July 21, 2021
New Copia Power Platform Established with the Acquisition of Tenaska Development Pipeline and a Strategic Partnership with Birch Infrastructure
Washington, DC, Omaha, NE, and Portland, OR – Global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) today announced the formation of a new portfolio company Copia Power (“Copia”), a wholly-owned platform focused on developing utility scale sustainable infrastructure in the United States. Copia’s strategy is to partner with established industry leaders with highly specialized skillsets to develop, own and operate sustainable infrastructure assets. By combining our capabilities with Tenaska, Inc. (“Tenaska”) and Birch Infrastructure (“Birch”), Carlyle anticipates deploying up to $700M in capital and arranging over $6B in project finance to advance the development and build out of assets through the Copia platform.
Copia is led by founding employees and industry veterans Ryan Galeria, Katie Heath (both previously development executives at AES Clean Energy) and Arthur Sonnenfeld (previously, strategy & investments at SB Energy) along with support from Carlyle appointed board members Pooja Goyal (Partner and Co-Head of Carlyle’s Infrastructure group) and David Gluck (Principal, Infrastructure & Renewables, Carlyle). The leadership of Copia collectively has decades of renewable energy development experience and has commercialized over 10 GW of renewable energy assets.
Copia expects to initially focus on developing, owning, and operating large-scale renewable energy generation through its strategic relationships with Tenaska and Birch. Copia has acquired an approximately 6GW U.S. solar and storage development pipeline from Tenaska who will continue to work with Carlyle and Copia to develop the portfolio. Birch has contributed ~800MW of its contracted renewable energy supply agreements and associated development assets and will advance all its renewable development activities through this exclusive partnership with Carlyle and Copia
Tenaska has successfully developed over 11 GW of power generation assets since its inception in 1987. Steve Johnson, Senior Vice President in Tenaska’s Strategic Development & Acquisitions Group, said, “Tenaska has a record of success in renewables, backed by our team’s deep market knowledge and proven development capabilities. We are proud to put this expertise to work for Carlyle and their Copia platform as they continue to expand their presence in the renewables space and promote cleaner and sustainable energy solutions.”
Birch Infrastructure was founded in 2019 by CEO Jim Howell, former Chief Development Officer at sPower, and Chief Strategy Officer Kenneth Davies, former Director of Innovation for Energy Strategy & Research at Microsoft. Howell and Davies teamed up to innovate, configure, and bring to market renewable energy solutions for large industrial energy consumers, tailored to their specific business needs. Birch will leverage its relationship with Carlyle, Copia and their partners to advance and deploy these flexible renewable supply solutions to make large-scale renewable energy buying less risky, more accessible and easier to manage.
“Using renewable energy is now a must-have for every large company because customers, investors and employees all insist on knowing their company’s environmental footprint,” said Howell. “Big energy consumers should be able to control their renewable supply through solutions tailored to their needs. A ‘one-size fits all’ approach does not work at scale. We offer customized solutions configured to meet their sustainability and energy goals, and tailored to mitigate risk, at a firm and fixed price.”
Pooja Goyal, Partner and Co-Head of Carlyle’s Infrastructure group said, “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.”
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Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $260 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2021, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs more than 1,800 people in 29 offices across six continents. Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.
About Copia Power
A Carlyle wholly-owned U.S. large-scale renewable energy infrastructure platform that will partner with developers and large energy users to accelerate the energy transition. Further information available at https://www.copiapower.com/
About Tenaska, Inc.
Tenaska is one of the leading independent energy companies in the United States, with a reputation for high standards and expertise in natural gas and electric power marketing, energy management, development and acquisition of energy assets, and operation of generating facilities. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Tenaska among the 50 largest private U.S. companies. Gross operating revenues were $7.7 billion in 2020.
Tenaska is a 2021 U.S. Best Managed Company, a recognition given by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal to private companies that demonstrate excellence in strategic planning and execution, corporate culture and financial results.
Tenaska has developed, managed and/or operated approximately 22 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fueled and renewables generation. Its development portfolios include more than 16 GW of solar, wind and energy storage projects. The current Tenaska operating fleet includes 7.5 GW of generating facilities.
About Birch Infrastructure
Birch partners across the energy infrastructure ecosystem to configure, underwrite, invest, and deliver custom renewable energy solutions that enable high impact, low-cost outcomes for the world’s largest energy consumers. Birch Infrastructure is organized as a member-owned public benefit limited liability company (“PBLLC”), which requires it to produce a public benefit by operating in a responsible and sustainable manner. Birch’s public benefit areas focus on employee wellness, promoting sustainable infrastructure practices and rural economic development. Its commitment to these values fuels its innovation, impact, and shared prosperity. Limited information is available at www.birch.coop