EDF Renewables North America (EDFR) and Geenex Solar, LLC (Geenex), announced the close of an agreement of up to 4.5 gigawatt (GWac) pipeline of solar development assets throughout PJM. The pipeline acquisition brings to EDF Renewables the regional development expertise of Geenex, a leader of utility-scale solar development, while EDFR contributes with its financial and late-stage development expertise from a long-term owner and operator perspective. The transaction will accelerate EDFR growth in the PJM wholesale electricity market to meet the growing demands of corporate and utility customers seeking cost-effective renewable energy sources.
Founded in 2012, Geenex is a skilled developer of greenfield utility-scale solar projects ranging in size from 20 megawatt (MW) to more than 400 MW. The team is experienced in all aspects of project development including site evaluation, land acquisition, facility and interconnection engineering, environmental analysis, as well as federal, state and local permitting. In a relatively short time, Geenex has successfully expanded its business by working with the financial team at New Energy Capital. This has allowed them to triple the number of employees and build a development pipeline that has led to over 1.9 GW of solar development sales prior to this transaction.
“Having an industry leader such as EDFR recognize the strength and value of Geenex-developed projects is quite a testimony to the hard work of the Geenex Solar team,” commented Georg Veit, CEO of Geenex. “Our regional approach has enabled us to build a competitive development pipeline of over 20 projects in the PJM market. We are excited by the opportunity to build out this solar pipeline with a development partner such as EDFR. They share our vision on local engagement and long-term commitment to projects that will provide valuable economic benefits for our landowners and our communities.”`
EDF Renewables was introduced to Geenex through the development and construction of the Pecan and Gutenberg solar projects in 2015. “We were initially impressed with the team’s development expertise and distinguished high quality of solar assets,” said Hanson Wood, Vice President, Strategic Development Initiatives, EDF Renewables. “Their regional approach is particularly attractive as they enter markets early and foster strong and deep relationships with the local community. Geenex, as the largest holder of development assets in PJM market, enables EDF Renewables to expand into over five key states where solar is poised to be a market leading technology.”
Jefferies Financial Group served as exclusive financial advisor to Geenex. “It was a real pleasure working alongside Geenex over the course of the last year to support them in achieving their objective of identifying a partner that could bring to bear complimentary skillsets and capabilities. EDF Renewables stood out as a highly dedicated and thoughtful partner throughout this process despite the challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Georges Arbache, Senior Vice President at Jefferies’ Power, Utilities and Infrastructure practice.
The portfolio of project assets in the transaction exceed 20 solar projects in various stages of development. The first projects expect commercial operation in 2023 with other projects to follow.