Investors

In order to build solar energy systems, our team works closely with traditional lenders, private and institutional investors, tax equity investors, and other financing partners who demand a decent investment return but are also interested in creating positive impact through their investments. Solar projects payback financiers with consistent monthly energy purchase payments from clients and also support a diverse portfolio by including a low-risk, asset-backed investment all while contributing to economic and environmental impact.

Solaris Energy has been in this business since its infancy and our team has a proven track record of accomplishments where others have shied away. In collaboration with our nonprofit partner, The Atmosphere Conservancy, we have been building solar projects for the last 10 years. Our deeply experienced team has been working in this industry and actively shaping it by serving as counsel to policy makers and board members for organizations for almost 25 years.

 

How We Work

We finance systems that most other developers find too small or too complicated to bother with, and this is a large and growing share of the solar project market. These projects tend to see the same average investment returns as larger projects that are more competitive. We also finance larger-scale systems for the right clients, and develop all of our projects with a personal, hands-on approach that minimizes hassle for all parties.
Our diverse in-house financing support includes a mix of loans and investment which is unique for each solar project. Loans are capitalized by impact capital funds and traditional banks that are getting much more involved in the industry as the risk is decreasing. Every solar project built requires the client (the energy buyer) to sign a Power Purchase Agreement which states the energy rate that the client will be charged every month for a term of 20-30 years. This makes for guaranteed, consistent cash flow from the project to pay back loans and investors.

A majority of our investors are long-term equity owners, putting the capital in that is needed to build a solar project and then repaid from monthly project cash flows. Our investment arm, Solaris Investment Group, currently invests in all of the projects we develop. However, since each solar project is a separate legal entity, investors can capitalize just one project if desired. Equity owners could hold a project for a couple years and then sell it, or could own it for the life of the 20-30 year Power Purchase Agreement.

There are also many investors who can lower their taxes significantly by taking advantage of tax credits related to developing solar. Investors only interested in short-term investments can contribute capital to develop the project and then receive full payback by project completion. Alternatively, large institutional investors want to own the asset long-term for the cash flow payments, only investing after completion.

 

Why Invest in Solar?

The capital costs of going solar puts these projects out of reach for most small businesses and nonprofits, those who benefit the most from reducing operational utility costs. At the same time, these projects provide an opportunity for investors to gain consistent and stable investment returns that tend to outperform similar investments. Many investors are taking advantage of the benefits that solar investments provides:

  • Stable Investment Returns

    Decreasing installation costs, consistent energy payments, and guaranteed supply (the sun) make solar energy a sound investment for lenders and investors alike. We only accept projects from a qualified energy client that can make monthly payments and that have an unlevered IRR above 8%, but investment returns can easily be in the teens in some markets.

  • Diverse Portfolio

    Solar energy provides a unique investment opportunity which can add stability, tax incentives, and market diversity to a portfolio. The projects provide passive cash flows to equity owners, stable payments to lenders, and significant tax advantages to the right investor. The market will continue to grow as well, experts estimate a CAGR of over 6% fort the next 6 years.

  • Low Risk

    The risks once associated with solar in the early years have all but vanished through technology innovations, increased adoption, and a maturing industry. Because a solar project is an asset-backed investment that includes a long-term energy payment contract, investment return is far less risky than other asset investments.

  • Competitive Advantage

    In addition to the benefits of stable returns for a low risk investment that contributes to portfolio diversity, choosing solar positions investors, lenders, and other finance partners as environmental stewards and helps to achieve sustainability and community impact goals.

* Legal Disclaimer: Investment returns are not guaranteed. Consult your financial advisor for information specific to your situation.

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