New Projects, News, Renewables, Solar

Blackstone $850M commitment repositions Connecticut solar power firm for growth

Private equity giant Blackstone is recapitalizing a U.S. solar power company with $850 million in new investment.

Altus Power America, based in Connecticut, announced the Blackstone contribution to refinance its existing capital structure and fund future development. Blackstone made the investment through its GSO Capital Partners LP and Blackstone Insurance Solutions (BIS) Groups.

“We’re incredibly enthusiastic to be partnering with Blackstone as we position our business for accelerating growth,” said Gregg Felton, managing partner of Altus Power. “By providing Altus with a full capital structure solution, including investment-grade rated permanent senior financing, Blackstone is empowering Altus to be one of the most competitive capital partners in distributed generation solar.”

Altus Power America provides clean electricity options for commercial, industrial and municipal clients across the U.S. The recapitalization is intended to help Altus Power grow its portfolio to more than $1 billion in commercial and industrial solar assets.

The recapitalization consists of preferred and minority equity and investment grade-rated debt financing provided by GSO and a BIS-led consortium, respectively, and a construction-to-term loan facility from a syndicate of commercial banks. Both sides say the partnership solidifies Altus Power’s position in the market for locally sited solar arrays.

“We are excited to partner with Altus, a leading developer and operator of solar assets with a best-in-class management team,” said Robert Horn, senior managing director of Blackstone and co-head of GSO’s Energy Group. “Our investment will enable Altus to meet growing demand for low cost, renewable energy in North America and we believe represents an attractive opportunity for our investors.”

Altus Power America was founded in 2009. Last year, it acquired a multi-state operating portfolio of ground-mounted solar assets totaling 19 MW, pushing the company’s total holdings to about 165 MW across 14 states.

The company builds, owns and operates clean energy systems on commercial buildings, schools and municipal sites. It then sells the electricity generated to the host, utility or a third party.

Blackstone also owns Clarion Energy, the parent company of Power Engineering, and POWERGEN International.

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(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He joined Clarion (previously Pennwell) in 2015 after a 30-year career in newspaper journalism, including nearly a decade covering the energy industry. Walton can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).