Con Edison Aims to Double Solar Ownership With Purchase of 1GW of Sempra Projects

Con Edison Aims to Double Solar Ownership With Purchase of 1GW of Sempra Projects

by on in Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Power

Con Edison will soon be the US’s second-largest owner of solar projects in the country. That's if its planned $1.54 billion acquisition of Sempra Energy’s 981 megawatts of renewable energy projects is approved. Con Edison leaders said the purchase will help cement it as a leader in the renewables industries and it may take on additional projects because of the purchase. 

“Renewable energy is the fastest growing source of the country’s supply of electricity, and the acquisition will accelerate our position as a market leader,” said John McAvoy, chairman and CEO of Con Edison. “We have grown a meaningful large-scale solar business and will add value to new capital opportunities as they arise. With completion of this acquisition, we expect to be the second largest owner of solar electric production projects in North America.”Copper Mountain solar project. Courtesy Con Edison

If the acquisition is completed as expected Con Edison would own 2.6 gigawatts (GWs) of renewable energy projects. The company said 85 percent of its renewable energy generating portfolio will be solar power and the remainder, 15 percent will be wind.

The projects in the agreement are in Arizona, California, Nebraska and Nevada. “These projects are located in states in which we currently own and operate projects, and in some cases are adjacent to our existing projects, creating opportunities for value-enhancing synergies,” explained Mark Noyes, president and CEO of Con Edison subsidiary Clean Energy Businesses. Some of the projects are jointly owned by Con Edison subsidiaries and Sempra subsidiaries and others are wholly owned by Sempra subsidiaries.

"This sale represents an important step forward in the portfolio-optimization plan we announced in June to support market growth opportunities," said Joseph Householder, president and chief operating officer of Sempra. "We plan to work closely with Consolidated Edison to ensure a smooth transition.”

Earlier this year Sempra said it would work to optimize its portfolio of projects following a strategic review. The company said it would also sell the rest of its non-utility US wind projects and some of its midstream natural gas assets.

Con Edison said it will pay for the purchase with $715 million in equity and and $825 million in long-term, non-recourse debt. The company said the deal, which it expects will close in 2018, will be accretive in 2018 and dilutive in 2019 and 2020. 

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