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Borrego sells Mass. projects to Greenwood Energy

Easthampton Solar FarmGreenwood Energy announced its first major American purchase of solar electric generation today.

The international energy company bought two commercial-scale solar projects totaling 5.5 megawatts of generation capacity from Borrego Solar Systems. The projects will provide energy to the cities of Gardner and Walpole, Mass.

“The projects will complement our existing portfolio of renewable energy resources, particularly as they are economically sound and shovel-ready projects that will bring environmental benefits to local communities,” said Douglas Johnsen, CFO of Greenwood Energy.

He said Borrego makes a good partner because the company specializes in absorbing the early-stage risk involved with financing a new solar construction projects and Greenwood is looking to buy more established investments in the Americas.

He said the company will likely invest in several more Eastern solar arrays through Borrego and will hope to expand across the rest of North America and perhaps into South America, where Greenwood’s parent company Libra has established offices.

Borrego is developing several projects in Massachusetts right now, said CFO Bill Bush.

“With these two projects, Borrego has been able to sell 20 megawatts of solar in Massachusetts,” Bush said. “The state has very progressive solar legislation and just expanded the carve-out for solar.”

The company is developing commercial-scale solar projects in seven different states, Bush said, but Massachusetts is one of Borrego’s most active locations.

Borrego does most of its work in New England and California. The company currently has more than 57 megawatts of solar generation under construction and has helped to secure more than $270 million in private investments for their development.

The company concentrates on developing early-stage projects and accepting the financing risks involved in developing projects from the planning to design and construction phases, but typically sells projects to investors looking to own and manage long-term solar electric assets.

“The commercial projects are our sweet spot,” Bush said. “That’s our primary focus because it gives us the ability to leverage our development assets.”

Smaller residential projects wouldn’t give Borrego a reason to deploy development and planning teams. But large utility-scale projects are typically very competitive with several solar panel manufacturers bidding on them. Since Borrego doesn’t manufacture its own solar PV modules, it would be at a disadvantage in most bidding situations, Bush said.

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