Electricity generation is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 28% of U.S. emissions alone – almost two-thirds of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. As renewable energy costs continue to fall, regulations tighten, and the energy transition accelerates, however, there is a large and growing investment opportunity in building the renewable energy capacity required to power a lower-carbon US electricity grid.
In 2019 Carlyle’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Platform led a $100 million commitment to partner with Alchemy Renewable Energy on a newly-established company, Cardinal Renewables, to develop, acquire, finance and operate solar power generation projects throughout the United States – including a dozen operating assets and a pipeline of development projects.
Cardinal Renewables Portfolio Greenhouse Gas Emissions Potential Abatement Capacity.
“Cardinal Renewables’ core investment strategy – to develop and sell solar power generation assets in the US – is an important component of the critical global energy transition,” says J. B. Oldenburg, a Principal with the Renewable and Sustainable Energy team. As part of its investment process, the Carlyle Renewables team models out the total potential carbon emissions abatement capacity of each project to better understand the potential climate impact of the investment. The planned portfolio of Cardinal Renewables projects, for example, could help to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing nearly 90,000 passenger cars from the road annually.
Founded in 2016, Alchemy has an innovative approach to development and tax equity placement for renewable power generation projects, leveraging the expertise and network of its parent company, Monarch Private Capital, which has facilitated investments in projects generating $3 billion tax credits since 2005. Carlyle leverages its extensive experience across US power markets and project lifecycles (from development through operations), and seeks to create significant value by providing capital structure expertise and strategic guidance to accelerate development project growth.
Partnering with Carlyle’s best in class Renewable and Sustainable Energy team opens distinctive opportunities to drive forward the energy transition. Our combined deep market expertise and Carlyle’s long-standing relationships with corporations and utilities will be instrumental in enhancing project, and economic, value creation."
Lacie Clark, CEO of Alchemy
Lacie Clark, CEO of Alchemy, notes that “Partnering with Carlyle’s best in class Renewable and Sustainable Energy team opens distinctive opportunities to drive forward the energy transition. Our combined deep market expertise and Carlyle’s long-standing relationships with corporations and utilities will be instrumental in enhancing project, and economic, value creation.”
Renewable energy presents an interesting opportunity where a successful financial outcome is convergent with a successful climate outcome: the more renewable energy projects successfully developed and put into commercial operation, the more megawatt hours of clean energy generated for the grid, and the more GHG emissions avoided from potentially more carbon-intensive alternative energy sources. Cardinal Renewables works at the intersection of investment returns and climate impact to drive lasting value across both dimensions.