US solar and energy storage developer Avantus is to receive over a billion dollars of capital injection as KKR takes control of the company alongside existing investor EIG.

Investment firm KKR, investing through its funds and managed accounts, has agreed to acquire the majority stake in the large utility-scale solar and solar-plus-storage projects developer.

KKR said the transaction is the first US investment from its global climate strategy dedicated to investing in solutions at scale to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

As part of the deal, KKR and existing Avantus shareholder EIG, an energy and infrastructure investor, are backing the company’s growth with over $1bn (€915.6m) in combined equity investment and secured financing.

Avantus, founded in 2009 and known as 8minute Solar Energy until September 2022, owns a 30GWp solar project pipeline and a 94GWh battery storage project pipeline. The company has a major presence in the southwestern US and the California power markets.

Charlie Gailliot, partner and co-head of KKR’s global climate strategy, said: “To support an economy-wide energy transition, there is a need to significantly expand renewable energy generation by 2050 and enable grid electrification. Because of these tailwinds, we see enormous opportunity for Avantus.

”The company’s impressive team and development track record, coupled with its mature project pipeline, set it apart from other renewables developers.”  

Cecilio Velasco, managing director in KKR’s infrastructure team, said: “We look forward to working with Avantus and EIG and leveraging KKR’s substantial resources and operational expertise to accelerate the growth of the business.

”Today marks the beginning of a new era for the company, one that will help further the transition of the power sector through sustainable, clean energy solutions.”

Blair Thomas, EIG’s chairman and CEO, said: “EIG has been pleased to support Avantus since 2021, through capital solutions uniquely tailored to the company’s needs and goals.

”Throughout our partnership, Avantus has maintained and extended its position as one of the leading and most innovative renewables developers in the US, helping to spur the industry’s rapid growth and expanding access to affordable, reliable and clean energy.”

Patrick Goff, CFO at Avantus, said: “KKR’s investment provides Avantus the financial backing and expertise to execute on our ambitious portfolio and lead the energy transition across the Western US. We are thrilled to embark on this new chapter with KKR and EIG and continue our company’s growth.”

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