ALLETE Inc. has closed the previously announced acquisition of New Energy Equity, of Annapolis, a distributed solar developer, for approximately $165.5 million.

New Energy has successfully completed more than 250 distributed solar projects across the nation totaling more than 330 megawatts. The company’s pipeline of development projects is slated to include about 2 gigawatts across 26 states slated for the next three years.

An independent study recently ranked Duluth, Minn.-based ALLETE the No. 1 investor in renewable energy, relative to market capitalization, among all U.S. investor-owned utilities. ALLETE Chair, President and CEO Bethany Owen said New Energy is a complementary fit with the company’s sustainability-in-action strategy.

“We’ve been signaling our move into the solar industry for some time, and as we met with New Energy Equity’s leadership team we knew we had found the right company to position us well,” Owen said. “The team brings a depth of distributed and community solar expertise and experience to ALLETE, along with a proven track record of financial success. The addition of New Energy Equity enhances our strong portfolio of companies and capabilities, and opens new growth opportunities as we lead the way to a sustainable energy future.”

New Energy also operates two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Impact Power Solutions and Energy Support Services; its management and employees will remain Annapolis headquarters, and at its offices in Roseville, Minn.; and Boulder, Colo.