Last month, I reported that solar finance platform company Clean Power Finance had acquired the solar power-purchase agreement (PPA) business of Kilowatt Financial, according to sources close to the deal. That was correct in one small way -- but only part of the bigger picture.
It turns out that CPF and KWF are planning to merge into an entity called Elevate Power, which will offer PPAs, leases, and loans for PV and energy efficiency. Both privately held firms have received venture funding from Kleiner Perkins.
Last year, Kilowatt Financial channeled $250 million into rooftop solar through Clean Power Finance. The two companies have been working together since 2012.
The combined firm will have more than $1.6 billion in project and loan financing under management, according to the company. Matt Melius, current CEO of KWF and COO-elect of Elevate Power, said in a release, “We are able to finance solar and energy efficiency in 46 states.”
Since 2011, Kilowatt Financial has focused on credit analysis to finance more than $400 million in solar and energy-efficiency assets.
Clean Power Finance moves capital from solar finance funds to its channel partners through an online marketplace serving a network of solar installers, many using a third-party-ownership model. CPF has raised $90 million in venture capital since 2006 and has raised more than $1 billion in project finance funds for rooftop solar. CPF claims its revenues increased by 79 percent between Q1 of 2014 and Q1 of 2015.
As we reported last year, "Kilowatt’s founders were running a merchant bank, lending in all asset classes, when people from Kleiner Perkins’ Green Growth Fund told them in mid-2011 how challenging it was to find efficient financing for solar and energy efficiency customers. The Kilowatt team determined three things about renewables and efficiency: consumers overwhelmingly favor them for their environmental and economics benefits; they are not a fad and they will increasingly require capital; and of two consumers with similar credit profiles, the one who wants financing for solar or efficiency will 'exhibit superior repayment performance' over the one who wants a loan for a new patio or a vacation."
This is another example of consolidation occurring in the partner solar finance model, as the market girds for battle against the big players such as SolarCity, Vivint and Sunrun.