Basalt acquires Detroit Renewable Energy

The London-based firm will join DCO Energy to purchase a group of businesses owned by an Ohio-based energy systems operator.

Detroit Renewable Energy, a group of companies providing renewable energy generation and distribution in Michigan’s largest city, will be acquired by a consortium led by London-based Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

Basalt holds a 90 percent equity share in the consortium, with New Jersey-based DCO Energy holding the remaining 10 percent. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DRE was created in 2010, comprising Detroit Thermal, Detroit Renewable Power and Hamtramck Energy Services. The company is currently owned by Thermal Ventures II, an Ohio-based energy systems operator. Basalt, which also has an office in New York, plans to keep current management of the company in place, with Basalt managing partner Rob Gregor promising “business as usual” for DRE’s customers and stakeholders.

The acquisition will be made by Basalt Infrastructure Partners II, which launched last October with a $1 billion target. The firm is focused on mid-market energy, transport and utility assets in Europe and North America. In May, Basalt invested in a 57MW solar portfolio in North Carolina.

“The acquisition of DRE continues Basalt’s strategy of investing in high-quality, core infrastructure assets in the utility, energy and transport sectors,” Gregor told Infrastructure Investor in an e-mail response.

Jeff Neil, the head of Basalt’s North American team, added that the firm is “committed to providing DRE with the capital necessary to maintain and improve its energy infrastructure”.

The investment is Basalt’s second in Michigan, as the firm also holds the Upper Peninsula Power Company in the state's northern peninsula. Basalt’s other assets include the Texas Microgrid backup generator, the McEwan portfolio of 10 UK solar plants and the Madrid Metro light rail PPP.