Sol-REIT, and Source Renewables have announced an exclusive partnership to finance over 100MW of community solar projects across the northeastern United States, with the focus of the portfolio being to bring solar to disadvantaged and underserved communities.
Under the partnership agreement, Source Renewables will develop the projects, while Sol-REIT will provide capital to Source for construction and long-term financing of the solar projects in their pipeline.
The two companies have expressed hope that the partnership will serve to disrupt what has historically been a highly fragmented finance market in the solar industry. The companies said this fragmentation has traditionally disadvantaged and discouraged middle-market developers due to inequitable and typically inefficient access to capital.
“We are playing our part to address one of the greatest challenges in today’s solar energy market; access to capital for solar developers targeting projects in underserved communities,” said Mark Settles, CEO of Sol-REIT. “These underserved communities are those who need access to clean renewable energy the most, and Sol-REIT is helping to serve that need in this partnership with Source Renewables.”
In practice, Sol-REIT has made its name as a company by financing solar projects in a similar model to real estate. Under the model, Sol-REIT provides access to construction capital and long-term financing to project developers who want to maintain an equity stake in their developments, improving their overall economics as the project maintains operations and generates revenue.
Source Renewables is a sister company to Source Power, a New York regulated energy supplier and community solar subscriber acquisition company. To date, Source Power has been contracted to own and operate a total of more than 365 MW of installed capacity, and the company has invested nearly $1 billion in residential and commercial solar assets since 2010.
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