How In-House Money Helps Solar Deals Get Done
Putting together commercial solar projects can often be daunting, and one of the most daunting tasks is finding solar financing. After all, the commercial segment has long lagged behind residential and utility-scale projects in getting access to capital.
Despite the solar industry’s spectacular growth, banks are still leery of lending for commercial projects. And in some ways, it’s understandable. Many commercial entities are not rated credits; and they don’t adhere to traditional credit measurements like credit scores, so it’s far more difficult to decide how likely a client is to pay back the loan.
Or take the case of multi-tenant properties. How can you securitize a project when you aren’t sure how long tenants will stay or, more frighteningly, when tenants are going to leave? No bank loan officers want to find themselves holding the paper for solar arrays on empty buildings—it could be fatal to their careers.
So the challenges in finding traditional financing for commercial projects are clear—but don’t mistake difficult for impossible. As the solar industry continues to evolve, some commercial firms can provide clients with “in-house money” to finance solar projects.
These companies have partnered with well-capitalized financial partners that provide money to get deals done. Gone is the fear of the solar industry from which traditional banks suffer. Instead, stubborn resistance transforms into amicable assent.
Why does working with a partner with in-house money make it easier for companies to deliver successful commercial projects?
- An understanding of the industry.
Companies in the solar industry don’t need to be convinced that solar is an asset-class in which it’s a good idea to invest. They already understand the risk/reward calculation and have decided the scales tilt toward the rewards side. They want to provide you with funding because of their commitment to building the Solar Century—so there’s no sales job or education necessary.
- An understanding of the segment.
Not all solar companies are created equal. Getting a commercial solar project financed isn’t as easy as picking the name of a random firm off of Angie’s List and giving them a call.
Companies that are both specialists in the commercial segment and have in-house money are rare, but they are worth finding. It eliminates the objections over credit scores and multi-tenant operations. The solar firms who do business in the commercial segment get it already. Which leads to….
- A much smoother approval process.
When firms have in-house money, there’s far less red-tape to cut through to get projects approved. There are no underwriters that have to get their hands dirty finding objections. The solar firm in question is the underwriter, eliminating the thorniest step in the process for you.
That’s not to say companies with in-house money won’t do their due diligence on the project. Like banks, they’re not a charity—they’re in the business to make money, too. But as long as you meet the basic benchmarks, the money will come far more quickly than it would at a traditional bank.
How do we know all of this? Well, Standard Solar is one of those rare commercial firms that can offer you in-house solar financing for your project. With our extensive commercial-project experience and $300 million in low-cost capital to spend (thanks to our partners at Gaz Métro), we’re anxious to deliver projects to completion—maybe even projects just like yours.