C2 Energy Capital plans to increase the size of its commercial and industrial-focused solar portfolio by a factor of four, to 400 megawatts within two years, says Richard Dovere, the co-founder and managing member of the New York-based company.
Part independent power producer, part investment advisor, and part solar fund, C2 develops its own solar projects, primarily in the commercial and industrial segment, across the United States. C2 is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor and project development firm. Founded in 2014, the company manages the development, financing, construction, ownership, and operation of distributed power generation assets.
C2 projects have ranged in size from a 235 kiloWatt installation at the Napa Office of Education to the first unit of the four-unit, to a 51 megawatt (MW) solar portfolio in South Carolina, also financed by Celtic Bank of Salt Lake City. C2 owns over 100 solar projects in 9 US states.
The solar projects are held long-term by C2 for its investor base of individuals, family offices, and institutional investors, including some based in Asia. In some cases, the solar projects are on the site of the corporate or other investor, as a carport or rooftop installation.
C2 works with landowners to maximize land utilization values through land leases associated with solar energy projects. PPAs then provide the revenue for the client land lease.
“We manage discretionary capital, so our investment committee has the power of the pen at our level, unlike most other solar finance participants,” says Dovere.
Part of C2’s plan for expansion is funding its developer partners upstream under the company’s new Developer-in-Residence program, which “provides capital for developers to fund day-to-day overhead expenses and development costs while leveraging the brand, balance sheet and expertise from the C2 team to bring projects over the finish line,” C2 says.
The company is actively seeking partners with mid-to-late development stage solar, wind, and storage projects who are looking to partner with capital, says Dovere. The definition of a project midpoint can vary, in some cases including site control, or a utility interconnection, or a power purchase agreement, he says.
The timeline for the expansion is during the next two years, along with the wind-down of the federal tax credit, which is a factor in C2’s financing packages. “The decline of installation cost and support of state-level programs for a clean-energy future create economic growth opportunities for communities and investment opportunities for funds like ours,” said Candice Michalowicz, the other co-founder and managing member of C2.
Because the company plans to hold the projects for the long term, it is less interested in purchasing plants already constructed, unless they meet the high quality of standard C2 Energy Capital holds for its portfolio assets, says Dovere.
”While the sector matured, the complex capitalization of these assets and safety requirements underscores the critical need for developers and investors to partner with subject-matter experts like C2 to ensure that these projects are built to last. Our decades of experience have positioned us for this very moment,” says Michalowicz.
Last year, C2 completed a 90 kW solar carport for the Town of Yountville, California. Developed by SolEd Solar Holdings, built by Danlin Solar, and owned and operated by C2 Energy Capital, the carport solar generator is the third in a series of solar installations undertaken by the town in partnership with C2 Energy. The other two solar generators were installed at the Yountville Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Yountville Wastewater Pumping Station.
Yountville Mayor John Dunbar stated that adding more solar panels is part of the Town’s Climate Action Plan focus. “The Town has made renewable energy a priority. I’m proud of the Town’s leadership in addressing green producing initiatives which reduce costs and improve public health” Dunbar said.
Public Works Director, Joe Tagliaboschi says “the Town has been productive about switching to clean renewable energy options to meet long-term sustainable energy solutions including the Methane Capture System at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, the geothermal heating system at the Community Center and the EV charging stations located across town.”
Yountville Town Manager Steve Rogers noted that the Community Center’s solar installation is expected to produce over 150,000 kWh of renewable energy, offsetting annual energy consumption of approximately 13 homes. He also noted the long-term solar PPAs for all three arrays will save the town an estimated $2.3 million dollars over the next 20 years.
C2 expects to open an office in North Carolina this year, and routinely taps solar experts in Colorado, Arizona, and California for project development in those states, says Dovere.
C2 Energy Capital was honored by Power Finance & Risk as the “Best Buyer of Power Assets in 2016.”