National Renewable Solutions Announces Bill Whitlock as Chief Executive Officer
Bill Whitlock announced to succeed Patrick Pelstring as NRS’s new CEO.
Minnetonka, MN— October , 2023— Today, National Renewable Solutions (NRS) announced Bill Whitlock as its new Chief Executive Officer, as its outgoing CEO begins a transition to retirement. NRS is a US-based renewable developer with a rich history and success deploying a community-based stakeholder engagement model for its robust utility scale pipeline. Whitlock has had an accomplished career in renewables already. He began his career at Zilkha Renewable Energy (acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2005),and later served in Senior executive positions at EDPR, Calpine and most recently at Third Pillar Solar, a portfolio company for 547 Energy. The NRS Board made the unanimous decision to appoint Whitlock as CEO this month.
“I look forward to joining NRS during this period of rapid growth and building upon the success that Pat and the rest of the NRS team have already created. Together we are committed to delivering on our promises to our shareholders and the communities in which we operate,” Whitlock said.
The company’s original founder and President & CEO, Patrick Pelstring, has been planning to transition into retirement and believes now is the right time to make that move.Pelstring will continue working with NRS as a private consultant surrounding the efforts on new project origination and community outreach.
Pelstring said, “Good people have always been the strength of NRS and I’m confident that the company will continue its dramatic growth and success under Bill’s direction. I’m also pleased to continue to add value to NRS’s pipeline by going back to my roots in greenfield development.”
Founded in 2011, NRS originates, acquires, and develops renewable energy projects throughout the US at various stages, including from greenfield through operations. NRS is owned by an investment fund managed by an investment management subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc and with its capital markets support and global reach, NRS has positioned itself as a major player in the U.S. renewable energy market.
Guzman Energy Partners with National Renewable Solutions on Shallow Basket Solar and Battery Storage Project
Guzman Energy will offtake 100% of renewable power generated by Shallow Basket, a new 190 MW solar + storage development in northern NM
DENVER & MINNETONKA, MN – September 13, 2023 – Guzman Energy and renewable developer National Renewable Solutions (NRS), today announced the execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 140 MW Shallow Basket PV solar project to be paired with 50 MW of battery storage. The Rio Arriba County NM solar power generation and battery storage site is in the final stages of development and is expected to be operational in 2025.
NRS will build and operate the solar project, leasing the land from the Jicarilla Apache Nation. When completed, the project will be capable of supplying enough electricity to power approximately 38,000 homes in the region.
Guzman Energy will own 100% of the power and associated renewable attributes, including renewable energy credits (RECs), generated by Shallow Basket. In addition, Guzman Energy will operate and manage the battery storage system, including scheduling charging and discharging of stored energy.
“The power purchase agreement for Shallow Basket Solar is an important addition to the ever-expanding Guzman power supply portfolio,” said Christopher A. Miller, Co-Founder and CEO of Guzman Energy. “Guzman wholesale customers in New Mexico and Colorado will benefit from this new source of affordable and renewable power.”
The power generated by Shallow Basket solar and stored in battery will be part of Guzman Energy’s power supply portfolio serving current and future Guzman Energy wholesale customer power loads.
Patrick Pelstring, President and CEO of NRS said, “This project represents a cornerstone for NRS. We’re extremely pleased to be partnering with Guzman and look forward to working with them on this and other opportunities to come.”
NRS has an active development portfolio consisting of over 4 GW of renewable projects. The Shallow Basket project is the fourth renewable project the company has developed in New Mexico.
2023 County Fair Season Wrap-Up
Well, that’s a wrap! Fair season is over.
The NRS Development Team is still buzzing about all of the county fairs they were able to attend this July and August. Not only were we able to attend the fairs and talk to folks who visited our booths, but we were able to support the local 4-H chapters in all of the county fairs we attended, including our own landowners.
The amount of time, effort, and hard work these kids put into raising and caring for their animals was a real treat to witness.
Here are some of the successes we saw this past month:
In support of our Overland Pass Energy and Honors Energy projects, we visited the Logan County (CO)and Sedgewick County (CO) fairs. Bren Moore (Director of Wind Development) is pictured above with Kaitlyn and the rabbit she raised and showed. NRS was able to purchase the rabbit in support of Kaitlyn and the local 4-H chapter.
