Spanish renewables investor Qualitas Energy has finalised an agreement to acquire Heelstone Renewable Energy from funds and accounts managed by Ares Management.

The acquisition is a significant expansion for Qualitas Energy in the US renewable energy sector.

Heelstone is a North Carolina-based utility-scale renewable energy platform. Its 20GW portfolio includes solar photovoltaic (PV) and storage assets.

The company’s portfolio contains 179MW of operational assets and 175MW under construction, with the remaining projects ready-to-build or in development.

Heelstone has more than ten years of experience and a diverse project range across the US.

The company will continue to operate independently within Qualitas Energy. It will retain its management team, which has expertise in project life cycle management.

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Qualitas Energy founding partner and CEO Iñigo Olaguíbel stated: “This acquisition aligns perfectly with Qualitas Energy’s long-term goals, accelerating the development of renewable energy projects in the United States.

“We are committed to re-establishing it as one of our core markets, leveraging our expertise and successful track record along with the favourable environment for energy transition projects and the strong and valuable capabilities from Heelstone.”

Heelstone CEO Justin Gravatt stated: “Heelstone is very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Ares since 2019 through a very successful partnership and period of growth. With the closing of this acquisition, the Heelstone team is looking forward to the next phase of growth through our partnership with Qualitas Energy. 

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with world-class investors as we look to leverage our past successes into the continued evolution of our IPP platform going forward.”

For Qualitas Energy, the acquisition signifies a return to the US market where it first invested in 2008 through Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, building a solar PV portfolio of 1.4GW.

The acquisition aligns with its commitment to the decarbonisation of the global economy and its ambition to be a key global renewable energy player.

The investment will be channelled through Q-Energy V, one of Europe’s largest renewable energy funds, valued at €2.4bn ($2.7bn).

In January 2024, Qualitas Energy acquired a wind project pipeline of 96MW in Germany. The move is expected to strengthen the presence of its subsidiary, Qualitas Energy Deutschland, in the country.