Community solar provider secures over half-billion-dollar investment


Community solar provider Nexamp announced it has secured a $520 million capital raise led by Manulife Investment Management, with participation from existing investors Diamond Generating Corporation and Generate Capital.

The half-billion-dollar deal is expected to help the company expedite deployment of its national community solar project pipeline and expand on developer partnerships in new and existing markets.

Community solar is a fast-growing segment in the United States, expanding access to solar to customers that may not have a suitable roof or finances for rooftop residential solar. It is typically a subscription-based service under which a customer subscribes to a portion of an off-site solar array and receives credits on their electricity bill for the power generated by the solar asset.

Smaller than their utility-scale counterparts, community solar projects often opt for development on capped landfills, brownfield sites, highway rights-of-way, and other developed lands. This more distributed design for solar projects can help alleviate grid bottlenecks, reduce land development, and lower high-power transmission costs when compared to a centralized utility-scale design.

“This unprecedented investment reflects swelling confidence in the ability of independent renewable energy providers to reimagine outmoded infrastructure and reshape our grid,” said Zaid Ashai, chief executive officer, Nexamp.

Nexamp’s growth has been supercharged in recent years due in part to the Inflation Reduction Act, which has significant carve-outs for projects that serve low-income customers, are sited on brownfields and more. The company announced a second national headquarters in Chicago and it has stated a plan for more than $2 billion in investments in energy infrastructure in Illinois, which has among the nation’s most robust community solar markets.

Currently Nexamp serves nearly 80,000 customers with over 1.5 GW of projects either operational or in construction. The company has several gigawatts of projects in its pipeline in over 20 markets and the “combined potential to serve over one million customers in the coming years.”

In August 2023, Nexamp made the largest procurement order in U.S. history for the community solar sector by agreeing to purchase 1.5 GW of solar modules from Heliene. The modules are produced in North America, with Heliene operating factories in Ontario, Canada, Florida, and Minnesota.

“The infrastructure transition relies on the rapid deployment of proven technology solutions,” said investor Scott Jacobs, chief executive officer and co-founder Generate Capital. “Nexamp has been at the forefront of a distributed energy revolution in the United States, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnership.”

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