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Carlyle Invests $350 Million into Solar Developer Aspen Power Partners

Carlyle Invests $350 Million into Solar Developer Aspen Power Partners

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the lobby outside the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Aspen Power Partners LLC, a distributed generation platform with the mission of accelerating decarbonization, announced a $350 million investment from funds managed by global investment firm Carlyle. The investment supports Aspen’s organic and acquisition-driven growth strategy targeting the community, multifamily, and commercial & industrial solar and storage markets. To launch this strategy, Aspen has acquired Safari Energy, LLC from PPL Corporation.

The acquisition of Safari represents one of the industry’s largest distributed solar C&I transactions to date. Founded in 2008, Safari has acquired or developed more than 600 C&I solar projects nationwide. Spanning 24 states and Washington, D.C., Safari’s projects have generated more than 893,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, or the equivalent of avoiding more than 632,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Aspen has acquired Safari’s complete development platform including its 220 MW portfolio of operating and under-construction distributed generation solar assets. With Carlyle’s investment and the close of the Safari acquisition, Aspen is on track to achieve gigawatt scale by mid-decade.

“At Carlyle, we believe investing in renewables includes investing across the value chain. This includes investing in not only large utility scale renewable energy assets, but also community solar and distributed generation more broadly,” said Pooja Goyal, Chief Investment Officer of Carlyle’s Infrastructure Group. “We are very excited about our partnership with Aspen and look forward to facilitating the growth of their business into a distributed generation platform of scale.”

“We are thrilled to support Aspen at this inflection point and believe the platform is well-positioned to benefit from the transformational shift we see in decarbonizing the economy,” said J.B. Oldenburg, Managing Director on the Renewable and Sustainable Energy team at Carlyle. “Our investment in Aspen is a commitment to accelerating the widespread accessibility and availability of solar and storage, which we believe is accretive to our portfolio by supporting this decade’s ambitious renewable energy and climate change targets.”

See related article: Carlyle Establishes DEI Leadership Network of Portfolio Company CEOs as it Continues Push to Advance Diversity Standards Across the Private Equity Industry

Combining Safari’s leading platform and assets with Aspen’s community solar portfolios and multifamily solar pipeline will create a diversified distributed generation independent power producer. Aspen will continue to support Safari’s solutions-oriented service model and expects to broaden the combined company’s flexibility to meet customers’ evolving needs within the traditionally underserved distributed generation market. The firm is positioned to provide innovative and flexible solutions to the rapidly growing solar and storage marketplace.

“During this critical climate decade, as demand for solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging continues to expand, the Carlyle investment and Safari transaction provide a clear path forward for our team to execute a step-change in the scale of our impact,” said Jackson Lehr, Aspen Co-Founder and CFO.

“We want to thank our existing investors Ultra Capital, Lombard Odier, Redball Ventures, and Two Seven Ventures for supporting our growth to date and welcome the Carlyle team as our partners for this next stage of growth,” said Jorge E. Vargas, Aspen Co-Founder and CEO. “We also welcome our newest teammates from Safari and look forward to all we can accomplish together in the months and years ahead.”

Source: Aspen Power Partners


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