SOURCE: The Sol Project Finance Journal, September 2015

24 Sep 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 from the September 2015 edition.  To receive future Journals, please email


The following statistics represent some high-quality solar projects and portfolios that we are actively reviewing for investment.

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California – Massachusetts is not the only state that’s hit its net metering caps. In California, solar’s #1 market, San Diego Gas and Electric has only 147MW remaining, which some have predicted will only last for another six months. Sage Renew predicts that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will hit its cap in late Q3 2016, and Southern California Edison will hit its cap in Q1 2017. Some have called the report pessimistic, but with the ITC project rush, it’s anyone’s guess. In brighter news, California passed legislation to increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030. Distributed generation does not count toward the mandatory component of the RPS.

New York– Poor economics means that Megawatt Block’s Commercial and Industrial (C&I) block is still stalled for takeoff, with only 1.8MW submitted in Con Edison territory out of 15MW. (Someone dropped out; last month we counted 4MW submitted). In the rest of the state, 98MW remains. For those of you who have reached out to us thinking that you’ve seen more development than that, the bar graphs do not lie. Unfortunately, the development you may have been seeing for commercial scale has been for virtually net metered (VNM) deals that were allowed to proceed before VNM was limited in the state. Thankfully, a movement is brewing to correct the Megawatt Block incentive levels for C&I. And, Sol’s very own Anna Noucas was recently elected to NYSEIA and will be fighting the C&I fight on behalf of Sol Systems and our partners.

North Carolina – RIP, North Carolina state tax credit. As part of a budget compromise, the 35% tax credit in the country’s #4 solar market will die at the end of this year. Projects that are already 80% finished when the year ends, but are not completed until early 2016, will still qualify for the credit under the “soft landing” provision from earlier this year. Applications for soft landing are quickly approaching; read up on our past article to see if you qualify. Unfortunately, many projects do not qualify and that will not be built by end of this year may never be built at all. Deals that do make it to the December 31 finish line must be aggressively structured to meet investors’ return hurdles in light of changing market conditions. Sol Systems will continue to operate in this market.


  • Cue the Lego Movie soundtrack. Everything is Awesome in the solar industry…for now. One theme rang consistent at almost all of our SPI meetings: things are going well, business is booming, but 2017 is looming. Developers and investors alike are beginning to devise their ITC strategies, and how to survive in a post-ITC world. Here’s a refresher on our market forecasts after December 31, 2016
  • Cost of capital is more important to growing the solar industry than technology-based cost improvements according to a recent study by the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform (EUPVTP).
  • Time to #ActonClimate? CitiBank thinks so. A report from America’s third largest bank, says the world will save $1.8 trillion dollars by acting on climate. That means inaction is a $1.8 trillion mistake.
  • Thanks to the hard work of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a new IRS ruling is paving the way for community solar to take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).
  • SPI was abuzz with excitement over merchant deals. Remote and merchant offtake projects are actually selling…and in real volume.
  • And the acquisitions keep on rollin’. Locus Energy, the remote monitoring software and O&M provider, was acquired by GenScape. Draker was acquired by BlueNRGY Group.
  • Net metering caps are looming. Is your state next? Check out recent analysis from EQ Research, which also includes an interactive map of each state’s available net metering allocation.
  • More from the SPI rumor mill… There have been some complaints that certain investor counterparties are closing deals, but have not been able to pay on time. In many cases, we spoke to developers who are awaiting payment for closed projects as the investor waits for the funds to come in.


Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for 333MW of solar projects on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, insurance companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. Sol Systems provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services range from tax structured investments and project acquisition, to debt financing and SREC portfolio management. Inc. Magazine named Sol Systems on its annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year, ranking it No. 6 in the nation’s top solar companies in 2014. For more information, please visit

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Sara Rafalson

Sara Rafalson