Climate Energy

A renewable energy pioneer based in Radnor has been sold to a Fortune 500 firm

The solar energy development company of Community Energy Incorporated, the Radnor renewable energy trailblazer, is being sold to AES Corporation, an international energy corporation that is quickly growing its clean-energy business in reaction to the climate issue.

Based in Arlington, Va., Community Energy Solar LLC has produced about 3 gigawatts (GW) of the large-scale solar facilities across the country, accounting for about 5% of the country’s utility-scale solar capacity. Around 10 GW of the solar projects are now being developed by Community Energy.

The renewable energy division of AES designs, installs and maintains solar, wind, as well as battery storage systems. It will boost the quantity of renewable projects that are in the works by nearly a third, to 40 GW, as a result of the acquisition. The agreement’s financial terms, which take effect instantly, were not disclosed.

Community Energy Solar as well as its 60 employees will be absorbed into AES Clean Energy, but the Radnor office will remain open, according to Woody Rubin, AES Clean Energy’s chief development officer. He stated, “The addition of Community Energy to our team undoubtedly brings scale and talent.”

According to Brent Beerley, who works as the chief executive officer of Community Energy, the consolidation was motivated by a desire to fulfill a tenfold rise in demand for the solar energy from the public authorities who have set aggressive zero-carbon emission objectives and corporate clients who have made clean energy promises.

“If you take a look at what exactly the Biden administration is looking for in terms of decarbonizing the US electric grid over the next decade, it’s basically 10 times solar,” Beerley said. To drive growth, Community Energy needs AES’s greater funds and market access, he said.

AES, which will have operations in 13 nations and generate $9.6 billion in revenue by 2020, has purchased several solar projects produced by Community Energy in the latest years, so the two businesses already had a working relationship.

Eric Blank and Brent Alderfer launched Community Energy in 1999. Initially, it was a wind energy reseller through programs like Peco Wind, which was offered by Philadelphia utility Peco Energy to consumers who agreed to pay a monthly fee to purchase a percentage of their power from wind generators. Even at a greater price, the programs indicated that there was popular demand for green energy.

“Voluntary wind programs were critical in expanding up the marketplace for wind here in Mid-Atlantic,” said Beerley, who joined the company 20 years ago and was named CEO in January. Community Energy grew to service 75,000 retail consumers through 18 separate utilities in its early years. The company thereafter began to focus on developing renewable energy projects, especially wind farms.

Iberdrola, a Spanish energy behemoth, bought Community Energy in 2006 because of its wind assets. In 2009, the founders of Community Energy, joined by Beerley, split off the Community Energy brand and relaunched the company as a solar developer.

About the author

Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes is a seasoned journalist with nearly 10 years of experience. While studying journalism at the University of Tennessee, Tom found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Murphys Hockey Law, Shawn mostly covers state and national developments.
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