The United States’ largest private solar and storage developer, 8minutenergy, announced in December that it has entered into a joint venture with J.P. Morgan Asset Management to support 8minutenergy’s current 10.7 gigawatt (GW) pipeline of solar + storage projects.
The announcement came only days after it was announced co-founder Tom Buttgenbach and the 8minutenergy team had agreed to buy out the company’s other co-founder, Martin Hermann, to acquire full ownership of the company, making way for Buttgenbach to transition into a role as President and CEO.
Founded in 2009, 8minutenergy has developed over 1 GW of operational projects, executed over 2 GW of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and has more than 60,000 acres under development. The company also holds the record as the first developer in America to beat the price of fossil fuels with an operational solar PV plant, and has the current record-low price for a solar project in the country.
“In the past 9 years we have worked successfully to accomplish a differentiated positioning for 8minutenergy which has allowed us to become the leading independent developer in the US,” said,” said the outgoing Martin Hermann, Founder of 8minutenergy. “I am proud that we have been able to set a number of industry-firsts, most recently with the first utility-scale power plants with bi-facial modules on single axis tracker. We have also set a number of price records for PPAs in the US, most recently with the Eagle Shadow Mountain project. I want to thank all the 8minutenergy team, our customers, suppliers, and partners who have supported 8minutenergy, and made our accomplishments to date possible. I’m excited to watch the great team at 8minutenergy with one of the largest and most competitive PV/PVS portfolios in the US continue to flourish. The electricity industry is currently going through a huge transformation, which is exciting for all of us.”
“There has never been a more exciting time in the US energy market,” Tom Buttgenbach added. “The industry’s transforming to where renewables will be the dominant form of power now that generation costs are lower than fossil fuels. This evolution will be led by large-scale solar and storage projects, and 8minutenergy will continue to be at the vanguard of the industry. I’m grateful to our incredibly talented team and to Martin for their hard work over the past nine years.”
Herman’s departure was followed up three days later by the announcement that 8minutenergy had signed entered into a joint venture with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and an affiliate of Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners, and would together commit over $200 million in capital commitments to support 8minutenergy’s current 10.7 GW solar + storage pipeline.
“We thank J.P. Morgan and Upper Bay for bringing the long-term focus and financial resources to enable us to unleash the full potential of our pipeline and incredibly talented team,” said Buttgenbach. “We have been the largest and most successful solar developer in California, and have expanded our cost leadership across the US, developing a solar and storage project pipeline of 10.7 GW. A testament to our low-cost leadership is the 420 MW Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar plant in Nevada, which at 2.3 cents/kWh fixed for 25 years, holds the record for lowest-price solar PPA in the nation. In Texas, which is a purely price-driven competitive market, we will start construction of our 280 MW Holstein 1 power plant in the second quarter of 2019.”
“We’ve been very impressed with the 8minutenergy team and their ability to deliver sustainable returns through their utility-scale solar projects,” added Michael Lehman, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “8minutenergy has a premier development process that consistently delivers attractive solar projects with long term, contracted cash flows.”
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