Fast-Growing Solar Company Using $7.5M To Help Those ‘On The Fence’ Jump Into Renewables
November 18, 2018
An Austin company that installs solar energy panels has closed a $7.5 million funding round that will be lent out so other businesses can afford commercial solar projects.
Freedom Solar Financial Services LLC, a subsidiary of Freedom Solar LLC, announced the funding Nov. 15.
Companies that want to buy a solar array can cover up to 70 percent of installation costs by borrowing from Freedom Solar, according to the announcement, which can make the investment “cash-flow positive from day one.”
“We are stepping in to make capital available for companies who want to go solar in a way that maximizes their return on investment,” Freedom Solar CEO Bret Biggart said in a statement.
Freedom Solar launched in 2007. Revenue was $21.3 million in 2016, up from $8.6 million in 2014, which ranked among the fastest-growing businesses in Austin at the time.
Biggart and colleagues created the financial services arm of the company so “owner-occupied businesses take full advantage of the [federal] Business Energy Investment Tax Credit for solar power system installations,” according to the announcement.
The Business Energy Investment Tax Credit currently allows a 30 percent tax credit towards the installation of a solar power system, but that tax credit percentage isn’t permanent. It drops in 2020 and each successive year until it reaches 10 percent in 2022.
“With the deadline looming for the 30 percent tax credit, we are seeing greater interest from businesses who have been on the fence about solar for a while,” Freedom Solar Chief Revenue Officer Kyle Frazier said in a statement. “Our waiting list for 2019 installations is already beginning to build, and people are realizing that the time to get started with solar is now.”
In 2017, the United States added 10.6 gigawatts worth of solar power, according to a March report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association cited by Greentech Media. That compares with 15 gigawatts installed in 2016 and 7.5 gigawatts in 2015.