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AES, AIMCo acquire sPower for $853m

by Jody Barhanovich

AES Corp. and Alberta Investment Management Corp. have acquired sPower, the largest independent owner, operator and developer of utility-scale solar assets in the United States, from Fir Tree Partners for $853 million, plus the assumption of $724 million in nonrecourse debt.

The sPower portfolio includes 1,274 megawatts of solar and wind projects in operation or under construction and a development pipeline of more than 10,000 megawatts located in the United States. The operating assets and projects under construction are under long-term Power Purchase Agreements with an average remaining life of 21 years.

“We are very pleased to acquire sPower, the largest independent solar developer in the United States,” says Andrés Gluski, president and CEO at AES. “sPower not only brings 1.3 gigawatts of installed capacity with an average remaining contract life of more than 20 years, but a first-class management and development team with a pipeline of more than 10 gigawatts of projects.”

The transaction is expected to close by third quarter 2017, subject to review or approval by theFederal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and the expiration or termination of any waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. After closing, AES’ ownership of renewable energy projects in operation and under construction will grow from 8,278 megawatts to 9,552 megawatts, including hydro, wind, solar and energy storage.

AES previously announced that its subsidiary, AES Energy Storage, entered into two contracts with San Diego Gas and Electric. AES will install and commission two energy storage arrays totaling 37.5 megawatts using its Advancionenergy storage solution at sites in San Diego County, Calif. The two sites are located in Escondido, Calif., and El Cajon, Calif. Once completed, the Escondido array will be the largest battery-based energy storage project in operation in the United States, employing 30 megawatts of energy storage.

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