Natacha Kiler

April 2014 Solar Project Finance Journal

This month's Solar Project Finance Journal includes info on the most competitive PPA prices, developments in some of the hottest state markets, and information on yieldcos, storage, and more.

This month’s Solar Project Finance Journal includes info on the most competitive PPA prices, developments in some of the hottest state markets, and information on yieldcos, storage, and more.

Below, we have included excerpts from Sol Systems’ April 2014 Solar Project Finance Journal, which is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of solar industry resources.

If you would like to receive our Solar Project Finance Journal via email every month, please email pr@solsystemscompany.com with a request to be added to our Project Finance Journal distribution list.

The following statistics represent some high-quality solar projects and portfolios that we are actively reviewing for investment.

Capacity: 180 kW – 44 MW
Average Capacity:  5 MW Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems and Hannon Armstrong Collaborate to Deploy Up to $100 Million of Debt Financing for Distributed Solar Project Developers in 2014

Today, Sol Systems and Hannon Armstrong announced a fund for up to $100 million of construction and term debt financing for developers and owners of distributed solar projects benefitting commercial, industrial, municipal and utility customers.

Today, Sol Systems and Hannon Armstrong announced a fund for up to $100 million of construction and term debt financing for solar projects.

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc., (“Hannon Armstrong,” NYSE: HASI), a capital provider for sustainable infrastructure assets, along with Sol Systems, LLC (“Sol Systems”), a renewable energy investment firm, today announced plans to originate, structure and fund up to $100 million of construction and term debt financing for developers and owners of distributed solar projects benefiting commercial, industrial, municipal and utility customers throughout the United States and its territories. With HASI’s capital resources and Sol Systems’ transactional expertise in distributed solar, the parties believe they are well-positioned to originate and fund loans for projects and portfolios in these sectors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Welcomes Colin Murchie as Director of Project Finance and Leslie Barkemeyer as Deputy General Counsel

Colin Murchie joins Sol Systems from SolarCity as Director of Project Finance.

Colin Murchie joins Sol Systems from SolarCity as Director of Project Finance.

Sol Systems today announced the appointment of Colin Murchie as Director of Project Finance and Leslie Barkemeyer as Deputy General Counsel.

Mr. Murchie joins Sol Systems from SolarCity Corporation, one of the country’s leading solar companies. His industry experience dates back to 2002, and previously with SunEdison and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), he led pioneering work on some of the fundamental policies underlying U.S. solar development.

As a Director, Policy and Electricity Markets, with SolarCity, Mr. Murchie led the company’s state-level advocacy work in a number of East Coast markets during a period of unprecedented progress.  In addition, he served as a resource to the company’s commercial sales team, performing diligence and advisory work on new and emerging solar programs nationwide, and elucidating business models for greater integration into the retail electricity markets.  At SolarCity, he also originated and managed a portfolio of solar renewable energy credit (SREC) contracts worth more than $20 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Watson

Sol Systems’ Debt Finance Director to Attend Greentech Media’s Solar Summit this week

Sol Systems’ Senior Director of Debt Financing Mike Midden will be in Phoenix this week to discuss debt financing at the GTM Solar Summit.

Sol Systems’ Senior Director, Mike Midden, will speak at Greentech Media’s Solar Summit this week in Phoenix. Mr. Midden presented today, April 14,  on how to drive down interest rates for solar project debt financing.

Mr. Midden has over 17 years of experience in the energy and financial sectors. Mr. Midden leads Sol Systems’ debt financing group, which oversees the $100 million solar debt fund that the Sol Systems launched in early 2014 to address financing challenges in the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar sector. Ideal projects range from (but are not limited to) 750 kW – 20 MW in size. Loans may be as small as $1 million and sometimes smaller, depending on the opportunity, with tenors as long as 18 years on term loans. Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Noucas

Massachusetts Finalizes SREC-II Program: Here’s What You Can Expect

The Massachusetts DOER expects the SREC-II Program to become effective late in April.

Massachusetts DOER expects the SREC-II Program to become effective late in April.

On April 11th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that they have officially filed the final revisions for the SREC-II program with the Secretary of State’s office.  These final revisions will go into effect on April 25, 2014 once the rules have been promulgated.

To qualify for SREC-I, all systems less than 100 kW must both submit an application and demonstrate that they have been authorized to interconnect by April 25th.  For systems larger than 100 kW,  projects may receive an extension beyond June 30, 2014 only if the project can demonstrate that interconnection depends only on receipt of authorization to interconnect and such receipt is delayed only by the local distribution company or due to remaining steps required by other parties for safe and reliable interconnection. In addition, the DOER announced that they will be using a new online registration platform for all SREC II applications.  This new platform and application process will be made available to the public on May 6th.
Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Webinar Invitation – Everything You Need to Know about the Massachusetts SREC II Program

The Massachusetts solar renewable energy credit (SREC) program has been critical for driving the massive solar growth in the state. However, regulatory uncertainty has loomed since the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced last spring that the first iteration of the solar carve-out, now known as SREC I, had reached its cap. Since then, the industry has had their eyes on the development of SREC II, the Bay State’s next solar carve-out program. As SREC II nears promulgation, join Sol Systems, SEIA, and the Massachusetts DOER as we discuss:

  • SREC II’s regulatory framework and how it differs from SREC I, particularly in regards to the new SREC factor and Clearinghouse auction
  • The fate of Massachusetts SREC I subscribers, including those who have not yet been accepted into the program
  • Supply and demand dynamics in the MA SREC I & SREC II programs
  • Spot market prices and the availability of fixed price contracts, including advisable SREC strategies for both residential and commercial systems
  • How to finance commercial projects in Massachusetts, including advisable PPA rates and the availability of SREC strips

    Sol Systems will host a webinar on SREC II with the Massachusetts DOER and SEIA

    Join Sol Systems, Massachusetts DOER and SEIA for information on SREC II structure, pricing and market dynamics

Speakers include:
  • George Ashton, Vice President & CFO, Sol Systems LLC
  • Jason Cimpl, Renewables Trader, Sol Systems LLC
  • Michael Judge, Associate RPS Program Manager, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Carrie Hitt, Senior Vice President of State Affairs, SEIA

The event will be taking place on April 23rd, 2014. Register today.

About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a renewable energy finance firm that provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the industry’s most critical solar financing needs, including tax structured investments, capital placement, debt financing, and SREC portfolio management. To date, the company has facilitated financing for thousands of distributed generation solar projects and hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. For more information, please visit
Daniel Watson

Rhode Island Solar Feed-in Tariff Now Accepting Applications for 2014

Contact us at finance@solsystemscompany.com for more information on the Rhode Island feed-in tariff.

National Grid, Rhode Island’s electric utility, recently announced a new round of enrollment in the state’s feed-in tariff program in the spring of 2014. The allocation is part of the Distributed Generation Standard Contracts program, which was created by legislation in June of 2011. The program originally called for a minimum of 40MW in new renewable energy procurement by December 30, 2014. The first open enrollment for the year targets 6 MW, 3.15MW of which is reserved for solar, with additional enrollments scheduled in July and October of this year.

The proposal period will run from April 21st until May 2nd. For solar, maximum prices range from $0.2730/kWh to $0.2225/kWh, fixed, for 15 years, depending on system size and tax credits used for financing. Projects utilizing bonus depreciation and PTC/ITC will face lower ceiling rates across all sizes. Bonus depreciation is not currently available as an incentive. The Distributed Generation Standard Contract Board sets the ceiling prices and capacity targets for each enrollment period. Renewable energy projects including wind, solar, and anaerobic digestion are all eligible for the program, with certain distinctions based on technology and size. Following are the ceiling prices set by National Grid:
Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Watson

Sol Systems to Travel to San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York for Upcoming Solar Project Finance Conferences

The Sol Systems team will attend the 2014 SEIA Tax and Finance Seminar this week in San Francisco at the W San Francisco Hotel. George Ashton, Sol Systems’ CFO, will be participating in a panel discussion on securitization and its role in the solar space. The discussion will focus on how securitization has worked in the past, and its prospects moving forward.

Next week, several members of the Sol Systems team will travel to New York Bloomberg’s Future of Energy Summit 2014. Sol Systems’ CEO, Yuri Horwitz, will travel to Las Vegas for the 29th Annual Platts Global Power Markets Conference.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Announces SREC II Pricing for Massachusetts Solar

Sol Systems is currently offering 3 and 5-year SREC contracts for Massachusetts solar projects.

Sol Systems is currently offering 3 and 5-year SREC contracts for Massachusetts solar projects.

Sol Systems is pleased to announce the industry’s first official 3 and 5-year fixed price contracts for Massachusetts SREC II solar projects. Since the closing of the SREC I program, there has been a significant amount of uncertainty regarding the value of SRECS in the SREC II program, and consequently, a dearth of SREC II financing options. Sol Systems is offering this pricing to the industry to help solar installers, developer, and investors in the face of this regulatory and market uncertainty.

Please note SREC II pricing applies to customers under 100 kW interconnected after the SREC II promulgation date (currently April 25). These prices are firm, but we expect to expand and update our product offerings as SREC II is finalized.

Sol Systems continues to offer the full suite of SREC options for solar projects that have qualified for SREC I, including our fixed price contracts, upfront funding, and brokerage solutions.

In addition to SREC monetization, Sol Systems also offers construction loans, term debt, and take-out financing for commercial Massachusetts solar projects (generally 200 kW in size and larger). Please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com to learn more about commercial financing opportunities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

March 2014 Project Finance Journal

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Below, we have included excerpts from Sol Systems’ March 2014 Project Finance Journal, which is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of solar industry resources.

If you would like to receive our Solar Project Finance Journal via email every month, please email pr@solsystemscompany.com with a request to be added to our Project Finance Journal distribution list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Noucas

Massachusetts Makes Progress towards Finalizing SREC-II Regulation

The Massachusetts DOER expects the SREC-II Program to become effective late in April.

The Massachusetts DOER has initiated the final review process for the Solar Carve-Out II Program and they expect the Program to become effective by April 25th.

Solar stakeholders in Massachusetts are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  On Monday, March 17th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that they have initiated the last review necessary before finalizing the Solar Carve-Out II program.  The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy finished their review of the regulation and presented their comments to the DOER on Monday, March 10th, which has now started the last 30 day clock during which the DOER must consider the Joint Committee’s comments.

During a presentation at the NECA Renewable Energy Conference in Westborough, MA last week, the DOER mentioned the comments received from the Joint Committee were favorable and thus they plan to file the final regulation on April 11th with the expectation that the SREC-II program will become effective two weeks later on April 25th.  This means the DOER may very well begin receiving applications for the SREC-II program as early as May 1st, although this date has yet to be finalized.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandro Neira

Sol Systems’ Tax Equity Deal with SunEdison & Nationwide Mutual Featured in Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Bloomberg_New_Energy_Finance

Sol Systems Featured in Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Earlier this week, Sol Systems was featured in a Bloomberg New Energy Finance article detailing Sol Systems’ recent tax equity deal with Nationwide Mutual and SunEdison. In this transaction, Sol Systems advised Nationwide Mutual Insurance on the acquisition of the equity. This is part of Sol Systems’ ongoing success in bringing new tax equity to solars. SunEdison developed the 13.4 megawatt solar portfolio for California’s prison and hospital systems. Sol System’s Director of Marketing Natacha Kiler was featured in the Bloomberg article

Read about Sol Systems in Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

SunEdison, Nationwide Mutual, Sol Systems and National Bank of Arizona Announce Financing for 13.4 MW Solar Electricity Portfolio

Sol Systems recently closed a 13.4 MW tax equity transaction on behalf of Nationwide Mutual and SunEdison. This transaction is representative of Sol Systems' ongoing success in bringing new investors to the solar industry. The National Bank of Arizona provided the debt financing.

Sol Systems recently closed a 13.4 MW tax equity transaction on behalf of Nationwide Mutual and SunEdison. This transaction is representative of Sol Systems’ ongoing success in bringing new investors to the solar industry. The National Bank of Arizona provided the debt financing.

SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE), a leading solar technology manufacturer and solar energy services provider along with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ), and Sol Systems today announced a $50 million fund to build a 13.4 megawatt (MW) solar portfolio for the State of California prison and hospital systems.

Sol Systems advised Nationwide Mutual Insurance on the acquisition of the equity in the transaction. SunEdison secured long-term debt for the projects from the National Bank of Arizona (NBAZ). The projects will create local construction jobs that contribute to the local economy and tax base.

“Financing is a critical element of any solar project, and having partners who are willing to innovate with us is critical to our growth,” Carlos Domenech, President for SunEdison Capital, said. “We will continue to innovate to help SunEdison’s shareholders and finance partners extract more value from our projects and create new opportunities to finance and build distributed generation solar power plants.”

These projects mark the first time the companies have worked together on a solar project. The collaborative investment involved the use of innovative financing structures that enable the State of California to reduce energy expenses. The tax equity transaction is representative of Sol Systems’ ongoing success in bringing new investors to the booming solar industry, and demonstrates Nationwide’s commitment to investing in the communities where its members and employees live and work. “This technology is critical to our nation’s energy future and we are proud to work with an investment leader like Nationwide Mutual and a solar leader like SunEdison,” commented Yuri Horwitz, CEO of Sol Systems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Virginia Makes Progress Toward More Favorable Solar Market

Will the Old Dominion welcome the solar industry? Though progress has been slow, solar momentum is picking up in the Commonwealth.

