Portland Business Journal: Portland Wind Developer Acquired

Pete Danko for the Portland Business Journal

Jesse Gronner, CEO, left, and Labeja, CFO, co-founded Triple Oak Power. Both had worked previously at Avangrid Renewables in Portland.

Triple Oak Power

A Portland-based wind power development company has a new private equity owner.

Energy Capital Partners bought Triple Oak Power, founded in Portland in 2020 by former Avangrid Renewables executives, from founding investor EnCap Investments and partners Yorktown Partners and Mercuria Energy.

No terms were revealed in the Tuesday announcement. Seller EnCap, noting that Triple Oak began with a “contrarian idea,” called the partnership a success while new owner ECP and Triple Oak said they looked forward to growth.

What made Triple Oak different was its pure focus on land-based wind power.

Much of the wind power development in the United States is done by companies — such as Avangrid, Invenergy, Next Era Energy Resources and Pattern Energy — that also develop other energy resources, including solar. Solar, in fact, has usurped wind as the fastest-growing utility-scale renewable energy resource in the country.

But Jesse Gronner, the former Avangrid exec who has led Triple Oak from its start, saw continued opportunity for wind for grid diversity.

Jesse Gronner, CEO, left, and Labeja, CFO, co-founded Triple Oak Power. Both had worked previously at Avangrid Renewables in Portland.

Triple Oak says it now has a pipeline of 8 gigawatts of wind power. For perspective, in 2022, the U.S. added 8.5 gigawatts of wind capacity to give it 144 gigawatts total.

The company’s work is focused in the central and west U.S. It does both greenfield projects — starting from scratch — and projects acquired at various stages of development. An example of the latter was a 160-megawatt project in Texas that came with land leases, some studies and years of wind data when Triple Oak acquired it. Two years later, having brought it to “ready-to-build” status, Triple Oak sold the project.

Gronner looks to more of the same under ECP ownership.

“ECP’s renewable energy expertise and world-class resources make them a perfect financial backer as we accelerate project development to meet the growing demand for clean energy,” he said in a statement. “Triple Oak remains committed to a transparent approach to our business and to building diverse teams and projects moving forward.”