SunPower has secured financing commitments for its residential solar lease program (with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital and SunStrong Capital Holdings) that will make its financing provisions “more attractive” and will supplement the solar loan and cash sale alternatives currently offered by the company. SunPower has provided solar lease financing options to customers since 2010.
The new fund is structured as a levered tax equity partnership with a multi-party forward purchase commitment, allowing generation of upfront cash margins for residential solar leases. The financing commitments for this new fund are being provided largely from a repeat group of loan and equity providers that continue to have strong long-term relationships with SunPower and Hannon Armstrong.
“SunPower’s strong suite of acquisition options, and our technologically superior solar energy solutions, allows us to continue meeting growing customer demand,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board. “Thanks to our financing partners, who share our clean energy future goals, we’re able to ensure funding to meet the needs of those customers who desire a leasing option.”
Additionally, SunStrong has acquired a residential lease portfolio from Capital Dynamics. This transaction adds to SunStrong’s existing high-quality asset portfolio with the addition of more than 41 MW and 5,100 residential systems.
“This transaction reinforces SunStrong’s belief in the long-term value of owning high quality solar systems and SunPower’s commitment to providing on-going products and services to our customers,” said Werner.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as the sole structuring and placement agent for the cash equity and multi-draw term loan, as well as the sole tax equity investor. Additional equity capital was provided by SunPower, Hannon Armstrong and their joint venture SunStrong, which holds equity interests in more than 55,000 residential solar energy systems.
Last year, SunPower’s U.S. residential business saw annual deployment growth of more than 15 percent, bringing the total number of American homes with SunPower solar to over 275,000 consumers.
— Solar Builder magazine