Press Release

Avantus Completes Sale of Nation’s Largest Permitted Solar and Integrated Storage Project to AES

Jun 7, 2023

The Bellefield project will feature two gigawatts of combined solar and energy storage, and provide clean, reliable power to California

LOS ANGELES and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif — June 7, 2023 Avantus (formerly 8minute) today announced the sale of the Bellefield project, the nation’s largest permitted solar project with integrated storage, to The AES Corporation. Located in Kern County, California, Bellefield will feature a total of one-gigawatt of solar and up to one-gigawatt of energy storage across two phases. The transaction includes a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a corporate customer for phase one of the project. Avantus was responsible for the commercial negotiations with the customer and the procurement of key equipment.

“At Avantus, our vision is as bold as the climate crisis we face. Bellefield represents our continued success in developing record-breaking clean energy projects that are at the heart of our nation’s climate goals, and that are absolutely necessary in order for America to continue leading in the transition to a clean and sustainable global economy.” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, Founder and CEO of Avantus. “I am so proud of our team, for all they’ve accomplished over the past several years to bring a project of historic scale to this pivotal milestone. Bellefield exemplifies our ambition at Avantus to lead the industry forward and continue pushing boundaries of what’s possible with technology, innovation, collaboration and persistence. Projects like Bellefield challenge industry norms and show what is possible when we work together to face down the greatest challenge of our generation.”

Bellefield’s scale and energy storage capacity are reflective of Avantus’ robust portfolio of smart power plants. These next-generation solutions are central to the country’s climate goals and establishing a modern, resilient grid, that provides low-cost clean electricity without compromising reliability.

The project is expected to generate tax revenue for the community and the county and an estimated 1,000 union construction jobs at peak construction, while supporting indirect employment in the area.The project should also offset 2.25 million metric tons of CO2 per year — the equivalent of removing nearly half a million cars from the road, or about as many cars as are registered in Kern County today.

The company’s unique approach to community engagement and conservation enabled the Bellefield project to reach this milestone. Avantus broke the mold with a novel mitigation strategy to pair with its ambitious projects in Kern County, including Bellefield. The resulting Onyx Conservation Project (Onyx), in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, reflects Avantus’ creative and concerted approach to building clean energy responsibly while preserving precious land and delivering on President Biden’s America the Beautiful campaign. Onyx conserves and reallocates more than 215,000 acres — roughly seven times larger than San Francisco — from an active grazing allotment to an area permanently dedicated to wildlife forage in Kern County.

With more than 90 projects currently in development, Avantus has one of the largest pipelines of solar and energy storage projects in the United States, exceeding 50 gigawatts of system capacity, including 42 GW of solar and 78 GWh of energy storage — enough to provide power for more than 30 million people throughout California, Texas and the Southwestern United States. Its portfolio features historic milestones, including: the U.S.’s largest solar cluster, the first operating solar plant to beat fossil fuel prices and a project to deliver solar with storage at record-low prices.

Onpeak Capital LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor and Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal counsel for Avantus.