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Posts Tagged ‘SunRun’

photo: SunRun

In The New York Times on Tuesday, I write about SunRun, a San Francisco solar leasing company that has scored a whopping $55 million round of equity funding:

SunRun, a San Francisco start-up that leases rooftop solar arrays to homeowners, said Tuesday it had raised $55 million from investors.

The equity investment led by Sequoia Capital, a prominent Silicon Valley venture firm, is one of the largest made in a solar leasing firm and a sign that companies are poised for a major expansion beyond the industry’s core market in California.

The investment follows a $100 million tax equity fund PG&E Corporation, the utility holding company, created last week to finance residential solar installations for SunRun customers. PG&E Corporation in January formed a $60 million financing pool for SolarCity, a Silicon Valley competitor to SunRun. SolarCity is also tapping $190 million in tax equity funds created over the past year for the company by U.S. Bancorp.

“If the $55 million is going to actual corporate expansion, it is one of the largest corporate fund-raisings we’ve seen for that purpose in this space,” said Nathaniel Bullard, a solar analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It speaks to the opportunity outside of California, in the Southwest and the Northeast.”

The investment is nearly double the $30 million SunRun had previously raised from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Foundation Capital.

“We’re seeing early signs of an inflection point in the market where the cost of offering a solar solution is becoming cheaper than utility pricing,” said Warren Hogarth, a partner at Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Apple, Google and Yahoo. “We’re moving from people buying solar because it’s a nice thing to do to buying solar because it makes economic sense.”

You can read the rest of the story here.

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photo: SolarCity

In The New York Times on Monday, I write about a $100 million tax equity fund created by PG&E Corporation to finance residential solar installations:

P.G.&E. Corporation, the California utility holding company, has created a $100 million tax-equity fund to finance residential solar installations by SunRun, a San Francisco start-up that leases photovoltaic arrays to homeowners.

The fund, managed by a P.G.&E. subsidiary, Pacific Energy Capital II, is the largest single solar leasing pool to date, according to the company, and marks the growing interest of utilities in the renewable energy financing business.

“We’re in somewhat of a unique position in that roughly half of the nation’s rooftop solar installations are in our service territory,” Brian Steel, P.G.&E.’s senior director of corporate strategy, said in an interview. “We’re at the proverbial ground zero of these new technologies and so perhaps more than any utility holding company in the country we have a strategic imperative to get ahead of the curve through having a propriety seat at the table with a partner like SunRun.”

The financing, announced Monday, follows P.G.&E.’s creation of a $60 million tax-equity vehicle in January for SolarCity, a Silicon Valley company that also leases solar arrays to homeowners.

The $100 million in financing is expected to fund solar installations for 3,500 homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“That a major energy company like P.G.&E. is coming to the table illustrates that distributed solar is becoming part of the mainstream energy business,” said Edward Fenster, SunRun’s chief executive.

You can read the rest of the story here.

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