Greenbacker’s strategic investment will support a 1-gigawatt pipeline of solar and storage projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia
New York, N.Y., July 28, 2021 – Greenbacker Capital Management, LLC (“Greenbacker Capital” or “Greenbacker”), a leader in sustainable infrastructure investment, announced today that, through an affiliated fund (the “Fund”), it has made a strategic investment in Commonwealth Energy Partners (“CEP”), through the company’s subsidiary CEP Solar. The investment from Greenbacker will enable CEP to expand and execute on its existing project pipeline, which is focused on solar power and energy storage development in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The renewable energy market there is expected to grow exponentially, as demand for clean energy accelerates across both Virginia and the region’s broader PJM power market. Driven in part by the 2020 passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which mandates a statewide 100% clean energy standard by 2045, Virginia’s regulated market alone is expected to procure at least one gigawatt of solar annually for the next 15 years.
“We are thrilled to join forces with the CEP team as we expand our presence across the Mid-Atlantic and, specifically, in Virginia,” said Benjamin Baker, the Fund’s Managing Director and Principal. “CEP is emblematic of what Greenbacker seeks in its partners: a top-tier management team with deep market knowledge and relationships, operating within an attractive, high-growth market like Virginia.”
CEP was founded in 2020 by Tyson Utt and Richard Wright, an experienced team of Virginia-based solar developers. Prior to co-founding the company, Utt was Vice President of Development, East at Apex Clean Energy, one of the leading renewable energy developers in the US, and Wright served as COO of Heelstone Renewable Energy, a firm focused primarily on solar development in the Southeast.
“Our mission at Commonwealth Energy Partners is to empower the clean economy. Working with the Greenbacker team, who shares our vision and values, will enable CEP Solar to deliver long-term economic and environmental benefits to our partnering landowners, communities, and customers across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Utt and Wright.
Commonwealth was advised by GreenFront Energy Partners, an investment banking and advisory firm focused on sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy.
Greenbacker Capital established the Fund in 2020 to invest in companies focused on sustainable infrastructure development serving high-value markets across the United States. Since inception, the Fund has made investments in half a dozen such companies.