Ares EIF to sell newly-operational, 322-MW Pio Pico plant in California

Ares Management LP (NYSE: ARES) announced Dec. 13 that a fund managed by the Ares EIF Group has agreed to sell the Pio Pico Energy Center, a 322-MW simple cycle gas-fired facility located in Otay Mesa, California, to institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The buyer was supported by its existing independent power platform, Southwest Generation. Terms of the deal were not announced, and the transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and consents.

Ares EIF developed, financed and constructed Pio Pico, which began commercial operations in November 2016. The project utilizes state-of-the-art General Electric LMS100 technology, which features the leading simple cycle efficiency in the industry. Pio Pico’s flexible quick-start capabilities support grid stability and the continued integration of renewable resources such as wind and solar generation in California. The capacity and energy generated by the project is provided to San Diego Gas & Electric under a long-term, 25-year power purchase and tolling agreement.

“Today’s announcement is a culmination of years of development and construction efforts and is representative of our firm’s commitment to developing new, reliable and efficient power generation in markets like California, where there is strong demand for these types of projects,” said Warren MacGillivray, a Partner in the Ares EIF Group. “We are proud to have led every phase of this project, from development to financing to construction to bringing the project into operations where it will be instrumental in supporting California’s renewable goals.”

“Pio Pico is a unique asset providing long-term cash flow visibility that complements our growing portfolio of long-term contracted thermal and renewable generation assets,” said Matt LeBlanc, Chief Investment Officer, OECD Infrastructure at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Since 2002, Ares EIF has invested in more than 8,200 MW of greenfield generation and transmission construction projects representing nearly $10 billion of capital costs. Pio Pico is the latest of these facilities to reach commercial operations. Ares EIF’s other noteworthy greenfield projects which have been developed, constructed, operated and subsequently monetized are Astoria Energy I and II in New York City, the Neptune Regional Transmission System in NY/NJ, and the Path 15 Transmission Upgrade in California.

The Ares EIF Group, formerly known as Energy Investors Funds (EIF), was acquired by Ares in January 2015. Founded in 1987, Ares EIF has a 29-year track record and is one of the first managers focused on the independent power and electric utility industry.

Ares Management LP is a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $97 billion of assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2016, and more than 15 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets has more than $96 billion in assets under management and more than 400 professionals in 20 offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, as of Sept. 30, 2016.

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.