Wind and Gas Giant NextEra Goes Solar, Buys Smart Energy Capital
This savvy energy player has decided that now is the time to move into solar.
Eric Wesoff: May 16, 2013 — NextEra Energy Resources has acquired Smart Energy Capital, a commercial solar project developer with more than 75 megawatts of PV deployed across a number of states, according to sources close to the deal. Smart Energy Capital and NextEra have confirmed the transaction. Financial details were not disclosed.
Parent company NextEra (NYSE: NEE) is a profitable independent power producer (IPP) with an immense 42-gigawatt portfolio covering twenty states and provinces, focused mostly on wind, natural gas, and nuclear. The firm was the number-one wind installer in the U.S. last year. Its solar projects include the SEGS concentrating solar power plant, New Jersey’s Paradise project, and the 5-megawatt Hatch, NM CPV project.
This acquisition looks to be NextEra’s deeper entry into solar, driven in some measure by Andrew Beebe, who was recently named VP of Distributed Generation at NextEra Energy Resources after leaving his role as Suntech’s Chief Commercial Officer in September.
Smart Energy Capital has completed more than 70 megawatts of solar PV projects from site selection through interconnect and provides capital at various stages to those projects, with $250 million of project capital deployed. Projects completed range from schools to municipalities and utilities using roof- and ground-mount across a variety of solar technologies and geographies. Owning the existing assets is not likely the primary motivation for NextEra.
Smart Energy Capital’s team, which is actually what is being acquired in a deal like this, is known as skilled and has years of experience in structured finance and financial engineering. The company currently has relationships with Belectric and Real Goods Solar.
Smart Energy Capital suddenly has a lot more capital and corporate heft at its disposal.
And NextEra has decided that now is the time to accelerate its move into solar.