Partners Group invests $100m in US utility solar business

The growth capital will help Silicon Ranch Corporation, currently concentrated in the South, expand its business across the country.

Partners Group has made a $100 million equity investment on behalf of its clients in utility-scale solar business Silicon Ranch Corporation in Tennessee.

The capital will help the solar company continue its “organic growth and acquisitions” across the US, according to a statement. Silicon Ranch chief executive Matt Kisber said Partners Group will play a hand in that expansion. “Partners Group’s long track record of investment in the renewable power and energy infrastructure sectors globally will be invaluable in helping us develop our project pipeline and in ensuring the long-term success of our business.”

Silicon Ranch launched in 2011 and operates 100MW of commercial and utility-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi. It also recently completed its first solar installation in Colorado. All of its projects benefit from 20 or 30-year power purchase agreements.

In 2014, an investor group led by Canada-based Greystone Infrastructure Fund made an undisclosed equity commitment to Silicon Ranch. The company installs solar projects for landowners, businesses and utilities and works with other developers to find opportunities. Earlier this month, it agreed to continue a partnership with First Solar to use the developer panels for 231.6MW of future projects.

Silicon Ranch’s largest project to date is the 28.6MW Social Circle Solar Farm in Georgia, where the power is sold to the Georgia Power Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement. It also operates a 9.5MW distributed solar project for a Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Partners Group has invested in solar since 2010. In 2014, it partnered with Equis Funds Group and other investors to invest in solar company Japan Solar. That same year, Partners Group bought 13 Italian solar farms generating a combined 26MW.