US-based coal mining company Peabody Energy has forayed into the renewable energy sector by launching a renewable energy development firm, R3 Renewables.

Peabody launched R3 as a joint venture with Riverstone Credit Partners and Summit Partners Credit Advisors.

Peabody president and CEO Jim Grech said: “We are pleased to announce this new joint venture as part of Peabody’s commitment to be the coal producer of choice, creating additional value from our existing assets, supporting our own and our customers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) ambitions and providing added economic benefits for the communities in which we work and live.

“Both Riverstone and Summit Partners have deep experience across energy and growth sectors, and we believe R3 will benefit from their collective perspective on renewable energy solutions.” 

Over the next five years, R3 intends to develop more than 3.3GW worth of solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities and 1.6GW of battery storage capacity.

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By GlobalData

The company will initially focus on developing renewable energy assets at six sites near Peabody’s former mining sites in Indiana and Illinois.

Peabody said that the sites are located in close proximity to grid injection points and have the potential to create the largest solar and battery storage projects in Indiana and Illinois.

R3 will be led by John Jones, who will serve as the company’s CEO. Jones previously worked for GE EFS, Ørsted North America Onshore and Invenergy among other firms.

Riverstone managing director Daniel Flannery said: “We are excited to partner with Peabody and Summit Partners as we launch R3 Renewables.

“As one of the world’s largest private investment firms focused on energy, power, decarbonisation and infrastructure, we believe we are well-positioned to assist R3 Renewables to reclaim, reimagine and repower the region by pursuing these ambitious and transformative renewable energy projects.”