Replenishing The Pipeline: EDF Renewable Energy Scoops Up Wind Developer OwnEnergy

Mark Del Franco
Written by Mark Del Franco
on August 25, 2015 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) has acquired Brooklyn, N.Y.-based OwnEnergy, a national developer of midsize wind projects. The transaction includes 100% of OwnEnergy's assets, including its pipeline of future wind projects. A purchase price was not disclosed.

EDF RE – one of North America's largest renewable energy developers, with 6 GW of renewables installed – had not actively sought out the acquisition, Tristan Grimbert, EDF RE's president and CEO, tells NAW.

He says the deal was largely spurred on by yieldco pressures evident in the U.S. market last winter when SunEdison acquired Boston-based developer First Wind.

EDF RE has been focused more on late-stage development and the implementation of acquired projects in recent years.

‘However, when we saw the opportunity to replenish our pipeline with 2 GW of wind, we were really invigorated,’ Grimbert says, describing the development pipeline of the two companies as ‘complementary.’

For his part, Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy's founder and CEO, says little will change. ‘We get to keep approaching wind development the way we always have.’

OwnEnergy – which has eight wind projects in construction, representing 329 MW – will remain a semi-autonomous company in the near-term until the parties set a permanent course of action.

The deal also provides an opportunity to target the growing industrial and corporate off-take segment – a market that OwnEnergy has already tapped. For example, search engine giant Yahoo! Inc. has agreed to purchase a percentage of the output generated by OwnEnergy's Alexander Wind Farm, located in Rush County, Kan.

Market watchers noted how the deal's synergies will benefit both wind developers.

‘OwnEnergy's experience with a corporate off-taker, such as Yahoo, may improve EDF's conversion of opportunities in this important demand segment,’ notes Luke Lewandowski, research manager at MAKE Consulting in Chicago. ‘OwnEnergy's development pipeline in the northeast complements EDF's existing footprint and will broaden the reach of EDF's operations and maintenance service sector.’

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