New Innovative Financing Platforms Launch for Sustainability & Clean Tech

Solar+Storage Sees Rise in Third-Party Financing

ViZn Energy Systems Inc. and LFC Capital Inc. have inked an agreement to enhance the affordability of solar PV and energy storage by providing up to $5 million in funding per project to accelerate installation of ViZn’s Z20 Energy Storage System, a zinc/iron redox flow battery, a recent Forbes report noted.

LFC Capital’s program utilizes a traditional operating lease with ownership options after six or seven years, with “tax efficiency” incentives included.

Solar PV installation projects considered ideal for this financing range from 50 kilowatts to 1 megawatt with 80- to 500-kilowatt-hours of energy storage, according to the companies.

Financing will be available in all states to qualified entrants, the companies said.

LFC already offers operating leases of $100,000 to companies considering ownership of solar systems.

ViZn CEO Ron Van Dell said that combined solar/storage products allow for attractive financing because solar and storage scale easily. LFC’s financing enables a focus on what he considers an under-served market. “We think there is a parade of opportunities in the mid-size market that typically have not been able to be done via a financed approach and now will be able to – and that’s a large part of the market. It’s also a diverse and early adopter part of the market as well,” he said in the Forbes article.

ViZn ships product domestically as well as outside the U.S. It expects that up to one-third of its business will be supported via the new financing model this year.

Other companies already offer combined solar and storage projects. In February Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company had introduced a consumer lithium ion battery for home storage. During an energy storage conference last fall, SolarCity CTO Peter Rive said that a combined PV/storage offering was slated to join its regular assortment.

Solar Grid Storage and Intelligent Generation are among companies that already offer solar/storage combinations under different business models.

Solar City offers lease financing for combined solar/storage offerings. Stem recently reported it will provide $135 million in financing to fuel growth of on-site customer storage projects.

In fact, a total of 696.7 MW of energy storage projects were announced from the third quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, according to a new Navigant Research report.

ISS Offers Access to Renewable Energy Boom for Investments of $250,000

Innovative Solar Systems LLC has introduced a new program that allows investors to gain partial ownership in large-scale solar farm projects across the U.S. for $250,000 per project. This program will allow individuals or groups to become limited partners in one or more of these projects in the early stage of development by the company.

Investors could realize a significant profit within 12-18 months following the sale of a project, the company reported.

ISS is one of the largest developers of utility scale solar farm projects in the southern U.S., but it is rapidly expanding beyond its regional reach, the company said.

The new partnership program allows faster expansion through additional development, while sharing profits with investors seeking to capitalize on the renewable energy boom.

ISS has a long track record in the solar industry and has developed over 100 commercial and utility scale solar projects so far. An additional 50 projects totaling more than 1GW are in various stages of development; all are set to be completed this year.

New Crowdfunding Platform Fuels Renewable Energy, Cleantech Funding

GridShare launched an independent crowdfunding platform to help renewable energy projects and cleantech companies raise capital, according to a release.

The company hosts a website where developers of renewable energy projects as well as cleantech companies can post their funding needs. Potential investors can shop the site for an investment opportunity in various renewable energy sectors, including solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and small hydropower.

GridShare plans to include funding opportunities for energy efficiency initiatives and early-stage clean technology ventures.

Three different types of investment opportunities are offered via GridShare: debt, equity and donations. High-net-worth investors can pledge funding for equity or interest. Non-accredited investors can donate funds where the option is offered.

“For too long, large banks have controlled which solar projects can be financed. Finally, project developers like Samba Energy can rely on GridShare to offer high quality solar investments to investors nationwide,” said Michael Hidary, Managing Partner, Samba Energy, a national provider of software and services for clean energy and commercial building energy efficiency. “Samba Energy can now complete more installations and private investors can gain strong, predictable returns from solar power projects.”

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