Some relief in sight? Firms create fund to alleviate distributed C&I backlog

Commercial-and-industrial (C&I) distributed-generation (DG) projects in the United States often struggle to find adequate funding, which occasionally leaves solid projects on the drawing board.

For at least the next two years,  Empower Energies, a clean energy project solutions firm, and WGL Energy Systems, which operates distributed generation systems in 19 states, will attempt to unlock some of the market’s untapped potential.

With a two-year funding commitment to each other, the companies’ combined resources will support C&I DG customers, municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals throughout the entire solar-development process, from origination through completion.

The DG Fund will tailor its offerings to meet the needs of the co-developer, but it will be capable of providing development capital, construction financing and project buy-outs as needed.

Principals at both companies also believe the DG Fund will compete well with other C&I financing options because it will be a one-stop shop that will ease the project-approval process, meaning developments can be done more quickly.

“We are excited to partner with Empower Energies and to support solar development efforts in the United States,” said Sanjiv Mahan, president, WGL Energy. “The DG Fund is a reflection of WGL’s commitment to providing renewable energy answers, and the opportunity we continue to see in this rapidly-growing sector.”

The fund is in the process of finding high-quality PV solar project opportunities (rooftop, ground mount or canopy) to augment Empower’s own project pipeline.

Empower retained Marathon Capital as its financial advisor to structure and raise equity for the DG Fund, as well as corporate equity.