Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Carlyle Launches Copia Power


Private-equity giant Carlyle Group Inc. is launching a company to develop renewable-power-generation and storage projects in a push to reorient its energy business toward sustainable investments.

Funds Carlyle operates will inject as much as $700 million in the new venture, Copia Power, enabling it to arrange projects worth over $6 billion. Copia will focus on developing large-scale solar generation projects and battery facilities to store power and distribute it after sunset.

 PE News added:

Copia will launch with several projects acquired from Omaha, Neb.-based power developer Tenaska Inc., which are slated to produce about 6 gigawatts of clean energy. The startup will also join with Birch Infrastructure to help negotiate future power-purchase agreements with large corporate buyers.

Carlyle will work with Tenaska and Birch, much like it planned to work with The Berry Group on a Texas deep-water oil terminal.  Both projects were launched with considerable excitement.

Copia Power--“The formation of Copia Power and relationships with Tenaska and Birch highlight Carlyle's continued commitment and focus on finding differentiated and attractive investment opportunities that will drive the energy transition. We feel strongly that the combination of leading and proven management teams such as Tenaska and Birch, along with the scale and capabilities of our platform at Carlyle, we can drive significant growth and accelerate the development of utility scale sustainable infrastructure in the United States.”
Corpus Christi--"Sean Strawbridge, the Chief Executive Officer of Port of Corpus Christi. “In partnering with such an experienced and well-capitalized firm as The Carlyle Group, the market should take notice and have a high degree of confidence of this project’s success.”
Carlyle appreciates the steadfast, prescient leadership provided by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority in advancing this project. Providing VLCC access at the Port is of critical importance to the United States, and we will collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure such service is provided.

Carlyle’s equity for this investment will come from its Global Infrastructure Fund.

Partners and potential customers may wish to ask why Carlyle suddenly dropped its development role and fifty year lease with the Port of Corpus Christi in October 2019.  Reuters reported:

Sean Strawbridge, chief executive of the Port of Corpus Christi, said Carlyle notified the port on Oct. 8 it would no longer proceed with its investment. That left construction company Berry Group as the sole backer.

Carlyle said in a statement Berry Group was “now the sole owner of Lone Star,” but did not comment on why it dropped out of the project, which it said continues to be actively developed.

Lone Star in September filed a lawsuit against Carlyle in a Texas state court, alleging the private equity firm breached its contract to jointly pursue the project and asking the court to award it full ownership. The lawsuit also sought unspecified damages.

Will Copia end up like Corpus Christi?   Maybe not.  However, one should be concerned when the greed and leverage boys target their industry for massive profits.  That's the PEU game.  Their green is the color of money.  

The Port of Corpus Christi ended its fifty year lease with Lone Star Ports in March 2021.  Without Carlyle's capital the project imploded.