Interest is escalating in financing commercial and utility-scale solar rooftop and storage projects.

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Graham Smith, CEO Open Energy Group
In a recent pv magazine interview, Open Energy Group founder and CEO Graham Smith said he believes “commercial and industrial solar [in the US] is at an early stage of maturity.”

With such potential in mind, Manhattan-based Open Energy Group represents one financing entity that is targeting the US commercial rooftop market. Add solar and storage to your calculators and the numbers start to climb dramatically.

Recent press information accentuates this fiscal perspective SolarWorld, the largest US crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for 40 years, has announced a formidable partnership with Bank of the West for financing commercial-scale solar systems.

Under the partnership agreement, qualified SolarWorld customers will be eligible to finance their commercial solar system projects through Bank of the West using competitive solutions including everything from loans, operating leases, and capital leases. In addition, for qualified state and municipal government entities, tax-exempt municipal leases are on offer.

Financing is Key

Having a financing infrastructure in place is essential for innovative large-scale commercial renewable energy projects.

SolarWorld US vice president for sales and marketing Ardes Johnson put it this way: “Our primary goal is to help our customers grow their businesses. Many installation firms find they have the technical capability but not the financing support they need to drive business in the commercial segment. This new partnership will provide the boost they need.”

While utility-scale PV and the residential rooftop market has been well served by project financiers, Open Energy Group  believes the same needs to occur in the commercial rooftop space.

Intersolar North America

While attending the recent Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco, Smith stated that he believes providing project finance to commercial rooftop developers has the potential to see the segment make progress in catching up to the fast-growing residential rooftop and utility-scale solar segments.

Smith added his reaction to what he saw from an airplane, pointing out a large number of warehouse rooftops had no solar. “The infrastructure for financing and sources for financing from those rooftops is emerging,” he said.