Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell Your Commercial Solar Projects to Investors

In this video, Noel Lafayette from SHR Energy discusses in step-by-step detail what a commercial solar developer needs do to sell a project to a solar fund. If you’re curious, I interviewed Noel in the beginning of 2014. The article is titled, “Advice from a $20MM Solar Investor.”

This article is the second part of a […]

December 9th, 2014|Categories: Solar Finance|Tags: , , , |

How Commercial Real Estate Owners Deal with Solar PPA Pricing Risk

In the 10-minute video above, Darien Crimmin, VP of Energy and Sustainability for WinnDevelopment, describes how he looks at the pricing risk of signing solar PPAs from the perspective of a large property owner. WinnDevelopment has a $2.5 billion real-estate portfolio across 23 states and Darien is responsible for determining if solar is built on their […]

December 9th, 2014|Categories: Solar Finance|Tags: , |

The Most Common Solar PPA Modeling Mistake, The Fix, and a Free Tool

This article will address the most common error that developers and EPCs make when modeling commercial solar PPAs. The video below will discuss the problem, the solution, and provide a free tool you can download so you can work through the answer yourself.

This article is part of a series common topics and questions that professionals […]

[Interview] How to Provide Solar Financing to Any Non-Profit Solar Project Larger Than 50kW

Lee Barken and his team at Collective Sun have figured out the holy grail of commercial solar financing.

Collective Sun can provide solar financing to non-profit solar projects from 50kW and up. Currently, they’re offering their product in California but are interested in doing the securities and legal work to open up shop in other states, if there is a non-profit that has serious interest in working with them.

Listen to the interview below to learn more about Collective Sun (CS) and how, specifically, their underwriting process is different than a traditional investor. Their key advantage is their unique underwriting process. It’s a really interesting strategy. Their process has more to do with selecting investors that see specific non-profits as low risk, rather than finding the non-profits that meet the stringent constraints of a tradition solar investor’s risk profile.

Why focus on non-profits?

There are several reasons why there has been such focus on non-profit clients.

Non-profits operate on small budgets and they always need cash. Having lower and predictable operating expenses is very valuable to these organizations. It’s an easy sell to get your foot in the door.
Non-profits have a social mission that tends to fit well with solar.
There’s A LOT of non-profits! So the potential target market is huge. According to NCCS, there are 1.4 million non-profits in the US. Figuring this problem out will result in a huge increase in sales for the firms that provide this service.
They can’t purchase a system in cash, because they don’t have a tax appetite, so financing is a natural fit for them.

A few months ago, we did a live Q+A that was specifically on performing due diligence, using crowd-funding,  and finding investors for financing non-profit solar projects. You can see the 50 minutes of video answering 5 question here. If you want to learn how to finance commercial solar projects from start to finish including all of the legal contracts, financial modeling tools, click here to read more about Solar MBA that starts on Monday April 14th. You’ll walk through the financing of a project in 6 weeks.

Listen to the Interview

In this interview, here’s what you’ll learn.

How many projects Collective Sun (CS) has financed.
The types of non-profits that CS is focused on.
The size of non-profit that CollectiveSun will work with.
The spark that made CS decide to focus on financing non-profits.
Lee Barken’s background and how that led him to CS.
Why financing non-profits is more than a tax problem.
How CS deals with non-profit risk by working with a very specific type of investor.

[…]

March 30th, 2014|Categories: Financing, Solar, Solar Design & Installation, Solar Finance|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How We Financed a 13kW Solar Project on a Church in Massachusetts

The following is a guest post by Fred Paris, the instructor of our Solar PV Installer Boot Camp Training + NABCEP Entry Level Exam Prep. Fred tells the story of how he worked with members of a church to finance a solar PV project. This could serve as a model for non-profit clients that you […]