Shell made a major move to boost its position in solar and the US renewable energy sector with a deal to buy American project developer Savion.

The UK-based oil & gas supermajor will acquire 100% of Savion from its current owner, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, in a transaction due to close by the end of the month.

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Kansas City-based Savion has a 12.5 gigawatt solar pipeline spanning 27 states as well as a 3.3 GW energy storage development portfolio, according to its website.

The deal adds to Shell’s existing US photovoltaic interests through its stake in developer Silicon Ranch and marks a major ramp-up in its global solar ambitions.

Wael Sawan, Shell’s recently-appointed integrated gas and renewables and energy solutions director, said: "Savion's significant asset pipeline, highly experienced team, and proven success as a renewable energy project developer make it a compelling fit for Shell's growing integrated power business.

"As one of the fastest-growing, lowest-cost renewable energy sources, solar power is a critical element of our renewables portfolio as we accelerate our drive to net zero."

Solar is widely tipped to be the biggest winner of the US energy transition, with the International Energy Agency forecasting at the start of December that modules would make up 75% of an expected 200 GW renewable energy expansion by 2025.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but Shell said it fell under the annual $2-3 billion earmarked for low-carbon energy investments under its latest strategy.

Savion joins a growing list of Shell’s energy transition-focused subsidiaries or shareholdings that also includes German storage specialist Sonnen, floating wind group Eolfi and Singapore-based Cleantech Solar.

Along with BP, TotalEnergies and Equinor, Shell is among a clutch of European oil and gas groups that has led fossil sector ambitions in the renewables sector, often by buying corporate or project assets in the US.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's renewable energy sister publication on 14 December, 2021.)