Shell acquires large stake in US solar power firm Silicon Ranch

Seeks to expand its global New Energies footprint

Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc has agreed to acquire a 43.83% stake in US solar power company Silicon Ranch Corporation from Partners Group, the parties announced on Monday.

Shell will pay between USD 193 million (EUR 157m) and USD 217 million in cash for the minority stake, with the final price depending on Silicon Ranch’s performance. Under the terms of the deal, the oil and gas group will also have the chance to increase its position after 2021.

The stake buy is seen wrapping up this quarter, subject to regulatory clearance. Partners Group will continue to support the US solar power company through a newly issued junior debt financing, it said.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch is a developer, owner, and operator of solar power plants. The company’s current portfolio includes some 880 MW of photovoltaic (PV) systems that are contracted, under construction or already operating in 14 states. It also has nearly 1 GW of projects in its development pipeline.

Shell’s entry into Silicon Ranch’s capital will give the oil and gas group a platform to establish a successful global solar business, it said. On the other hand, the transaction will allow the US solar firm to step up its growth strategy by developing new projects, entering new markets and expanding product offerings.

In a similar move but in the UK, last month Shell’s British rival BP Plc said it is buying a 43% stake in solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments Ltd as part of a new strategic partnership. BP expects to pay a total of USD 200 million for the Lightsource stake over a three-year period, including USD 50 million on completion of the transaction.

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