By Nia Williams and Ruhi Soni
(Reuters) - Canadian energy infrastructure firm Enbridge Inc on Thursday said it has acquired U.S.-based renewable energy developer Tri Global Energy (TGE) for $270 million and assumed its debt.
Dallas-based TGE is the third-largest onshore wind developer in the United States, and has monetized more than 6 gigawatts (GW) of utility scale solar and wind projects since its inception in 2009.
Calgary-based Enbridge said TGE's debt amount to $17 million and it could make up to about $50 million in additional payments as TGE completes certain projects.
The all-cash deal strengthens Enbridge's renewables portfolio, with also includes offshore wind farms in Europe and solar projects supplying power to its oil and gas pipelines in North America.
Enbridge is best known for its network of pipelines that ship the bulk of Canadian crude to the United States, but the company said it is focused on growing its renewables portfolio, which currently makes up about 5% of the company.
"We really liked this acquisition because it accelerates the growth ambition we have in our company for renewable power and new energy generally, and low carbon infrastructure," Matthew Akman, Enbridge's senior vice president of strategy, power and new energy technologies, told Reuters in an interview.
The TGE deal means Enbridge does not need to make any further acquisitions in the onshore wind sector, he added.
"If you look at the amount of potential investment just in the development assets of the company that we're acquiring here, it's billions of dollars."
The U.S. government recently announced substantial renewable energy tax credits through its Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Akman said the investment fundamentals for U.S. renewable power projects were improving even before the IRA thanks to an "incredible escalation" in demand for clean electricity from corporations.
The deal comes a day after Enbridge said it will sell a C$1.12 billion ($816.51 million) minority stake in seven Alberta oil pipelines to a group of Indigenous communities.
BMO Capital Markets analyst Ben Pham said Enbridge was likely recycling capital from recent asset sales to fund the TGE acquisition.
Enbridge shares were last down 1.9% at C$51.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
($1 = 1.3717 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Gregorio)