Since October 2016, when Altus Power America raised $200 million from Wall Street, it has focused its attention on financing solar projects from New England to Oahu. With its latest decision to add $150 million to its available investment capital, that pace can be expected to accelerate.
In a release, Altus said the additional money will be used to fund larger commercial, community and small utility-scale projects because they generally have lower risk profiles, which generate lower yields.
“With this additional capital, Altus Power is excited to be growing its platform for solar investments and is now very well positioned to provide competitive capital for a significant sector of the market,” said Gregg Felton, managing partner of Altus Power.
Altus Power currently operates more than 50 solar projects in the United States.
The cash infusion comes at a time when community and commercial solar projects need the money. Commercial solar has lagged behind the utility-scale and residential segments in its access to capital, in part because they frequently don’t adhere to traditional measures like credit scores.
Many banks struggle to figure out how to judge the creditworthiness of projects and, instead of developing new strategies, they frequently just steer clear of the challenges. Altus’ additional financing could alleviate some of the backlog.
In addition, the community solar market is in its infancy and is growing rapidly. In states like Minnesota, Massachusetts and Georgia, utilities are beginning to understand the potential power of community solar to expand their solar offerings without ceding control of the power to individual homeowners.