Vivint Solar closes on $811 million in new financing (largest securitization of residential PPAs ever)

Vivint solar

Vivint Solar has closed on $811 million aggregate principal amount of debt financing comprised of two separate transactions.

The first is a capital markets issuance by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vivint Solar Financing V, LLC, of $466 million aggregate principal amount of Solar Asset Backed Notes, Series 2018-1. The offering was upsized from the original offering size of $355 million to become the largest securitization of residential solar power purchase agreements and leases to date. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. acted as joint bookrunners and co-structuring agents and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. acted as co-managers for the issuance of the Series 2018-1 Notes.

In addition, Vivint Solar Financing IV, LLC issued, in a private placement, $345 million aggregate principal amount of Solar Asset Backed Notes, Series 2018-2. Credit Suisse was the sole arranger of the private placement of the Series 2018-2 Notes.

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The proceeds from these two financings will be used to repay in full, or reduce the outstanding balance of, certain existing debt facilities of Vivint Solar, Inc. and its subsidiaries and for general corporate purposes. Overall these transactions lower Vivint Solar, Inc.’s blended total credit spreads by approximately 160 basis points.

The Series 2018-1 Class A Notes will have an interest rate of 4.73 percent and an anticipated repayment date of October 30, 2028. The Series 2018-1 Class B Notes will have an interest rate of 7.37 percent and an anticipated repayment date of October 30, 2028.

Vivint Solar Financing IV, LLC entered into an interest rate swap concurrent with issuance of the Series 2018-2 Notes that results in an implied all-in interest rate of approximately 5.95 percent. The term of each of the separate financings was structured to exceed the expected “flip” date of the underlying project tax equity funds.

“We are pleased to announce this new milestone in the evolution of our financing strategy, which optimizes and simplifies our term debt structure while allowing us to repay more expensive outstanding loans, increase advance rates, lock in attractive fixed borrowing rates and create incremental liquidity for the business,” said Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Capital Markets Thomas Plagemann. “We appreciate our investors’ continued support and commitment to accelerating solar power adoption.”

On a combined basis the financings provide back-leverage financing for a portfolio of 16 tax equity funds and one wholly owned subsidiary that own 575 megawatts and over 86,000 residential solar energy systems.

— Solar Builder magazine

CleanCapital with yet another 10+ MW solar portfolio acquisition


CleanCapital announced a second solar acquisition from G&S Solar, a New York-based developer that builds, develops and operates solar systems in multiples states in the Northeast. The 10.2 MW portfolio comes less than a month after the acquisition of a 14.3 MW portfolio from X-Elio.

This new portfolio is comprised of two solar projects located in Massachusetts and consists of high-quality customers including a corporate entity and municipality as the offtakers. How did CleanCapital execute on these two complex transactions in a short timeframe? The company cites its proprietary platform, coupled with access to dedicated capital, that streamlines and expedites due diligence and analysis, allowing complex deals like these to close efficiently.

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This announcement brings CleanCapital’s total to nearly $150 million of acquired operating solar assets. It’s an exciting year for the team as they change the paradigm for clean energy finance. Despite the historic growth across the industry, the flow of capital within the space remains largely stagnant. Leveraging their proprietary platform and capital partnerships, CleanCapital is bringing liquidity to a historically capital inefficient clean energy marketplace.

“This is only the beginning. Closing two complex deals on such a short timeline is an exciting next step for us and the clean energy marketplace. We were founded on the principle that we can streamline the complexities of clean energy transactions by leveraging technology, allowing for more capital to enter the sector and accelerating clean energy deployment,” said Marc Garrett, CTO, CleanCapital.

“Transactions such as this can get bogged down by the complex diligence process but the CleanCapital team was efficient and very professional at managing the acquisition of these operating solar assets,” said John Faltings, President of G&S Solar.

This deal was brokered on behalf of G&S Solar by Chris Hopgood of Ignite Renewable Capital, LLC.

— Solar Builder magazine

New Belgium Brewing donates $100,000 to GRID Alternatives

new belgium brewing

New Belgium Brewing is donating $100,000 to GRID Alternatives to support its mission to make solar technology accessible to low-income communities, while providing pathways to clean energy jobs. New Belgium has supported GRID Alternatives since 2015 and this latest up-front charitable contribution will be distributed equally ($50,000 each) to the GRID Bay Area and GRID Mid-Atlantic regional offices for completion of regional solar installation projects in underserved communities and training programs in 2018.

