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The evolving art of the clean energy deal

When I joined CleanCapital as the Head of Origination, I was excited about the company’s approach to leveraging technology and data to streamline the clean energy finance process. I have spent most of my career navigating the cumbersome transaction process of structuring and cobbling together financing sources across a variety of renewable energy asset classes including wind, solar, biomass and fuel cells. The opportunity to adapt FinTech tools and skills to the renewable energy market is an obvious and natural progression for the industry. CleanCapital demonstrated that they are ahead of the pack and I am pleased to be part of it.

I joined the CleanCapital team to head up their effort with the identification of solar power acquisitions and help expand market opportunities in projects that are under development as well as additional renewable energy and clean infrastructure asset classes.

Solar Portfolio 3.1

New assets in MA.

Leveraging technology and data to identify assets

Last week we announced the acquisition of our second solar portfolio in just 30 days. The portfolio of two operating solar projects, acquired from G&S Solar, are located in Massachusetts and leverage the $250 million equity partnership with CarVal Investors. Earlier in May, we announced the acquisition of  a 14.23MW portfolio of solar assets from X-Elio. In addition to working with terrific developer partners, these purchases are significant. They demonstrate our team’s ability to leverage our proprietary technology to implement an efficient diligence process to underwrite complex opportunities and turn them into investment ready assets.

Two examples of where CleanCapital leveraged FinTech tools in these transactions include, the use of our proprietary platform that BOTH facilitated data transfer and diligence from the sellers, as we well as comprehensive and ease of underwriting by our investor partners. This efficient use of technology is helping us to close transactions quickly and thereby drive down the cost of capital.

This competitive advantage will continue to work for us. We look forward to talking with you about how we can work together and apply that to more opportunities.

The next phase of clean energy origination

This is a marked departure from the status quo when it comes to origination.  This latest announcement brings CleanCapital’s total to nearly $150m of acquired operating solar assets. It’s an exciting year for our team as we continue to change the paradigm for clean energy finance. Despite the historic growth across the industry, the flow of capital within the space remains largely stagnant. In the last 30 days I’ve been able to witness just how significantly technology solutions can address these challenges.

Growing our partnership with Carval Investors

The acquisition of this portfolio continues to leverage our new partnership with CarVal Investors. Leveraging our proprietary platform and capital partnerships, the CleanCapital team continues to bring liquidity to a historically capital inefficient clean energy marketplace.

Learn more about the new partnership to acquire up to $1 billion in clean energy assets

 

CleanCapital Announces Second Acquisition in One Month, Adding 10.2 MW of Operating Solar

 The portfolio of two operating solar projects in Massachusetts leverages the $250 million equity partnership with CarVal Investors

New York, NY [May 31, 2018] CleanCapital announced a second solar acquisition from G&S Solar, a New York-based developer that builds, develops and operates solar systems in multiple states in the Northeast. The 10.2 MW portfolio comes less than a month after the acquisition of a 14.3 MW portfolio from X-Elio. This new portfolio is comprised of two solar projects located in Massachusetts and consists of high-quality customers including a corporate entity and municipality as the offtakers. CleanCapital’s proprietary platform enabled their ability to execute on these two complex transactions in a short timeframe. The technology, coupled with access to dedicated capital, streamlines and expedites due diligence and analysis, allowing complex deals like these to close efficiently.

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

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

“G&S Solar was pleased to sell a portion of its solar assets in Massachusetts to CleanCapital,” said John Faltings, President of G&S Solar. “Transactions such as this can get bogged down by the complex diligence process but the CleanCapital team was efficient and very professional at managing the acquisition of these operating solar assets. We look forward to working closely with them in the near future.” This deal was brokered on behalf of G&S Solar by Chris Hopgood of Ignite Renewable Capital, LLC.

CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. They deliver technology solutions to all aspects of the transaction process—from lending to capital raising, origination to diligence. The proprietary technology platform identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market.

About CleanCapital:

Founded in 2015, CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. CleanCapital has built a proprietary technology platform that identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market. Stay up to date on the evolving market of clean energy finance by following the company on Twitter or Facebook or connecting via LinkedIn. Learn more at http://www.cleancapital.com.

