Hudson Clean Energy in $305m solar exit

The New Jersey-based firm has sold Recurrent Energy, one of seven clean energy investments Hudson has made since its founding in 2007.

Hudson Clean Energy Partners has sold on-site solar power developer Recurrent Energy to Sharp Corporation for up to $305 million. Sharp will acquire a 100 percent stake in the company, which Hudson purchased for $75 million in July 2008. Other Recurrent Energy shareholders include Mohr Davidow Ventures.

Recurrent made headlines in May 2008 when it entered an agreement with San Francisco regulators to construct a 5-megawatt photovoltaic system on the rooftops of two city-owned properties: the Sunset Reservoir and the Pier 96/Norcal Recycling Centers. San Francisco-based recurrent was Hudson's first portfolio company on the West Coast, a hotbed of alternative energy technology.

“We knew this was a sector we believed in,” partner at Hudson Clean Energy Daniel Gross told PEO. “If you look at trends within the market there have been a number of transactions where strategics took interest in businesses of this nature – downstream solar developers and integraters and independent power producers.”

New Jersey-based Hudson closed its debut fund on $1.024 billion in December 2009, slightly surpassing its target of $1 billion for investments in clean energy. The firm has six additional investments in clean energy, including Element Power, a global utility-scale wind and solar power generator, as well as a hydro power company and a metering company.

Gross stated that Hudson’s inaugural fund has enough dry powder to make subsequent investments, but that the firm is not looking specifically in one sector. “We’re really looking across a breadth of clean energy investments,” he said.

Founded in 2007 by former Goldman alumnus Neil Auerbach, Hudson has attracted some big-name investors, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which committed $100 million to the firm. New York State’s investment was part of its $500 million “Green Strategic Investment Program”, which targets investments in renewable energy and clean technology. Other limited partners in Hudson’s fund include Danish pension giant ATP, which made a $400 million investment, and Credit Suisse, which committed $300 million.