Private equity firm Starwood Energy Group Global just acquired a majority stake in rapidly growing Nautilus Solar Energy, a Chatham, N.J. company that says it provides end-to-end services for solar power generation. Full terms of the deal have yet to be released, but Starwood says it has committed $50 million to Nautlius’ project pipeline, which allegedly has the potential to generate 50 megawatts in the next two years.
Nautilus has seven retail operations up and running offering solar installations of various scales and a few other projects currently under construction in New Jersey and Connecticut (home of Starwood). After a system is installed, whether commercial or residential, Nautilus retains ownership and is responsible for maintenance costs. Customers only pay for the electricity, and any overflow power is sold off to the nearby utility company. Nautilus claims these prices are well below those charged by established utilities.
Starwood took a big step into the solar market in 2007 when it struck a partnership deal with Lockheed Martin to work on much larger scale solar systems. Its deal with Nautilus has the smaller company’s employees contributing to projects underway with Lockheed.