sPower announced today the acquisition of nine solar projects in New York from National Grid Renewables, the renewable energy arm of National Grid's competitive, unregulated division. The portfolio includes projects in Franklin, Jefferson, Chautauqua, Lewis, and other counties across Upstate New York. This portfolio is estimated to have a 1-gigawatt (GWdc) capacity of renewable energy.
Six of the nine projects are currently in the early stages of the Article 10 permitting application process. The projects are expected to reach commercial operation between December of 2022 and December of 2023.
The news of this portfolio acquisition from National Grid Renewables comes as sPower announces a merger with The AES Corporation's (AES) US-based clean energy development business. sPower has been jointly-owned by AES and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMco) since 2017. The AES-sPower transaction is expected to close in the next few months upon successful completion of customary closing conditions. AES Clean Energy will also include AES Distributed Energy and a wind development team formerly part of Advanced Energy. The merged business will represent one of the top renewable growth platforms in the country. In New York, the company will have a combined operating portfolio of nearly 150-megawatts (MWdc) and a more than 1-gigawatt development portfolio.
"Our merged renewables platform will bring together sPower and AES' differentiated capabilities in solar, wind, and energy storage. Through this platform, we look to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free future, a vision we share with New York State," said Leo Moreno, president of AES Clean Energy. "We are thrilled to further expand in New York and look forward to continuing to build a platform that is uniquely positioned to help the state realize its goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030."
"As one of the largest project-portfolio acquisitions in sPower's history, this is a tremendous feat. It was made possible through the hard work of our team and collaboration with National Grid Renewables," said Brian Callaway, Vice President of Structured Finance and M&A. "This transaction highlights our leadership in strategic acquisitions and partnerships as part of our holistic renewable energy development strategy."
The more than 1-gigawatt acquired portfolio will provide significant benefits to the region, including economic benefits for the local communities, counties, and State in the form of clean, renewable energy generation and economic development through construction, operations, and maintenance jobs, expenditures for supplies and materials, lease payments to participating landowners, and tax payments to local communities. sPower also intendsto hire local Union Labor, whenever possible, throughout the portfolio's development. "We are actively working to develop this portfolio in a way that benefits communities and allows for their input throughout the process," said Mike Farrell, sPower's New York-based Senior Manager of Solar Development. "As we move forward, we remain committed to local communities and developing the project portfolio in a way that is mutually beneficial."