EnergyLink, a Columbia-based contractor specializing in renewable energy projects, has formed a partnership with Bertram-Kiel Holdings, a structured finance investment firm based in St. Louis.
EnergyLink CEO Chris Ihler and Bertram-Kiel Managing Principal Tom Jensen announced the strategic partnership and the resulting new company, City Power Development Group LLC. City Power Development will combine energy production and structured and project finance under “one roof,” Ihler said.
“City Power was created to provide the developer services, financial services-funding partner, the construction and engineering services, and the asset management services,” Ihler said.
EnergyLink, established in 2010, provides renewable energy systems to Missouri residential and commercial buildings. The joint company will offer power-saving systems to municipalities across Missouri. Ihler said the idea for City Power Development was fostered when Bertram-Kiel Holdings and EnergyLink worked together on a recent project involving the Moberly School District and the Moberly city government.
“(We) decided it was a great relationship,” Ihler said. “We wanted to base a whole company around the partnership.”
The Moberly School District has board approval with EnergyLink to install leased solar equipment on the roofs of school buildings. Bertram-Kiel, which has 15 years of experience in structured finance, helped with the financial aspects of the project. Ihler said EnergyLink established a leasing agreement with the city.
“EnergyLink will own the equipment, and the equipment will be connected to the schools directly,” Ihler said. “The solar energy (system) will deliver energy into the school, which will reduce their payments that they owe Ameren UE.”
Ihler said the amount of the solar lease payments with EnergyLink will be less than the Ameren electricity payments.
In future projects, City Power Development is planning to provide power to various municipalities. Ihler said City Power Development will be replacing lease work with Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s).
The project with Moberly and EnergyLink will not transfer over to City Power Development because it was established before the two companies merged. However, both EnergyLink and Bertram-Kiel Holdings will still exist as separate companies from City Power Development.