Perch Energy raises $30M to expand community solar


Perch Energy announced a $30 million investment from Nuveen, a real estate investment manager. The partnership will provide Perch with access to Nuveen’s portfolio of affordable housing units and residential apartments, a target market for community solar subscribers.

Boston-based Perch, formerly BlueWave Solar, is a company that offers community solar subscriber acquisition and management services to community solar asset owners.

Nuveen is the $1.1 trillion asset manager of TIAA and one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers. The Series B growth investment will help Perch expand its clean energy technology platform by funding expansion into new sales channels, products and community solar markets.

“Nuveen’s financial and strategic support comes at a pivotal moment which will not only accelerate Perch’s growth and clear focus on supporting our solar developer clients, but will create opportunities for consumers of all economic backgrounds to join in on clean energy savings, especially the millions of people who can’t afford or don’t have a home suitable for rooftop panels,” said Bruce Stewart, Perch Energy president and CEO.

Community solar is especially applicable for those in affordable housing or for those who do not own their own homes because it enables them to reap the benefits of clean energy (including lower and/or stable electricity rates), without the upfront costs of going solar.

And the market for community is flourishing. For example, in August, pv magazine USA reported that the community solar market in the U.S. would add at least 7 GWdc of generation capacity in existing markets over the next five years, based on a report by analyst Wood Mackenzie and the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA).

Perch currently provides acquisition and management services for more than 140 active community solar projects owned by developers and asset owners, and it reports that it has more than 740 MW)of contracted capacity in its operating portfolio and backlog. Following its launch and Series A closing in early 2022, Perch reports that it has doubled the number of clients and markets it serves while expanding with current clients.

Perch Energy said that combining its project pipeline with Nuveen’s established real estate portfolio will help get community solar to more households who stand to benefit most.

“Community solar is key to providing a renewable energy option to those Americans who do not have access to rooftop solar,” said Radhika Shroff, Managing Director, Private Equity Impact at Nuveen. “We are excited to bring our impact expertise and broader Nuveen platform to Perch to provide inclusive access to solar energy for households. Our investment in Perch is emblematic of our focus on investing in companies that deliver both financial returns to our investors as well as an inclusive transition to a low carbon economy.”

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