Building on a solar sale-leaseback fund created just over a year ago, SunEdison and financier De Lage Landen announced that they were expanding their previous partnership to support commercial and municipal solar installations. Last December, DLL and SunEdison created a $52.2 million fund. On Dec. 3 the companies announced they were investing more than an additional $100 million in such projects, with all of the projects covered by the fund slated for completion before the end of 2013.
It’s been a busy end of the year for SunEdison. In November, news surfaced that the company may start spinning off some of its projects as IPOs, allowing people to invest in the projects.
The fund allows the companies to finance solar power projects developed by SunEdison in the U.S. The companies and municipalities that host these projects are paying for them through solar leases or power-purchase agreements (PPAs), allowing them to install the solar arrays for little or no up-front costs.
The creation of this sale-leaseback arrangement frees up cash for SunEdison to invest in other projects. "SunEdison is focused on driving industry and company growth, maximizing the retained value of solar energy assets, and building our balance sheet to enable these goals,” said Chris Bailey, SunEdison vice president of North America Structured Finance and Corporate Development. “Our success with the initial fund and our expanded relationship with DLL contributes significantly to these goals.”
"Distributed generation is one of the fastest growing solar segments in the United States,” said SunEdison General Manager of Distributed Generation Attila Toth. "This relationship with DLL is one of the many ways we are working to help new customers enter the market and grow our business. Working with a great partner like DLL helps us focus on our core business while increasing shareholder value."
DLL, which offers asset-based financing programs for equipment manufacturers, dealers and distributors worldwide, is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Rabbobank Group. "We are committed to increasing the availability of clean energy in support of our business and sustainability goals," said Bruce Trachtenberg, vice president and global general manager of Clean Technology at DLL. "Extending our relationship with SunEdison is a clear choice. We know they will take good care of our customers and build reliable solar assets that will produce energy for decades to come.”
SunEdison is one of the first companies in the U.S. to offer PPAs to customers and while it specialized in commercial projects, the company recently re-entered the resident third-party ownership (TPO) market. SunEdison now offers TPO options across an increasingly diverse market. "Solar power makes economic sense for more and more homeowners and businesses in the U.S., but a lack of up-front capital has prevented many would-be buyers from entering the market,” observed Phillip Jordan, vice president with BW Research. “Increasing the availability of funding for distributed generation solar not only saves businesses money, but creates good paying jobs."