“At New Belgium we know renewable energies, like wind and solar, are essential components of a sustainable climate” said New Belgium Assitant Director of Sustainability, Katie Wallace. “GRID Alternatives doubles the benefit by helping in communities where the cost of implementing solar may be out of the typical household’s reach.”

New Belgium’s donation will help GRID Bay Area serve up to 32 families in the Atchison Village neighborhood in Richmond, CA. For GRID Mid-Atlantic, the funds will be used for the highest need projects in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. The Atchison Village installation will be celebrated with a Solarthon event on June 9.

Once GRID installs solar, residents save up to 90 percent on electricity bills. GRID also provides job training and and hands-on installation experience to residents of disadvantaged communities, many of whom enter a career track and gain employment at solar companies.

“We all deserve to live in places that optimize environmental, economic, and social well-being; places that will be resilient to the human impacts of climate change,” continued Wallace. “GRID makes this possible with their transformative work and New Belgium is proud to offer our support.”

To date, New Belgium has donated over $16 million to worthy organizations throughout the country as part of its philanthropic giving and grants program.

— Solar Builder magazine

Department of Energy puts $3 million into contest to boost solar manufacturing

department of energy contest

Amid rumors of a wild nuclear bailout plan, the Department of Energy isn’t totally forgetting about solar, launching the American-Made Solar Prize competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. The program will support entrepreneurs as they develop transformative ideas into concepts and then into early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

Entrepreneurial individuals and teams will compete through a series of three successive prize contests designed to develop new products to be made in America. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts.

“We share this administration’s desire for strong American solar manufacturing, and this prize competition is a good way to spur innovative ideas,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The U.S. solar industry is a leader in entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and we support efforts like these that can pave the way to competitiveness for American companies.”

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How to win

To win the final prize, participants must identify an impactful solution that addresses critical challenges related to American solar competitiveness, create a proof of concept, and secure a committed partner to test a prototype. Competitors will also participate in demo days, where they will pitch their idea to a team of expert reviewers, who will evaluate competitors based on the quality of their solution and the progress made during the contest period.

The $3 million in funding from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will be distributed through a series of three contests:

  • Ready! Contest (up to $50,000 prize per winner): Winners will be selected after identifying an impactful idea or solution addressing a critical need in America’s solar industry.
  • Set! Contest (up to $200,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their technology solution toward a viable and promising proof of concept.
  • Go! Contest ($500,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their solution from proof of concept to a refined prototype and find a partner to perform a pilot test of the prototype.

Participants in this program can be entrepreneurial individuals, representatives of a company, university students or professors, small business owners, or researchers at a national laboratory, as long as they are based in the U.S. and have the desire to bring an impactful solution to advance U.S. solar competitiveness. Competitors must submit applications HERE by Oct. 5, 2018 to participate.

— Solar Builder magazine

Dividend Finance adds Solaria PowerXT solar modules to platform


Solaria’s PowerXT modules have been added to Dividend Finance’s solar financing platform. Solaria’s flagship rooftop product, the PowerXT, is a high value, aesthetic and extremely high energy yield solar module. Ideal for space-constrained roofs, Solaria’s sleek high output modules feature a black backsheet and attractive, uniform appearance.

“Dividend Finance is an accomplished industry leader that’s accelerated the maturation of residential solar loans,” said Solaria CEO Suvi Sharma.“We’re very excited that Dividend is incorporating Solaria PowerXT into its financing platform. This new agreement pairs two innovators in the solar industry. The availability of Solaria products through Dividend’s financing program underscores that PowerXT is an industry leading module. This new relationship empowers homeowners to transform their properties into aesthetic on-site power plants. Pairing Dividend’s financing expertise with Solaria’s industry-leading modules provides best in class value for homeowners keen to deploy solar energy.”

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The propriety PowerXT technology platform uses Solaria’s advanced cell interconnect and module production processes, significantly boosting power generation and providing outstanding performance. High energy yield PowerXT modules ensure that solar installers maximize power deployment on customer roofs – enabling them to install attractive, cost-effective on-site power plants that accelerate payback period and profitability.

— Solar Builder magazine