On Thursday Sunnova announced that it has raised $250 million in its latest round of funding, which it says that it will use to grow and provide its solar services to more customers in the United States. This extremely large funding round was sponsored by Franklin Square Capital Partners. Barclays acted as sole placement agent to Sunnova on the transaction.
Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu notes that this is the largest private funding round that he has seen in the solar industry since 2010, and that this is indicative of market interest in third-party solar.
GTM Research Analyst Nicole Litvak notes that while Sunnova is smaller than many of its competitors, it is growing rapidly. The company operates in 18 U.S. states and two overseas territories, which she describes as a larger service area than many third-party solar providers. This includes the key solar markets of California, Arizona, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Sunnova is also one of the few remaining financiers to offer only leases and PPAs but not loans, Litvak told pv magazine, referencing moves by many third-party providers to enter the loan space. In June GTM Research predicted that the share of third-party solar in the U.S. residential PV market would peak in 2014 and decline thereafter.
More details on third-party versus direct ownership business models for residential PV will be discussed in the December edition of pv magazine.