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Cox invests $250M into BlackRock-backed solar firm

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Nov 14, 2023
A solar project in the City of White Plains, NY

A solar project developed in White Plains, N.Y., by DSD Renewables. Photo courtesy of DSD Renewables

Cox Enterprises has invested $250 million into solar developer DSD Renewables as part of its growing list of climate tech investments.

Why it matters: Investments in solar projects continue to set records in the U.S., supercharged by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Details: DSD Renewables, which has developed 600 MW of solar projects for companies and communities across the U.S., will use the funds to grow the business.

  • DSD, based in Schenectady, N.Y., was created when GE Solar partnered with investment group BlackRock, which later acquired the entire company.
  • After the Cox investment, BlackRock's Climate Infrastructure business remains the majority shareholder
  • DSD has raised over $2 billion in project capital to deploy solar panels on company rooftops and ground-mounted systems for community solar.

Zoom in: Cox has invested nearly $2 billion into sustainable companies and focused on sectors like controlled environmental agriculture, advanced recycling and clean energy.

  • In 2021 Cox bought indoor ag company BrightFarms and earlier this year became majority owner of recycling company Nexus Circular.
  • In addition, Cox has invested in indoor ag company Mucci Farms, agriculture services company Growers Edge, and building efficiency company Carbon Lighthouse.
  • Cox says its investment in DSD is its largest in clean energy so far.
  • "We're going to see quite a bit of growth in solar in the U.S.," said Will Thorburn, assistant vice president of Cox Cleantech.

Big picture: Publicly traded solar companies have been getting hammered recently with high interest rates, among other challenges.

  • But overall investments into solar projects have continued to boom as solar has become one of the lowest-cost forms of energy and the IRA continues to provide support.

Disclosure: Cox Enterprises owns Axios Media.

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