Solar Leasing Funds Thriving in Economic Downturn
June 30, 2010Despite current economic conditions, solar leasing firms have secured hundreds of millions in investment dollars. SolarCity, partnering with TXU Energy in Texas, has secured a $60 million fund raised with Pacific Venture Capital, an unregulated subsidiary of PG&E, to finance more than 1,000 residential and commercial solar systems, and a US Bank fund for $90 million. SolarCity serves the Arizona, California, Oregon and Colorado markets.
Since 2008, SolarCity has raised separate tax-equity funds with Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Arizona, Pacific Venture Capital and Greystone Renewable Energy Ventures, and three separate funds with US Bank.
SunRun, which serves Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey, is partnering with Massachusetts-based Alteris Renewables to help finance solar installations in the Massachusetts market and has secured a $100 million tax equity fund with Pacific Energy Capital II, LLC, a non-utility subsidiary of PG&E. The money is expected to finance 3,500 home solar installations.
In 2009, SunRun announced its partnership with One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), the San-Francisco-based community solar residential aggregator that negotiates volume discounts for blocks of homeowners. Through the SunRun-1BOG partnership, homeowners can finance solar installations with SunRun leases, with an additional 1BOG group discount. Prior to that, SunRun closed two rounds of tax equity financing with US Bank along with funding from its Silicon Valley VC backers, Foundation Capital and Accel Partners.
News Release - PG&E Corporation and SunRun Create $100 Million Home Solar Financing Fund
News Article - Are Residential Solar Leasing Funds Raising Capital?
News Article - SunRun Offering New Plans for Homeowners