Full-service renewable natural gas platform Viridi Energy announced a $320 million line of equity commitment from Warburg Pincus.
The investment will allow the newly formed Viridi to build a leading energy platform of scale focused on developing RNG sourced from landfill, dairy, and food waste feedstocks. Viridi is currently developing multiple projects across the food waste, agricultural waste, and landfill gas sectors, and expects to break ground on several RNG development assets in the third quarter of 2022.
The new firm is led by Green Rock Energy Partners executive Andy Kelleher, who has added Chet Benham, Matt Atkins, Jake Crouse, Dana Husnay and Bill Keller to the founding management team. Benham was previously the President of Unconventional Gas Solutions LLC, and CEO of Air Liquide Advanced Technologies U.S. LLC, where he supervised all of the RNG business in the Americas. Atkins, who joins Viridi as VP Operations, previously served as director of O&M at Brightmark and as project manager at Amec Foster Wheeler and Fluor. Crouse joins Viridi as VP Origination and previously served as vice president of Biogas at Air Liquide. Husnay joins Viridi as VP Development after having served as director of RNG Operations at Air Liquide. Keller also joins as VP Markets & Strategy, after having served as global general manager for gas separation technologies at Air Liquide and as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The plan is to leverage the team’s combined biogas expertise to develop projects with a focus on best-in-class operations and technology.
“Viridi has a truly differentiated approach, with the unique ability to handle all parts of the RNG value chain, spanning development, operations, financing, and commercial strategy. Our mission is to work closely with a broad base of stakeholders to develop RNG that will replace higher emission fuel in a cost-friendly and environmentally effective way,” said Kelleher, CEO, Viridi Energy. Prior to Green Rock Energy Partners, Kelleher was the head of U.S. Oil Trading at Glencore and president of Supply and Trading at ConocoPhillips.
“We consider the Viridi management team to be pioneers in the RNG industry, having developed several dozen RNG assets over the course of their careers. We believe that this equity capital commitment, combined with support from our debt financing relationships, will allow us to invest up to a billion dollars of total capital to create a leading platform in the RNG space,” said Roy Ben-Dor, managing director at Warburg Pincus, which has more than $80 billion in assets.
Warburg Pincus, which has an active portfolio of more than 245 companies, is highly diversified by stage, sector, and geography. The private markets firm has a strong track record of investing in companies committed to the growth of ESG practices across all sectors, including low-carbon opportunities. Notable energy transition investments include ClimeCo, Eco Material Technologies, Gradiant, Monolith, Scale Microgrid Solutions and Solar Mosaic.