Borrego Solar purchased a portfolio of projects in Southern California totaling about 3 megawatts last week.
The acquisition is part of the company’s growth strategy, said Brian von Moos, Borrego director of utility project development.
“Borrego – we’re a construction contractor, really,” von Moos said. “We want to build projects. That’s how Borrego makes its money.”
In order to keep the construction work flowing, the company started its own development arm and another finance arm. The whole reason to develop projects for Borrego is to keep the company’s growing construction teams busy.
“We go out and talk to utility companies and schools and we develop solar projects for them,” von Moos said.
That’s how it started, but there has been a new trend in the solar industry the last couple years.
“There are a lot of solar developers out there looking to develop an asset, but they don’t really want to build it or maintain it,” he said. “They were going to sell it to someone anyway.”
It’s a chance for Borrego, which is well-financed and structured, to swoop in and take over mid and late-stage projects.
“It’s a great way for us to expedite our development cycle as well because we don’t have to wait a year or two for development to get where we can bring in our equity and start building,” he said.
The company has been increasingly investing in late-stage projects, von Moos said.
He added that he prefers utility-scale projects that have existing power purchase agreements in place. Those projects are usually between 2 and 20 megawatts and they keep construction teams particularly busy. But Borrego also courts net-metered distributed generation projects between 200 kilowatts and 2 megawatts.
“We’re interested in anything that fits into either of those ranges,” he said. “And that’s a pretty broad range of projects.”
That means there’s a lot of opportunity to purchase projects already started by other developers. While the most recent announcement includes several California projects, von Moos said Borrego looks throughout the country for projects it can take over.