Nelnet has acquired a controlling investment in affiliates of GRNE Solutions LLC, known as GRNE Solar, a Midwest solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm. In addition, Nelnet attained certain solar assets from an affiliate of GRNE, some already generating power and others currently being constructed.
GRNE designs and installs residential, commercial and utility-scale solar systems in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and soon in Colorado. Its solar projects typically generate between 1-5 MW of power. GRNE also offers battery backup, electric vehicle charging, energy monitoring, and operations and maintenance services.
Based in Palatine, Ill., and Lincoln, Neb., GRNE was established in 2012 by Jess Baker and Eric Peterman. The co-founders will continue to lead GRNE and retain a minority ownership interest in the company.
“We are excited to partner with Jess, Eric and the GRNE team to accelerate their growth plans and our diversification into solar development,” says Scott Gubbels, Nelnet’s executive director of tax and renewable energy. “The GRNE team has earned a strong reputation in the solar industry for their culture, values and high-quality execution and construction management. Together, we will create a unique solution in the renewable space, including EPC services, financing solutions and subscription management.”
“This acquisition presents an outstanding opportunity for the growth of GRNE and for Nelnet’s continued expansion into the renewable energy space,” states Baker, co-founder and president of GRNE Solar. “With Nelnet’s proven track record for growing and scaling business as well as GRNE’s industry expertise, we will continue to accomplish amazing things. Solar energy is a key component to accomplishing the energy goals of the future, and we are proud to be part of the solution.”