Will the Old Dominion welcome the solar industry? Though progress has been slow, solar momentum is picking up in the Commonwealth.

It is no secret that Virginia lags far behind in its track record on solar energy, especially compared to neighboring states such as D.C., North Carolina, and Maryland. Thanks largely to the development of robust solar renewable energy credit (SREC) markets, Maryland ranks fourteenth in the country in installed solar capacity, and the latest Solar Jobs Census puts D.C. third in solar jobs per capita. Even North Carolina, which has caught headlines recently for its extremely conservative state legislature, is #3 in solar capacity with approximately 388 MW of solar capacity, thanks largely to a generous state tax credit that has fueled the development of a robust solar economy.

Unlike these other markets, an unfavorable regulatory and political climate is the clear missing link for Virginia. As of November 2013, Virginia had installed a mere 15 MW of solar capacity, ranking #34 in solar jobs per capita in the United States. Since there is no solar carve-out in the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS), Sol Systems must sell Virginia customers’ SRECs into Pennsylvania, an already over-saturated market. As for commercial solar, through our solar investment business, we have noted little investor interest in the state of Virginia due to its unfavorable regulatory environment for solar project development, which includes a “C” rating for its underwhelming net metering policies.

There may, however, still be an opportunity to expand the solar market in the Old Dominion. After a string of solar bills was introduced this legislative session, solar supporters are optimistic that Virginia is making strides to support the growth of the solar in the state.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Watson

Sol Systems Speaks at Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit in San Diego

Sol Systems’ CEO Yuri Horwitz, CFO George Ashton, and other members of the team traveled to the Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit in San Diego, California this week. As experts in solar project finance, both of Sol Systems’ co-founders spoke at this conference: George spoke on a panel on matching developer desires with their financing needs, and  Yuri spoke on project economic viability and deal structuring, especially as they are related to tax equity investment.  Yuri also spoke on project underwriting.

banner_solar14

To date, Sol Systems has facilitated financing for approximately 85 MW of solar energy projects through its tax equity, debt, take-out financing, and SREC portfolio management services. To meet with Sol Systems at a future conference, please visit our events page.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Announces New Round of Financing for Distributed Generation Solar, Issues a Call for Projects to Fill the Fund

Sol Systems is actively seeking solar projects 200 kW - 5 MW in size for investment.

Sol Systems is actively seeking solar projects 200 kW – 5 MW in size for investment.

Today, Sol Systems announced allocations from several investor clients to be devoted to financing distributed generation solar assets. This latest fund is representative of Sol Systems’ efforts to expand the pool of capital available for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar, a typically under-served sector of the solar market.

Sol Systems is actively seeking 2014 project pipeline to fill the fund allocations, and new projects are being considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Ideal opportunities will meet the following metrics:

  •  Size: 200 kW – 5 MW
  •  Locations: Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, or Massachusetts
  •  Timing: Potential to be closed in Q1 or Q2 of 2014 and placed in service in 2014 Read the rest of this entry »
Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Closes Financing for 940 kW Solar Project in New Mexico, Launches Financing Partnership with Affordable Solar

Sol Systems' new partnership with Affordable Solar will provide financing solutions for Affordable Solar's national installer network.

Sol Systems’ new partnership with Affordable Solar will provide financing solutions for Affordable Solar’s national installer network.

Sol Systems is pleased to announce the financial closing of a 940 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The project was the second deal that Sol Systems financed on behalf of New Mexico-based developer, Affordable Solar. Sol Systems also closed an 806 kW Affordable Solar project in the fall of 2013.

This recent project closing coincides with a new partnership that Sol Systems and Affordable Solar launched to streamline financing for distributed solar energy projects. Through the partnership, Sol Systems will work closely with Affordable Solar and their national installer network to unearth, provide due diligence, and refine projects before securing financing for each deal opportunity. The partnership will provide project development and analysis tools for Affordable’s installer network, while opening up a broad range of finance options for the projects.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Watson

Will Commence Construction Language Add More Certainty to the U.S. Solar Market?

Solar project development is a process with varying timetables and degrees of difficulty: from finding a host site, to entering into power purchase agreements, the process can take several years. Any bump along the road can lead to uncertainty in the completion date for an investor or developer, especially for larger utility scale projects.

This uncertain timetable makes the expiration of the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in 2016 a potentially precarious scenario for parties involved in solar project development. Currently, a project must meet a December 31, 2016 deadline to receive the 30% ITC, and missing this date could lead them to receive only 10%, a significant decrease in returns.

Commence construction legislation should provide security to investors and developers aiming to break ground by 2016

On February 6th, Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Commence Construction Legislation, which confirms that developers only have to start construction before the ITC expiration date for the full 30% ITC to be monetized. If this moves forward, many in the industry can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they have some room to meet this deadline.

Critics have claimed that this language is still not strong enough, and that the industry should be advocating to extend the ITC. There is also concern that allowing projects that are only under construction to be eligible creates incentives for developers to “undertake construction” that may not be fully planned or is merely prospective. The language around the rules determining what qualifies as “under construction” will play an important role, as relaxed legislation will likely lead to a oversaturated market of new projects as the expiration date nears. These numerous “faux projects” not only lead to confusion for investors who rely on concrete information, but could lead to overcrowding and underfunding. Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas Larson

Sol Systems Continues to Hire! Currently Seeking Project Manager

Sol Systems continues to expand in order to facilitate the deployment of solar projects. Now, we’re looking for a talented project manager to work with our developer and EPC partners to deliver solar assets on behalf of our investor clients. Please see the posting below for more information on the position and how to apply.

Position:  Project Manager

Description: A Project Manager on the operations team will have the following responsibilities:

  • Work externally with EPC teams and developers to effectively manage and deliver upon major milestones during the construction phase for our investor clients, on time and on budget.
  • Compose communications and scheduled status reports for internal and external parties.
  • Lead and participate in project meetings with EPC partners, conduct on-site meetings/inspections, and generally keep an active involvement during the installation and acceptance testing.
  • Proactively attend to potential issues associated with typical solar PV construction.
  • Oversee multiple projects in parallel, successfully meeting target goals for completion milestones.
  • Monitor performance of projects, manage relationships with O&M providers to deliver services. Read the rest of this entry »
Natacha Kiler

Jump-starting the Solar Undead & Improving Returns…With Debt

Workmen-install-HomeSun-s-007

New debt options are improving IRRs for new and operational projects and they are also solving critical financing issues for a variety other projects in the U.S.

Debt can be one of the most challenging pieces to secure in the capital stack, and especially for solar projects under 1 MW. This is because renewable commercial banks see these deals as too small, regional banks have investment size and tenor limits that make financing difficult if not impossible, and local banks have limited experience with solar.  With these obstacles, it should come as no surprise that new solar debt options would be welcomed by the solar community. And, since we launched our $100 million debt fund, we have been rewarded with a wide variety of projects that are strong candidates for debt.

A number of new opportunities and operational projects are in the usual domestic markets, but some strong opportunities for debt have come from less expected places like Ontario and the Virgin Islands — and there are even several safe-harbored 1603 projects. Here are some reasons why the project opportunities are surfacing (or re-surfacing) and how the availability of construction and long-term debt contracts are injecting new vitality into both new and older solar projects.

Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

February 2014 Project Finance Statistics

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Below, we have included excerpts from Sol Systems’ February 2014 Project Finance Journal, which is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of solar industry resources.

If you would like to receive our Solar Project Finance Journal via email every month, please email pr@solsystemscompany.com with a request to be added to our Project Finance Journal distribution list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Launches $100 Million Fund, Seeks Solar Projects in Need of Construction and Term Debt Financing

Sol Systems has launched a $100 million fund for construction and debt financing. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for more information.

Sol Systems has launched a $100 million fund for construction and debt financing. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for more information.

Sol Systems recently launched a $100 million debt fund and is currently conducting diligence on projects to fill the fund. Solar developers with projects in need of construction and term debt financing should contact the Sol Systems project finance team immediately.

Ideal projects range in size from 750 kW – 20 MW and have an investment-grade off-take contract agreement in place; however, consideration will also be given to other projects, including projects with strong non-investment grade credit, if a developer has extensive project pipeline or if the projects show exemplary returns.

The $100 million solar debt fund addresses financing limitations for commercial and industrial solar projects. It offers both construction and term loans and distinguishes itself from other loan products with its minimum loan requirements and flexible terms. Loans may be as small as $1 million and sometimes smaller, depending on the opportunity, with tenors as long as 18 years on term loans.
Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

Sol Systems’ Rafalson Joins Leadership Team of Women in Solar Energy

Sol Systems’ Sara Rafalson has joined the leadership team of the Women in Solar Energy Group as their Vice President of Membership Engagement and Communications. The mission of the group is to promote the involvement of women in the advancement of all aspects of the solar energy industry.

Sol Systems became involved in Women in Solar Energy after hosting a women in solar happy hour at Solar Power International, the industry’s largest annual conference, to encourage an open environment for women to share strategies for personal and professional success.

The Women of Sol Systems shout out for solar at the end of January.

The Women of Sol Systems shout out for solar at the end of January.

Diversity is a core value at Sol Systems, where the management and staff believe that different viewpoints improve creativity, innovation, idea sharing, and problem solving. Approximately half of Sol Systems’ staff is female; this is far above average for the solar industry, where one in five workers is female. Sol Systems also has a strong representation of minority ethnicities and religions.

Beginning this month, Women in Solar Energy will distribute a quarterly newsletter to promote the advancement of women in the industry through professional networking events, articles about gender issues in the workplace, solar career opportunities, as well as general solar trends. Ms. Rafalson will play an integral role in launching and distributing the newsletter.

Sol Systems has joined the leadership team for Women in Solar Energy, a professional group dedicated to the advancement of women in the solar workforce.

Sol Systems has joined the leadership team for Women in Solar Energy, a professional group dedicated to the advancement of women in the solar workforce.

The Women in Solar Energy group hopes to launch an official mentorship program later this year and will host events at PV America and Solar Power International. There will also be a D.C. Women in Solar Happy Hour on March 6. Please email sara@solsystemscompany.com if you wish to be added to the newsletter distribution list.

About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm and a leader in the solar industry.  Sol Systems offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, the company focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and debt. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.
Alejandro Neira

We’re Hiring! Sol Systems Seeks MBA Marketing Intern

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth.

Sol Systems is hiring! Visit our careers page for more information on our most recent openings

Sol Systems continues to expand its team of solar project finance professionals. In addition to new postings for a Project Finance Associate and a Tax Equity Associate, we are also looking to hire a MBA Marketing Intern. See the posting below for the this position.

Position: MBA Summer Internship – Marketing Strategy at Solar Energy Investment Firm

Requirements: The ideal candidate will be a current MBA student who is: quantitatively minded, resourceful, detail-oriented, driven, and passionate about the development of renewable energy. Prospective candidates should possess the following skills and attributes:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Infographic: What Solar Investors Want

The shortage of project finance is a limitation to the non-residential, commercial and industrial (C&I) sector of the solar market.  Especially compared with other sectors of the market, C&I distributed generation solar is plagued with high transaction costs and a lack of standardization. Though there is no shortage of solar investors trying to break into the promising solar asset class, there is a true shortage of financeable, quality project pipeline. This lack of financeable deal flow is stifling the market and limiting the growth potential of the U.S. solar industry.

To help investors in the search of a “good” project – and to help developers increase the likelihood that a given project will attract third party investment, Sol Systems has developed the below infographic to serve as a guide to developing the perfect project.

What Solar Investors Want Infographic

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Is the Pennsylvania Solar Market on the Rebound?

Sol Systems provides fixed, quarterly payments for each full SREC produced, removing price volatility, and providing customers with a steady income stream over a 3, 5, or 10-year SREC contract term.

Who would have thought SRECs in PA would jump from $18 to $70 in a manner of months? 

Pennsylvania has long been a model of a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market gone wrong. The market was (and still is) four times oversupplied, and SREC prices fell to $20 in 2013 from $300 in 2010. However, prices have surged to $70, which has many people asking, what is going on in Pennsylvania, and more importantly, will this bust market be revived in 2014?

To answer this question, it is important to understand the history of the Pennsylvania SREC market and why it became so oversupplied in the first place. In 2004, Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) mandated for the state to procure 18 percent of power from renewable and alternative sources by 2021. Of this 18 percent, the state’s SREC market was created by a 0.5 percent solar carve-out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandro Neira

Sol Systems is Hiring! Internships Summer 2014

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth and to maintain its excellent level of customer service. In addition to new postings for a Senior Director of Tax Equity and a Tax Equity Associate, we are also looking for Summer 2014 Interns to join our team. See the posting below, or visit our careers page for more information.

Position: Solar Analyst Intern (position beginning in May 2014) targeted towards undergraduates and recent graduates

Description: The Solar Analyst Intern will assist with registration processes, administrative duties, and research tasks, and will be expected to provide clearly defined deliverables. The position will require attention to detail, excellent record keeping, and efficient allocation of time and resources.

