Spruce Finance sells $250 million solar loan portfolio

Spruce finance solar loans

Spruce Finance, a provider of consumer financing for residential energy efficiency and solar technology, completed a whole loan sale of $250 million of its efficiency and solar loan portfolio to a large North American bank with expertise in consumer loan assets. This marks the second major sale of loan assets for the company.

“We’re pleased about institutional investors’ growing confidence in the lending market for renewable and energy efficient home technologies. These loans, with terms of 7 to 20 years, allow for financing that better matches the useful life of the asset, creating much better value for the consumer. The capital unlocked from this transaction, combined with incremental capital recently provided by a global investment firm, will support the future growth of our business,” said Steve Olszewski, Spruce’s chief operating officer.

The company expects the sale to serve as a foundation for future loan flow sales transactions.

Financing beyond FICO: Using asset-backed loans, PACE to get solar deals done

More about Spruce

Spruce provides homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential energy efficiency improvements and solar systems. This helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities. We make our finance products available on a single software platform and sell them through a national network of verified channel partners. Our platform simplifies the sales experience for our channel partners and helps them sustainably grow their businesses. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We have raised more than $2B in project finance and currently serve nearly 70,000 homeowners.

— Solar Builder magazine

PetersenDean to hire 50 employees to boost solar efforts in Nevada

Petersen Dean

PetersenDean Roofing & Solar, a privately-held roofing and solar company, is expanding of its solar division in Nevada in response to the newly reinstated energy policy signed into effect last week by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. With this expansion, PetersenDean expects to hire at least 50 new employees and pursue 1,200 new projects annually, valued at over $30 million.

The new Assembly Bill 405 returns net metering to Nevada residents making residential solar viable again. After the policy changes in 2015 virtually ended net metering programs, these recent changes allow homeowners to purchase solar and return to the existing rate classes of all other consumers. Once again, they will be protected from discriminatory rates, charges, and fees. Provisions of the bill also establish stronger warranties and disclosure policies that are designed to protect consumers.

While other solar companies have recently announced their return to Nevada, the PetersenDean team has experience in the Nevada new construction market dating back to 1965. The firm is the second largest roofer in the state and retains about 35 percent of all new construction market share.

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The new policy, which goes into effect immediately, means that customers with solar will get approximately 95 percent of the retail value of excess solar-produced electricity sent to the grid when it’s sold back to utilities. This will bottom out at 75 percent. Additionally, the amended legislation allows homeowners to “shave” electricity from the most expensive tiers off their bills first.

This expansion helps meet two important goals for PetersenDean, which installs about 2,000 solar and roof systems each month nationally: Providing PetersenDean custom-ers with intelligently managed energy storage, and using products assembled in the U.S.

“We made a decision years ago to offer consumers the best products at the best price and to never offer a PPA or lease option when consumers are considering solar panels for their source of low-cost, clean and reliable energy. I am delighted to see Nevada do the right thing when it comes to solar energy,” said Petersen.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic solar module posts world-leading output temperature coefficient

Panasonic Corp. says it has achieved the world’s leading output temperature coefficient for mass-produced silicon photovoltaic modules, at -0.258%/°C. This record-breaking innovation sets a new standard for the solar industry, improving on the previous temperature coefficient by 0.032 points at the mass production level, highlighting the positive temperature characteristics of heterojunction solar cells and further improving Panasonic’s unique heterojunction technology.

panasonic modules

Temperature coefficient explained

Output temperature coefficient is a vital metric in evaluating solar modules as a measurement of how quickly their conversion efficiency degrades as the temperature rises, thereby reducing the output. The standard silicon solar cell’s output temperature coefficient is -0.50 percent, which denotes a decline of 0.50% in the conversion efficiency as the module temperature rises by 1° C. For instance, at the module temperature anticipated in the summer months (75° C), the conversion efficiency will decrease by 25% in comparison to the environment at 25°C.