We received this handwritten Thank You note (right) from Ryder for buying his chicken at the auction in Sedgewick County Fair. The funds are going to help buy a car. Good luck, Ryder!
In the week leading up to the fair, we received the sweetest letter from Payson (Stargazer landowner, pictured left with her “Babe” (Ruth)). She was in search of more visitors to attend the Harding County (NM) Fair in support of her 2nd year showing goats and also fellow 4-H members. Dan Parish (Technical Coordinator) was able to attend and said she did a great job showing her goat, Babe (Ruth)! Well done, Payson!
At the Quay County (NM) Fair we attended the fair sale where we were able to help purchase a goat from a young lady in 7th grade. The proceeds were donated to the local student council for their Operation Christmas Wish program, which helps local families at Christmas time with food, clothing, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and a fun item.
We are very proud of all of the 4-H kids who worked so hard all year in preparation to show at their local county fairs. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store. Best of luck to all, and congrats on a successful season!
2nd Annual NRS Table Tennis Tournament
The last week of July in Minnesota resulted in an unusual 100-degree stint, but the NRS team wasn’t going to let that keep them from competing in the 2ndAnnual NRS Table Tennis Tournament at the All Hands Meeting.
Playing off last year’s rules, it was a single-elimination tournament, resulting in 25+ games over two days, fit between productive group meetings and team meals. This year, NRS decided to increase incentive for the team and added an epic 3-tier trophy for the winner to take home (right). To say the competition was heated, is an understatement, including an intense battle between Lindsey (COO, pictured above, left) and Jesse (CDO, pictured above middle).
Before crowning the champion Thursday afternoon, a Ben & Jerry’s sundae party re-energized the crew. Ice cream may (or may not) have contributed to the wins or losses that were played afterward, but it all came down to the Balmy Battle of the Brians.
Brian Hemminger (Finance Manager) and Brian Reindl (Director of Solar Development) had defeated every opponent in their brackets to face off in the championship game. In the end, Brian Reindl became the first recipient of the NRS Table Tennis Trophy! He will hold onto the trophy for the next year until next summer’s All Hands meeting when we will crown the next champion of the 3rd Annual NRS Table Tennis Tournament.
We had some amazing department and breakout meetings, checked some of the smaller items off the bottom of our lists, and created more efficiency with our processes. The NRS team celebrated their constructive days with two nights of team-building events where they could choose from Top Golf, dinner and a show at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and a MN Loons Soccer Game at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
It was an amazing week of fun and productivity – especially welcoming all the new faces of the NRS Team to the Annual Table Tennis Tournament! A big shot out to our local title company for joining us for the Wednesday morning session, sharing their title wisdom, and bringing us yummy Kolacky treats!
We continue to be amazed with the work our team has produced. We are very grateful for their hard work, determination, and ability to let loose, too!
Productive Week in New Orleans at CLEANPOWER
It was a hot and sticky week in Louisiana, but inside the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was cool and buzzing with excitement as industry leaders from all over made their way into the CLEANPOWER exhibit hall, May 22nd-25th.
Monday evening, NRS hosted a “Kick-Off ACP Event” at Calcasieu Catering & Events & Cochon Restaurant. With James Beard Award Winning Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, guests were in for a treat with authentic New Orleans hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. It was great to connect with so many industry friends and partners, and the staff at Cochon was wonderful.
NRS was well represented with team members from every department at the conference. We were packed with meetings and sessions during the day and enjoyed some fun events and team-building activities at night.
While NOLA sure didn’t disappoint, we are looking forward to next year’s CLEANPOWER in Minneapolis! Stay tuned!
We are excited to announce the NRS office buildout is officially done!
We’ve expanded into the suite next door at our headquarters in Minnetonka, MN and created some amazing new spaces for our in-office staff, as well as our remote team members when they’re in town.
It was especially amazing to use the Broadview Training Room during last weeks All Hands meeting, aptly named after NRS’ largest (to date) group of wind development projects in New Mexico and Texas. It is a wonderful space, big enough to hold the whole NRS team and included some fun new technology integrations to help with our meeting efficiency.
