A lot is going on with Renew Financial that could provide a big boost to commercial solar deals in Florida. First, Renew entered into a strategic alliance with Demeter Power Group, a Florida-based leader in financing of solar installations for small- and medium-sized businesses. Demeter specializes in financing commercial projects using its “PACE Lease” approach – which combines PACE financing with components of a traditional solar lease. The alliance will provide preferred access to programs administered by Renew Financial nationally.
Demeter Power will also license its proprietary commercial PACE underwriting software to Renew Financial.
“Demeter Power Group has spearheaded a truly innovative commercial solar financing product aimed particularly at helping contractors close more deals, having successfully funded such PACE Lease projects in both California and Florida,” said Renew Financial CEO Cisco DeVries. “Our partnership with Demeter will further build our leadership position in providing a full spectrum of financing options for renewable energy and energy and water efficiency upgrades on commercial properties.”
In addition, Renew Financial acquired EcoCity Partners, a leading Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program administrator. Based in St. Petersburg, EcoCity Partners created and administers the Florida Green Energy Works Program, a PACE program serving local governments from South Florida to the Panhandle.
“I am very pleased that we can bring EcoCity Partners into the Renew Financial family. Together, we will be able to quickly scale our PACE offerings across the State of Florida,” DeVries said. “We have worked closely with EcoCity Partners for years and their Florida program is modeled on our CaliforniaFIRST PACE financing program. We expect the integration to be smooth and us to greatly enhance the PACE experience in Florida very shortly.”
The acquisition and partnership were finalized shortly after President Obama and the Federal Housing Administration announced support for PACE.
Renew Financial was founded in 2008 by Cisco DeVries, who originated the idea of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model. Endorsed by President Obama and named by Scientific American as one of the top 20 ideas that can change the world, PACE enables property owners to finance the entire cost of energy and water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their homes and businesses, and then repay those costs on their property tax bill. Renew Financial has a partnership with SolarCity targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) utilizing PACE, and PACE is also a central component of a major White House clean energy initiative unveiled in August 2015.
Demeter Power pioneered no-money-down solar financing for the small and medium business (SMB) segment. Demeter’s PACE Lease combines the tax-efficiency of leases with the credit-enhancement of PACE, unlocking solar for the 90 percent of businesses and commercial properties that do not have access to traditional solar financing. Contractors can register to use Demeter’s PACE3P software to simplify the PACE Lease financing process here.
— Solar Builder magazine