Sunrun partners with National Grid to expand rooftop solar, storage

Dive Brief:

  • Sunrun has teamed up with National Grid in a partnership that will expand the rooftop solar presence of both the solar retailer and the regulated distribution utility.

  • The deal includes a partnership under which the two companies will own about 200 MW of residential solar assets across Sunrun’s markets. National Grid has committed $100 million in equity to the partnership.

  • The agreement also includes a direct investment by National Grid in SunRun’s rooftop solar systems.

Dive Insight:

Last fall, Sunrun hired Anne Hoskins, a former Maryland regulator, to be the company’s top policy officer. The move signaled a shift toward a more collaborative and less combative approach to working with utilities.

In the Northeast, it seems to be paying off.

Sunrun’s new agreement with National Grid will bring in $100 million in equity to support 200 MW of rooftop solar projects, as well as a direct investment from National Grid.

The partnership will initially target about 100,000 single family homes in National Grid's downstate New York service area for rooftop solar and Sunrun's BrightBox solar-plus-storage offering.

National Grid's investment will "add approximately $0.45 to $0.55 per watt in addition to Sunrun’s typical advance rates from tax equity, back leverage, and other upfront payments," the company said in a statement. 

“This partnership demonstrates Sunrun’s ability to develop new strategic and financial relationships with partners to increase consumer access to rooftop solar while further unlocking value for customers,” Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich said.

For its part, National Grid says the partnership will leverage its experience in the energy markets to better understand the transformation occurring in the sector. National Grid also says it will work with Sunrun to explore options of how distributed energy resources might be aggregated and used to help keep the energy grid balanced and optimized.

The partnership will provide Sunrun “an opportunity for National Grid to increase our capability in the distributed energy space, and enhance our ability to meet the changing energy needs of our customers and communities,” John Flynn, senior vice president of strategy and business development at National Grid said in a statement.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy Corporate News
Top image credit: Sunrun