Through this position, the Solar Analyst Intern will gain familiarity with solar legislation, solar finance mechanisms, industry news, and industry vocabulary, as well as new product development in a fast paced, start-up environment. This position provides a fantastic launching pad for a career in renewable energy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Why the New Jersey Solar Market Just Got Hot Again

New Jersey SREC pricing is on the uptick.

New Jersey SREC pricing is on the uptick. Here’s why we think the New Jersey solar market is heating up.

New Jersey has long been a cautionary tale of the boom and bust cycles of solar renewable energy credit (SREC) programs. In 2009, New Jersey’s SREC values were close to $700 per megawatt hour. Then, in fall 2012, prices dipped to the $70 mark, demonstrating the true volatility of SREC markets. However, a recent rebound in SREC prices offers owners several profitable ways to profit from their SRECs.

After a lull period, the New Jersey SREC prices have ticked up once again. No, they are not back at $700 (and likely will never be again). However, we have traded as high as a healthy $170 per SREC in the last month on behalf of our SREC portfolio management clients.

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Daniel Watson

New Jersey’s PSE&G’s Second Solar Loan III Solicitation is Coming. Here’s What You Need to Know.

The Public Service Electric and Gas Company of New Jersey (PSE&G) will begin accepting applications in less than a month, on February 25, for its Solar Loan program. While no major changes have occurred since the first solicitation late last year, data is now available on pricing from the first round of applications and awards.

The first solicitation of New Jersey’s PSE&G Solar Loan III program began last year and closed the period on November 12th, 2013.  The program provides loans that make up significant portions of project construction costs (see an example here). The loans can be repaid through SRECs, with payment plans set at the closing of the loan. Cash can also be used to pay in case of low production. Once the loan has been paid in full, any SRECs produced thereafter belong to the owner of the system. The following capacities are available per each program segment:

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Thomas Larson

We’re Hiring! Sol Systems Seeks Project Finance Associate

Sol Systems continues to expand its team of solar project finance professionals. In addition to new postings for a Senior Director of Tax Equity and a Tax Equity Associate, we are also looking to hire a Project Finance Associate. See the posting below for the Project Finance Associate position, or visit our careers page for more information.

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Alejandro Neira

Sol Systems’ Senior Associate Andrew Gilligan Speaks at “Careers in Energy” Panel at Georgetown University

Andrew addressed students interested in energy careers as part of a "Careers in Energy" panel

Andrew Gilligan addresses students as part of a “Careers in Energy” panel

Last week, Andrew Gilligan, Sol Systems’ Senior Associate, visited Georgetown University to speak in an energy career panel hosted by the International Business Diplomacy Program and the Center for German and European Studies. Andrew spoke alongside Tom Cunningham, Energy and Diplomacy Officer at the Bureau of Energy Resources at State, and Kevin Massy, Director of International Affairs at Statoil.

During the panel, Andrew talked about his time at Georgetown Energy, a student-run clean energy action group based in Washington, D.C. and how this experience first sparked his interest in renewable energies. While addressing students that want to start careers in the energy field, Andrew emphasized the importance of networking and displaying interest and knowledge in the field. Understanding the company and making your resume and cover letter professional and tailored to the company you are applying to are essential for success in the application process.

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Welcomes Maria Thompson, Controller

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth.

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate the growth of its solar finance business.

Sol Systems is continuing to expand to accommodate its rapid business growth. At Sol Systems, our biggest asset is our team, and we will continue to hire sharp, passionate team members. We are currently hiring for a Tax Equity Associate, Senior Director of Tax Equity, and Solar Analyst Interns . To learn more about careers with Sol Systems, please visit our careers page.

This week, Sol Systems is proud to announce the arrival of our new Controller, Maria Thompson.

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Natacha Kiler

Sun Still Rising on Residential Solar

We still see tremendous potential in commercial and industrial (C&I solar), but we’re also bullish on residential solar.

We still see tremendous potential in commercial and industrial (C&I solar), but we’re also bullish on residential solar.

There is much evidence pointing to a rosy future for residential solar.  High retail utility rates provide a compelling reason for homeowners to go solar while residential installation costs continue to drop.  Many of our partners claim that residential system development is more profitable than commercial development. Even solar developers that historically led the commercial and utility sectors are taking strides to enter the residential space.

In late 2013, SolarCity, successfully securitized cash flows from a portfolio of solar assets, accessing capital from the public markets via a $54 million bond offering. SolarCity accomplished the securitization milestone at a rate of 4.8%, and other solar companies may follow with perhaps even lower rates. Solar asset securitization deepens the pool of capital while cheapening the cost of capital. Meanwhile, SolarCity’s stock price has skyrocketed since its IPO a year ago, and new IPOs may be on the horizon for SunRun, Clean Power Finance, and Vivint Solar. Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

January 2014 Project Finance Statistics

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Below, we have included excerpts from Sol Systems’ January 2014 Project Finance Journal, which is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of solar industry resources.

If you would like to receive our Solar Project Finance Journal via email every month, please email pr@solsystemscompany.com with a request to be added to our Project Finance Journal distribution list.

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Alejandro Neira

Sol Systems’ CEO to speak on Tax Equity at Projects and Money 2014 Conference

Yuri Horwitz will speak on Tax Equity and capital structures conference in New Orleans.

Yuri Horwitz will speak on Tax Equity and capital structures at the Projects and Money 2014 conference in New Orleans.

Sol Systems CEO, Yuri Horwitz, will travel to New Orleans this week to participate in Infocast’s Projects and Money 2014 conference. Yuri is part of a panel that will discuss the optimization of capital structures, and will be joined by John M. Eber, Managing Director of Energy Investments at JPMorgan Capital Corporation, Drew Murphy, Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets, amongst others. Some of the topics to be explored by the panelists include the current tax equity appetite, back-leverage deals, and infrastructure funds.

Yuri has been involved in the energy and environmental policy fields for over a decade and is a recognized subject matter expert on solar project finance. He has led the strategic development of Sol Systems’ solar financing business. To date, the firm has facilitated financing for over 84 MW of distributed generation capacity.

To schedule a meeting with Yuri in New Orleans, contact info@solsystemscompany.com.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Expands Financing for Commercial Solar, Facilitates Financing for 627 kW

Sol Systems recently facilitated financing for 627 kW in Indiana. Sol Systems financed another 1.7 MW on behalf of Solscient Energy, the developer, in the summer of 2013.

Sol Systems recently facilitated financing for 627 kW in Indiana. Sol Systems financed another 1.7 MW on behalf of Solscient Energy, the developer, in the summer of 2013.

Sol Systems recently announced the successful financing of a 627 kW distributed generation solar energy project in Goshen, Indiana. Solscient Energy, a solar integrator, developer, and independent power producer developed the rooftop solar project.  An Indiana utility will purchase the energy through a feed-in tariff.

This is the second transaction that Solscient closed with Sol Systems in the last year; the two firms worked together previously to secure financing for a 1.7 MW portfolio. The Sol Systems team executed a term sheet for this project on behalf of Solscient only two weeks after initial discussions.

“We’re glad to make commercial solar projects like this possible by streamlining the financing process for our developer and investor clients,” said Andrew Gilligan, who helps lead Sol Systems’ investor advisory services. “In this case, Solscient came to us with an attractive project, and we were able move quickly with our most appropriate funding source.”

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Anna Noucas

Formal Rulemaking Process Begins for Massachusetts SREC-II Program

On January 3, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that they filed revisions to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Class I regulation, thus beginning the formal rulemaking process for establishing a framework for the SREC-II program.  The official version of the draft regulation will be published in the Massachusetts Register on January 17, 2014, but in the meantime, the DOER has provided an unofficial version on their website.

Timeline for the Formal Rulemaking Process

The formal rulemaking process begins with a public comment period which includes holding a public hearing.  Written public comments will be accepted from January 3 through 5:00pm on January 29, 2014 and the public hearing will be held on January 24, 2014 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Gardner Auditorium of the Massachusetts State House in Boston.  Following the public comment period, the DOER will submit this proposed final regulation to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and will incorporate any changes deemed prudent from the public comments.  Within the following 30 days, the Joint Committee will review and submit comments on the regulation back to the DOER.  To conclude, the DOER must consider the Joint Committee’s comments for a period of not less than 30 days, and thereafter, the final regulation will be promulgated as soon as possible.  Based on the estimated outline in the table below, the SREC-II program should become effective in April 2014.

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Anna Noucas

Everything You Need to Know about the Most Recent Updates to Massachusetts SREC II

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia recently shared the DOER’s most recent developments regarding its SREC II program.

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia recently shared the DOER’s most recent developments regarding its SREC II program.

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia recently shared the DOER’s most recent developments regarding its SREC II program with a packed house at the recent Electricity Restructuring Roundtable on Solar in New England and California.  The official draft has not been published for the public, but is expected to be filed any day now.  Here’s what you need to know.

  1. SREC-II Policy Objectives: Unchanged

The overall policy objectives remained unchanged under this most recent draft. The DOER’s main goals are still to provide sufficient economic support, control ratepayer costs, and create competitive, robust, and progressive market conditions that will maintain and expand PV installations in Massachusetts to reach Governor Deval Patrick’s 1600 MW goal by 2020.  The most significant updates and changes to the original SREC-II draft regulations came instead in the announcement of the key design features, which will drive the structure of the SREC-II Program.

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Natacha Kiler

Want to Invest in Solar? Join the Club.

Solar is increasingly viewed as a strong asset class, and more investors are waiting at the sidelines with sponsor equity. However, unless an investor is able to provide tax advantaged equity, they will find a very competitive environment.

Investors interested in deploying capital in solar projects should contact our project finance team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.

Sponsor equity is in abundance. There are a number of bankers, real estate professionals, and others interested in deploying capital into projects. This is tremendous for solar developers, but the overall supply of sponsor equity is large enough that it has started driving yields downward for many investors.

To remain competitive, investors are focused on lowering their cost of capital or investing in smaller or more complex solar projects that have not traditionally attracted investment. Even with a competitive, low cost of capital, investors will also need reliable access to tax equity (or their own internal tax appetite) in order to establish a competitive advantage to do solar deals.

To play seriously in the solar market, equity investors need a minimum of ~$3-10 million of annual tax liability. These investors are likely best suited to be take-out financiers (the single purchaser of a project) because of the relative simplicity and lower transaction costs vis-à-vis tax equity investing. Take-out solar investments are (generally) relatively straightforward because the investor provides the sponsor equity and makes use of their own tax appetite to monetize the Federal Investment Tax Credit.

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Natacha Kiler

December 2013 Project Finance Statistics

December 2013 Project Finance Statistics

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Every month, Sol Systems distributes a newsletter, the Sol Systems Project Finance Journal, to our community of solar developers and investors. The journal features solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. We gather this information from our relationships and experience aggregating SRECs and financing commercial and utility scale solar projects.

We have included excerpts from our December Project Finance Journal below. If you have any questions about this information, wish to receive our monthly newsletter via email, or have a solar project in need of financing, please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.  We would love to hear from you.

 

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Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems Discusses SRECs in Solar Industry Magazine

Sol Systems Discusses SRECs in Solar Industry Magazine

Sol Systems Featured in Solar Industry Magazine

Sol Systems was featured in a recent Solar Industry Magazine article “Experts Warn, Know The Game Before Betting On SRECs”. The article, which details the vital role solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) play in solar project finance, features key insight from Sol Systems’ Director of Marketing, Natacha Kiler:

“In some markets, SRECs make or break the economics of a solar project,” explains Natacha Kiler, director of marketing at Sol Systems, a Washington, D.C.-based solar financial services firm. Because every solar market is unique, she cautions developers to understand the underlying volatility and dynamics of SREC supply, demand and changing legislation.

Sol Systems went on to discuss the New Jersey market.

Sol Systems’ Kiler agrees. “When the SREC markets fell in New Jersey, some of those projects suddenly became unfinanceable.”

Kiler notes that New Jersey SREC prices recently rebounded and projects that were previously unfinanceable have become more attractive to investors “because SREC strips are available at increased prices.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Since 2008, Sol Systems has established their SREC expertise by managing solar renewable energy credits on behalf of over 4,000 customers in the East Coast and the Midwest. To learn more about our SREC options, contact info@solsystemscompany.com or call us at 888-235-1538 x1.

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Thomas Larson

Project Pitfalls: Four Red Flags that Kill Solar Deals

If you are a solar developer wondering why any of your projects has had difficulty securing third party financing, have no fear; our developer advisory services team has put together a list of four common project pitfalls that may kill your solar deal, as well as strategies to overcome them. By identifying fatal flaws early, developers can reduce soft costs and focus on opportunities that are the most attractive to prospective investors. While no single one of these issues is unequivocally lethal to a project, they can significantly narrow the gate to success if they go unmitigated.

