Private Equity Firm TPG Invests $750 Million in Solar Developer Intersect
The leading U.S. solar energy project developer, Intersect, announced an equity investment of $750 million from the climate-focused private equity group TPG Rise Climate.
The move by TPG is part of the firm's drive into climate change and sustainable energy investing on behalf of clients, such as huge pension funds and insurance firms wishing to do more to protect the environment. The executive chairman of the climate fund is former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and the organisation announced earlier this year that it had raised $7.3 billion.
The San Francisco-based Intersect Power LLC stated that the additional financing would help extend its portfolio of sustainable energy projects to more than 8 gigawatts—enough to power about 1.5 million homes—from the existing 2.4 GW.
According to the CEO, it will also enable the company to seek new sectors, such as green hydrogen and wind energy. When hydrogen is produced utilising renewable energy sources such as solar, it is dubbed "green."
Intersect CEO Sheldon Kimber said:
"This is an acknowledgement that a physical infrastructure company, people that put steel in the ground, can also deliver growth. You know, $750 million is a lot of money, but when you look at the scope and scale of our ambition, it’s an appropriate amount of money.”
Ed Beckley, a partner at TPG, stated in a statement that the fund was drawn to Intersect's track record of completing large solar projects and its innovative business strategy.
Intersect preserves ownership of its solar installations, as opposed to selling them to other parties, and has pioneered shorter-term contracts that provide higher investor returns.
Kimber stated that Intersect relied significantly on domestic supplies of solar panels from First Solar, which has helped protect it from recent difficulties in the global supply chain that have hampered the rapidly expanding solar energy business.