US solar loan company secures $300 million in capital

The U.S. solar loans company, founded by Hudson Clean Energy, has secured $80 million in growth capital from lead investor Tiger Infrastructure Partners and founding investor Hudson Clean Energy Partners; an up to $120 million senior secured credit facility led by CIT Energy Finance; and over $100 million of available capital from existing and new financial institutions.

The funds will be used to expand Sunlight’s business platform. Specifically, it says, it will increase access to lower cost financing alternatives for residential rooftop solar PV assets.

Via its investment, Tiger will become the majority equity holder of Sunlight, and will control its board. Neil Z. Auerbach, Hudson CEO and Sunlight founder, meanwhile, will become executive chairman.

Commenting on the news, Emil Henry, managing partner of Tiger said, "Tiger’s decision to invest in Sunlight is the culmination of our search in the residential solar sector for the best in class platform and partners. No other investment opportunity matched the attributes presented by Sunlight, including: a sophisticated and talented management team with multiple strategic commercial relationships; an existing business with substantial momentum; and a like-minded and experienced partner in Hudson who has similar experience helping companies grow"

The solar loans market is continuing to grow in importance, with around 10 companies said to be offering loans in the market, including SolarCity, SunRun, SunPower, SunEdison, Mosiac and Clean Power Finance.

"If we see the cost of PV systems at a retail level fall down to below $10,000 for a 5kW system then more and more people will move towards loan products," said Minh Le, the director of solar technologies office at the U.S. Department of Energy – in a Solar PVTV report last year.