Google, KKR invest in six Recurrent Energy solar projects

Google, KKR and Recurrent Energy announced Nov. 14 that Google and KKR are making an investment in six solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities that are currently being developed and will be managed by Recurrent Energy.

The facilities, located in California and Arizona, have a combined production capacity of approximately 106 MW and will provide power to local utilities and municipal offtakers under long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Capital for the projects was provided by equity investments from Google and KKR, as well as debt financing.

The three companies made a similar announcement in December 2011, when Google and KKR invested in four utility-scale solar facilities near Sacramento, Calif., developed by Recurrent Energy.

“Google and KKR’s continued partnership with Recurrent Energy showcases their strong commitment to a clean energy future,” said Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “Their leadership in clean energy investment further validates solar as an integral part of our energy economy.”

The solar facilities include five projects in Southern California and one in Arizona and will provide power to three offtakers, including Southern California Edison. The six projects are expected to be operational by January 2014.

This is Google’s 14th renewable energy investment. To date the company said it has committed more than $1bn to renewable energy across a wide range of technologies, from off-shore transmission to the world’s largest wind and solar power projects.

“Investing in renewable energy is core to Google’s values—we believe strongly in making investments that are both good for the environment and good for business,” said Kojo Ako-Asare, Head of Corporate Finance for Google. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with KKR and Recurrent Energy by investing in these fantastic solar facilities.”

“This partnership is ultimately about growing our clean energy resources in North America,” said Ravi Gupta, a senior member of KKR’s Infrastructure team. “As states like California and Arizona adopt high standards for the use of renewable energy, we believe private capital partners can play an important role in helping them meet those goals.”

KKR is making the investment in this six-project portfolio from its infrastructure fund. Over the last three years, KKR has made five renewable energy investments, including wind generation in France and solar generation in Spain, Canada and the U.S., including the initial investment from the $100m SunTap partnership with Recurrent Energy, which was announced in 2011.

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $90.2bn in assets under management as of September 30, 2013. KKR & Co L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR). KKR as a reference collectively includes its subsidiaries, their managed investment funds and accounts, and/or their affiliated investment vehicles, as appropriate.

Recurrent Energy has more than 2 GW of solar projects in development in North America. Google is the internet search engine company.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.