The Canadian-based investment group, Power Energy Corp, has expanded into the U.S. solar market by acquiring Nautilus Solar, a U.S. company headquartered in New Jersey. This past week, Power Energy Corp took full control of the American solar energy provider.
The acquisition is one of a trend that highlights the fact that more institutional investors are making their mark in the community solar space. Power Corp has a history of investing in environmentally-conscious companies.
Pierre-Olivier Perras, the president of Power Energy Corp, said: “The U.S. is a huge market. I like to say that it’s 10-to-1 scale between the U.S. and Canada; it’s probably more than that in renewables. We looked at the U.S. market for a while and felt the community solar space is where we wanted to be.”
Perras also hinted that the history of reliable cash flow and a long asset life connected with renewable energy aligns with the company’s dividend objectives.
Power Energy also owns Potentia, a wind and solar developer, and has partial interests in Lion Electric Company, an electric bus manufacturer, and Lumenpulse, an LED lighting enterprise.
Nautilus has a history of developing, acquiring, building, and financing municipal, commercial solar projects, and utility projects. But, community solar projects have been its primary focus. As such, community solar projects require more local connections and knowledge to bring it its subscribers, and Perras noted that Nautilus is a great “entry point” for his company to make its way in the U.S. market.
Nautilus co-CEO Laura Stern said the acquisition offers her company a better vision for the future as well as competitive capital to focus more on scaling.
“It also brings benefits of being wholly owned by such a well-capitalized company,” Stern said.
The acquisition of Nautilus is just one of a trend of community solar developers being acquired by way of institutional capital. North American Infrastructure Fund purchased Clean Energy Collective in April. And Geronimo Energy was acquired by National Grid in March. Other acquisitions have also taken place in the region.
Some analysts point out that community solar has become one of the fastest-growing, financially sound investments.