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When to Go Local in Lending

In structured finance or cash deals, regional or local lenders may have more competitive offerings than a national bank or debt provider. Often their rates are cheaper by a point or more compared to the traditional debt players in the industry. Some local or regional players may also be more flexible with loan tenors –…

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SOURCE: The Sol Project Finance Journal, August 2015

SOURCE is a monthly solar project finance journal that our team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends, and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of industry resources. Below, we have included excerpts…

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Module Shortage Rumors Fly…Again

Last month, Intersolar North America was buzzing with word that tier 1 module suppliers were completely booked through the end of the year for 300 Watt plus modules. Is there any truth to this? There could be. Big solar deals abroad are eating panel supplies of tier 1 suppliers. Domestically, U.S. solar developers are rushing…

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Investors: Mitigate EPC Risk to Grow Your Commercial Portfolio

When investing in solar assets, utilities and infrastructure owners typically rely on a select list of preferred Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) partners to deliver the project to their standards and avoid major issues. We understand why. Working with only a select few preferred EPC providers minimizes exposure, and reduces time spent reviewing and approving…

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Massachusetts: To Tip Your Cap or Remove it Altogether?

Etiquette dictates that a man tips his cap by raising it slightly above his head to signify recognition, greetings or a simple salutation. However, once a man enters a building to settle down for work, he removes his cap. The greetings and formalities in the solar industry are finished, and it’s time to remove our…

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Everything You Need to Know About Storage – A Primer

Batteries have been blowing up lately. No, I’m not talking about EV battery fires. I’m talking about the immense hype around storage. With increased interest in storage coming from Utilities, Governments, and Companies, we thought it was time to discuss in more detail the storage opportunity and how to get involved in this growing industry….

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Why Asset Management is Critical to the Solar Industry: Part One

As a solar company grows, it often seems like a no-brainer to build out the business development and origination teams. With more team members working on deals, there is more opportunity for new business; the value of new revenue is well understood, and the return on investment is seen as a clear win-win.  Asset management,…

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Split Decision: Massachusetts Net Metering Task Force Draws Lines in the Sand

An amendment to a climate change action bill (S 1973), sponsored by State Senator Ben Downing, has passed in the Massachusetts Senate in favor of raising the state’s net metering caps. Lifting the net metering caps is critical for the Massachusetts solar industry, which now employs over 9,400 solar workers, second only to California in…

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What Can Community Supported Agriculture Teach the Solar Industry?

In 1965, amidst destruction of arable land and the growing use of pesticides in food production, a group of Japanese women invented “tei kei,” a system where consumers supported local farmers on an annual basis in exchange for a share of their crop. In the 1980s and 90s, this idea spread to the United States,…

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Employee Spotlight: Jason Cimpl, Director of Trading

Over the past seven years, Sol Systems has grown from two college friends with a bright idea to an industry leader in solar project finance with offices in San Francisco, D.C., and Philadelphia and nearly 50 full-time employees. We’ve brought some of the industry’s most talented professionals along for the ride, and we want you…

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SOURCE: The Sol Project Finance Journal, July 2015

SOURCE is a monthly solar project finance journal that our team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends, and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of industry resources. Below, we have included excerpts…

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Cheap-o Solar: How Low Can You Really Go?

Austin Energy made waves after announcing 1.295GW of bids from its most recent RFP came in under 4 cents/kWh, even lower than their landmark deal last year with Recurrent Energy at <5 cents/kWh for 150MW. The industry cheered – who needs the ITC when solar pricing has hit rock bottom? If we’re at 4 cents…

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Why Are There So Few Bankable Inverter Manufacturers?

This post was co-authored by Senior Director, Investment Analysis Joe Song. And another one gone, another one gone…We called it. It’s a new ball game for the inverter business. Advanced Energy (AE), the #3 inverter manufacturer in the U.S., recently announced its intention to “wind down” its inverter business. With Satcon’s bankruptcy and SMA announcing…

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Illinois’ Inaugural SREC Procurement: Survey Says?

This past month, Sol Systems participated in the most highly anticipated event of the summer. If you’re thinking, “Jurassic World 3-D,” then you haven’t been following recent developments out of Illinois’ SREC procurement process. The June auction marked the first of three auctions intended to jumpstart Illinois’ solar market. Sol Systems participated as an SREC…

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“Commence Construction” Conjecture for the Solar Investment Tax Credit

No one can predict the future of the solar industry after 2016 – but don’t let that stop you from trying. If a full extension or gradual step-down of the thirty percent investment tax credit (ITC) is out of reach, the next best compromise may be an extension for those projects that are under construction…

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Approaching the Tax Credit Horizon: Where Will Commercial Solar Succeed in 2017?

This post was co-authored by Sol Systems Portfolio Analyst Eric Scheier and originally published by Greentech Media.  Last year, solar installations in the U.S. commercial sector fell by 6 percent. The market is expected to bounce back in 2015, but there are still many challenges in financing and aggregating commercial-scale projects. Sol Systems has focused heavily on financing…

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PJM Capacity Performance: Hochi Juhotchi, or Kagamoosha?

This post was co-written by Senior Director, Project Finance Colin Murchie. From New Jersey to Northeastern North Carolina, a growing number of generators in the PJM region are connecting to the wholesale side of the grid instead of behind the meter. For a sufficiently savvy solar developer, this can offer significant streamlining benefits compared to…

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Is DC’s Sustainable Energy Utility Sustainable?

The District of Columbia City Council is a tried and true champion of renewable energy development. Over the past decade, it has extended and expanded the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and solar carve-out, cultivating the strongest SREC market in the country. In 2008, the Council created the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) and the Sustainable…

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Sol Systems’ Summer Intern Spotlight

Here at Sol Systems, we make investments of all kinds. Our number one investment? Young people inspired to embark on a career in the renewable energy industry. This summer, we welcome our interns Olivia Chen, Andrew Dewey, Joseph Kraut, Will Patterson, Jeffrey Popkin, Jacob Sandry, and Louis “Cuffie” Winkler. Olivia Chen joins Sol Systems this…

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Can We Handle the Truth? What Can an A/B Split Tell Us about North Carolina’s House Bill 332?

CAUTION:  If you adhere to the adage, “Don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to,” read on at your own risk. Our state and local governments are challenged every day with the demands of delivering public services efficiently while making public investments necessary for long-term, lucrative economic development. In an ideal world, objective…

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