From pv magazine USA
U.S. energy company AES announced that it has acquired Pennsylvania-based solar developer Community Energy Solar, as well as Community Energy’s 10 GW project pipeline. The move is part of a greater plan for future company expansion efforts and the acquisition of Community Energy will bolster those efforts with a strong development pipeline and skilled development workforce.
Community Energy has developed more than 3 GW of solar and storage projects and opened the market for utility scale solar as the first to develop a 100 MW scale project in seven states. With the acquisition, AES’ U.S. renewables portfolio now includes 4.4 GW of operating assets and 5.7 GW of signed PPAs. In total, the merger brings AES' U.S. solar development pipeline to more than 40 GW.
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Get the latest edition of pv magazine today to read about the kinks in the global supply chain which, like the mixed-bag outcome of COP26, have kept a significant portion of this year’s progress tangled up. We find more to celebrate than condemn, however, for 2021 was another record year for solar installations, and the forecasts for 2022 look even more promising.
“AES is the ideal partner for us because of their conviction on climate, their industry-leading innovation and most importantly, their people,” said Brent Beerley, Community Energy CEO. “Having worked closely with the AES team over the past several years, we have found a deep alignment on values and culture which was essential to us. I am beyond grateful to our team, our board, and AES for this opportunity.”
In 2020, the University of Pennsylvania signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the creation of a 220 MW solar project, the largest in the state, set to be developed by Community Energy. The university is planning to purchase all the power produced at the two sites in Central Pennsylvania – equivalent to about 75% of the total electricity demand of the campus and the university’s health system – for 25 years at a rate competitive with conventional electricity prices.
In a separate development, Stem Inc, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven energy storage software and services company, announced that it has acquired Also Energy Holdings, a solar asset management software company. The deal will combine Stem’s storage optimization capabilities with AlsoEnergy’s solar asset performance monitoring and control software, which the companies hope will lead to a one-stop-shop solution for renewable energy projects.
In addition, Stem will offer its smart energy storage solutions to AlsoEnergy’s existing front-of-meter and commercial and industrial customers, who generally have limited storage attachment to their solar assets today, and AlsoEnergy will gain earlier visibility into solar-plus-storage projects through Stem’s extensive customer and partner network.
The two companies also believe the deal will provide significant opportunities to cross-sell and leverage each platform’s extensive customer base, with just 30% of AlsoEnergy’s customers also being customers of Stem. On top of this, the acquisition expands Stem’s global market presence, as AlsoEnergy currently provides performance, analytics, monitoring, and control solutions for roughly 32.5 GW of solar assets across 50 countries.
AlsoEnergy, as a company, is also no stranger to merger and acquisition activity. In 2018, AlsoEnergy announced its merger with Locus Energy, in a move that brought roughly 6.6 GW of project capacity to AlsoEnergy’s platform. This move marked AlsoEnergy’s first significant European expansion, as the company had largely operated in North America prior to the Locus Energy deal.
Through a third transaction, micro-inverter maker Enphase Energy Inc took over 365 Pronto Inc, an Arizona-based predictive software platform that matches cleantech asset owners to local and on-demand service providers.
How it works
The 365 Pronto software platform serves two sides of the market: the buyers, who are the asset owners; and the sellers, who are the service providers. For asset owners, the platform matches the attributes of their asset and scope-of-work requirements to a local, compliant, and qualified service provider.
For service providers, the platform matches the availability, location, and skillsets of their technicians with the requirements of a customer’s work order. The service providers include third-party installers that service residential and commercial solar, battery storage and EV charging stations. Hundreds of service providers have been qualified by the 365 Pronto platform.
The way 365 Pronto works begins with the buyer (an asset owner) placing a pre-priced work order. The platform then matches and dispatches a qualified service provider to complete the work order.
“We are pleased to welcome 365 Pronto’s customers, service providers, and employees to Enphase,” said Badri Kothandaraman, president and CEO at Enphase. “The company’s software platform will provide our installers the ability to service their own O&M contracts with an on-demand network of service providers. We are excited about this opportunity to improve the installer experience as we continue to expand our digital platform.”
This acquisition follows Enphase’s November acquisition of California-based ClipperCreek, which offers electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for residential and commercial customers in the U.S.
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