OMERS targets distributed generation through a deal with Ares

The Canadian pension investor adds utility-scale distributed solar developer Navisun to its growing portfolio of clean energy assets.

The dedicated infrastructure group for the Canadian pension investor OMERS is targeting distributed generation as the next growth space for the buildout of its clean energy portfolio.

OMERS Infrastructure purchased the full equity stake of the Massachusetts-based renewables developer Navisun, from funds managed by the private equity firm Ares Global Management for an undisclosed total, the investor announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Navisun develops and operates utility-scale distributed solar and battery storage projects ranging between 1MW to 30MW in capacity throughout the US.

Ares financed the launch of Navisun in 2017 and sold the company to OMERS Infrastructure. Navisun plans to scale its business into “a major distributed solar power and storage platform” in the North American market, the statement said. OMERS Infrastructure said it will work with Navisun’s founders to support that effort as the pension continues to expand its exposure in the clean energy sector.

“Having close partnerships with the management teams of our portfolio companies is central to our investment philosophy. We partner with our portfolio companies to find opportunities to evolve sustainable business practices and grow sustainably,” Katharine Preston, OMERS’ vice-president for sustainable investing, told affiliate publication Infrastructure Investor.

In August, OMERS Infrastructure purchased a 19.4 percent stake in the Indian renewables developer Azure Power Global, as that company builds a 5GW pipeline of projects. In October, the pension investor agreed to buy a 49 percent holding in FRV Australia, a solar power producer that manages 637MW of operating capacity and projects under development.