SolarCity closes $150 million financing facility for commercial solar and battery storage


SolarCity Corporation has closed a $150 million financing facility with Credit Suisse to support deployment of commercial solar energy systems, including battery storage, for businesses, schools and government organizations across the United States.

The California-based company will secure the non-recourse facility with a portfolio of long-term commercial systems and contracts.

"Our asset portfolio enables us to continually bring in new capital from top tier institutional and corporate investors," said Jeff Munson, SolarCity’s director of structured finance. “Additionally, our proprietary, in-house technology provides us competitive advantages that have led us to become one of the top commercial solar providers in the U.S."

SolarCity’s commercial systems include ZS Peak, proprietary mounting hardware which the company says can significantly reduce project build time. In addition, its battery storage projects are supported by DemandLogic, an intelligent battery storage system that enables businesses to further reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand and associated utility demand charges.

The credit deal is the latest in a series of transactions between SolarCity and Credit Suisse, which has served as structuring agent and bookrunner for SolarCity’s securitization transactions.

In related news, SolarCity has appointed former U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff as the company’s chief policy officer.

Wellinghoff will join SolarCity’s executive management team and report to Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive. His responsibilities will include advising on federal and state policy for SolarCity and the overseeing of both regulatory and legislative affairs for the company.

"Decades before the electricity sector was seriously considering a future distributed grid, Jon was implementing smart policies that would, in 2016, put us right on the cusp of the most exciting shifts that sector has ever seen," said Rive. "With Jon leading our policy efforts, SolarCity will seek opportunities to collaborate and partner with utilities while ensuring that rooftop solar’s full benefits to ratepayers and to the grid are considered and factored into all rate cases and resource discussions."

Wellinghoff replaces the outgoing John Stanton, who established SolarCity’s Policy and Electricity Markets team over his seven-year tenure at the company.

Wellinghoff most recently served as partner at the Stoel Rives law firm, where he provided expertise in energy law and the development of clean energy technology, advising leaders in the U.S., China, Australia and Europe.