New “on demand” rooftop solar investing platform


Brooklyn-based startup Legends Solar has unveiled a new early-access product, Legends Rooftop, an online “on demand” solar investment platform. The platform allows users to purchase anywhere from one solar panel to an entire array located on a remote commercial rooftop. It is pitched as a way for millennial investors or those who are locked out of the housing market to access the benefits of the buildout of solar energy across the nation.

Users select how many panels they want to invest in in an “on demand” fashion, with the smallest investment starting at a few hundred dollars. The platform tracks the performance of the panels and banks the energy savings created by the solar project in the user’s account. Withdrawals can be made at any time, said Legends Solar.

The company said it chooses rooftop solar projects based on two criteria: an energy offtaker, typically the physical host of the panels, that has low financial risk; and projects that are built with high-quality components. It lists an estimated minimal investment of about $250 for one panel, with an estimated return of 7.3%.

The company notes there are some risks in the investment, including poor weather conditions, failure of payment by the “offtaker” or power purchaser, unexpected maintenance, or natural disasters and physical damage. It said that typically hospitals and universities are very consistent offtakers, and as such are a key customer area for Legends.

“With Legends Solar, you can invest in a single remotely located panel, or a whole rooftop’s worth, even without the suburban minimansion and white picket fence,” said Legends founder and CEO Lassor Feasley.

SDC Energy will serve as financial partner for Legends. The company has performed hundreds of solar financings in the past. “The team at Legends Solar has challenged us to reimagine our approach to raising equity for new solar facilities,” said SDC Energy President Charles Schaffer. “We look forward to unlocking the solar asset class for a wider and more diverse set of retail investors. By doing this, we will accelerate the transition to a carbon free society and spread its financial benefits more equitably.”

Legends said the product offers convenience, side-stepping hurdles to rooftop solar adoption. Users purchase the panels after they have been sited, permitted, built and interconnected with the power grid. Buyers can earn dividends from the panels immediately and the platform helps investors right-size their exposure, expanding access to the energy transition in a way that is not prohibitively expensive.

The tool tracks solar production, the amount of carbon abated, total cash earned, and tracks dividend payments.

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