The North American subsidiary of French multinational electric utility company ENGIE announced on Monday that it had signed an agreement to acquire SoCore Energy, a Chicago-based solar and storage developer with experience in the commercial, industrial, and distributed sectors. SoCore Energy boasts 150 megawatts (MW) of solar assets already in operation or under construction as of March 31, and a further 170 MW worth of solar projects in late-stage development, as well as numerous projects combining battery storage elements.
The move comes only a fortnight after ENGIE North America announced the acquisition of leading California-based utility-scale wind energy developer Infinity Renewables, and its pipeline of 8,000 MW worth of wind projects in various stages of development.
“As with our recently announced acquisition of wind developer Infinity Renewables, with SoCore, ENGIE is investing in an experienced, accomplished development team, and we look forward to working with this team to accelerate the expansion of our renewables presence within the United States,” said Frank Demaille, President and CEO of ENGIE North America. “By adding more solar energy to our other retail, wind, and biomass offerings in the U.S., we can meet customers’ renewable energy procurement goals much more comprehensively than before.”
“The SoCore team is enthusiastic about joining the ENGIE group,” added Rob Scheuermann, CEO and President of SoCore Energy. “Solar development firmly aligns with the strategic direction of ENGIE, and the combination of our talents will enable accelerated growth in the business, as well as more solutions for customers, including solar-with-storage options.”
As with many energy utilities around the world, the urge to diversify into renewable energy sources is strong, and in particular the solar energy sector, with its opportunities for widespread utilisation.
“This is definitely a strategic play in the commercial solar space,” said GTM Research solar analyst Michelle Davis. “In general, Engie is trying to get involved in earlier stages of the commercial solar development value chain. This helps reduce transaction costs and lengthy due diligence steps that are necessary for any given commercial project.”