Solar Red Flags

1.         Non-financeable Offtaker

Offtakers (the purchaser of a project’s electricity) with poor credit will have trouble attracting investment, so developers should understand an offtaker’s credit standing early in the development process. Some signs of poor offtaker credit include:

-The offtaker does not seem to be cash flow positive;

-The offtaker  has been around for fewer than 5 years;

-The solar project’s value would amount to a large portion of the offtaker’s assets.

If an offtaker does not pass these criteria, or has other credit concerns that would impair an investor’s confidence, an alternate strategy is to find a guarantor. A guarantor could be a parent company, a municipality, a school district, or really any credit-worthy entity that could serve as a backstop if the offtaker were to default on the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Additionally, if the offtaker is located in a desirable location, an investor may value the prospect of future hosts paying the PPA in the case that the original offtaker is unable to continue operations there. Read the rest of this entry »

Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems’ Most Viewed Solar Project Finance Articles of 2013

Sol Systems’ Most Viewed Solar Project Finance Articles of 2013

We review our most viewed solar project finance articles of 2013.

As we reflect on the year, our team took a moment to examine the articles that sparked the most interest from our network. Topics range from new incentive programs in traditional solar states like California, emerging markets such as Rhode Island and New York, and the possible impacts of federal changes on the solar landscape.

In 2014, our team will continue to provide our network of solar energy system owners, developers, and investors with engaging, informative articles to help with their solar financing needs.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems to Speak at GTM’s U.S. Solar Market Insight in San Diego

Yuri Horwitz will speak on standardization and solar securitization at the U.S. Solar Market Insight conference in San Diego.

Yuri Horwitz will speak on standardization and solar securitization at the U.S. Solar Market Insight conference in San Diego.

Sol Systems CEO Yuri Horwitz will be in San Diego next week on December 10 and 11 to speak at GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Market Insight conference. Yuri will speak on solar securitization and standardization alongside Richard Mull of KPMG and Nicholas W. Lazares, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Admirals Bank. The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S. To schedule a meeting with Mr. Horwitz in San Diego, please email info@solsystemscompany.com.

Yuri has been involved in the energy and environmental policy fields for the last decade and is a recognized subject matter expert on solar project finance. He has led the strategic development of Sol Systems’ solar project finance and SREC business and under his leadership, Sol Systems has facilitated financing for 70 MW of solar energy projects. The firm provided $135 million for solar projects in 2013 and will provide $250 million in tax equity financing in 2014.

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Thomas Larson

Sol Systems Seeks Renewable Energy Intern

Position: Solar Analyst Intern (position beginning in January 2014) targeted towards undergraduates

Description: The Solar Analyst Intern will assist with registration processes, administrative duties, and research tasks, and will be expected to provide clearly defined deliverables. The position will require attention to detail, excellent record keeping, and efficient allocation of time and resources.

Through this position, the Solar Analyst Intern will gain familiarity with solar legislation, solar finance mechanisms, industry news, and industry vocabulary, as well as new product development in a fast paced, start-up environment. This position provides a fantastic launching pad for a career in renewable energy.  Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Noucas

Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard under Attack… Again

The Ohio SREC market in 2013 is projected to be more than two times oversupplied with an expected 129,000 SRECs to be issued compared to a demand of only 60,000 SRECs.

The Ohio SREC market in 2013 is projected to be more than two times oversupplied with an expected 129,000 SRECs to be issued compared to a demand of only 60,000 SRECs.

As the Ohio General Assembly approaches the final few months of its 2013 legislative session, attention has been brought to the Senate Bill introduced to repeal the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. Ohio State Senator Kris Jordan introduced Senate Bill 34 (SB 34) which, if passed, would “repeal the alternative energy resource requirements imposed on electric distribution and electric services companies to provide, by 2025, 25% of their electric supply from alternative energy.” To put it simply, if passed, this legislation would repeal Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and the Ohio SREC market would be dismantled.

This is not the first time that Senator Jordan has attacked the Ohio RPS; similar legislation was introduced by Senator Jordan in 2012, but those previous bills failed to gain any support.  It remains to be seen how SB 34 will move forward in this current legislative session, as it has only been assigned to the Public Utilities Committee. A hearing has yet to be scheduled.

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Natacha Kiler

November 2013 Project Finance Statistics

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Every month, Sol Systems distributes a newsletter, the Sol Systems Project Finance Journal, to our community of solar developers and investors. The journal features solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. We gather this information from our relationships and experience aggregating SRECs and financing commercial and utility scale solar projects.

We have included excerpts from our November Project Finance Journal below. If you have any questions about this information, wish to receive our monthly newsletter via email, or have a solar project in need of financing, please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.  We would love to hear from you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Attends Ribbon Cutting for Second Largest Solar Installation in D.C.

Sol CFO George Ashton, William Graves, and Sara Rafalson pose at the ribbon cutting for the second largest solar installation in D.C. Sol Systems financed the project.

Sol CFO George Ashton, William Graves, and Sara Rafalson smile at the ribbon cutting for the second largest solar installation in D.C. Sol Systems financed the project.

Sol Systems attended the grand opening of the new solar energy facility located at KIPP DC’s Douglass Campus in Washington, D.C. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place today, November 14, with Dot Harris from the Department of Energy serving as the keynote speaker.

The 227 kW solar energy system is the second largest solar installation in D.C. Sol Systems financed the solar project in partnership with Washington Gas Energy Systems. Sol Systems also provided the SREC contract. Volt Energy developed the project.

“We are proud to work with local partners, Volt Energy and Washington Gas Energy Systems, to bring innovative solar energy solutions to the District,” said George Ashton CFO of Sol Systems. “This partnership is good for D.C., the environment, and for the students that KIPP DC serves. Through this partnership, we have created electricity savings for the four KIPP DC schools at the Douglass Campus and a unique educational opportunity for students.”

Green State Power, a full service solar integrator based in North Carolina, completed construction of the carport and rooftop structure under an extremely tight deadline, as construction needed to be completed by the time that students and teachers returned to the campus after summer break.  Green State Power has a track record of success in both commercial and residential PV and solar thermal projects throughout the Southeast.

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Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems to Speak at Distributed Solar Summit 2013

Sol Systems to Speak at Distributed Solar Summit 2013

Sol Systems George Ashton and Andrew Gilligan to Speak at Distributed Solar Summit 2013

Another week, another conference.

Next week, Sol Systems will speak at the Distributed Solar Summit in San Diego, California. Sol Systems CFO, George Ashton, and Senior Associate, Andrew Gilligan, will both be featured on Monday, November 18 during the U.S Distributed Solar Markets: Outlook and Analysis portion of the conference. George will speak about policy and incentive frameworks in New Jersey’s solar market. Andrew will discuss the solar policy and incentive frameworks in New York.

Developers interested in financing options for New Jersey or New York solar projects can contact our project finance team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or (888) 235-1538 ext. 2.  Our team is happy to discuss your project with you and assess financing opportunities. Solar installers with customers in need of SREC options in New Jersey can contact our SREC services team at info@solsystemscompany.com or (888) 235-1538 ext. 1.

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Keith Glassbrook

California’s Big Three Utilities Reject Battery-Backed Solar

California’s Big Three Utilities Reject Battery-Backed Solar.

Three of California’s biggest utilities reject battery-backed solar.

It is no secret that utilities across the country are resisting the growth of distributed solar. This time around, Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), California’s three largest utilities, are grappling with integrating battery-backed solar systems into the grid. The utilities are refusing to integrate solar systems with integrated battery storage systems if both system components are behind the same meter.

This may seem like a trivial issue because battery-backed systems add about 25 percent to the cost of rooftop solar systems and only make up a small part of the solar market. Nevertheless, Bloomberg predicts that battery costs will fall 57 percent from $1,893 per kWh now to $807 per kWh of storage capacity in 2020 making battery-backed systems more attractive to customers. Similarly, Lux Research Inc. forecasts that the global market for solar systems combined with energy storage will rise from less than $200 million this year to $2.8 billion in 2018. Coupled with the fact that California accounts for more than 30% of solar installations in the U.S., these predictions mean the stance of California’s big three utilities’ on battery-backed solar could have a major impact on the growth of solar.

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Jessica Robbins

First Round of PSE&G’s Solar Loan III Program Begins Accepting Applications

Due to the competitive nature of the application process and the relatively low prices in the NJ SREC market, we expect the commercial segments especially to see very tight margins.

Due to the competitive nature of the application process and the relatively low prices in the NJ SREC market, we expect the commercial segments especially to see very tight margins.

After two successful prior rounds, PSE&G launched their third Solar Loan program and began accepting applications for PV projects on October 31st. The first round of competitive solicitations will close on Tuesday, November 12th. Projects in PSE&G service territory that are eligible for net metering can receive a percentage of project costs upfront as a loan to be paid back with SRECs or cash during the life of the project. The program will accept 97.5MW in both residential and commercial projects. Sol Systems previously wrote about the program here.

Solar Loan Program III will differ from previous procurements in several ways. Unlike previous Solar Loan programs, the floor price per SREC will be determined by a competitive bid-in process. The program will also feature a ten year loan term, down from 15 years in previous rounds. It will not include a call option on SRECs, providing additional security for investors. The available capacity will also be divided into market segments (various types and capacities of residential and commercial projects), meaning increased diversity of project types in the program. The program applicants will now be responsible for administrative costs of the program as well, in the form of per kW fees. Bidders should account for these fees in their floor price.

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Natacha Kiler

Sol Systems Finances SunPower Residential Solar Portfolio with New Tax Equity

Sol Systems recently brought a new tax equity investor to solar and financed over a thousand systems for SunPower.

Sol Systems recently brought a new tax equity investor to solar and financed over a thousand systems for SunPower.

Sol Systems announced today that it has successfully financed a residential solar portfolio for SunPower Corp. The investment will fund over a thousand solar energy systems for homeowners across the northeastern and southwestern United States. The tax structured investment is part of Sol Systems’ ongoing initiative to bring new tax equity investors into the solar asset class.

Solar panel costs have fallen rapidly in recent years and solar project investments have exploded; however, there remains a shortage of investors who are able to take advantage of the tax credits associated with solar energy system ownership. To address this issue, Sol Systems has devoted itself to bringing new tax equity investors to the solar asset class. Sol Systems has provided tax equity financing for over $100 million in solar projects in 2013, and expects to provide tax equity financing for $200-250 million in 2014, a critical injection of tax equity into the solar market.

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Alejandro Neira

Minnesota Utility Seeks to Double State’s Solar Power in Coming Years

solar-panels-in-garden-feat

If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel would seek to develop up to 2.5 MW per quarter during the next two years, for a total of up to 20 MW.

As the solar industry continues to expand and grow, states across the country are recognizing the importance of going solar and taking aggressive action to do so.  Minnesota is one such state that has recently taken the initiative to expand their solar presence. Minnesota’s H.F. 729 energy law, approved in the spring of 2013, seeks to significantly increase the presence of solar energy in the state’s power supply. While Minnesota passed a first piece of legislation in 2007 that created a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard for the state, it did not include a specific solar carve-out requirement for the state’s utilities. This most recent law mandates that public utilities, including the state’s biggest utility Xcel Energy, meet a 1.5% solar standard by 2020.

While this percentage may seem low, in order to reach the 1.5% standard, Minnesota’s solar energy capacity would have to increase by 30-fold from the 13 MW currently installed in the state up to 450 MW by 2020. In an effort to comply with these new requirements, Xcel’s leadership has focused on finding new opportunities to expand the presence of renewables in their portfolio.

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Thomas Larson

Reaching Beyond the Roof: Three Strategies for Corporate Investments in Solar

The Compelling Solar Asset Class

There are many options available to corporations interested in investing in solar projects. The market for investing in solar projects is an expanding financial sector that provides corporate investors with an opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios and develop or expand tax credit platforms. In 2012, the volume of solar projects being installed in the United States grew 76 percent year over year, with 3,313 MW of projects built at an estimated value of $11.5 billion. These solar projects will provide enough electricity to power over 350,000 households in the United States. In 2013, it is projected that the asset class will grow by an additional 29 percent across residential, commercial and industrial, and utility scale solar projects.

Retailers and other corporations invest in solar through a variety of financing structures.

Retailers and other corporations invest in solar through a variety of financing structures.

Many corporations are joining retailers, tech companies, utilities, and major financial institutions in the solar space with investments both on and off their properties. In numerous locations, the rooftops of Staples, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, IKEA, Kohl’s, and others within the retail industry feature solar arrays. These retailers, as well as many other solar investors, secure reduced energy costs, tax benefits, and clean electricity for their stores, which further company-wide sustainability efforts and appeal to consumers.

Strategies for Solar Investments

There are three primary strategies for corporations to invest directly in the solar asset class and realize the benefits of solar energy: (1) purchasing electricity from an on-site or nearby solar project through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), (2) directly purchasing a solar project to provide free renewable energy to a company’s buildings or property, and (3) strategically investing in solar projects to secure long-term cash flows and significant tax benefits. Each is explored below. Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of SPI (and All Solar Conferences)

Sol Systems' Director of Marketing, Natacha Kiler, reflects on the top 5 do's and don'ts at SPI.

Sol Systems’ Director of Marketing, Natacha Kiler, reflects on the top 5 do’s and don’ts at SPI.

