With the closing of its first tax equity fund, Suncrest Solar, Inc. is a full-service provider of residential solar energy systems, the company announced today with Suncrest investors, including an affiliate of Tenaska and Sorenson Capital.
With the tax equity fund, Suncrest not only designs, permits, sells and installs solar panels on the roofs of residential electric utility customers, but it also owns, operates and maintains those systems throughout the entire contract period – an important benefit to homeowners.
“We are now part of an elite group of vertically integrated distributed solar companies,” said Suncrest President John Corliss. “Our new power purchase agreements provide important continuity of service to our customers, a critical stepping stone in expanding our presence throughout California and into other markets.”
Other vertically integrated solar companies include: SolarCity, Vivint Solar (recently acquired by SunEdison), Sunrun/REC Solar, RGS Energy.
Suncrest partnered with industry-leading tax equity provider U.S. Bank and commercial lenders KeyBank and Silicon Valley Bank to create a flexible fund that supports nearly unlimited growth through 2016.
“This tax equity fund enables our sales force to sell on our own power purchase documentation and shorten the time customers have to wait for final completion,” said Suncrest Senior Vice President of Sales Josh Hatch. “Combine this advantage with our best-in-class sales and operations platforms and we are well equipped to aggressively pursue new sales channels and markets.”
The primary shareholders of Suncrest Solar are Tenaska and Sorenson Capital, and the closing of this fund includes a second investment from independent energy company Tenaska. Tenaska is consistently ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, with $12.2 billion in gross operating revenues in 2014 and more than 340 megawatts of utility-scale and distributed solar projects operating or under construction in California and the northeast United States. Sorenson Capital, a Utah-based middle-market private equity firm with more than $1 billion in assets under management has been a primary investor since inception in 2013.
“Tenaska has always been driven by a desire to find solutions for customers,” said Tim Hemig, Tenaska managing director, distributed solar investments. “Distributed solar energy is one of those solutions to help meet the demand for clean energy among residential, commercial, industrial, government and utility customers. Suncrest is a solid company poised for growth, and it is now in an even stronger position to serve increasing numbers of consumers.”
Suncrest is on track to continue expanding, hiring with the intention of adding sales offices across California and moving into additional states and markets. In July, Suncrest announced the institution of its ProAlliance program designed to help new and established sales focused companies make easy transitions into solar energy sales.
“We are very pleased to provide financing that allows Suncrest to become a vertically integrated distributed solar company,” said Andrew Redinger, managing director and head of KeyBanc Capital Markets’ Utilities, Power & Renewable Energy Group. “This partnership shows our continued involvement and commitment to the renewable energy sector, and we look forward to working with Suncrest again in the future.”
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.