REC Solar, through its parent company Duke Energy, is allowing SolarWorld’s commercial solar partners access to its $225 million financing fund and other support resources to speed up the development of commercial solar projects. The agreement will support commercial solar projects between 50 kilowatts and 2 megawatts using SolarWorld panels and equipment.
“We are excited to be extending our relationship with SolarWorld and bringing the benefits of solar energy to more businesses across the US,” said Ryan Stepp, REC Solar’s director of channel and partner sales.
The partnership between REC Solar and SolarWorld seeks to help bridge the gap between the constant growth seen in the residential solar market and the stagnation in the commercial solar market. Indeed, the US commercial solar power market has lagged behind residential solar power development, according to GTM Research, yet is expected to grow 30 percent in 2016 due to similar collaborations between financial backers and solar providers.
“The fragmented commercial developer landscape is largely the result of bottlenecks in the customer origination process that make it difficult for any individual player to consistently grow,” said GTM Senior Solar Analyst Nicole Litvak. Litvak also noted that there is a lack of consolidation and dominant organizations in the commercial market and that there are difficulties matching projects with financing.
Through the agreement SolarWorld developers will have access to REC Solar’s financial resources and support to streamline and expedite deal closures. By increasing access to the tools and resources the partnership will help the companies overcome bottlenecks that slow down the development of commercial solar projects.
“Together, we are resolved to help our installation partners enjoy access to the widest possible range of projects while saving them time and reducing their costs,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld.
While the commercial solar market has struggled to grow, partnerships are helping increase access to needed resources. For instance, in 2014 the Conergy Fund 1 program was established to fund $100 million of commercial solar projects in the US, which was projected to finance up to 25 megawatts of power. At that time Conergy stated, “Access to competitive financing that can monetize local and federal incentives is a key barrier to the widespread adoption of solar photovoltaics via PPAs—only about 40 percent of commercial buildings or power plants are able to secure this financing.”Tweet