8minutenergy Renewables, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and an affiliate of Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners have entered into a joint venture (JV) to provide equity capital to support the former’s 10.7GW pipeline of utility solar + storage projects.
The joint venture, along with investment from 8minutenergy CEO, Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, provides over $200 million in capital commitments.
8minutenergy is wholly owned by Buttgenbach and its management team as of December 6, 2018. Buttgenbach, who co-founded 8minutenergy in 2009, earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).
His technology-focused background, combined with experience leading transactions totaling over $6 billion in land development, power purchase agreements, and project finance deals will be instrumental in 8minutenergy’s growth strategy moving forward.
8minutenergy president & CEO Buttgenbach said: “We thank J.P. Morgan and Upper Bay for bringing the long-term focus and financial resources to enable us to unleash the full potential of our pipeline and incredibly talented team.
“We have been the largest and most successful solar developer in California, and have expanded our cost leadership across the U.S., developing a solar and storage project pipeline of 10.7 GW.
“A testament to our low-cost leadership is the 420 MW Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar plant in Nevada, which at 2.3 cents/kWh fixed for 25 years, holds the record for lowest-price solar PPA in the nation. In Texas, which is a purely price-driven competitive market, we will start construction of our 280 MW Holstein 1 power plant in the second quarter of 2019.”
J.P. Morgan Asset Management managing director and portfolio manager Michael Lehman said: “We’ve been very impressed with the 8minutenergy team and their ability to deliver sustainable returns through their utility-scale solar projects. 8minutenergy has a premier development process that consistently delivers attractive solar projects with long-term, contracted cash flows.”
Upper Bay managing partner and president Mario Maselli said: “We are very excited to solidify a partnership with 8minutenergy as clean energy is a key focus for our firm. The 8minutenergy team offers a strong track record with over 2 GW of PPAs awarded and a deep pipeline of more than 10 GW of projects.”
8minutenergy also announced that Alex O’Cinneide, founder and CEO of Gore Street Capital, will rejoin the Company’s Advisory Board.
O’Cinneide said: “I am excited to rejoin the advisory board of the company as it continues its extraordinary growth path. I look forward to leveraging the experience of financing utility-scale energy storage projects for the company, gained through running the first publicly traded fund established to invest in diversified utility-scale energy storage projects.”
“I’ve remained incredibly impressed with 8minutenergy’s team, and I look forward to working with them to continue solar + storage’s momentum as the best energy source of the future.”
Scotia Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch were the lead financial advisors to the joint venture transaction. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; Winston & Strawn LLP; Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe acted as legal counsel to Buttgenbach and 8minutenergy. Proskauer Rose LLP and Bracewell LLP acted as legal counsel to J.P. Morgan and Upper Bay respectively.
Source: Company Press Release