SolarCity activates fund to finance over $1B in solar projects


SolarCity activates fund to finance more than $1 billion in commercial solar power projects with investment from Credit Suisse

On Earth Day, SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) announced that it has activated a fund including an investment from Credit Suisse that is expected to finance more than $1 billion in commercial solar energy systems—including battery storage systems—for businesses, schools and government organizations across the U.S.

SolarCity and Credit Suisse finalized the deal in February [1] and began funding the first projects in late March. The fund—believed to be the largest of its kind—is expected to finance more than 300 megawatts of new commercial solar projects over the next two years. It is the latest in a series of collaborations between SolarCity and Credit Suisse—the financial services leader has previously acted as structuring agent and bookrunner for SolarCity’s industry-first securitization transactions, and also as structuring agent and administrative agent for the facility to finance the purchase of solar energy systems through SolarCity’s new MyPower loan program.

“We’re thrilled to support SolarCity’s mission to bring clean, affordable solar energy to businesses across the United States,” said Jerry Smith, a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. “The fund will help more businesses, schools and government organizations save money and help the environment – it’s a win-win scenario. We’re proud to support this progress with our investment.”

The fund was created to finance projects that utilize new SolarCity technologies that make it possible for more businesses and non-profit organizations to pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power. These include ZS Peak, a mounting system that can allow SolarCity to reduce commercial project build time from multiple weeks to just a few days, and DemandLogic, an intelligent battery storage system that allows businesses to further reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand and associated utility demand charges.

“Continuing technology improvements, cost reductions and strong financing support from partners like Credit Suisse are making solar economically attractive to a growing number of businesses across the U.S.,” said Brad Buss, SolarCity’s Chief Financial Officer. “SolarCity has installed more than 1,800 commercial solar projects in 21 states—and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the addressable market.”

SolarCity installed more commercial solar capacity in the U.S. than any other provider in 2014, according to GTM Research’s most recent U.S. PV Leaderboard. [2]


[1] The fund was reflected in SolarCity’s report of undeployed tax equity financing capacity as of Feb. 17, 2015.

[2] GTM Research U.S. PV Leaderboard Q1 2015

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