“This investment equates to thousands of homes in the US that can install solar,” said Sunrun spokeswoman Susan Wise.
Sunrun has seen tremendous growth over the last two to three years as its model has gained popularity. The company installs, owns, maintains and insures solar photovoltaic panels while homeowners don’t have any upfront costs and pay a fixed rate for power over a 20-year period, effectively leasing the panels.
The $200 million in project finance from Credit Suisse is the backbone of what the California company does. The money finances a solar fund that the Sunrun draws from in order to finance home solar installation projects, Wise said.
The capital will continue to fund the level of growth the company has seen in recent months, which has leveled off at a high rate.
“Sunrun always insures that we have enough capital to offer our customers affordable solar options,” Wise said.
The company won’t sign a contract with a customer unless it has the capital to back up the deal, so Sunrun is always looking for new sources of capital and new banking partners.
The company installs about $1.5 million worth of solar every day and has more than 24,000 customers nationally, according to a release from Sunrun.
With such a healthy appetite, it’s important for the solar company to diversify its financing, Wise said. This is Sunrun’s first project finance deal with Credit Suisse.
The solar market, especially the market Sunrun operates in, has seen large-scale growth in recent years.
It took Sunrun four years to install its first 10 megawatts of rooftop residential solar.
“Eleven months after we hit that mark, we doubled that customer number,” Wise said. “People are starting to realize this is an option.”