Sunlight Financial receives $130 million cash infusion

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$130 million should allow Sun Financial to expand its residential-solar loan portfolio nationwide.

The cash infusion into the the New Jersey-based loan provider comes in the form of a partnership with Route 66 Ventures, an investment firm that focuses on growing firms in the financial services sector.

As Sunlight expands its presence in the solar loan market, it found its customers were looking for new financing products – something the $130 million will allow them to create and offer. Sunlight will also use a portion of the funds to expand its operations center and bring more solar installers into its partner network.

“Loans have quickly become the preferred financing option for homeowners that choose to save money with rooftop solar,” said Matt Potere, CEO of Sunlight Financial. “In a fast-growing and fast-changing market, installers need a stable and strategic financing partner for the long-term. This investment allows us to continue to provide that stability for our partners and customers.”

A broader look at the industry’s funding structures supports Potere’s contention about loans. While leasing solar systems temporarily replaced loans as the preferred method of financing a residential rooftop solar system, the pendulum appears to be swinging back in favor of loans.

As pv magazine reported last month, a joint report by the magazine and online solar marketplace EnergySage, based on data collected from more than 350 installers, showed the resurgence of loan products in solar deals, especially for smaller installers.

Moreover, solar loan company Mosaic recently found institutional banking support to find its $138.95 million residential loan portfolio, signaling that bigger banks are becoming increasingly more comfortable in their understanding of solar loans, as well as solar as an investment segment in general.