Renewable Energy Fund Acquires Geothermal Assets

US Renewables Group, LLC (USRG), Riverstone Holdings LLC and The Carlyle Group announced that Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I (CRREIF) has agreed to acquire from USRG a significant stake in the Bottle Rock Power LLC, a California-based company whose principal asset is a 55-megawatt (MW) geothermal power station in the Geysers in Lake County.

Under the terms of the agreement, CRREIF intends to acquire an ownership stake and fund additional capital through a convertible note. This is one of the first investments from CRREIF’s $685 million renewable energy infrastructure fund. Bottle Rock plans to continue to refurbish the steam field and the facility and plans to restart the facility within the next six months. Before the end of 2007, Bottle Rock expects to produce approximately 260,000 MWh per year of base load renewable power for sale to Pacific Gas and Electric under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). This is enough energy on average to supply electricity to more than 21,000 California homes without the typical pollutants (SOX, NOX and VOCs) that result from the combustion of fossil fuels. The Bottle Rock facility was originally constructed, owned and operated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to service its own power consumption requirements. DWR closed the facility in 1990 and subsequently sold it to several investors in 2001 that formed Bottle Rock. USRG purchased a majority stake in Bottle Rock in late 2005. Stephen Schaefer, Riverstone Managing Director stated, “The affordable energy this project will produce demonstrates that renewable energy can and will have a growing impact on the energy mix in the U.S. and around the world.” US Renewables Group, LLC manages private equity funds that acquire, develop and operate renewable energy and clean fuel assets. It owns and operates landfill methane, biomass, geothermal, ethanol and biodiesel projects. Riverstone Holdings and The Carlyle Group are the co-general partners of Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Funds.
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