Solar Power International is generally a good time, but this year’s conference in Chicago seemed better than some of the conferences in recent memory. After reflecting on the week, and why this year felt so much better than some other years, here are Sol Systems’ top 5 SPI conference best practices.

Do’s:

1. Set up meetings and locations in advance. SPI has gotten way too big to have impromptu meetings. If you want to meet with someone specific, put the meeting on the calendar (with the right time zone and everyone’s cell phone number), and have an idea of where you will meet more than 5 minutes before the meeting. No matter where the conference is located, you can generally meet: next to the registration area, at lunch tables in the expo hall, established event networking centers, at comfortable chairs outside the expo, “the” coffee shop, or in the lobby of the conference hotel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Closes 1.2 MW Transaction for Maryland Nonprofit, Leveraging Solar Financing & SREC Expertise

Financing for the construction of the 1.2 MW project was handled between Sol Systems and Building Energy.

Sol Systems recently financed a 1.2 MW solar project in Maryland.

Sol Systems has successfully financed a 1.2 MW solar project in partnership with its investor client, Washington Gas Energy Systems, a subsidiary of WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL), which will own and operate the system. Located at Presbyterian Senior Living Services, a non-profit located in Glen Arm, Maryland, the system will provide electricity under a long-term Power Purchase agreement. Financing for the construction of the project was handled between Sol Systems and Building Energy. Washington Gas Energy Systems will own and operate the system.

To fast-track the financing for the commercial-scale project, Sol Systems engaged its network of institutional investors, structured the transaction, and secured a multi-year solar renewable energy credit (SREC) contract, critical to financing the deal.  Maryland SREC compliance buyers do not typically execute SREC contracts prior to a project’s operation date. However, Sol Systems was able to leverage its reputation as the oldest and largest SREC aggregator in the nation to secure a four-year fixed price contract.

“Early before entering into the U.S. market, we recognized the value of having a solid and reliable financing partner to help us navigate the complexities of U.S. solar market. An experienced partner like Sol Systems has provided us with the support we needed to finance our first deal in the United States,” said Andrea Braccialarghe, Managing Director America at Building Energy.

Since 2008, Sol Systems has facilitated financing for 69 MW of solar projects throughout the country, 8 MW of which are located in Maryland. In addition to commercial project financing and SREC aggregation, Sol Systems is tackling tax equity, one of the solar industry’s biggest financing limitations.

“Sol Systems is proud to have helped Building Energy succeed with their first U.S. solar project,” said George Ashton, CFO of Sol Systems. “This effort is an example of how our commercial financing solutions and SREC services can work in tandem to increase deal velocity, accelerate the tempo of project development, and bring solar to non-profits like Presbyterian Senior Living Services.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems Welcomes Bridget Callahan

Sol Systems Welcomes Bridget Callahan

Sol Systems Welcomes Bridget Callahan to help with the firm’s SREC operations and analytics.

Sol Systems is continuing to expand to accommodate its rapid business growth. This week, Sol Systems is proud to announce the arrival of our new SREC Operations Analyst, Bridget. Welcome to the team, Bridget.

Bridget Callahan joins Sol Systems after graduating from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Sol Systems, Ms. Callahan worked with the State of Michigan, as well as with several environmental non-profit organizations. As SREC Operations Analyst, Ms. Callahan answers inquiries for Sol Systems’ 4,000 person customer network, manages customer meter readings and production monitoring, conducts policy research and analysis, and interacts with the various public utilities commissions for SREC registrations. She holds a Bachelor in Arts in Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, with a concentration in environmental policy.

At Sol Systems, our biggest asset is our team, and we will continue to hire sharp, passionate team members. We are currently hiring for a Controller. To learn more about careers with Sol Systems, please visit our careers page.

Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

October 2013 Project Finance Statistics

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Every month, Sol Systems distributes a newsletter, the Sol Systems Project Finance Journal, to our community of solar developers and investors. The journal features solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. We gather this information from our relationships and experience aggregating SRECs and financing commercial and utility scale solar projects.

We have included excerpts from our October Project Finance Journal below. If you have any questions about this information, wish to receive our monthly newsletter via email, or have a solar project in need of financing, please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.  We would love to hear from you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandro Neira

Fall 2013 Incentives Roundup

Long Island and Rhode Island will open their enrollment periods in October 7th and 23rd, respectively

Long Island and Rhode Island will open their enrollment periods in October 7th and 23rd, respectively

The Long Island Power Authority announced that the Clean Solar Initiative  would start its second round of applications on October 7th. This program seeks to bring an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to the island, and it is expected to have the same success as CSI-I. Projects to enter this round should be 100kW to 2MW in capacity. Similarly to Rhode Island’s program, the rate will be set through a bidding process. The final price per kWh will be fixed for 20 years. CSI will be accepting applications until January 31st, 2014.

On October 28th National Grid starts its third open enrollment period and will be accepting applications to enter into standard contracts for the supply of energy and RECs in Rhode Island. For this year, the ceiling price (the maximum bid-in price for projects) for 50-100 kW systems will be $0.2995/kWh, $0.2880/kWh for 101-250 kW systems, and $0.2840/kWh for 251-500 kW systems. This is the first round where all applicants will have to include competitive bids with their applications. National Grid will be accepting applications until November 8th.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Finances 227 kW Washington D.C. Solar Project at KIPP School through Partnership with Washington Gas Energy Systems

Sol Systems successfully financed 227 kW at the KIPP Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Sol Systems successfully financed 227 kW at the KIPP Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Sol Systems is proud to announce that it has facilitated financing for a 227 kW solar energy system at the KIPP Charter School, a non-profit in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Volt Energy developed the project and Sol Systems structured the transaction and financed the project on behalf of its investment advisory services client, Washington Gas Energy Systems.

Sol Systems, Volt, and Washington Gas Energy Systems are headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, which has one of the most attractive solar markets in the country thanks to strong solar legislation and a robust solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market. To finance the KIPP system, Sol Systems provided an SREC contract for the project and then packaged it into a portfolio of other mid-sized commercial solar projects in Maryland, Hawaii, and California for its investor client, Washington Gas Energy Systems.

“We’ve worked with Sol Systems on SRECs over the years. They have a great reputation, so it was natural to work with them again for this opportunity,” said Gilbert Campbell, Volt Energy’s co-owner and Director of Business Development. “They swiftly conducted due diligence and secured a financing partner to meet our timeline.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandro Neira

Employee Spotlight: Andrew Gilligan

At Sol Systems, we realize that our work is a reflection of who we are as individuals, and our success is a direct result of all the different personalities, passions, and talents that your employees bring to the table. Our team has expanded significantly in the last few years, and we are proud to employ some of the brightest talent in the renewable energy industry. On this employee highlight we have Andrew Gilligan, Senior Associate at Sol Systems:

This month’s employee spotlight features Andrew Gilligan from our investor advisory services team.

This month’s employee spotlight features Andrew Gilligan from our investor advisory services team.

What is your current position at Sol Systems?

I am a Senior Associate and help to lead our Investor Advisory Group. As part of this team, I assist renewable energy investors across the United States to successfully deploy capital into solar projects.

How has Sol Systems changed since you first started at the firm?

Since I started with Sol Systems in early 2011, the firm has undergone a lot of changes. Back then, we were a small start-up company only offering SREC solutions. Today, we have evolved to become a financial services firm that can help with any part of the capital stock for projects in all relevant US solar markets.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems Welcomes Jason Cimpl

Sol Systems welcomes Jason Cimpl, SREC Portfolio Manager, to the team.

Sol Systems welcomes Jason Cimpl, SREC Portfolio Manager, to the team.

Sol Systems is continuing to expand to accommodate its rapid business growth. This week, Sol Systems is proud to announce the arrival of our new SREC Portfolio Manager, Jason Cimpl. Welcome to the team, Jason.

Jason Cimpl joins Sol Systems with over eight years of finance experience. Most recently, he served as lead analyst for Wyatt Investment Research, where he provided clients with equity research, portfolio analysis, and trading strategy. Additionally, he spent several years in an accounting and financial advisor capacity. At Sol Systems, Mr. Cimpl manages Sol Systems’ SREC portfolio of 4,000 solar assets, creates and analyzes the company’s SREC research models, forecasts SREC supply and demand, and calculates the SREC portfolio’s risk position and strategy. He also leads Sol Systems’ SREC services group, which manages SREC portfolios for installers, developers, and investors who own their own SREC-producing solar assets, but may not have the expertise or resources to manage them on a daily basis. Mr. Cimpl graduated from the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 with a degree in Finance, Investment and Banking.

At Sol Systems, our biggest asset is our team, and we will continue to hire sharp, passionate team members. We are currently hiring for a controller and an SREC operations analyst. Learn more about careers with Sol Systems here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandro Neira

Palo Alto Feed-in Tariff Stalled by Lucrative Rebate Program

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has established various programs in the last few years to encourage solar development in the city. Despite space constraints that limit most projects to roof mounts and carports, the administration promotes two distinct initiatives designed to meet the statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard of 33% by 2015:

Photo Credits: Richard Masoner

Solar Panels at the City of Palo Alto Municipal Service Center

-       Palo Alto CLEAN, a feed-in tariff program

-       PV Partners Program, a rebate program that supports net energy metered (NEM) systems

On March 2012, CPAU launched the Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (CLEAN) program, in hopes to expand the production of cost-effective, clean local energy. This was an important step towards greater energy self-reliance, and for the city’s goal of supplying 33% of its electricity with renewable energy by 2015. The feed-in tariff pilot program was initially capped at 4 megawatts and it was targeted to medium-sized commercial rooftops with a minimum size of 100 kWs per installation. After opening the program for applications in April 2012, no applications were received at the initial rate of $0.14/kWh.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Noucas

Washington, D.C. Unanimously Passes Community Solar Legislation, Becomes 10th State to Establish Virtual Net Metering

The D.C. Council voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057) with a unanimous vote.

The D.C. Council unanimously voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057).

The D.C. Council unanimously voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057).  With this favorable vote, D.C. becomes the tenth state in the nation to enact community solar legislation.  Other states of note that have passed similar legislation include Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, and, most recently, Connecticut.  Through this innovative structure renters, homeowners and businesses with shaded roofs, and low-income utility customers who are unable to install a solar energy system on their roof – either for financial reasons, or because their property is unfit for installation – will be able to access the benefits of solar energy through virtual net metering.

Virtual net-metering allows for any utility rate payer with a meter located in D.C. to purchase a subscription or percentage interest in a solar installation qualified as a Community Renewable Energy Facility.  A Community Renewable Energy Facility must have at least two subscribers and cannot be larger than 5 MW.  Once a subscription has been purchased, the electricity produced by the subscribers’ portion of the solar energy system will be credited to their monthly electric bill at a previously agreed upon rate to offset their electricity demand for that given month.  Ergo, retail customers will save on their monthly electric bills by enlisting in the community solar program.

The Community Renewables Energy Act will continue the momentum generated for the D.C. solar market following the successful passage of its aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2011. This progressive solar legislation reinforces D.C.’s position as one of the strongest solar markets in the country, making the nation’s capital a showcase for solar energy.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems CFO George Ashton is Finalist for Platts Global Energy Award

Platts Global Energy Awards Sol Systems

George Ashton is a finalist for the Platts Global Energy Award. Mr. Ashton won Washington Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award in summer 2013.

Sol Systems CFO, George Ashton, is a finalist for Platts Global Energy’s Rising Star Award. The Global Energy Awards were created 15 years ago to recognize those who have transcended the status quo in the name of excellence in leadership, innovation, and performance in the energy industry. Finalists were chosen from a list of over 200 nominations, and the winners will be announced on December 12 in New York.

Mr. Ashton was recognized for his contributions to Sol Systems’ growing solar project financing business for residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects. As co-founder and Vice President, George has been a critical contributor to the vision and conceptual development of the firm’s SREC and project financing businesses.  Mr. Ashton manages Sol Systems’ SREC portfolio of nearly 4,000 solar assets and leads the firm’s investor advisory group, which provides investors with opportunities to deploy capital in the renewable energy asset class, including take-out financing and tax equity investments for solar projects. To date, Sol Systems has financed 60 MW of solar assets. Mr. Ashton also won Washington Business Journal’s CFO of the Year award in July 2013.

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Alejandro Neira

Sol Systems Joins MDV-SEIA as a Platinum Sponsor for Solar Focus 2013

Sol Systems, a longtime supporter of MDV-SEIA’s efforts and an active solar stakeholder in the Mid-Atlantic, is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the 7th annual Solar Focus Conference. Read our recent interview with the MDV-SEIA conference staff.

MDV-SEIA: Tell us a little bit about Sol Systems.

Sol Systems' co-founders, Yuri Horwitz and George Ashton, will both speak at Solar Focus 2013.

Sol Systems’ co-founders, Yuri Horwitz and George Ashton, will both speak at Solar Focus 2013.

