Captona Partners, a New York-based renewable energy developer and asset manager, could target about 300 megawatts of solar and wind project acquisitions in the year ahead, said founder and managing partner Izzet Bensusan.
Captona takes a “buy it and improve it” ethos for acquisitions, Bensusan said about the company’s preference for older assets it can improve via repowering. Captona reviews project and larger portfolios being sold by private equity firms or public companies, he said.
Formed in 2015, Captona has accumulated 100 MW of solar projects to date, primarily located in New England and the Midwest, Bensusan said. The company would look for additional solar and wind assets in additional markets such as North Carolina, Oregon, California and Arizona, he said.
The founding principals of the power and infrastructure company previously worked at renewable energy boutique advisor Karbone, Bensusan said.
With a brokerage background, Captona primarily sources deals internally, but would be receptive to buy side referrals from bankers, Bensusan said.
Captona’s goal is to grow over the next four years into a power producer with 1 gigawatt worth of renewable energy assets, Bensusan said. The company expects to spend USD 500m in equity and debt to fund deals over the next year, he added.
Of its annual 300 MW of dealflow, Captona expects to acquire 100 MW of solar assets and 200 MW of wind farms, Bensusan said.
While Captona would look at brownfield wind repowering opportunities, where older wind farms are refurbished with new turbines, Bensusan said “the jury’s still out” about energy storage. Captona does not expect to review storage buys in the coming years, he said.
Asked about an exit strategy, Bensusan said Captona’s focus is to become a large aggregator of renewable assets, while its management has no plans of selling its interest in the company thereafter.
Last month, Captona acquired 8.6 MW of brownfield solar projects in North Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island from undisclosed municipal sellers, Bensusan said.
Winston & Strawn, Troutman Sanders and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld have advised Captona on recent deals, he said.
by Michael Schoeck in New York