This was our first in person gathering as a full team this year, and it was wonderful to share space together and meet the new faces in person.
It was a great week of camaraderie, productive work, and even a bit of fun! NRS Team members were able to Escape the Room and also share some laughs while bowling. Thanks to the whole team for a great week!
Before and after photos of the office buildout:
NRS Well Represented at Panel Discussion @ COSSA
We were very proud to have Mark Russell, Director of Transmission, represent NRS in the transmission panel discussion at the Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA) Conference in Denver, Colorado, Feb 28th.
The goal of the panel was to bring transmission to the forefront as a paramount and critical path to a low-carbon future as the State of Colorado determines transmission buildout. The expert panel from the Mountain West region included Colorado Energy Transmission Authority (CETA), New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA), and National Renewable Solutions (NRS). The discussion tackled the big questions of transmission planning, resource scarcity, and access.
Erik Aaboe (left) started the conversation on the success in New Mexico with NM RETA and how the lessons learned over the last 15 years on its process, challenges, and benefits could be incorporated into forming of the CETA charter. Mark (middle) followed up with interaction with both NM RETA and Kathleen Staks (right) from CETA and described what benefits developers need from CETA to achieve both Gen Tie and transmission line success in Colorado and New Mexico.
It was an honor to share the stage with fellow colleagues and bring transmission knowledge alive. We want to thank COSSA for this opportunity and look forward to our continued partnership with both CETA and NM RETA.
*Photos courtesy of COSSA
A YEAR IN REVIEW: 2022
As we started to look back at 2022 and all that we have done as a team, as well as individuals, we couldn’t help but share some of our most proud (and fun) moments of 2022. In no particular order:
More of 2022’s Highlights:
Acres Signed: 145,264 Acre
All Hands Meetings Held: 3
Development Projects Sold: 2
Fish Caught at NRS Team Ice Fishing Event: 1
Ground Breakings: 2
Industry Conferences attended: 8+
Internal Promotions: 6
Job Fairs Attended: 1
Landowner Meetings Held: 6
New hires: 12 (including Senior Vice President, Construction)
NRS Challenges Conner has won: 3 (we thought there were more, but he seems to be cursed to 2nd place in the office Fantasy Football league)
Staff Lunches: 67
Successful Chili Cookoffs: 1
Total signed agreements + Landowner Goodie Boxes Sent: 504
We are in awe of all we were able to accomplish with the hard work and dedication of our team! The NRS Team is ramped up to accomplish even more this year! Here’s to a renewed energy for 2023 (pun intended)!
Nautilus Makes Headway in Maine’s Versant Utility Territory with Acquisition of 7.6MW Community Solar Portfolio.
Transaction with National Renewable Solutions overcame stringent timelines in complex market conditions.
Summit, New Jersey (November 16, 2022) – Nautilus Solar Energy®, LLC (“Nautilus”), on behalf of its affiliate Nautilus US Power Holdco, LLC (“NUPH”), announces the acquisition of a 7.6MW community solar portfolio of two projects in Maine from National Renewable Solutions, LLC (“NRS”), a renewable energy company. Located in Presque Isle, Aroostook County, the projects are in the late stage of development and are expected to reach operation by third quarter of 2023. Once completed, the community solar projects will provide an alternative energy option to the City of Presque Isle and other commercial off-takers within Versant Power’s Maine Public District utility territory.
The transaction between the two parties overcame several challenges, including a stringent timeline was also in place to accommodate weather constraints for designing and building in northern Maine.
“We are very proud of our team for managing a quick and complex transaction in a creative, flexible, and proactive way. It was also a pleasure to partner with NRS as their expertise helped expedite timelines and reduce development risks in this emerging solar market,” said Daniela Pangallo, Business Development Director at Nautilus. “This acquisition exemplifies Nautilus’s commitment to working closely with our development partners and expands our overall footprint as a leading Community Solar company in the U.S.,” added Jeffrey Cheng, CEO of Nautilus.
“Consistent with our community model, NRS has enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with the City of Presque to execute a shared objective of building clean, affordable, and sustainable community solar projects on local land. The Nautilus team was able to mobilize quickly and proved very effective in collaborating on key late-stage development issues. We are excited to see Nautilus bring these projects through construction and into operations,” said Ryan Pelstring, CFO of NRS.
