Longroad catapults into solar with 3GW pipeline deal

Longroad Energy Holdings, the US renewables group established recently by a clutch of First Wind veterans, has announced the acquisition of a 3GW pipeline of solar projects from Texas-based 7X Energy.

The deal catapults Longroad into the thick of the US solar market, having only last week confirmed it bought enough wind turbines from Vestas at the end of 2016 to build 600MW of new US wind capacity that will be eligible for the full $23/MWh production tax credit.

The deal with 7X will “accelerate our solar platform”, says Longroad chief investment officer Charles Spiliotis. The solar projects will be built with both utility and commercial clients in mind.

US developer Longroad hails 600MW Vestas deal

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Spiliotis, like Longroad chief executive Paul Gaynor and other company leaders, is a veteran of First Wind, the successful Boston-based developer that was acquired in late 2014 by SunEdison and its yieldco TerraForm Power.

SunEdison went bankrupt in April 2016, and Longroad was established last October. The company, which has offices in Boston and San Francisco, is financially backed by New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund.

In addition to its core development activities, Longroad also offers asset management and O&M services.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Longroad says it will work alongside Austin, Texas-based 7X Energy Inc. to build out the 3GW solar pipeline and other projects brought into the company.

“By working with Longroad, we will ramp up our ability to source, finance and build utility-scale solar projects,” says 7X chief executive Clay Butler.

“This is a powerful way for both of our companies to offer utilities and large commercial customers a simpler, faster, lower-risk path to meeting their renewable energy needs," Butler says.