LINCOLN, Neb. , July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) announced today a controlling investment in affiliates of GRNE Solutions, LLC (GRNE), known as GRNE Solar, a leading Midwest solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm. In addition, Nelnet acquired certain solar assets from an affiliate of GRNE, some already generating power and others currently being constructed. The transaction closed July 1, 2022.
GRNE designs and installs residential, commercial and utility-scale solar systems in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and soon in Colorado. Its solar projects typically generate between 1 megawatt (MW) to 5 MWs of power. GRNE also offers battery backup, electric vehicle charging, energy monitoring, and operations and maintenance services.
Based in Palatine, Ill., and Lincoln, Neb., GRNE was established in 2012 by Jess Baker and Eric Peterman. The co-founders will continue to lead GRNE and retain a minority ownership interest in the company. Today, GRNE has grown to more than 80 employees in seven office locations in their service area.
“We are excited to partner with Jess, Eric and the GRNE team to accelerate their growth plans and our diversification into solar development,” said Scott Gubbels, Nelnet executive director of tax and renewable energy. “The GRNE team has earned a strong reputation in the solar industry for their culture, values and high-quality execution and construction management. Together, we will create a unique solution in the renewable space, including EPC services, financing solutions and subscription management.”
Nelnet is a diversified and innovative company, which includes a brand dedicated to renewable energy offerings and solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy. Through tax-equity investing, its tax co-investing platform, community solar subscription and campus solar development solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy provides significant value to its partners and customers within various industries. Since its initial investment in 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has expanded its solar investment portfolio, including with co-investors, to more than $240 million in more than 200 solar projects. In addition, Nelnet Renewable Energy acquires and manages thousands of subscribers for our community solar development partners.
“This acquisition presents an outstanding opportunity for the growth of GRNE and for Nelnet’s continued expansion into the renewable energy space. With Nelnet’s proven track record for growing and scaling business as well as GRNE’s industry expertise, we will continue to accomplish amazing things. Solar energy is a key component to accomplishing the energy goals of the future, and we are proud to be part of the solution,” said Jess Baker, co-founder and president of GRNE Solar.
This acquisition combines two complementary businesses that understand the critical need for renewable energy in the future. GRNE brings more than a decade of solar engineering and construction experience and will be able to leverage Nelnet’s years of customer service expertise, financial strength, and asset management experience to fulfill its increasing demand.
“With Nelnet’s investment in GRNE, we have planted another seed toward a cleaner future,” said Gubbels.
Since 2012, GRNE has been designing and installing commercial, residential and utility scale solar systems throughout the Midwest. Its full-service team includes consultants, engineers, project managers, electricians and solar installers. Collectively, the GRNE team has over three decades of renewable energy and green construction experience and has proudly generated over 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy. Visit GRNESolar.com
Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) is a publicly traded diversified financial services and technology company focused on offering educational services, technology solutions, professional services, telecommunications, renewable energy, and asset management. Nelnet has nearly $21 billion in assets, including a $17.6 billion loan portfolio, and services almost $560 billion in loan assets. Since 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has funded or committed to the construction of more than $1.5 billion of solar energy projects via tax equity financing. From this foundation, the company has broadened its engagement in the renewable energy sector by adding administrative and management services for tax equity investments, community solar subscriber acquisition and management and solar development. To learn more visit NelnetInc.com.