- Duke Energy acquired a controlling interest in commercial and industrial scale developer REC Solar and plans to invest up to $225 million in REC solar-developed projects. REC Solar began as a residential rooftop installer but last year sold that part of its business to Sunrun to focus on sales and financing of larger installations.
- REC Solar has over 400 commercial-industrial installations representing over 140 megawatts of capacity built or in development. By offering third-party funding to finance installations, REC Solar allows its customers who do not want to invest cash and use the tax equity to avoid high up-front costs and ownership and maintenance responsibilities.
- Duke Energy Renewables has a commercial-industrial and utility-scale renewables portfolio of 15 wind projects and 22 solar installations in 12 states representing about 1,800 megawatts of total installed capacity.
The $225 million fund will be used by REC Solar in markets across the country.
“We are going to rely on their business plans,” Duke Energy Renewables VP and Commercial Portfolio President Marc Manly told Utility Dive. “They know what they are doing. And they have targeted markets that are attractive where the retail rates make it economic for customers, where customers want it and where the regulatory rules are appropriate.”
For REC Solar, having such a large utility as a partner adds a degree of certainty to their businesses that they can pass on to customers.
“What is different now is we have a dedicated partner with a clear understanding of what projects will go in their portfolio, what documents we will use, what the return requirements are, and how everything is going to be priced,” REC Solar CEO Al Bucknam told Utility Dive. “The traditionally difficult front end process of getting a project financed is now going to be much smoother and cleaner and we can represent to the customer [that] 'We will deliver your project on this date with these terms and it won’t change.’”