RWE Expands in the United States with ConEd Acquisition

By Christian Roselund

On 1 March 2023 German energy giant RWE AG announced that it has acquired U.S. power company Consolidated Edison’s renewable energy businesses for $6.8 billion. With the acquisition RWE now owns 8 gigawatts of operating U.S. energy assets, making it the fourth-largest owner of renewable energy generation and the second-largest solar owner in the nation. Additionally, RWE now has a pipeline of 24 gigawatts of renewable energy projects and offshore leasing areas for 3.9 gigawatts of offshore wind.

UtilityDive estimates that RWE Clean Energy’s operating portfolio in the United States is 60% land-based wind and 40% solar by capacity.

RWE is consolidating its previous U.S. renewable energy activities and the former ConEdison business into a new company. Former Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses (CEB) CEO Mark Noyes will serve as the CEO of the newly formed RWE Clean Energy, and the executive management team will draw from the former leadership teams of RWE Renewables Americas and Con Edison CEB.

By investing heavily in U.S. renewable energy, RWE is following in the footsteps of other major European energy companies, including Energias de Portugal, Electricité de France, Iberdrola, and Orsted. But this sale also follows a more recent trend of large U.S. power companies either selling off their renewable energy businesses or slowing investments in them to focus on utility-deployed renewables. This reflects the creation of a “direct pay” option in the Inflation Reduction Act for utilities and non-profit entities to take advantage of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC), the two main federal incentives for renewable energy.

American Electric Power plans to sell 1,200 megawatts of wind and 165 megawatts of solar assets during Q2 2023 to a partnership owned by Invenergy, pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and funds managed by Blackstone Infrastructure. In February 2023, Dominion Energy said that it will no longer invest in solar projects that are not part of its regulated utility business.

Press release: RWE becomes a top tier renewable energy company in the United States (RWE Ag)