Minnesota-based IPS Solar recently formed a new partnership with private equity firm SmartPitch Ventures, taking on a significant capital investment through a newly formed entity called IPS Development LLC.
Virginia-based SmartPitch is a later-stage venture capital and private equity business focusing on disruptive technologies, with a particular focus on energy. It was founded by Gautam Chandra and Sanjiv Mahan, who have invested in and built national platforms in renewable energy, distributed generation, and competitive energy and technology businesses.
“This investment will enable IPS to take on an even more prominent role nationally,” says Eric Pasi, chief development officer of IPS. “An expansion in renewable energy means more job creation locally and regionally, as well as nationally. It is also critical to addressing certain aspects of climate change.”
To date, IPS Solar’s project management team has installed and managed more than 1,500 projects in the upper Midwest.
“This investment, along with financial backing, will enable IPS to scale our project development efforts more quickly and efficiently,” adds Pasi. “Also, the SmartPitch principals are former utility executives, which will help us navigate the often tricky relationship between solar development and grid operations.”
As part of this new structure, Jamie Borell moves from chief operating officer to CEO, and Ralph Jacobson transitions from CEO to chief innovation officer.
“I’m extremely excited to join forces with SmartPitch,” says Borell. “This move will enable IPS to expand our market opportunities and continue to be a top solar developer in the country.”
Jacobson adds, “I couldn’t have orchestrated a better transition. Jamie will assume CEO responsibilities, and I will continue in an entrepreneurial role, scouting new opportunities for solar-plus-storage in the national market.”
Commenting on the new partnership, SmartPitch founders Chandra and Mahan note, “We are very excited about our investment in IPS Development. We look forward to working with the IPS team and growing the company into a national solar platform as part of our overall vision for growth in sustainable energy offerings.”
SmartPitch will own a majority of the new partnership.