CleanPath Ventures assembles $800 million to fund large-scale PV

Renewable energy investment firm CleanPath Ventures, L.L.C. created an $800 million funding pool to invest in more than 1 gigawatts’ worth of large-scale solar photovoltaic power plants to be built in the United States over the next five years.

The pool is a combination of cash equity and credit, split into two revolving funds. But the companies investing in the fund were not identified.

Revolving funds lend money to one or more borrowers. Over a given period of time, the borrower is expected to repay the original sum, thus restocking the fund. The fund can be made available to the same users more than once.

CleanPath’s is looking for solar PV projects that are anywhere between 5 megawatts to 100 MW or more. The aim is to reach a total of 1 GW worth of solar projects throughout the country.

The company said it could own and operate the projects or sell them to asset holders.

Matt Cheney, co-founder and chief executive of CleanPath, with chief financial officer Karin Berardo formerly worked with MMA Renewable Ventures, an energy investment firm that was sold to Spanish solar power developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in 2009 in a $19.7 million deal.

MMA Renewable Ventures primarily focused on securing solar power purchase agreements and investing in wind, biomass and energy efficiency projects. Mr. Cheney was its former chief executive.

Mr. Cheney and his team financed and developed over 50 commercial and utility-scale solar projects and 100 MW of biomass projects in his work in MMA.

“We’ve seen significant progress scaling solar in the last several years, but the lack of capital continues to be one of the primary constraints impeding solar development,” Mr. Cheney said in a statement

“We formed CleanPath to assist developers, utilities, builders, businesses, governments and land owners in meeting the capital requirements of their projects, regardless of the scale of the opportunity. Providing liquidity and mitigating development risks for these segments is the sweet spot for CleanPath,” he added.

In November last year, The New York Times reported that CleanPath was developing another financing mechanism designed as community solar for households. CleanPath plans to sell portions of solar farms to homeowners who would own the electricity generated by their patch of photovoltaic panels. The projects are built far from communities.



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