Wunder nets $650 million fund for C&I solar projects
Through a new partnership with ClearGen, a Blackstone Credit portfolio company, Wunder has around $650 million in new funding for commercial solar projects. This partnership includes loan purchase commitments, the acquisition of an existing solar loan portfolio, and preferred asset financing, and it is complemented by a new corporate equity round led by Keyframe Capital.
The partnership underscores the immense economic opportunity that exists within a market this market.
“Through this partnership, we’re excited to accelerate the deployment of solar and address one of the largest untapped market opportunities that exists today,” said Dave Riess, CEO of Wunder, which is focused on the rooftop solar space, projects that are typically below 5 MW in size, and with commercial tenants that do not carry an investment grade credit rating.
The U.S. commercial and industrial sector accounts for approximately 62% of the country’s total energy consumption each year according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While rooftop solar adoption within the sector has grown over the last decade, market penetration still sits at less than 5% today. Accelerated deployment of on-site solar has the potential to represent a meaningful step forward in the effort to curb an estimated 3.5 trillion lbs of CO2 emitted by the U.S. commercial and industrial sector each year.
“From our earliest conversations it was clear that all of our firms share a common vision for the distributed energy future of the United States, and that we are tightly aligned in how both project development and financial innovations are critical to realizing that future,” said Riess. “When combining our shared resources, operational capabilities, project expertise, and unique technology, we can achieve that shared vision together.”
Wunder leverages proprietary technology to deliver turn-key solar systems across properties nationwide. Wunder is currently expanding its solar offerings (including no-CapEx solutions designed to make solar an easy decision), servicing more real estate firms and tenants, and bringing solar access to new markets and property types.
ClearGen was established in 2020 to deliver smart and flexible financing for renewable energy originators and developers. Rob Howard, CEO at ClearGen, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Wunder, which has been an innovative early mover in providing solutions to the commercial solar market. With this transaction, Wunder will continue to expand its scope with access to highly competitive capital solutions, while maintaining the velocity and low transaction costs that have been Wunder’s trademark.”
The transaction was supported by Marathon Capital, an independent investment bank delivering strategic financial advice to the clean energy, sustainable technologies, and infrastructure markets.
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