Sol Systems: As a boutique investment firm and leader in financial innovation within the renewable energy industry, Sol Systems raises and places capital for commercial and utility-scale solar projects by simplifying the origination, diligence, and financing processes for investor and developer partners.  In 2008, Yuri Horwitz, our CEO, and George Ashton, our CFO, decided to start this firm after recognizing a lack of awareness regarding government incentives for renewable energy and wanted to find a way to encourage the development of solar energy.  Our firm was built on the principle that solar energy should be an economically viable solution and this is a model that still guides us today.

Sol Systems began as a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) aggregator, with a major focus on making SREC markets more liquid and allowing small scale solar project owners to efficiently participate.  We revolutionized SREC markets by aggregating SRECs from thousands of small solar energy system owners and then selling large volumes into contracts with energy suppliers, who needed to purchase a quota of SRECs to meet their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance needs.  Small solar project owners that could not previously access long term SREC contracts were able to by utilizing our services.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keith Glassbrook

Sol Systems’ Financing Partnership with Washington Gas Featured in Washington Business Journal

Sol Systems’ partnership with Washington Gas was featured in the Washington Business Journal.

Sol Systems’ partnership with Washington Gas was featured in the Washington Business Journal.

The Washington Business Journal recently featured our financing partnership with Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. on three new solar projects in Hawaii, Maryland, and Sol Systems’ hometown, Washington, D.C.  Sol Systems served as an investment advisor to Washington Gas Energy Systems for these projects, assisting in project origination, due diligence, negotiation, and deal structuring before ultimately guiding these projects to financial close.

Washington Gas Energy Systems will build, own and operate three more new solar projects, at the KIPP School in the District, Presbyterian Senior Living Services in Glen Arm, Md. and the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii.

The projects will come online under 20-year power purchase agreements. Sol Systems is Washington Gas Energy Systems’ investment advisor, lining up third party financing.

The cost of the projects was not disclosed.

KIPP School will get a 227-kilowatt roof array. Presbyterian Senior Living Services will have a 1,320- kilowatt ground-mounted system, and Turtle Bay Resort will have a 402-kilowatt roof mounted system.

Read the full article from the Washington Business Journal here.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.

Keith Glassbrook

Meet with Sol Systems at Solar Power International 2013

Sol Systems will travel to Chicago for SPI from October 21st to October 24th.

Sol Systems will travel to Chicago for SPI from October 21st to October 24th.

The Sol Systems team will be in Chicago for Solar Power International 2013 from October 21st to October 24th. Sol Systems CEO and co-founder, Yuri Horwitz, will be speaking in the Business Growth, Development, and Finance Track on a panel entitled “Commercial, Industrial, Municipal and Small Utility Project Development.” He will speak on Wednesday, October 23rd from 2:30 – 4 PM.

On the evening of October 23, the women of Sol Systems will be holding a happy hour to meet fellow solar industry women and to discuss strategies for personal and professional success. All women in the solar industry are welcome. Please RSVP today so we can reserve adequate space and include you on the guest list.

To schedule a meeting in Chicago with a member of the Sol Systems team, please contact us at info@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538. We look forward to seeing you at SPI 2013.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.

Victoria Ngare

California’s AB 327 Proposes Changes to Current Rate Structures, Protects Net Energy Metering (NEM)

AB 327 proposes giving the CPUC authority to change rate structures and extends net energy metering (NEM) policy in California.

After being passed by the California Senate, the controversial net energy metering (NEM) and rate structure bill AB 327 was passed by the California Assembly earlier this month. The bill now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature before it becomes law. In its current form, AB 327 aims to give the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) the ability to flatten tiered rate structures for residential consumers, and pass a tariff of no more than $10 on rate payers to finance fixed transmission and distribution costs faced by utilities. While initially a step back for distributed solar, in its final version, the bill also includes an extension of  California’s NEM policy – slated to reach the end of its life at the end of 2014 at the latest – to July 1, 2017. The new NEM policy would allow CPUC to mandate utilities to acquire more than 33 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, as opposed to the current ceiling of “up to” 33 percent.

Initially, AB 327 was painted as the bill that could stymie solar growth in California. Solar advocates stood in opposition to the bill because flattened rate structures could negatively impact rooftop solar. Coupled with the end of NEM in 2014, flat rates could spell a major slowdown in the growth of residential solar. Utilities have argued for flattened rate structures, coupled with a monthly flat fee for all customers, saying that it would help meet growing energy needs, especially for those heavily burdened by energy costs. But after solar advocates and others included the extension of NEM in the bill, AB 327 has been transformed into the bill that could foster continued growth in the industry for years to come.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Webinar Invitation – Project Finance and Development in SREC States: Washington, DC, Massachusetts, and Maryland

Join George Ashton and Amber Rivera as they discuss SREC market and pricing trends in DC, MA, and MD.

Join George Ashton and Amber Rivera as they discuss SREC market and pricing trends in DC, MA, and MD.

As thought leaders in solar finance, Sol Systems hosts quarterly SREC webinars at no charge for the solar community. Sol Systems is the largest Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) aggregator and financier in the United States. With thousands of customers and SRECs traded annually, we understand the intricacies of SREC monetization and the nuances of the SREC markets better than any other player in the solar industry.

SRECs are a critical piece of solar project development on the East Coast. However, as fixed price contracts are increasingly scarce, what strategies should developers deploy to maximize the value of their SREC portfolio and secure investor funds for a project?

Join Sol Systems on Thursday, October 10 at 1:30 PM ET as we discuss SREC market and pricing trends in the most promising of the SREC states. In this webinar, our SREC portfolio team, George Ashton and Amber Rivera, will discuss strategies for successfully financing projects within these markets, and how to secure an SREC contract in light of changing market conditions. Register today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Natacha Kiler

Washington Gas Energy Systems to Build, Own and Operate Three New Solar Projects Across the Nation through Financing Partnership with Sol Systems

Solar Arrays Will Power Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii, the KIPP School in Washington, D.C., and Presbyterian Senior Living Services in Maryland.

Washington Gas Solar Project Financed with Sol Systems

Sol Systems is proud to announce the successful financing of mid-sized commercial solar projects in Hawaii, Maryland, and D.C. These projects were financed through a partnership with our investor client, Washington Gas Energy Systems.

McLean, Va. – Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. has announced that it has contracted to build, own and operate three new solar arrays through a financing partnership with Sol Systems. The photovoltaic systems will power the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, the KIPP School in Washington, D.C., and Presbyterian Senior Living Services in Glen Arm, Md. Washington Gas Energy Systems will own and operate the solar systems under 20-year power purchase agreements. Sol Systems acted as an investment advisor to Washington Gas Energy Systems for these projects, which bring the organizations access to clean, solar electricity through third-party financing.

“We commend the KIPP School, Turtle Bay Resort and Presbyterian Senior Living Services for their environmental stewardship and we are pleased to be partnering with Sol Systems,” said Sanjiv Mahan, Vice President of Business Development at Washington Gas Energy Systems. “This strategic project portfolio strengthens our existing footprint in key regions throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C., while expanding our portfolio into strong solar states like Hawaii, giving us a true nationwide presence.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems to Speak in New York, Hawaii, and DC Week of 9/23

As thought leaders in solar energy financing, the Sol Systems team is invited to speak at several national and regional events and conferences. This week, various members of the Sol Systems team will speak in D.C., Hawaii, and New York.

The Sol Systems team will be featured speakers in D.C., New York, and Hawaii this week.

The Sol Systems team will be featured speakers in D.C., New York, and Hawaii this week.

Today, September 23, Sol Systems CFO, George Ashton, will speak on solar securitization during Infocast’s Project Finance conference in New York City. His panel is called Overview of the US Solar & Renewable Energy Industry: Identifying the Major Players, Assessing Growth Trends and Projections.

On Tuesday, September 24, Senior Associate, Andrew Gilligan, will speak at the 2nd Annual Green Building Symposium and Expo at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

Sol Systems’ co-founders, Yuri Horwitz and George Ashton, will travel to Hawaii from September 24-30 to meet with solar developer clients and discuss their financing needs. This trip follows the momentum that the Sol Systems team gained this summer after successfully closing its first Hawaii project. Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

MDV-SEIA Announces Dates & Agenda for Solar Focus 2013

MDV-SEIA is proud to announce that the dates for Solar Focus 2013 have been set.  This year’s event, which  marks the 7th anniversary of the conference, will be held on November 11th and 12th in Washington, D.C. Sol Systems will be a platinum sponsor.

MDV-SEIA's Solar Focus 2013 Conference will take place in D.C. on November 11 & 12. Sol Systems will be a platinum sponsor.

MDV-SEIA’s Solar Focus 2013 Conference will take place in D.C. on November 11 & 12. Sol Systems will be a platinum sponsor.

The theme of Solar Focus 2013 is The Sun Rises in the East: The Growth of East Coast Distributed Solar and provides a unique platform to highlight the unprecedented growth the solar sector is experiencing in markets such as Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.

The agenda will include:

  • Keynote by Nat Kreamer, CEO of Clean Power Finance
  • Keynote by Jigar Shah, Founder of SunEdison and solar visionary, on “Why Solar is Winning”
  • Live Session of Greentech Media’s weekly Energy Gang podcast featuring Stephen Lacey, Jigar Shah, and Katherine Hamilton
  • Panels on tax equity, managing SREC volatility in project development, federal policy, overcoming development challenges in D.C., streamlining permitting in Maryland, opportunities in energy storage, and much more
  • Ample networking opportunities at the Kickoff Reception, Opening Dinner, Breakfast, and Wrap Party Read the rest of this entry »
Anna Noucas

Sol Systems to Attend MDV-SEIA’s D.C. Solar Industry Leadership Roundtable

Help shape the future of solar programs in DC by attending the D.C. Solar Industry Leadership Roundtable on Monday, September 23.

Help shape the future of solar programs in DC by attending the D.C. Solar Industry Leadership Roundtable on Monday, September 23.

D.C. is arguably one of the strongest solar markets in the country, thanks largely to a robust renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and strong citizen and industry support. On Monday, September 23, the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) will host a D.C. Solar Industry Leadership to discuss regulatory issues and ensure that the nation’s capital retains its reputation as a national showcase for solar energy.

The D.C. Solar Industry Leadership Roundtable provides an opportunity for local solar industry members to participate in an industry-wide discussion to help shape the future of solar programs in the District.  Topics of particular interest include MDV-SEIA’s position on the Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) in D.C., along with various other programs between the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

The Sol Systems team will be in attendance, and we hope to see you there. To register for this free event, please visit the MDV-SEIA website.  The event will be held from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST on Monday, September 23, 2013 at the SEIA National Office, 505 9th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C.

In addition to the industry roundtable, MDV-SEIA will be hosting their annual Solar Focus Conference in D.C. November 11-12. This conference is the East Coast’s premier energy conference, and Sol Systems is a platinum sponsor. Register today for Solar Focus 2013 to take advantage of early bird rates.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems to Host Women in Solar Happy Hour at Solar Power International 2013

Wouldn’t it be fun to have drinks with other women in the solar industry? The women of Sol Systems think so, and we decided to organize a happy hour for women in solar at Solar Power International 2013 in Chicago on Wednesday, October 23. We invite all women in the solar industry to join us for a chance to meet one another and discuss strategies for personal and professional success.

Sol Systems will host a women in solar happy hour at SPI 2013 in Chicago.

Sol Systems will host a women in solar happy hour at SPI 2013 in Chicago.

Please email pr@solsystemscompany.com to RSVP, and we will pass you the registration link. There will be a cash bar at the event.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

Natacha Kiler

September 2013 Project Finance Statistics

Every month, Sol Systems distributes a newsletter, the Sol Systems Project Finance Journal, to our community of solar developers and investors. The journal features solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. We gather this information from our relationships and experience aggregating SRECs and financing commercial and utility scale solar projects.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

We have included excerpts from our September Project Finance Journal below. If you have any questions about this information, wish to receive our monthly newsletter via email, or have a solar project in need of financing, please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.  We would love to hear from you.

Project Finance Statistics

Characteristics of “Hot Projects” **

Below you will find statistics on some of the high-quality solar projects and portfolios that are not yet contracted.

Capacity: 250 kW – 11.77 MW
Average Capacity: 1,555 kW

**Does not include projects in the Caribbean or Hawaii where asking prices currently range from $3.75-4.20/Watt. Also, does not include a California portfolio with carport projects, North Carolina projects, or 3 operational portfolios.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Offers the Fast Road for Financing Commercial Solar, Moves Quickly to Secure Investor Funds for 806 kW in New Mexico

Sol Systems has facilitated financing for an 806 kW solar portfolio in Deming, New Mexico, consisting of three separate solar arrays sized 84 kW, 151 kW, and 571 kW. The recent portfolio closing enhances Sol Systems’ track record of financing mid-sized distributed generation solar projects.  Together, the three photovoltaic arrays will provide power for three facilities in the City of Deming’s water system.

The project developer, New Mexico-based Affordable Solar, approached Sol Systems to arrange project financing.  The Sol Systems team swiftly secured an investor who executed quickly and helped the developer to secure financing in only two weeks.

Sol Systems recently secured investor funds for an 806 kW portfolio in New Mexico.

Sol Systems recently secured investor funds for an 806 kW portfolio in New Mexico.

