Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners Launches New Solar Development Company

Renewable investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners
has launched a new solar-and-storage development arm headed by
former executives from First Solar, Recurrent Energy and Engie
Storage.

The new California-based venture, called Primergy, will develop,
own and operate utility-scale and distributed solar and storage
assets in the U.S., with Nevada’s Gemini Solar as the “marquee
project,” said David Scaysbrook, a founder and managing partner
at Quinbrook.

The 690-megawatt Gemini, which the investment manager is
developing along with Arevia Power, secured its
final federal approval
last week. When complete Gemini is
anticipated to be the largest solar project in the U.S.

Due to its significant 380-megawatt battery storage addition,
Gemini is held up as a prime example of the U.S. large-scale solar
landscape shifting toward solar-plus-storage. Utility NV Energy
will usepower from Gemini during the day and draw on the
solar-charged battery at night.

Including Gemini, Primergy says it has a solar development
portfolio of about 3 gigawatts in the works. Most of its projects
are located in the same region as Gemini and designed along similar
lines. 

“We wanted to replicate the Gemini strategy — that is, to
find large parcels of land close to populated city centers like
Gemini is to Vegas,†Scaysbrook told GTM. “We followed the
formula and that has naturally led us to the Southwest.â€

Primergy has a project underway near Phoenix and others in
Colorado and California. Those projects will be large, though not
as gargantuan as Gemini. The team is also working on smaller
projects between 100 and 200 megawatts in the PJM
Interconnection.

Batteries key to the solar business

In addition to large-scale solar assets, Primergy will develop
distributed solar. It’s already completed construction on a
portfolio in Illinois and has projects in the works in Colorado and
in Texas. As is the case with Gemini, Primergy will work with
partners on early-stage origination and permitting. Primergy and
Quinbrook will take the lead on design, procurement and
construction.

Many of the company’s future solar projects will come with
batteries attached, Scaysbrook said. Others will be designed so
storage may later be added to the installation.

Quinbrook made Primergy’s dual emphasis on storage and solar
clear in its leadership choices: In addition to hiring Ty Daul,
formerly president of Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy,
as Primergy’s CEO, Engie Storage CFO Tim Larrison will join the
company in the same position.

“If you’re not space-constrained, or there’s no other
prohibition or restriction, there’s no reason why solar and
battery won’t be a standard configuration,†said
Scaysbrook.

Primergy is not Quinbrook’s first significant foray into
storage. In 2017 the firm acquired GlidePath Power Solutions, a
Chicago-based developer focused on distributed projects with a
particular emphasis on stand-alone-storage. GlidePath claims to be
working on more than 2 gigawatts of storage projects in 18
states.

Taken together with Quinbrook’s wind platform, Scout
Energy, Primergy offers Quinbrook competencies in a suite of clean
energy technologies. Scaysbrook said the firm will at times develop
wind, solar and storage projects together.

Source: FS – GreenTech Media
Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners Launches New Solar
Development Company