Only weeks after a revealing study from NREL documenting the expansion of solar leasing into new income demographics in southern California, Clean Power Finance is reaching outside the west-coast bubble of clean energy innovation to offer financing services for residential solar customers in Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Though several private equity firms and capital investors have rushed to these markets to offer solar lease packages, few of the new kids on the block have the clout of Clean Power Finance to compete with the original leasing companies. It’s a little bit like a small mom-and-pop shop trying to keep up with superstores, only to get saved by a super-superstore (except in this case, everyone starts out with quite a bit of capital).
After partnering with Google to establish a $75m fund along with a few other investors, Clean Power Finance is financing up to “$1 million in residential solar offerings” each day, according to Kirstin Hoefer, VP of marketing. The innovative turn-key solutions for sourcing capital, system parts and solar sales strategies is the main differentiator between them and the likes of SunRun, Sunpower and SolarCity. So kudos to Vivint Solar, an integrator that provides financing options and guarantees maintenance and performance in partnership with selected installers. In its expansion into other states, Clean Power Finance is teaming up with Vivint to penetrate the residential solar market. Some leasing companies look for an advantage by using social media networking, some exercise other aggressive marketing strategies, and some go for the “Made in the USA” pitch. It looks like Clean Power Finance aims to team up with installers and integrators with top-notch customer service guarantees, and then provide their design software tools that make system procurement, financing and sales processes more efficient.
We look forward to learning more about these tools, and seeing how this partnership pans out in these markets!