From pv magazine USA
SunPower, a residential solar and energy services provider, announced it has secured a $550 million loan purchase commitment from private equity firm KKR & Co. Credit funds and accounts managed by KKR will purchase solar loans made to SunPower customers.
“Residential solar is a key area of focus for our Asset-Based Finance business,” said Avi Korn, managing director of KKR’s credit group.
SunPower’s loan programs offer residential customers 25-year terms to secure a more predictable cost for electricity when compared with volatile utility rates. The company launched SunPower Financial in 2021, and its loan business grew 99% year-over-year in 2022. With a SunPower project, installation, design, sales, financing and warranty are all provided by one entity.
“With the closing of this transaction, we have raised sufficient capital year-to-date to fund a total of $1 billion of incremental solar loans for SunPower’s customers. As demand continues to rise, we expect this additional capital will power our loan bookings volume into 2024 and enable SunPower to increase access to the benefits of solar for more homeowners,” said Guthrie Dundas, Sunpower's interim chief financial officer.
The $550 million commitment follows a $450 million commitment from April 12 provided by HASI and Crédit Agricole CIB, two leading climate and sustainability investors. Both credit agreements are non-recourse financings.
In late April 2023, SunPower announced it partnered with OhmConnect to offer its customers the opportunity to participate in virtual power plant (VPP) programs.
Homeowners in select California markets that have the mySunPower app can earn rewards for managing electricity use, particularly during times of peak electricity demand on the grid, when utility bill rates are the highest. The service helps balance the electricity grid while offering solar and energy storage customers an opportunity to derive value from their system.
SunPower has continued to evolve its customer offerings over the last year. In September 2022, the company introduced two new batteries for residential energy storage applications. The two devices, called SV-BASE13-C and SV-BASE19.5-C, respectively are part of the company’s Sunvault energy storage series. The battery comes in five configurations: 13 kWh, 19.5 kWh, 26 kWh, 39 kWh and 52 kWh.
Also in September 2022, SunPower announced it partnered with retailer giant IKEA to offer its solutions in select California IKEA stores. Members of the IKEA Family customer loyalty program will have in-store access to four custom-designed SunPower solar packages, which all include a SunPower Equinox solar system, a 25-year warranty for power, product and labor, and a 10-year monitoring warranty. IKEA U.S. customers will work directly with SunPower to access its energy solutions, which contain all the products, services, and warranties that customers will need.
Last May, the company released SunPower One, a holistic energy management system designed to interface with home solar arrays, battery energy storage systems, as well as the full set of energy loads in the home, including heating and cooling, appliances, lighting, and more.
The platform takes a step beyond monitoring the system, proactively advising homeowners on ways to optimize their energy usage. It is capable of recognizing patterns of electricity consumption and suggests further actions for energy bill savings.
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