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New Jersey Resources Buying OwnEnergy Stake to Enter Wind Market

New Jersey Resources Corp., the owner of a natural-gas distribution company that serves almost 500,000 customers in the state, agreed to buy 20 percent of OwnEnergy Inc., its first investment in wind power.

New Jersey Resources, which has focused its renewable-energy support on residential and commercial solar systems, paid $8.8 million for the minority stake, the Wall, New Jersey-based company said today in a statement.

OwnEnergy, based in Brooklyn, New York, has completed and sold three wind farms totaling 141 megawatts of capacity and is developing 1,300 megawatts of other projects, according to the statement. The closely held company works with landowners, farmers and local businesses on projects of 10 megawatts to 80 megawatts that are often owned by community residents.

A New Jersey Resources representative will join OwnEnergy’s board, which also includes executives from existing investors EnerTech Capital Partners and California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The investment gives the power company the option to purchase “shovel-ready projects” from OwnEnergy.

The company’s New Jersey Natural Gas unit serves more than 486,000 customers in central and northern parts of the state, according to its website. The investment was made by its NJR Clean Energy Ventures unit.

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