Silicon Valley Bank financed 62% of US community solar


From pv magazine USA

The FDIC put Silicon Valley Bank into receivership last week and created a new bank – Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara – with available account deposits of up to $250,000. On the weekend, the US Federal Reserve said that all deposits would be secured and available to depositors on Monday morning.

Silicon Valley Bank’s $209 billion in assets make its collapse the second-largest bank failure in US history. The bank’s challenges, some of which were known, accelerated when it announced the sale of $21 billion of assets at a 9% loss, in order to make sure it could still cover all assets.

This prompted multiple business groups to quickly withdraw $42 billion in assets, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. A second bank, Signature Bank in New York, has also collapsed. It was also being managed by the Fed in a similar manner as Silicon Valley Bank.

Silicon Valley Bank’s website stated that it had a hand in financing 62% of community solar projects as of March 31, 2022. A Google search verifies a definite relationship.

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pv magazine USA has reached out to multiple community solar involved companies to get their reactions to these events. Over the weekend, publicly traded residential solar companies such as Sunrun and Sunnova Energy issued statements on Silicon Valley Bank’s failure.

Sunrun said Silicon Valley Bank was a lender on two of its credit facilities, but claimed that it accounted for less than 15% of its total hedging facilities. Sunrun said does not anticipate significant exposure. It does hold cash deposits with Silicon Valley Bank totaling nearly $80 million, but the Fed has stated that these are protected.

Sunnova said its exposure to Silicon Valley Bank is negligible because it does not hold cash deposits or securities with the financial group. However, one of its subsidiaries is part of a credit facility where SVB serves as a lender.

Stem, an energy storage development company, said it estimates less than 5% of cash deposits and short-term investments could be affected by Silicon Valley Bank’s closure, but the company does not hold any credit facilities with the bank. Sunrun’s stock lost 12.4% in value since SVB’s collapse late last week, while Sunnova and Stem were down 11.4% and 10.4% respectively.

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