New Jersey-based Soltage started with a group of Yale graduate students from the business school as well as a forestry and environmental sciences program, said Jesse Grossman, Soltage CEO and co-founder.
In 2006, the market for large-scale solar energy development was a lot different than it is today.
“We worked in the few states where there were subsidies,” Grossman said. “It took a while for solar to become a viable solution.”
But as the market has grown, so has the company.
“When we started, the biggest projects we worked with were in the couple hundred kilowatt range,” Grossman said. “Now, our sweet spot is 750 kilowatts and bigger.”
The company announced a recent $30 million investment from NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure for six projects totaling 11.6 megawatts of solar PV. NewWorld provides project finance equity and asset-backed structured equity to projects and companies building clean energy infrastructure.
“The solar development and finance space is quite capital intensive,” Grossman said.
That means good financial partners are essential to a company’s success and ability to continue developing new projects.
While, Soltage is backed by a group of investors, including massive independent energy company Tenaska, continued growth required additional capital. And Grossman said Soltage was happy to bring on a new financing partner.
Grossman said Soltage is focusing its growth efforts on the East Coast, where the company was born.
“We’ve been following the (renewable energy portfolio standard)-driven markets in states like New York and Massachusetts, where the RPS allows for more financially-viable solar development.”
He said the decrease in panel prices, along with portfolio standards and energy credits have spurred the market and allowed Soltage to grow with it.
“These six projects are representative of the work we will continue to do in the future,” he said.