KKR acquires Canadian solar plants

The New York-based alternative investment giant has acquired three solar photovoltaic plants in Ontario for an undisclosed sum from an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group.

KKR, the US-based global investment firm, has acquired SSM Solar – comprising three solar photovoltaic (PV)energy projects – from an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group, which itself is an affiliate of Starwood Capital, a Connecticut-headquartered private equity firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SSM Solar, located in Sault Ste Marie in Ontario, is the second-largest solar PV facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. It has a total capacity of 69 megawatts DC / 60 megawatts AC and is fully contracted to sell its energy output to the Ontario Power Authority through 20-year power purchase agreements under the Authority’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

“Ontario has been at the forefront of encouraging new development to bring additional renewables capacity online, and with this acquisition, we are playing a meaningful role in the growth of renewables in the province,” said Raj Agrawal, head of North American infrastructure at KKR in a statement.

Overall operation and management of the solar projects will continue to be in the hands of EDF Renewable Energy under three separate long-term operation and maintenance agreements.

Ontario has grown rapidly as a solar power hub, having put in place long-term power purchase agreements to encourage the development of renewable capacity in 2006.

SSM Solar is the eighth infrastructure investment made by KKR and its fourth renewables investment. Among these deals, it has a joint venture with French wind farm operator Sorgenia and a partnership with European solar PV operator T-Solar.

At the end of last year, KKR had $77.5 billion in assets under management. The firm closed a $1 billion infrastructure fund in June 2012.