportunity for Avantus. The company’s impressive team and development track record, coupled with its mature project pipeline, set it apart from other renewables developers.”

Following the closing of the transaction, KKR announced plans to support Avantus in creating an equity ownership program to provide all employees the opportunity to participate in the benefits of ownership of the company. Since 2011, KKR reports its portfolio companies have awarded billions of dollars of total equity value to over 60,000 non-management employees across more than 40 companies.

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