PS Renewables buys American solar developer NCRE and connects first US utility-scale solar project

by BPVA on 07 September 2017

PS Renewables buys American solar developer NCRE and connects first US utility-scale solar project

Padero Solaer, (trading as PS Renewables), has purchased 49% of US-based developer NCRE in North Carolina: The acquisition provides the owners of PS Renewables a greater footprint in the United States, having recently set up an office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, whilst also creating real value under the current NCRE business model. The company has also this summer connected a 2.5MW project in New Jersey, USA, which has now been given full permission to operate under the US Federal & State Interconnection rules.
NCRE is a US-based utility scale solar developer, working with a number of large customers under strict Development Services Agreements (DSA’s). These off-take customers (asset funders and EPCs) have access to over 1.1 GW of potential projects over the coming 24 months.
The purchase of NCRE will enable PS Renewables to create and further enhance its relationship with other financial institutions and interested parties looking for larger solar assets (typically around 100 MW) in the USA. As major shareholder, PS Renewables will also become a co-developer on the quality NCRE pipeline, bringing technical, financial and European experience to the mix. As a result, out of the 1.1GW pipeline, PS Renewables has already allocated over 135MW to be co-developed in the USA in the coming six months.
Dan Shaffer, President of NCRE, said: “This new relationship with the team at PS Renewables will take the business into new development levels, and will see a number of important new clients added to the already impressive portfolio of customers.”
Matt Hazell, Commercial Director, PS Renewables’ UK business, said: “This acquisition is key to our success in the United States. NCRE has a very strong pipeline with quality partners and funders looking for this type of asset class. As our solar development business grows in the US, this is a fantastic fit for the owners of the business, as we can feed our EPC business whilst also creating value for NCRE’s existing customers.”
NCRE has legally contracted Developer Services Agreements for over 500MW of projects, as well as over 600MW of early-stage development sites that will be available for sale in the coming year mainly in North & South Carolina. It will continue to operate from its office in North Carolina and develop large-scale solar farms, having just secured a bundle of 2MW projects totalling 50MW in South Carolina, with half already pre-allocated.
PS Renewables recently opened an office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to service its growing development business in the North East of the United States (New England) as well as the South East (North & South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee).
The successful connection of its first utility-scale solar project, 2.5MW in New Jersey, will help solidify the company’s position within the US market, and is seen to be a very big achievement from a new European EPC entering the market. The project will enable the business to obtain the generous Investment Tax Credit (ITC), further enhancing the company’s bankability within the U.S. funding space.

Matt Hazell added: “Our first US connection was always going to be a big deal, as building in another country is a tough ask, but the teams nailed this impressive milestone, something we’re all very proud to be part of. This is a fantastic time for any aspirational business in the United States, and the renewables sector is growing extremely fast. We’re very pleased to have identified the right locations to grow and build our development and EPC business, as a new European solar company entering the market - and clearly NCRE will also play a critical part in this.”

PS Renewables now continues to focus on its growing development pipeline, with projects raging from 1 to over 100 MW in the next 6 to 12 months. It is also in advance talks with a number of UK and American funding partners to help deliver the crucial development and EPC funding required for such an aspirational pipeline.

In the UK, PS Renewables continues to build solar farms, having just connected a 475kW system for a private-wire customer. Its respected and growing Operations and Maintenance business has also won three new contracts over the summer.