Starwood Buys Nautilus Solar Energy

Starwood Energy Group Global, an affiliate of private equity firm Starwood Capital Group, has acquired a majority stake in Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, a Chatham, N.J.-based solar power generation developer. No financial terms were disclosed, except that the deal includes a $50 million commitment for future Nautilus Solar projects.



Global, LLC (“Starwood Energy”) announced today that an investment affiliate has acquired a majority interest in Nautilus Solar Energy LLC (“Nautilus Solar”), a leading solar power generation developer headquartered in Chatham, New Jersey, to help fund future growth of Nautilus Solar. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, the companies said Starwood Energy’s investment will provide working capital and facilitate an expansion of Nautilus Solar’s corporate infrastructure. The funding also includes a $50 million commitment for future Nautilus Solar projects.


Nautilus Solar develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates distributed generation and utility-scale solar electric systems. Created in 2006 by energy professionals Jim Rice, Laura Stern and Alan Dash, Nautilus Solar currently has seven completed solar retail projects in operation and four solar projects under construction in New Jersey and Connecticut. As one of the fastest growing solar development companies in the United States, Nautilus Solar has a project pipeline of over 500 MWs of solar generating capacity over the next two years.


The investment significantly expands Starwood Energy’s focus on the solar energy sector. In late 2007, Starwood Energy reached a teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin to pursue utility-scale solar generation projects in North America. Nautilus Solar personnel have been and will continue to work closely with Starwood Energy on its solar generation projects with Lockheed Martin.


“We are excited to complete this majority investment in Nautilus Solar,” said Brad Nordholm, CEO of Starwood Energy in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Jim Rice, Alan Dash, and Laura Stern have, in a very short period of time, demonstrated significant leadership in building Nautilus into the company it is today, with a number of solar projects already completed and several more in advanced stages of development. We see Nautilus Solar as a foundational component of our solar growth strategy and look forward to expanding our footprint in the retail, wholesale, and utility-scale solar sectors in 2009.”


“We are proud to have the opportunity to join the Starwood family and bring our capabilities to bear on Starwood Energy’s goal of market leadership in solar,” added Jim Rice, CEO of Nautilus Solar. “Starwood Energy has consistently been at the forefront of innovation in energy and power. Their leadership includes sponsoring undersea transmission lines and structuring financing during particularly tough market conditions; signing a teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin, the global technology and engineering firm; and pursuing utility-scale solar development opportunities across America. The collaboration of Nautilus Solar, Starwood, and Lockheed represents a powerful combination of tested capabilities and experience.”


About Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC


Starwood Energy is an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC, a multi-billion dollar private equity investment firm located in Greenwich, CT. Since 2005, Starwood Energy has committed to energy infrastructure transactions totaling $3.2 billion of enterprise value, including the Neptune Regional Transmission System, a 660 MW undersea power cable connecting Long Island to New Jersey, CalPeak Power, LLC, a 260 MW portfolio of five natural gas-fired peaking power plants in California, and the 272 MW Thermo Ft. Lupton combined-cycle plant in Colorado. Starwood Energy also anticipates completion in May 2009 of its 120 MW Starwood-Midway power plant now under construction in California.