Panasonic HIT modules, which boast an improved output temperature coefficient, will nearly halve the decline in the conversion efficiency, significantly increasing performance in high temperature settings.

Why high-efficiency modules are the best value for installers, homeowners

The combination of the high conversion efficiency with the new temperature characteristics, will increase the conversion efficiency at 75°C by 46 percent in comparison to standard silicon products. When most solar panels are struggling with the increased temperatures during the summer months, Panasonic HIT modules reliably generate power and limit efficiency losses in the heat. Not only that, Panasonic modules come with a 25 year warranty vs the industry standard of 10 year warranty, and guarantees output of 90.76% at the end of the 25th year, which in itself is industry’s best performance guarantee coming from a 100-year-old world leading electronics company.

— Solar Builder magazine

Here’s who is playing at Solar Battle of the Bands this year

Here's who is playing at Solar Battle of the Bands this year

Next week, we will be previewing some products for you to check out while you are in San Francisco for Intersolar 2017, but we all know that what you really want to know is who is playing at the Battle of the Bands.

Now being hosted by CALSEIA, Solar Battle of the Bands is a solar industry party and musical competition in its seventh year, originally founded by Quick Mount PV.  The event will return to the Mezzanine in San Francisco on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8 p.m. All proceeds from the event benefit CALSEIA’s ongoing work to expand California’s solar and storage markets.

Who is playing?

The lineup, as always, is stacked with the best musical talent and solar-rock pun names that exist within the industry.

Returning bands:

New talent this year includes “The Rapid Shutdowns” from Luminalt.


— Solar Builder magazine

SolRiver Capital launches platform to streamline solar project development

solar project development

Colorado-based solar investment fund SolRiver Capital launched a free Solar Developer Platform — a tool meant to help solar developers locate funding to efficiently close investments with SolRiver. The platform offers online solar finance models to price investments and a guided approval process. It also has tools to help set up future projects, such as the PPA Rate Finder and Solar Finance Contract Library.

“We wanted to make it as easy and efficient as possible for developers and installers to close solar project investments with SolRiver,” said Brandon Conard, Managing Partner of SolRiver Capital. In particular, the Platform features the Project Optimizer and SolRiver’s Guided Evaluation Process to put projects on the fast track to financing.

Project Optimizer

SolRiver’s Project Optimizer provides developers direct access to SolRiver Capital’s financial model. Developers can fine tune over 110 different project parameters to understand exactly how SolRiver prices investments. The Optimizer allows developers to run scenarios, so they can see how a change to a project would affect the price SolRiver would offer. It even provides recommendations on how to change project terms to maximize what they get paid.

Guided Approval

The Guided Solar Project Diligence Process tells developers from the beginning what SolRiver’s approval requires. “It lists the documents SolRiver asks for. It also explains what we’re looking for in each document,” Mr. Conard explained. “We want developers to know what they need to do from day one. We think the process goes a lot faster when everyone knows what’s around the next corner, and the reason why,” said Conard.

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SolRiver’s Platform also gives solar installers and developers the tools needed to propose bankable projects with confidence, including the Rate Finder and the Contract Library.

PPA Rate Finder Calculator

Mr. Conard’s favorite tool is the PPA Rate Finder because “Developers frequently ask us what the PPA Rate needs to be in order to hit an EPC price of $X. The PPA Rate Finder gives them the model to answer that question.” To use the Rate Finder, developers enter basic information about a project along with a desired purchase price. From there, the Rate Finder combines the developer’s inputs with SolRiver’s financial model. The result is the PPA rate that SolRiver needs to see in order to pay the developer’s target purchase price.

Sample Solar Contracts

SolRiver has also built a Solar Contract Library. It has forms for many common solar agreements, including PPAs, O&M agreements, Site Leases, and EPC Agreements. SolRiver hopes these contracts will help developers put together deals that will flow smoothly through SolRiver’s investment approval process.

— Solar Builder magazine