SolarCity Corp. recently announced that it has completed its first cash equity transaction with partner John Hancock Financial. John Hancock is investing $227 million in a diversified portfolio of residential, commercial and industrial solar power projects that collectively represent 201 megawatts of generation capacity. SolarCity monetizes the majority of 20-years of underlying cash flows—including solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) associated with the projects—and retains ownership of the assets and continues to service the customers. SolarCity retains a minority share of annual cash flows throughout the contract term as well as 99% of post-contract cash flows. The transaction raised $3.00 of financing per watt of solar generation capacity for SolarCity including tax equity investments, upfront rebates and prepayments; a blend of $3.24/watt for residential projects and $2.35/watt for commercial projects.
“We’re proud to partner with John Hancock, one of the most trusted brands in insurance and financial services, on this 20-year investment in our residential and commercial solar contracts,” said Radford Small, SolarCity’s Executive Vice President of Global Capital Markets. “Cash equity enables SolarCity to monetize a high percentage of cash flows to maximize upfront financing proceeds. This transaction is an exciting addition and diversification of our long-term financing options for solar assets.” “We are pleased to partner with SolarCity in this transaction which represents an excellent opportunity to acquire long-term, contracted cash flows in renewable energy,” said Recep Kendircioglu, Managing Director, Power & Infrastructure at John Hancock. “This investment further supports John Hancock’s commitment to clean energy and sustainability.”
The portfolio of assets included in the first transaction is a representative sample of SolarCity’s current customer base. The average FICO score of the residential customers in the portfolio is 744, and the commercial customers include a number of national brand retail locations. The projects were spread among 18 states with no single state representing more than 35% of the portfolio, and the vast majority of the installations were completed in 2015.