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

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

GameChange Solar expands capital program, $2 billion now available to fund U.S. solar projects

GameChange Solar has expanded its capital introduction program to fund solar projects across the United States to over $2 billion in available capital. The program is primarily in concert with five leading funding sources, two of which are large utility backed power generation companies and the other three of which are leading IPPs.

GameChange introduces projects that are being developed to the funding sources, enabling more projects to be financed and built. Recent introductions have yielded several marriages that have resulted in utility scale solar projects being built with financing received by developers.

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If you have a project that needs financing to build which is anywhere from early stage to shovel ready, or if you are a funding source looking for projects to finance and/or buy, please reach out to your business development representative at GameChange for more information on this program.

Andrew Worden, CEO of GameChange Solar, stated: “There are many projects that are looking for the capital to build them. With my previous background in finance and project development, we have the understanding of how projects are financed and the needs of both developers and financiers. We are able to see the correct fits between projects and capital and make the appropriate introductions. Our goal is to help facilitate more solar power plants to be built which furthers our mission of repowering this planet with cost effective, clean and renewable solar energy.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Solaria BIPV technology now available through CleanFund Commercial PACE financing

Solaria BIPV

Builiding Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) just got a little more affordable. CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, formed a financing partnership with Solaria Corp. to offer long-term financing for its building skin technology. By providing commercial building owners access to Solaria’s customizable product line, along with the benefits and flexibility of C-PACE financing, this SolarPACE collaboration maximizes the availability of long-term incentives to developers who implement architectural solar  into commercial projects.

SolarPACE explained

SolarPACE is designed to maximize cash flow, with terms up to 30 years. It can solve most credit challenges found in commercial solar project financing, since C-PACE is secured by a parcel tax assessment with payments billed through ordinary property taxes. Owners often have the option to pass all or a portion of the C-PACE payments to tenants, who also benefit from lower energy costs. With flexible options to utilize solar tax credits, SolarPACE enables build-ing owners and developers to stay within project budgets and lower overall project costs.

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

“Solaria is privileged to partner with the leading provider of a nationwide financing platform that makes building improvements affordable for commercial property owners,” said Udi Paret, GM Building Solutions, Solaria Corporation. “Now we can offer customers a viable option for funding and installing an architectural solar system, especially important for net zero energy projects. This is a significant competitive advantage for our industry partners who offer their own warran-tied ‘powered-by-Solaria’ architectural solar products.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar industry funding report for Q1 2017: Was there a ‘Trump effect’?

The question on the collective renewable energy industry’s mind since last November has been, “How will the election of Donald Trump impact us?” Mercom’s Q1 Solar 2017 Funding and M&A Report gives the first bit of insight into investor confidence in the solar industry since President Trump took office.

Total corporate funding in the solar sector increased from Q4 2016’s total to $3.2 billion and year-over-year, Q1 2017 was about 15 percent higher than Q1 2016. None of the five largest announced projects (by funded dollar amount) were in the United States, but the largest project acquisition during the quarter was.

solar mergers acquisitions“Q1 funding levels were up in the solar sector from the 2016 lows, largely due to increased debt financing activity. Corporate funding never reached $3 billion in any of the quarters in 2016. M&A activity was also strong with several large deals. Solar public companies also had a good first quarter,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

solar fundingGlobal VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector saw a 78 percent rise this quarter with $585 million in 22 deals compared to $329 million raised in the same number of deals in Q4 2016. The amount raised was also higher YoY compared to the $406 million raised in 23 deals in Q1 2016.

A large part of the VC funding in Q1 2017 went to solar downstream companies; $548 million was raised in nine deals.

Top VC deals included the $200 million raised by ReNew Power Ventures followed by the $155 million raised by Greenko Energy Holdings, the $125 million secured by Hero Future Energies, and then Silicon Ranch’s $55 million. A total of 23 VC investors participated in Q1 2017.

Solar public market financing came to $461 million in 13 deals in Q1 2017, slightly lower compared to the $615 million (also in 13 deals) in Q4 2016, but significantly higher compared to the same quarter of last year when $94 million was raised in four deals. There was one IPO in Q1 2017 by Clenergy compared to two in Q4 2016.

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Announced debt financing came in strong with $2.2 billion raised in 25 deals. In comparison, there were 10 deals in Q4 2016 for a total of $610 million. YoY, $2.3 billion was raised in 19 deals in Q1 2016. Most of the debt was raised by solar downstream companies.

mercom large scale solar funding

In Q1 2017, Solar Mosaic raised $139 million through the first securitization of its residential solar loan portfolio at a 4.45 percent interest rate.

Announced large-scale project funding in Q1 2017 remained steady with $2.6 billion in 33 deals compared to $3 billion in 38 deals in Q4 2016. In a YoY comparison, $1.4 billion was raised in 24 deals in Q1 2016.

Residential and commercial solar funds announced in Q1 2017 dropped to $630 million in six deals compared to $1.5 billion in eight deals in Q4 2016. During the same quarter last year (Q1 2016), $1 billion was raised in six deals. Of the $630 million announced this quarter, $500 million went towards the lease/PPA model and $130 million went to loan funds. A total of more than $23 billion has now gone into residential and commercial funds since 2009.

There were 29 solar M&A transactions in Q1 2017 compared to 20 transactions in Q4 2016 and 14 transactions in Q1 2016. Of the 29 total transactions in Q1 2017, 20 involved solar downstream companies.

There were 49 large-scale solar project acquisitions (18 disclosed for $1.9 billion) in Q1 2017 compared to 73 transactions (23 disclosed for $2.1 billion) in Q4 2016. In a YoY comparison, there were 50 transactions (22 disclosed for $1.2 billion) in Q1 2016. About 7.4 GW of solar projects were acquired in Q1 2017 compared to 5 GW in Q4 2016. Investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers Q1 2017, picking up about 21 projects totaling 2.8 GW, followed by project developers with nine transactions for 3.3 GW. Yieldcos had four transactions for 962 MW.

— Solar Builder magazine