SolarTech and CalCEF, a nonprofit clean energy investment organization, have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) designed to bring finance, performance and reliability experts together to accelerate industry efforts for establishing solar as an asset class. The companies hope to increase investor confidence, decrease project risk and improve the flow of capital.
‘Increased acceptance of PV as an asset class by Wall Street, venture capital and equity markets, in general, is closely linked to proper evaluation of system production output and the risks associated with cashflow projections,’ says Doug Payne, SolarTech's co-founder and executive director. ‘The [under] 1 MW commercial market segment is under-capitalized. We want to change that.’
Under the terms of the MOU, the organizations will form a technical working group to identify market gaps with respect to quantification of project risk, capital formation and bankability. These steps will lead to model guidelines for key stakeholders in project finance, capital markets, design/engineering, and installation that drive standardization of best-in-class solutions for increasing liquidity in aggregate for PV project portfolios, according to the organizations.
The team will expand on existing collaborative work with Sandia National Laboratories on ways to accelerate commercialization of new technologies through validation of system performance and reliability, the organizations add.
Over the course of 2012, SolarTech and CalCEF plan to engage with regional banks and supporting financial institutions to catalyze creation of solar as an asset class, serve local markets with local capital and create local jobs.