Hudson acquires Spanish energy developer

The New Jersey-based clean energy firm is integrating Helium Energy into a new portfolio company as part of a strategy to expand its overseas presence in wind and solar production.

Hudson Clean Energy Partners has acquired Madrid-based Helium Energy, a wind and solar project developer that will be integrated into Hudson’s new portfolio company Element Power.

New Jersey-based Hudson invests in companies involved in renewable power, alternative fuels, energy storage and programs to control energy demand during peak periods. The Helium acquisition is part of the firm’s strategy of developing a global independent power producer with a focus on the wind and solar sector.

Element is aiming to have a significant presence both in the United States and in key markets like Europe, with Helium currently building a number of wind and solar projects in European and South American countries like Spain, Chile and Panama.

Europe is increasingly seen as a prime location for investing in alternative energy projects, as the European Union has called for a new “industrial revolution” to meet its goal of having renewable sources account for 20 percent of its energy consumption by 2020. Hudson recently hired former Shell clean energy executive Shaun Kingsbury to head its European operations. Element’s activities outside North America will be co-managed by Helium founder Pedro Barriuso and Hudson executive Mike O’Neill.

Hudson was founded in 2007 by Neil Auerbach, who created and ran Goldman Sachs’ US alternate energy investment program. The firm recently invested $75 million (€52 million) in San Francisco-based solar power developer Recurrent Energy. Credit Suisse earlier this year made a $300 million commitment to Hudson.