Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (Quinbrook), a global investment manager specializing in lower carbon and renewable energy infrastructure assets, has acquired Scout Clean Energy (Scout), a Colorado-based developer and operator of U.S. wind power projects. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Scout is developing a 1,600MW pipeline of U.S. wind power projects that in aggregate represents more than US$1.7 billion in total capital investment and would generate enough emissions free power to serve the needs of nearly a half-million American households.
Led by wind industry veteran Michael Rucker, the Scout development portfolio is currently diversified across nine U.S. states. The majority of Scout's projects qualify for U.S. production tax credits (PTCs) for wind, which were recently extended by US Congress for an additional four years.
"Quinbrook's investment in Scout aligns with our long-term strategy of building a larger scale portfolio of on-shore wind power projects in the United States. Investing in innovative and experienced development teams like Scout is key to helping us meet growing demand for sustainable, long-term infrastructure investments with real ESG impacts," said David Scaysbrook, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Quinbrook.
Wind power recently surpassed conventional hydro to become the fourth largest supplier of electric power in the entire U.S. Wind currently accounts for 5.5% of American electric power generation and with new cost and production efficiencies being realized, its share of generated electricity is expected to increase significantly by 2020.
Mr. Rucker and the Scout team together have originated, developed and completed nine wind power projects comprising 649 MW of capacity across North America since 2011. The Scout team's most recent successful development was the Mariah North Project, a 230 MW West Texas project utilizing General Electric wind turbines which reached commercial operation at the end of 2016.
"The opportunity to accelerate the expansion of wind power generation is immense now that businesses, consumers and policymakers are all seeing the benefits of low cost renewable energy. Quinbrook's investment in Scout enables us to seize that opportunity and grow our footprint of utility-scale wind projects," said Mr. Rucker.
Shawn Cumberland, Senior Managing Director of Quinbrook in the U.S. added: "Quinbrook is taking the deliberate approach of pursuing attractive wind development sites supported by highly experienced teams prosecuting the development of PTC-qualified projects. In addition to Scout's already significant pipeline of wind development projects, Quinbrook intends to use Scout as a platform for further growth in wind power both organically and through complimentary acquisitions in North America that satisfy Quinbrook's investment criteria."