Download now: King Coal Triple Play

Solar Leasing Firm Raises Venture Capital

Sungevity Inc. Brings in $125 Million

Written by Swagato Chakravorty
Posted January 17, 2013

Last year, solar panel manufacturers encountered a serious crisis when they attempted to cope with the global flood of very cheap panels made by Chinese companies. Several solar companies had to fold, and SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) stood out for its successful IPO—but its success was instructive.

SolarCity, rather than manufacturing panels, finances and installs solar panels. That structure was key to its success. Now, competitor Sungevity Inc. has received $125 million in venture capital funding. $50 million of the funding came from Energy Capital Partners. An unnamed major commercial bank provided $35 million, and another $40 million came from Brightpath Capital Partners LP and Lowe’s Cos.

Sungevity installs solar photovoltaic panels on its customers’ homes, who then pay monthly fees to lease the systems for the next twenty years.

Bloomberg reports:

“There’s a lot of momentum in this space, and we hope to benefit from that,” though Sungevity has no specific plans or timeline for an IPO, [Sungevity CEO Andrew]Birch said. “We think that Sungevity’s model is the most efficient model to serve downstream solar,” he said.

Last year, Sungevity was able to capitalize on reduced design and permit expenses and more penetrative customer outreach via the Internet to bring the per-system installation cost down by a third.

Currently, the company offers residential solar leasing options in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. And last year, Sungevity made an investment in an Australian venture.

The year before that, Sungevity bought a stake in Zonline BV, which allowed it to expand into the Netherlands. Although European and Australian customers tend to outright buy rather than lease, there is certainly potential for expansion.

Solar leasing could well become the most attractive option this year. SolarCity is up more than 23 percent since its IPO, and shares were up 4.22% on Thursday morning.


Energy demand will increase 58% over the next 25 years.

Trillions will be spent to secure the world's energy supply over the next two decades... and all sources are on the table.

Oil, Natural Gas, Solar, Wind. There will be money made.

Follow the money trail. Sign up for Energy and Capital now--It's free.

We never spam! View our Privacy Policy

By signing up, you'll also get our latest report, Six Oil & Gas Steals.


Related Articles

Solar Takes a Tumble
Outlook for solar energy industry weakens as solar companies file for bankruptcy one right after the other.
Solar Installations Continue to Grow
The key to successful clean energy is to lower the cost, not to reinvent the wheel. But that's precisely what failed solar companies like Solyndra were trying to do.
Warren Buffett Bakken Shale Investment
An ingenious move gave Warren Buffett the keys to a company that is now the lifeblood of the oil and gas boom. And we're buying this backdoor Bakken Shale play.


Invest in the Lithium Revolution
Lithium Demand is Going Berserk
Investing in the Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Powerwall
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Just Killed Your Power Company
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Powerwall Investing
How to Make $800 Million in One Week!
Putin and Saudi Arabia: Oil Dream Team Meet
Marijuana Bank Investing
3 Guaranteed Profits: Gambling, Prostitution, and...