Sandbrook Capital Commits up to $460 Million to rPlus Energies

rPlus is developing a portfolio of over 15-gigawatts of renewable energy generation and storage.

Five years after its founding, rPlus Energies (“rPlus”), a leading private renewable energy developer, announced a platform-level partnership with Sandbrook Capital (“Sandbrook”), a private investment firm dedicated to transforming the world’s energy infrastructure. Sandbrook will invest up to $460 million in the platform alongside continued support from Gardner Group, the founding investor in rPlus and a leading commercial real estate company in the Mountain West.

rPlus’ diversified 15-gigawatt (GW) pipeline of solar, wind, battery, and pumped storage hydropower projects builds on its history of successfully commercialized and constructed projects in the western United States. Sandbrook’s initial commitment enables the company to bring 1 GW of shovel-ready generation and storage online in the near-term, while advancing the balance of the pipeline through commercialization.

This transaction represents one of the first major renewable energy platform announcements of 2024, and Sandbrook’s first United States investment following its successful raise of $2.1Bn for its inaugural climate infrastructure fund and associated co-investment vehicles.

“From the outset, it was evident that we share an execution-oriented and community-minded approach to business and project development,” said Luigi Resta, rPlus President and CEO. “The expertise, commitment and drive of the Sandbrook team, coupled with the Gardner Group’s continued leadership, will play a pivotal role in steering substantial growth as rPlus makes a strategic transition to own-and-operate for the long-term.”

“We are proud to support the next chapter of growth for rPlus in partnership with the leadership team and our friends at the Gardner Group,” said Carl Williams, co-founder and partner at Sandbrook. “We believe rPlus has built one of the strongest development, construction, and operations teams in North America, as evidenced by their advanced portfolio of high-quality projects. Sandbrook’s investment in rPlus underscores our commitment to accelerating the decarbonization of the U.S. grid in partnership with entrepreneurs who embody environmental stewardship, innovation, and grit.”

“I couldn’t be more excited about our new partnership with Sandbrook and our superb management team led by Luigi Resta,” said Christian Gardner, Chairman and CEO of the Gardner Group. “This transaction is more than an investment; it is a shared vision that will undoubtedly propel us to the next level, enabling us to make substantial positive change in renewable energy.”

Over the last five years, rPlus has fully developed over 630 MW of solar and wind projects that are now in service or under construction. Notable projects include Graphite Solar and Appaloosa Solar, two Utah-based solar PV facilities now in service. rPlus is also currently managing construction on the rPlus-developed Pleasant Valley Solar, the largest solar PV facility in the Idaho Power system, while Cedar Creek Wind, a 152 MW wind project developed by rPlus and sold to Clearway Energy, is also nearing completion.  rPlus’ Green River Energy Center, one of the largest solar plus storage projects currently under development in the United States, expects to begin construction in Q2 2024.

rPlus is also leading the renaissance of pumped storage hydropower in the United States, with two projects in the final licensing stage – a milestone reached by only six projects in the United States since the year 2000. The company owns eight other pumped storage hydropower projects in earlier stages of development.

Lazard Frères & Co. LLC. served as financial advisor to rPlus. Foley & Lardner LLP served as transaction counsel to rPlus. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as transaction counsel to Sandbrook. Parr Brown Gee & Loveless served as transaction counsel to Gardner Group.