One of the most prominent utility companies in the US, Duke Energy, is acquiring a majority-stake in the solar energy provider REC Solar, and will be investing up to $225 million into commercial solar projects developed by REC Solar, according to an email CleanTechnica just received today.
This new financing will reportedly be utilized to aid in bringing low-cost solar loans and leases to the commercial market — via a simplified sales + financing process similar to those used in the residential sector.
REC Solar is especially aiming at the relatively untapped retail, tech, manufacturing, and agricultural markets, as well as government facilities and nonprofits.
All of the investments by Duke Energy will be backed by long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), according to the company.
The Duke Energy executive vice president and president of Commercial Portfolio, Marc Manly, commented on the deal thusly in the email sent to CleanTechnica: ”
This arrangement will build on Duke Energy’s mission of giving commercial customers solutions that reduce energy costs and achieve their sustainability goals.
With its long track record and commitment to quality, safety and customer service, REC Solar has demonstrated years of success in delivering solar power. Through this arrangement, REC Solar will be better equipped to expand its offerings to commercial customers and provide an array of cost-efficient energy solutions.
The chief executive officer of REC Solar, Allen Bucknam, commented as well: “We plan to extend the benefits of clean, distributed energy solutions to previously underserved small and medium-sized businesses. The Duke Energy relationship realizes our strategy to be the one-stop shop for commercial solar by securing a predictable and streamlined customer financing process.”
The partnership with Duke Energy will of course allow the company to simplify and lower the customer costs associated with going solar.
Bucknam noted this, stating: “By lowering upfront costs and reducing the complexity of going solar, our aim is to accelerate commercial solar growth and provide end-to-end energy solutions to businesses, governments and educational institutions across the United States.”
The move is an interesting one, but follows in line with many of Duke Energy’s recent moves with regard to renewables. The utility has, after all, invested over $4 billion into utility-scale renewable energy projects over the last decade or so. In particular, the investments into utility-scale solar energy projects have been quite large.
The exact details of the deal haven’t been publicly released.
Image Credit: REC Solar