Shell dips another toe into renewable energy with solar investment

Shell bought Siemens Solar in 2002, but sold it six years later

Content Dam Elp Online Articles 2017 09 Solar Photovoltaic Elp Sept 11

Looking to diversify its primarily fossil fuel holdings, Royal Dutch Shell is again investing in solar power by buying a stake in a US renewable energy firm.

The multinational energy company, which withdrew from solar energy 12 years ago, bought a 44 percent stake in Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp. from funds linked to Partners Group for up to $217 million, according to Power Engineering International.

Shell's rival energy company BP last month jumped back into the solar power industry by buying a $200 million chunk of Lightsource.

Shell may elect to buy into the company more after 2021. Silicon Ranch is a solar farm owner-operator with an 880 MW portfolio.

In November, Shell decided to double its spending on clean energy research, spending $2 billion until 2020—a far bigger slice than most other fossil fuel companies, but still a small part of its overall $25 billion spending budget.

It was 2002 when Shell made its first step into the renewable energy space, buying up Siemens Solar, which it sold six years later.

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