“The team at Sol Systems worked diligently and efficiently to secure capital and move the project forward in a matter of weeks,” said Ryan Centerwall, General Manager of Affordable Solar. “Their team was very accommodating to our needs, and we were impressed with the competitive financing options that they presented to us.”

“At Sol Systems, we pride ourselves in securing the most optimal path to project financing through a combination of pricing, velocity, and of course execution ability, ” said Andrew Gilligan, who helps lead Sol Systems’ investor advisory team. “We were glad we could move quickly to meet Affordable Solar’s deadline and help them succeed in developing these projects.”

This portfolio marks another success in a hot summer for the Sol Systems team. In August, Sol Systems was ranked #91 on Inc. 500’s prestigious list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., and #3 in the solar industry. Since June, the solar finance firm has secured financing for 10 commercial-scale projects in Hawaii, California, Indiana, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and now, New Mexico. With 10 additional projects currently at term sheet, Sol Systems expects several more project closings this fall. Sol Systems also estimates that it will place around $40 million in tax equity into the solar industry in 2013 through its tax structured finance group.

Read the rest of this entry »

William Graves

California Solar Incentive Alert: Re-MAT Feed-in Tariff Program

On October 1, 2013 California IOUs will begin accepting Re-MAT applications for qualifying facilities.

On October 1, 2013 California IOUs will begin accepting Re-MAT applications for qualifying facilities.

Pursuant to Senate Bill 32 of 2009, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) implemented the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (Re-MAT) program on July 24, 2013. The Re-MAT program is a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) through which customers can sell electricity produced by qualifying facilities* directly to the utility at a set rate for a term of 10, 15, or 20 years. The bill also raises state renewable energy targets from 500 MW to 750 MW, and increases the size cap on qualifying energy facilities from 1.5 MW AC to 3 MW AC. All investor owned utilities (IOUs) in California with more than 75,000 customers must participate in the program. Although all qualifying facilities are eligible to participate in the program, it is clear that solar will play a large role given the amount of attention the program has already gained with developers in the state.

The first round of solicitations for the Re-MAT program will begin on October 1, 2013, and will continue every two months thereafter until it is fully subscribed. The amount of time it takes for the program to become fully subscribed will depend on the ability for projects to be financed at the set energy price, which is one of the more unique aspects of the program. The base price is currently set at $89.23/MWh, pre-Time of Delivery (TOD) adjustments. This price is subject to adjustment after every solicitation depending on program participation. Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas Larson

Sol Systems Seeks SREC Operations Analyst in Continued Expansion

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth. This summer, the company has brought on five new team members.

Sol Systems is currently hiring a full-time accountant, SREC portfolio manager, and now, an SREC Operations Analyst.

Interested in joining one of the fastest growing companies in the country? Sol Systems is hiring a full-time accountant, SREC portfolio manager, and now, an SREC Operations Analyst. This is an entry level position and a great opportunity for launching a career in renewable energy.

Position: SREC Operations Analyst

Requirements: Sol Systems is seeking an analyst to provide support to Sol Systems’ SREC team. The ideal candidate is hard working, extremely organized, detail and process-oriented, personable, and has the ability to multi-task in order to accomplish assignments in a timely manner. This position provides a fantastic launching pad for a career in renewable energy, and Sol Systems often promotes internally as positions become available.

Read the rest of this entry »

Amber Rivera

Massachusetts SREC-II Market Outlook – The New Market Equilibrium?

Sol Systems has put together a prospective view of the supply and demand dynamics of the SREC II market in Massachusetts, based on the DOER’s recent presentation of proposed policies for the program.  The principle takeaway for solar developers in the MA market is that the SREC Factor they bid in a competitive solicitation for projects in the ‘Managed Growth Sector’ will need to be determined at the time of bidding, as the SREC-II market dynamics will be ever-evolving.  They should do this by analyzing the market using the project and SREC data that the DOER is promising will be extensive in the SREC-II program.  This should give project owners assurance that they will not have to blindly determine a competitive SREC Factor to bid for their projects.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems’ Growth Highlighted in Greentech Media

Sol Systems was recently featured in Greentech Media article A List of America’s Fastest-Growing Clean Energy Companies. In this article, Senior Editor, Stephen Lacey,  writes:

Sol Systems was recently featured in a Greentech Media article on the fastest growing clean energy companies in America.

Sol Systems was recently featured in a Greentech Media article on the fastest growing clean energy companies in America.

The editors at Inc. magazine have released their rankings of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America. The list offers an interesting snapshot of where growth is taking place in the energy sector.

The boom in America’s unconventional oil and gas development is clearly evident on the list. Out of the 110 energy companies mentioned, there were dozens of firms providing drilling services, pipeline construction services, and consulting on fossil energy development. With the U.S. now producing more liquid fuels than Saudi Arabia, the growth of those companies isn’t surprising.

But with renewable electricity doubling over the last four years and more states getting serious about using efficiency as a resource, the clean energy sector was also very well represented. Inc. identified 45 companies offering demand response, energy efficiency and solar as part of the list.

Sol Systems was ranked number 91 on the annual Inc. 500|5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Sol Systems was ranked No. 2 for Washington, D.C., and No. 8 in the nation’s top energy companies, and #3 in solar.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems to Travel to Hawaii, Host Project Finance Workshop on September 26

Sol Systems is expanding its presence in the promising Hawaii solar market and will travel to the Aloha State from September 24-30 to meet with developer clients and discuss their solar financing needs. This trip follows the momentum that the Sol Systems team gained this summer after successfully closing its first Hawaii project.

Sol Systems will travel to Hawaii for the Future of Renewable Energy Development Conference.

Sol Systems will travel to Hawaii for the Future of Renewable Energy Development Conference.

In addition to meeting with clients, Sol Systems will be sponsoring EUCI’s third annual 3rd Annual Hawaii Renewable Development Conference. Sol Systems will be hosting a seminar on the eve of the conference opening, September 26. During this interactive seminar, CEO Yuri Horwitz will share best practices for reducing transaction costs in the project development process, as well as provide guidance for attracting investor capital.

Hawaii developers interested in scheduling a meeting with Yuri Horwitz (CEO), George Ashton (CFO), or Dan Yonkin (Director of Tax Equity Investments), please contact us at 888-235-1538 x1 or info@solsystemscompany.com.

For more information or to register for Sol Systems’ dinner workshop in Honolulu, please visit the EUCI registration page.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Welcomes Chris LaClair

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate the growth of its solar financial services business. Sol Systems was recently ranked #91 in fastest growing companies in the U.S. on the prestigious Inc. 500 list, and this summer alone, the company has brought on five new team members, including Chris LaClair, Senior Developer. Welcome to the team, Chris.

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly. This summer alone, the company has brought on five new team members, including Chris LaClair, Senior Developer. Welcome to the team, Chris.

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly. This summer alone, the company has brought on five new team members, including Chris LaClair, Senior Developer. Welcome to the team, Chris.

Chris LaClair joins Sol Systems with nearly 10 years of experience in the software development industry. In previous positions, Mr. LaClair successfully deployed websites with Ruby on Rail and has worked on web applications with Ecommerce websites, scholarship applicant tracking and evaluation web apps for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and complex, enteprise-level network management and analysis applications for InfoBlox. At Sol Systems, Mr. LaClair will focus on design, development, deployment, and maintenance for Sol Systems’ internal and external web applications. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland University College.

At Sol Systems, our number one asset is our team, and we will continue to recruit sharp, talented individuals to help propel the solar industry forward. We are currently hiring for an SREC portfolio manager, fall interns, and a full-time accountant. Learn more about careers with Sol Systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Expedites Financing for Commercial Solar, Successfully Closes 500 kW Deal

Blue Green Solar, LLC developed the 500 kW project in Clayton, NC with funding from one of Sol System’s investor partners.

Sol Systems continues its success in financing mid-market commercial solar projects, and recently secured an investor for a 500 kW North Carolina project in a matter of weeks. The system, located in Clayton, North Carolina was funded through a larger multi-megawatt portfolio.

Heath McLaughlin, the Founder of Blue Green Energy, LLC and the developer of the project commented: “We see Sol Systems as a valuable resource to developers hoping to receive qualified funding for solar projects. Sol Systems found us an investor at the right price point and helped to support the transaction on a tight deadline. It was a good experience to work with their team, and we very much appreciate their dedication and support.”

Single-site solar projects in the 250 kW – 1 MW size range typically face financing difficulties due to high transaction costs. Projects in North Carolina are especially challenging because the 35% tax credit is a critical piece of the financing, yet there is limited demand for North Carolina state tax credits.  Sol Systems’ unique approach of working hand-in-hand with a diverse group of investor clients provided significant advantages to ensuring a financing solution for Blue Green.

“Our focus on velocity and efficiency sets us apart,” said Andrew Gilligan, who helps lead Sol Systems’ Investor Advisory Services. “In this case, our ability to move rapidly was crucial to getting the project financed. We quickly identified an investor client that fit the needs of a project, and worked with our developer client to support an efficient project financing process. This is a great example of the value that we provide to both our developer and investor clients.” Read the rest of this entry »

Anna Noucas

DOER Releases Updated SREC-II Proposal: What Does It Mean for the MA Solar Market?

Massachusetts DOER released it most recent version of the proposed program design for the next phase of the solar carve-out program (SREC-II).

Massachusetts DOER released it most recent version of the proposed program design for the next phase of the solar carve-out program (SREC-II).

After two months of diligently reviewing comments submitted following the June 7th Solar Stakeholder meeting, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its most recent version of the proposed program design for the next phase of the solar carve-out program (SREC-II) at a meeting held at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Monday, August 12, 2013. The presentation with detailed information on the proposed program design has been made available on the DOER’s website.

What are the next steps?

The DOER will accept comments on their updated proposal through Monday, August 26th. They have asked stakeholders to consider and answer certain topics of interest and questions in their comments. At the conclusion of this comment period, the DOER will begin the process of translating the program design into a piece of legislation, which will effectively create the SREC-II Program. This could take anywhere from 2-3 months, with the hope of holding a third and final stakeholder input process by November 2013. The DOER’s goal is to then have the legislation for SREC-II promulgated by January 2014, to ensure a January 1, 2014 effective date for the SREC-II program.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Named #91 in Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine

Sol Systems is proud to announce that Inc. listed the solar finance firm as number 91 on its annual Inc. 500|5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Sol Systems was ranked No. 2 for Washington, D.C., and No. 8 in the nation’s top energy companies.

“We are honored to make the top 100 on Inc. 500’s exclusive list and rank among such an esteemed group of entrepreneurs,” said Yuri Horwitz, CEO and founder of Sol Systems. “At Sol Systems, our number one asset is our team, and this honor is the direct result of our talented, sharp team working together to successfully create innovative financing solutions that propel the solar industry forward.”

Sol Systems grew by 3,716% between 2009 and 2012 and has been profitable since the company’s inception in 2008. The renewable energy financial services firm has doubled its team of solar project finance professionals in the last year, and plans to hire an additional 10 employees within the next year to support the growth of its financing business for commercial solar projects.

Read the rest of this entry »

Austen Sybert

Employee Spotlight: Matt Chou

The Sol Systems team is smart, driven, and dedicated to our mission of promoting growth in the solar industry, an industry that we believe is critical to a sustainable future. At Sol Systems, our number one asset is our team, and we are proud to employ some of the brightest talent in the renewable energy industry. We recently had a chance to catch up with Sol Systems’ Matt Chou, Senior Associate, and ask him a few questions between his hard work on project finance models and developer advisory calls. Here is what he had to say.

You’ve exclusively worked in energy, how’d that happen?

This month's employee spotlight features Matthew Chou from our developer advisory services team.

This month’s employee spotlight features Matthew Chou from our developer advisory services team.

I stumbled upon energy when I was an analyst at Macquire. I gained a lot of experience working with electric and natural gas utilities, and it turned out to be really interesting time to be in the sector. Even though it was by accident, I actually enjoyed my work and being interested in sustainability and climate change lent well to pursing opportunities in renewable energy. Plus the fact that I thought the renewable space was exciting and evolving very quickly – both attributes I wanted to find in an industry and my career so renewables have fit well.

What attracted you to work at Sol Systems?

As I talked to the people in the company through interviews with Yuri and George I got a really good sense for the type of people at Sol – good, passionate people with innovative ideas for what finance in the solar world should look like. The people were encouraging. Additionally, the commercial project finance side of the firm was just a year old  when I joined, so I was interest in coming in at an early stage on that. I was attracted to the investment bank for solar model that we are heading toward and figured I could lend my traditional investment banking experience to help shape Sol’s financial advisory services to solar developers and investors.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Offers SREC Solutions to Massachusetts SREC II Systems, Offers General Financing for SREC I Solar Projects

This summer, the solar industry has been abuzz with news from the Bay State since the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Sol Systems is proud to offer the industry's first contract offering for SREC II. We continue to offer general project financing and SREC contracts for projects in SREC I.

Sol Systems is proud to offer the industry’s first contract offering for Massachusetts SREC II. We continue to offer general project financing and SREC contracts for projects in SREC I.

