img_financingIf I have to hear one more “analyst” tell me the commercial solar sector is struggling, my head might explode.

I’d single out the perpetrators of this myth, but that would take up all the space I have to vent here, so I’ll leave that to you and Google. All these people cite a lack of financing as the reason the commercial sector has lagged behind some of the other solar segments.

They sing the praises of the utility sector, who figured out the financing early (fairly easy to do, given most of them have been around for more than 100 years). And leasing revolutionized the residential sector. And then they lament the poor commercial sector. They tap their chins pensively and wonder, out loud, “Why can’t commercial solar find its financing footing?”

Really? All they’d have to do is pick up the phone and call me. I know why. Everyone (read: analysts) keeps telling developers and potential commercial clients there’s no money to fund commercial projects. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There is money available for commercial solar projects, and it’s coming from sources you might not expect. The smartest commercial developers are figuring out ways to partner with larger financing groups to provide commercial customers with one-stop shops.

One of the challenges of commercial developments is that the clients don’t have individual credit scores or, in the case of a multitenant development, it takes an army of lawyers and accounts to determine whether each tenant is creditworthy before banks are willing to take the risk.

But if developers are the ones putting their creditworthiness on the line, banks sit up and take notice. The bigger the developer, the better. If the company has a long history of successful projects, major investment banks will trip over themselves to provide it the money.

Let me be blunt: The commercial solar market is poised to expand exponentially in the coming years, and smart commercial developers should be talking to banks now. Create more financing options, and the projects will come.