Apr 28, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Firm that sells clean energy to consumers gets $100-million boost

Illustration of a welcome mat decorated with a green leaf

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Renewables infrastructure investor True Green Capital Management is acquiring a majority stake in CleanChoice Energy, a firm that helps consumers and businesses tap zero-carbon power.

Why it matters: The deal injects $100 million of equity capital into CleanChoice for owning, operating and growing its multi-state portfolio of solar assets.

  • Founded in 2012, CleanChoice — which has over 215,000 residential customers — has a solar project pipeline of over 300 megawatts and plans to expand it.
  • The acquisition keeps the CleanChoice brand and team. Terms were not disclosed.

The big picture: The companies say the deal fuels CleanChoice's growth as the first "100% green gen-tailer" — a combo of generator and retailer.

  • CleanChoice owns solar assets and sells renewable energy to directly to consumers in several competitive U.S. markets.

How it works: The company offers ways for customers to tap renewables while keeping their current utility, including:

  • Community solar, in which customers subscribe to power from a specific off-site project and receive credits on their bills.
  • Renewable energy credits, which match ratepayers' power use with regional wind and solar generation in competitive retail markets.

What they're saying: "We're bringing the same kind of access to clean energy that giant companies like Google and Microsoft have to residential consumers and small businesses," CleanChoice CEO Tom Matzzie tells Axios in an interview.

  • He noted consumers are exposed to the price volatility in an increasingly global gas market.
  • Wider renewables access is a way to control emissions and costs, Matzzie said.

Zoom in: CleanChoice has community solar assets in New York, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

  • It has a pipeline of utility-scale and community solar projects in a suite of states, including New York, Maine, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
  • The company's retail offerings cover markets in eight states and D.C., and has other options available to nationwide customers.

The bottom line: "The combination of green customers with solar power development and asset ownership will be paramount in the clean energy transition regime in which we are operating," True Green Capital co-founder Panos Ninios said in a statement.

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