D.E. Shaw, Bright Plain acquire two solar projects in Indiana

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) and Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE) announced May 21 the acquisition of two solar projects with a combined capacity of 7.1 MW (dc) located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The projects were developed by Community Energy Inc. (CEI) and acquired by an affiliate of DESRI in partnership with BPRE. The sites are located on industrial property owned by Citizens Energy Group, including a former monofill landfill.

groSolar will serve as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the projects, and provide operations and maintenance services to the facilities once they are operational later this year. The projects are expected to produce more than 9,000 MWhs of clean energy per year for customers of Indianapolis Power & Light, which is a subsidiary of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES). KeyBank National Association provided financing for the acquisition, construction, and operation of the projects.

“DESRI is excited to expand our footprint in Indiana,” said Bryan Martin, managing director and head of U.S. Private Equity at the D. E. Shaw group. “We have successfully completed projects on other closed landfills and are looking forward to transforming the Marion site into a world class renewable energy facility for the residents and businesses of Indianapolis.”

“This collaboration demonstrates Citizens’ commitment to green infrastructure and optimizing our industrial land to create sustainable results for our community,” said Jeffrey Harrison, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Citizens Energy Group.

“CEI has a long history of developing renewable energy projects tailored to community needs,” said Eric Blank, Executive Vice President and Founder of CEI. “We are pleased to have successfully developed this landfill solar project for DESRI and BPRE.”

Jamie Resor, Chief Executive Officer of groSolar, added, “We are very pleased to draw on our expertise constructing PV projects atop technically challenging and environmentally sensitive sites to make these projects a success.”

“We are very pleased to have played a leading role in the financing of the Marion site transformation,” said Aaron Klein, vice president, KeyBanc Capital Markets Utility, Power & Renewable Energy Group. “The financing of this type of project demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and renewable projects with solid fundamentals.”

DESRI and its affiliates acquire long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with approximately $36 billion in investment capital as of April 1, 2015 and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Bright Plain Renewable Energy was founded in 2011 by industry veterans David Buzby and William Lee as an operating platform to acquire and manage solar projects across North America. Based in San Francisco, BPRE builds lasting relationships with leading project developers, provides efficient and knowledgeable capital, and manages a diversified portfolio of commercial and utility solar projects.

Since its inception in 1999, Community Energy has developed more than 1,000 MW of solar and wind power. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and offices in Boulder, Colorado, Community Energy has a strong presence in both eastern and western renewable energy markets.

groSolar has been providing turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for more than 15 years. Clients include developers, financiers, utilities, government, and others. groSolar has designed, built, and procured equipment for more than 200 MW of solar PV systems across the U.S. groSolar also provides operation and maintenance (O&M) services for solar PV system owners.

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area.

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.