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CleanCapital Announces Acquisition of over 14.23 MW of Operating Solar Assets from X-Elio

The portfolio of eight operating solar projects in two states leverages new $250 million equity partnership with CarVal Investors

New York, NY [May 3, 2018] CleanCapital announced its largest solar acquisition to date from X-Elio, a Spanish developer with U.S. operations based out of Reno, Nevada. The 14.23 MW portfolio leverages capital from CleanCapital’s new partnership with CarVal Investors. These solar projects are located in California and Vermont and consist of high-quality customers including schools, a vineyard and two utilities. CleanCapital’s proprietary platform streamlines and expedites due diligence and analysis, allowing complex deals like this one to close in less than 60 days.

CleanCapital and CarVal Investors, a leading global alternative investment fund manager, announced a new $250 million equity partnership last month that, including debt financing, enables the acquisition of up to $1 billion of clean energy assets. This was the partnership’s first acquisition.

“CleanCapital remains committed to unlocking the billions of dollars of untapped capital sources that have been absent from this sector. We continue to look for partnerships with developers like X-Elio to provide liquidity and capital to small-scale, distributed energy markets,” said Jon Powers, President, CleanCapital.

“The CleanCapital team knows how to professionally manage the acquisition of operating solar assets. These deals can have a complex diligence process, but their team executed efficiently and seamlessly making our job as the seller much easier. I am looking forward to working closely with them in the future,” said Steve Sceery, Head of Corporate M&A, X-Elio.

CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. They deliver technology solutions to all aspects of the transaction process—from lending to capital raising, origination to diligence. The proprietary technology platform identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market.

About CleanCapital:

Founded in 2015, CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. CleanCapital has built a proprietary technology platform that identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market. Stay up to date on the evolving market of clean energy finance by following the company on Twitter or Facebook or connecting via LinkedIn. Learn more at http://www.cleancapital.com.

 

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Future remains bright for solar despite the Trump tariff

Despite the Trump Administration’s assertion that it will benefit the solar industry, the decision to impose a tariff on solar panels will have the opposite effect. While attempting to prop up a handful of American manufacturing jobs that may never materialize, many more jobs installing solar systems are at risk as the pace of installations will slow. Some estimate as many as 23,000 jobs could be lost. But the solar industry has proven resilient through bigger threats, and the global demand for clean energy will eclipse this decision.

The remedy imposed by the Administration will have a few immediate impacts on the industry. The decision will increase estimated solar costs by 10 to 12 cents per watt, based on current U.S. import prices of 35 to 40 cents per watt, according to analysis done by GTM Research. This could add up to 10% to the total cost of a solar project making some projects uneconomical, leaving installers out of work and slowing carbon-cutting clean energy deployment.

To learn more about the facts behind the case, check out the CleanCapital Resource page, but here are some quick items:

But nothing can stop solar. Installation costs have fallen substantially in the past decade, making solar the most cost effective energy option in many states and countries. Following Swanson’s Law, solar costs will continue to fall over time despite this temporary setback. This will result in cleaner, cheaper electricity reaching more people over the next decade.

Even as the cloud of the trade case loomed, U.S. investments in solar remained strong through 2017. A recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), found global investment in clean energy such as wind and solar reached about $333.5 billion in 2017, a 3% rise from the prior year, and just 7% below the record in 2015. This growth is attributed to technological advancements and declining hardware costs.

Further, solar panels account for a decreasing percentage of a project’s capital costs. The near-term cost increase imposed by the new tariffs can be mitigated by a reduction in soft costs. Soft costs, costs outside of the manufacturing and installation of solar panels, account for 64% of the overall costs of going solar.

Image courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

Also, increasing capital markets participation and liquidity will bring more efficiency. At CleanCapital, we offer project owners the opportunity to exit their portfolios to free up capital.
By bringing liquidity to this historically illiquid market, we are supporting project owners faced with immediate capital needs. Increasing the flow of capital across the clean energy marketplace remains a long-term necessity for the industry’s success.

While the tariff will hurt the solar workforce, we must keep in mind that the tailwinds are forcefully behind solar energy. Costs will continue to go down, innovation will push new bounds, and the demand for a clean energy future will grow. The future is bright.

Learn more about how we can provide liquidity for your projects.