(DOER) announced in late May that it had reached its cap for its existing “SREC I” program.  However, as they later announced, all projects over 100 kW that have a fully executed Interconnection Service Agreement dated on or before June 7, 2013 and meet the construction timelines enacted by the DOER may still be eligible for the SREC I program. A full list of eligible SREC I projects can be found on the DOER website.

As for the new program, tentatively entitled “SREC II,” the DOER is working diligently to design a second Solar Carve-Out Program to continue growing the solar market in Massachusetts, which may become the fourth largest state market in the coming years. However, until then, many solar developers are left wondering how and when they will be able to secure an SREC contract, a critical piece of the solar financing stack, for their Massachusetts projects that will be in the second program.

Sol Systems Provides Certainty to the Market by Offering SREC II Contracts

The Sol Systems team is continuously identifying new ways to facilitate solar project development, and we are proud to announce the industry’s first SREC brokerage option for Massachusetts SREC II projects. Our goal in providing this option is to help alleviate some of the uncertainty in the market for Massachusetts solar developers and system owners with projects over 100 kW that were ineligible for SREC I.

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Natacha Kiler

August 2013 Project Finance Statistics

blog_2013_07_17-2

Our monthly project finance journal contains solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. Contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com or 888-235-1538 x2 for your solar project financing needs.

Every month, Sol Systems distributes a newsletter, the Sol Systems Project Finance Journal, to our community of solar developers and investors. The journal features solar finance statistics, trends, industry news, and SREC market information. We gather this information from our relationships and experience aggregating SRECs and financing commercial and utility scale solar projects.

We have included excerpts from our August Project Finance Journal below. If you have any questions about this information, wish to receive our monthly newsletter via email, or have a solar project in need of financing, please contact our team at finance@solsystemscompany.com.  We would love to hear from you.

Project Finance Statistics

Characteristics of “Hot Projects” 

The Sol Systems team is busy closing a number of 2013 projects and starting to work on 2014 projects. Below are some aggregated statistics on high-quality projects that are not yet contracted.

Capacity: 300 kW – 28 MW

Average Capacity: 3,389 kW

Developer all-in (asking) prices**:

  • <500 kW:  $2.50-3.03/Watt
  • 500 kW – 2 MW:  $2.12-$2.60/Watt
  • >2 MW:  $2.20-2.58/Watt

Read the rest of this entry »

Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems’ Growth Highlighted in the Washington Business Journal

Sol Systems' success was recently highlighted in the Washington Business Journal.

Sol Systems’ growth and recent project finance successes were highlighted in Friday’s Washington Business Journal.

The Washington Business Journal recently highlighted the growth of our staff and the recent success of Sol Systems’ project finance business.

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Thomas Larson

Rhode Island Amends FiT to Require Bids for Small Solar Projects

Recent changes to the Rhode Island FIT program will require projects under 500 kW to submit competitive bids for the rate at which National Grid will purchase electricity and environmental attributes. Developers with projects in the Rhode Island FIT program should contact Sol Systems to discuss financing options.

Developers with projects in the Rhode Island FIT program should contact Sol Systems to discuss financing options.

On August 7th, National Grid changed the rules for small solar systems in the bidding process for Rhode Island’s feed-in tariff program. The changes came in response to the Rhode Island legislature’s amendment to the Standard Contracts Act, which established the state’s feed-in tariff program early in 2013. The amendment mandated several changes to the state’s feed-in tariff program administered by National Grid. The program, referred to as Distributed Generation Standard Contracts, originally set forth a schedule of tariffs for various projects based on size and energy type. The changes will affect applicants for small DG projects (under 500 kW for solar), which will now have to submit competitive bids for the rate at which National Grid will purchase electricity and environmental attributes.

The recent changes will only affect some of the applicants for the second round and all applicants for the upcoming September round—any contracts awarded at the ceiling rate will remain in place. Once the adjustment is approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC), applicants from the second round will be allowed to update their applications with competitive bids for the rate. Applicants for the September round will have to submit their applications with competitive bids already included. National Grid will then select projects by multiple criteria, including the rate and the project’s progress. However, applications with the lowest bids will be the most likely to receive contracts.

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Sara Rafalson

Sol Systems Expands Solar Project Financing Efforts, Welcomes New Additions

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth and to maintain its excellent level of customer service. This summer, the company has brought on five new team members.

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth. This summer, the company has brought on five new team members.

Sol Systems is expanding rapidly to accommodate business growth. This summer, the company has brought on five new team members.

Sol Systems is proud to announce the addition of Ben Margolis as Director of Project Finance.  Mr. Margolis helps to lead Sol Systems’ Developer Advisory Services, which provides transaction structuring, project due diligence, SREC monetization, and capital placement for solar developers. He also supports the Asset Management group, handling project development, execution, and operations for Sol Systems’ investors. Mr. Margolis joins Sol Systems with seven years of experience in the solar industry. Prior to joining Sol Systems, Mr. Margolis worked at SunEdison, where he managed the development of solar projects from construction to commercial operation in markets ranging from California to Abu Dhabi. Mr. Margolis also worked in business development at SunEdison, where his efforts led to $70 million of pipeline opportunities. He holds an MBA from University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »

Amber Rivera

Massachusetts SREC Auction: SREC Bailout or Future Price Stability?

A graphical overview of the clearinghouse mechanism

A graphical overview of the clearinghouse mechanism. Click the image for a larger view.

The Massachusetts SREC market is undoubtedly the most complicated solar incentive regime in the country. There are hundreds of financial models that have attempted to predict the value of SRECs on behalf of developers and investors based on expected future market dynamics. In other SREC markets like NJ, MD, and even DE, investors usually require an investment grade off-take guaranteeing the price of SRECs before financing a project. But by our estimates, 60-75% of the solar projects financed in Massachusetts have been financed without a long term SREC contract in place. Consequently, it is an understatement to say that solar project owners, and the solar industry at large, have been on the edge of their seats watching the Massachusetts SREC auction mechanism at work. Would the SREC auction clear at the $285 price, or would they be left to gamble on the riskier post-auction spot market? Adding to the bets on the table, once an SREC goes through the auction it cannot re-enter any following years’ auction, so the price support essentially disappears post-auction for that SREC.

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Anna Noucas

Connecticut Utilities Announce Winners of 2013 ZREC Program, Passes Law to Exempt Commercial Solar from Property Tax

Over the last two months, the state of Connecticut has made a number of headways in its state solar program. First, two Connecticut utilities released the second solicitation of its Medium and Large ZREC Program. Second, the state’s Governor signed into law a bill that would exempt commercial and industrial solar energy systems from property tax. In conjunction, these two updates will help to spur Connecticut’s solar industry through the end of 2013 and beyond.

Connecticut Medium and Large ZREC Program Updates

The Connecticut Utilities, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI), announced on July 18, 2013 that winning bidders had been notified that they were awarded contracts for the Connecticut Medium and Large ZREC solicitation.

The Connecticut Medium and Large ZREC solicitation provides 15-year, fixed price ZREC contracts for winning projects based on a competitive solicitation process. To qualify for a ZREC contract, projects had to fit within either the Medium (100 – 250 kW) or Large (251 – 1,000 kW) tier and meet additional qualifications including, but not limited to, being located behind the customer’s revenue meter, installing a separate meter dedicated solely to the measurement of the project’s energy output, and gain approval to interconnect through the standard interconnection process. Applicants had to submit bids for their projects by  June 13, 2013 to be considered.

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Austen Sybert

Sol Systems to Sponsor Washington Gas’s Annual Light the Night Golf Tournament

LLS

Sol Systems will sponsor the Washington Gas annual “Light The Night” Golf Tournament, which supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Sol System’ co-founders George Ashton and Yuri Horwitz will be teeing off to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LSS) at Washington Gas’s annual “Light The Night” Golf Tournament on August 26. All proceeds from this event benefit the LLS and in 2012 alone, funds exceeded $90,000, bringing the total to more than $563,00 since 2000. The LSS helps fund lifesaving research and provides information and support to patients throughout their cancer journey. Sol Systems is proud to support this cause.

Here are the ways you can help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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Thomas Larson

Renewable Energy Internship with Sol Systems

Position: Solar Analyst Intern (position beginning in August or September 2013), targeted towards undergraduates

Description: The Solar Analyst Intern will assist with registration processes, administrative duties, and research tasks, and will be expected to provide clearly defined deliverables. The position will require attention to detail, excellent record keeping, and efficient allocation of time and resources.

Through this position, the Solar Analyst Intern will gain familiarity with solar legislation, solar finance mechanisms, industry news, and industry vocabulary, as well as new product development in a fast paced, start-up environment. This position provides a fantastic launching pad for a career in renewable energy.  Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas Larson

Sol Systems Seeks Full-time Portfolio Manager

Position:  Portfolio Manager

Sol Systems is seeking a full-time Portfolio Manager to lead its Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) business. The right candidate lives in, or would relocate to, the Washington DC area to join our growing team of solar finance professionals. This is a mid-level position that will include a combination of business development, SREC trading, financial analysis, and market policy research. This is an opportunity to become an expert in the supply and demand dynamics of U.S. solar markets, to develop and execute portfolio strategies, and to grow the company’s REC trading business through portfolio acquisition and new business generation. The Portfolio Manager will work directly with the CFO, and will be expected to hire and manage other members of the SREC trading team.

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Eric Scheier

New York’s LIPA Announces New Feed-In Tariff Program to Procure an Additional 100 MW

The Long Island Power Authority has announced another round of its popular feed-in tariff program.

The Long Island Power Authority has announced another round of its popular feed-in tariff program.

New York’s Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced a second iteration of its Clean Solar Initiative Feed-In Tariff program (FIT II) which will bring an additional 100 MW of solar energy online. Pending completion of a public review and comment period, LIPA estimates that the application submittal period for the program will commence at the end of September 2013 and will be open for approximately four months. All solar projects greater than 100 kW and less than 2 MW will be eligible.

This second iteration of the FIT program differs from LIPA’s first solar FIT program in a number of ways. First, rather than considering applications on a first-come, first-served basis, all applications submitted within the application period will be evaluated; those that pass a preliminary screening process of technical and administrative review will be eligible for further consideration. In addition to including basic project information in an application, all applicants will submit a fixed-price bid ($/kWh) for the expected term of 20 years of energy delivered from the proposed system. Those applications that pass the initial screening will then be ranked in order of this bid price. These bids will be accepted using a clearing price auction mechanism, also known as a uniform price auction, which guarantees all accepted systems the same energy price based on the highest accepted bid.

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Natacha Kiler

Sol Systems Breaks Down Financing Barriers for Commercial Solar, Grows Value of 1.7 MW Indiana Solar Portfolio

Sol Systems continues to expand its mid-market focus and successfully arranged financing for a 1.7 MW portfolio of solar projects located in Indiana. Solscient Energy built the four commercial projects, each with different landlords, ranging in size from 243 kW to 643 kW.

Sol Systems’ project finance team originated and completed underwriting for each project and worked closely with Solscient to market the portfolio before placing the deal with one of its investor clients to maximize the portfolio’s value. Solscient Energy is a solar integrator, developer, and independent power producer.

Sol Systems continues to expand its mid-market focus and successfully arranged financing for a 1.7 MW portfolio of solar projects located in Indiana.

Sol Systems continues to expand its mid-market focus and successfully arranged financing for a 1.7 MW portfolio of solar projects located in Indiana.

“After working with Sol Systems’ knowledgeable team, we realized that we had several financing options, and we could optimize the value of the projects by placing the portfolio with a takeout investor,” said Granger Souder, co-founder of Solscient. “Sol Systems’ entire team was responsive and easy to get a hold of, and we are very happy with the result.”

“Working with the Solscient team was great, and this deal represents just the type of collaboration with developers that we love, and the value that our investor clients offer,” noted Yuri Horwitz, CEO of Sol Systems. “In this case, after determining the overall financeability of the project, and engaging with the Solscient team, we helped secure multiple offers and a term sheet within a few short weeks and significantly reduced overall transaction costs.” Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Scheier

Community Renewables Energy Act Voted to D.C. Council

The D.C. Council will likely be reading and voting on the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 again in September. Stay tuned to our blog for updates.

The DC Government Operations Committee voted the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057), a bill that has been making its way through D.C.’s council since January 2013, out of committee on July 3rd by a vote of 3-0.  The bill then proceeded to the DC Council where it underwent its first reading before the council last Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The DC Council’s legislative session has ended for the summer, but they will reconvene in the middle of September and the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 is expected to receive its second and final reading at that time.

This community solar legislation, supported by a number of councilmembers, would expand residents’, especially renters and those without rooftops ideal for solar, ability to participate in and benefit from solar installations by allowing virtual net-metering in the District of Columbia. Virtual net-metering is a structure in which an individual can purchase a share of a renewable energy installation and subsequently receive credit for the energy that the system produces, in accordance with the size of the share purchased.

Although a large number of DC residents can act as subscribers of a solar project through virtual net metering, the bill is structured such that any third party entity can build, own, and operate a community renewable energy facility, so long as the facility has at least two subscribers. In addition to supporting renters and those without rooftops ideal for solar, this bill supports the low income sector of the District by annually allocating the credits for any excess generation to the D.C. section of the Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

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