US$300 million in new funding from Manulife Investment Management will enable CleanCapital, a clean energy investment platform mostly focused on distributed solar, to also provide “long-term, flexible capital” to energy storage developers.
Our sister site PV Tech reported last week that CleanCapital had secured the funding to help grow its asset portfolio, coming as CleanCapital bought two renewable energy portfolios totalling 63MW in deals worth US$775 million, including operating solar, new-build solar and energy storage systems.
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Thomas Byrne, CleanCapital’s chief executive, said that Manulife’s investment would provide the company with the capacity to offer “a multitude” of investment services and solutions to mid-market renewable energy companies.
The company has bought a 16MW solar portfolio with 30 assets across 10 US states, which is expected to begin construction this year, and has also become the sole owner of a 46.9 MW operating commercial and industrial (C&I) solar portfolio, after buying the assets through an equity partnership with investor BlackRock in 2019.
The second portfolio covers 60 projects in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and the energy they produce is contracted by 26 offtakers through long-term power purchase agreements (PPA). CleanCapital now oversees 200MW of renewable assets in the US, with 152 projects in 18 states having individual capacities in the 25kW-12.6MW region.
Energy storage: a critical component of the clean energy transition
While the Manulife funding will initially fund the two portfolios above, CleanCapital CEO Thomas Byrne told Energy-Storage.news that his company sees storage “growing in many markets, in part driven by policies but also driven by a decarbonising economy”.
“Energy storage is a critical component to transitioning to a clean energy future. Therefore, CleanCapital needs to be an active participant in the space,” Byrne told Energy-Storage.news.
“This investment enables CleanCapital to provide long-term, flexible capital to energy storage developers in order to accelerate growth in the market.”
“Many states right now need storage to provide a resilient grid. Investing in storage and deploying storage is mission-critical to the energy transition and we plan to play a leading role. Our mission is to connect investment dollars to opportunities in the transforming energy market, and we can't do that if we're not a leader in the energy storage space. Storage and solar-plus-storage are both growth opportunities, and we anticipate closing on a number of interesting storage deals this year.”
This story first appeared in its original form on PV Tech.
Additional reporting for Energy-Storage.news by Andy Colthorpe.