Commercial solar lender Sunstone Credit acquires Orka Finance


Sunstone Credit, a commercial solar financing platform, announced it has acquired its competitor Orka Finance, a tech-enabled commercial solar lender. The acquisition solidifies Sunstone Credit’s position as a financial platform for small and medium-sized businesses interested in adopting solar.

Historically, many small and medium-sized businesses have lacked access to loans for solar installations, leaving them with the options to pay cash or enter into a power purchase agreement. Sunstone said it is on a mission to close this lending gap and provide more businesses with simple and cost-effective loan financing.

Sunstone said it expects the Orka acquisition to help it serve more contractors and businesses through its proprietary technology platform. As part of the acquisition, key members of Orka’s team will join Sunstone as advisors, including chief executive officer Ted Fawcett.

“ORKA has built an impressive program evaluating businesses for solar loans efficiently, helping those businesses access the many benefits of solar more quickly,” said Josh Goldberg, chief executive officer and co-founder of Sunstone.

The commercial solar sector installed 363 MW in Q3 2023, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Commercial solar encompasses distributed solar projects with commercial, industrial, agricultural, school, government, or nonprofit offtakers, including remotely net-metered projects. SEIA projected a 9% growth for 2023, and expects more near-term growth in 2024.

“We expect to see an average of 8% growth over the next five years,” said SEIA in its Q4 2023 solar market insight report. “Even though growth in some more saturated states is slowing, development in emerging markets will increase.”

SEIA said the commercial solar sector installed about 1.7 GW in 2023, and it expects deployments to reach 2.4 GW annually by 2028.

Image: SEIA

The acquisition of Orka follows an October 2023 transaction in which solar lender Sunlight Financial filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by a consortium of players in the space. The consortium acquiring the business includes Greenbacker Capital Management, Sunstone Credit, IGS Ventures, and secured lender Cross River Bank. The businesses operate as ED Umbrella Holdings, LLC and have entered into a restructuring support agreement.

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