How to Complete the Deal by Keeping Solar Financing Simple

Developers of small to mid-sized commercial and industrial projects, those under 300 or 400 kW, are often tempted to think about power purchase agreements (PPA) and partnership flips as the one-size-fits-all financing solution for solar projects, says Christopher Lord, instructor of HeatSpring’s Solar Executive MBA Training course.

The reality is that such structures are generally too […]

January 18th, 2021|Categories: Financing, Solar, Solar Business Growth, Solar Finance, Solar Sales & Marketing|Tags: , |

Solar Women Summer Series: Funding Sun Through Solar Investing/Borrowing

We’re wrapping up the Solar Women Summer Series, and Audrey Desiderato, the Co-Founder/ COO of SunFunder, is helping us end things on a sunny note!
SunFunder finances solar projects “beyond the grid” and offers investors opportunities to help fund offgrid solar projects, as well as providing companies in emerging markets with access to capitol.

Tell us your story… how did […]

Free Tool: Site Lease vs. Buy Modeling Calculator

Chris Lord’s FREE Site Lease vs. Buy Modeling Calculator allows users to compare a lease rate against a potential purchase of a solar PV site where the lease rate (including escalator) is known.

This tool is used in HeatSpring’s Financial Modeling for Solar PV Projects course.

About Chris Lord
Christopher J. Lord is a lawyer with extensive banking experience, and the Managing […]

4 Reasons Commissioning on Larger Solar PV Systems is Important

The article below is an excerpt from the discussion board of our last Solar Executive MBA cohort. Student A and Student B are interested in learning more about:

The importance of commissioning on larger solar systems
The potential volatility of SRECs and how to account for changes and potential sunsets
Areas that it would be advantageous to engage “third-party […]

[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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |