Borrego Solar Systems continues to raise capital to finance expansion in the commercial, education and municipal segments of the US solar energy market. The San Diego-based solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installer and project developer yesterday (July 31) announced the closing of its largest financing since it began offering in-house Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in 2009: a $64.4 million fund with Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank and Washington, D.C.’s National Cooperative Bank.
The transaction’s closing brings the total amount of capital Borrego has raised to more than $225 million, according to a company press release. Management intends to use the funds to build more than 18 megawatts (MW) of solar PV systems spanning eight projects, including four municipal landfill installations and one school district solar PV array installation.
A “one stop” solar PV shop
Commenting on the latest fundraising effort, Borrego CEO Mike Hall said, “We are very proud of the work the team has done to develop these projects and close this latest fund. We’d like to thank our existing affiliates for their continued support, and are excited about our growing partnership with National Cooperative Bank.
“Partnerships and projects like these create new local jobs and help organizations generate solar electricity at zero upfront cost, allowing us to make progress in our mission to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy.”
Augmenting its ability to offer customers technology-agnostic, turnkey solar PV systems with its solar power PPA has turned Borrego into a “One Stop Shop” for solar PV systems. Through its PPAs, the company builds, operates and maintains solar power installations for customers, selling the energy back at reduced, fixed rates. The PPAs lower the upfront cost of solar PV installations for customers, and that’s been a key element in Borrego’s recent expansion, which has seen its business extend coast to coast.
As Borrego explains, “The [PPA] program is attractive to a variety of federal, state and private organizations looking to generate immediate savings and positive cash flows as it allows them to reap the benefits of solar energy without the required capital expenditure to own and operate the equipment.”
Founded in 1980, the 1999 advent of California’s solar and renewable energy incentives fueled Borrego’s initial success. The company’s installed more than 1,000 solar PV systems for commercial, residential and government customers since.
In 2007, Borrego established an office in Massachusetts, where company executives worked closely with what’s now the Mass Clean Energy Center “to bring state incentives to residential and commercial customers.” Establishing itself as the leading solar PV systems installer in the state, it has since expanded to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Shifting its focus, Borrego now concentrates on providing turnkey solar PV systems to commercial, municipal and educational organizations. It’s completed installations for a wide range of customers, including Best Western, Caltrans, College of Marin, ESRI, Qualcomm, MA Water Resources Authority, Millipore, MIT, Stone Brewing Co., Warner Brothers and Williams Sonoma.