Goldman Sachs, the banking giant with an eye for renewables, has reached close on $1.9 billion of equity capital commitments, bringing the company’s subsidiary, Goldman Sachs Renewable Power, to an investable capital sum of $4 billion.
This puts Goldman Sachs in position for exponential growth in the company’s renewable energy investment profile, a sentiment echoed by Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Renewable Power Group, Jon Yoder:
We believe Goldman Sachs can play an important role in the transition to renewable energy by partnering with clients to own and manage renewable energy projects that deliver clean energy. We have already been successful in deploying over $1.4 billion of capital, primarily into distributed generation solar assets here in the United States. From this foundation, we see an exciting and growing opportunity set, and we are grateful for the support of our clients and their shared vision in this important effort.
Just what this capital will be invested in has yet to be seen, though if history is to be repeated, it will likely be in distributed energy portfolios.
In March, SunPower entered into an agreement to sell its interests in companies that held leases for solar assets, to Goldman Sachs. Under sale-leaseback financing agreements, SunPower sold its interest in 233 MW of projects, spread across around 200 locations in nine states for $87 million.
Last November, Engie partnered with Goldman Sachs to complete deployment of up to 75 MW of solar plus energy storage on distributed commercial and industrial sites. The portfolio was comprised of behind-the-meter installations, providing power to commercial and municipal customers, and small-scale front-of-the-meter projects with rural electric cooperatives under previously signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The majority of the investments, were either large (20 MW or more) or small (15 kW or less) but in large batches.
These kinds of investments are vital to help third-party solar companies come up with more cash to go out and deploy more solar. Not only are these investments important, but they are becoming more and more common, especially if Goldman Sachs is in a buying mood. Outside of the two deals listed above, the company acquired over 500 MW of utility-scale and C&I assets this past May. And as the industry matures, more and more companies are funding deployment through financing tied to assets, rather than on their own balance sheets.