The projects are part of the Maine Net Energy Billing Commercial program (NEB Tariff) that allows customers to receive renewable energy benefits and a monetary bill-credit at a prescribed rate. NUPH is the long-term owner of the projects and Nautilus is responsible for overseeing construction, maintaining its long-term performance, and acquiring and managing customer subscriptions. When fully operational the projects are expected to generate over 11 million kilowatt hours (kWhs) annually, contributing to Maine’s goals of providing economic growth, workforce opportunities, and relying on 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050.
About Nautilus Solar Energy
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is a leading community solar company, providing clean energy to residential and commercial customers in local communities. Nautilus operates and manages solar farms in 10 states and is responsible for financing, development, maintenance, and customer service for the lifetime of the project. Founded in 2006, Nautilus has helped shape the future of solar to provide an equitable and affordable renewable energy choice for all. Nautilus is owned by Power Sustainable, a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada. Power Sustainable is a multi-platform alternative asset manager with a long-term investment approach focused on sustainable strategies. For more information on Nautilus Solar Energy visit nautilussolar.com. Join Nautilus on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Nautilus Solar Energy
About National Renewable Solutions
NRS is an emerging renewable IPP which has a rich history and success deploying a community-based stakeholder engagement model for its utility scale wind and solar projects. NRS originates, acquires, and develops renewable energy projects throughout the US at various stages, including from greenfield through operations. NRS has a current active development portfolio comprising over 4 GW of renewable projects. In mid-2021, NRS was acquired by BlackRock Real Assets – Climate Infrastructure Group (“BlackRock”) with the intention of accelerating the development of its pipeline of projects toward financing, construction, and operations.
For more information on National Renewable Solutions visit www.natrs.com.
The 2nd NRS Chili Cookoff, Axe Throwing, and Productivity, too!
On an average Wednesday morning in early November, the NRS kitchen was filled with chili aroma as eight NRS employees plugged in their respective crockpots for the 2nd NRS Chili Cookoff. The fun atmosphere was welcoming to the new faces on the NRS team as the full staff gathered for the 3-day, quarterly “all hands” meeting at NRS Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN.
At the lunchtime break, staff tried and scored the various chilis, including white chicken and 2 vegetarian chilis. Scoring was based on the name, taste, smell, texture, and overall goodness of the chili. While they were all delicious (and yes, most tried all eight chilis), it came down to mere decimal points to determine the winner: The Ragin’ Cajun, made by our CDO, Jesse Hopkins-Hoel. Some had argued his wasn’t an actual chili as it was made with shrimp and had more of a stew consistency than chili, but the points don’t lie! Honorable mention was 2nd place Texas Turmoil, a spicy Texan chili (no beans) from Senior Project Developer, Conner Wilkinson. Many thanks to all of the chili cookers! It was, hands down, the best lunch we’ve had at these gatherings.
In the evenings after our productive meeting days, we were able to get out and enjoy some Top Golf and axe throwing, which was really fun to see the unique hidden talents of our team. That Friday, we wished Tyler, our Senior Interconnection Analyst, a happy (early) birthday, pictured above (top right).
It was an eventful and successful week, and we are extremely grateful for this amazing NRS crew!
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In mid 2021, NRS was acquired by BlackRock Real Assets – Climate Infrastructure Group* (“BlackRock”) with the intention of accelerating the development of its pipeline of projects toward financing, construction, and operations. With NRS’ on-the-ground development and origination expertise and BlackRock’s capital markets support and global reach, we have positioned ourselves as a major player in the U.S. renewable energy market.
* BLACKROCK REAL ASSETS OPERATES ONE OF THE LARGEST CLIMATE INFRASTRUCTURE EQUITY INVESTMENT PLATFORMS IN THE WORLD WITH OVER $9.7 BILLION IN TOTAL COMMITMENTS AND INVESTMENTS IN 450 RENEWABLE POWER AND OTHER CLIMATE RELATED PROJECTS ACROSS 17 COUNTRIES AND 5 CONTINENTS.