Sunrun Closes $60M Equity Investment

Sunrun, one of the leaders in solar leasing, has raised another $60 million in equity financing. 

The company has raised a total of $145 million in venture capital.

Solar leasing is becoming the preferred way to install solar in the US and is seen as critical as a key market driver as government incentives dry up.

Madrone Capital Partners led the round and were joined by existing investors Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital and Foundation Capital.

Madrone is affiliated with Wal-Mart heir S. Robson Walton and other Walton family members.

Last month, Sunrun announced the sixth renewable energy tax equity fund with US Bancorp, $150 million to support installation of residential solar systems across the US. In total, Sunrun has attracted the capital to purchase $1 billion in solar systems.

The fifth largest commercial US bank, Bancorp will invest $440 million in renewable energy this year, 30% more than in 2011. It’s also invested funds with other solar leasing companies, like Sungevity.

A year earlier, US Bancorp made its largest financing commitment to SunRun to support the purchase of $200 million in residential solar systems. With more than 20,000 customers in 10 states, Sunrun installs over $1.5 million in solar equipment every day. One in every three California homeowners who installs solar does so with Sunrun.

"We’ve proven that solar service is making solar adoption possible for more American families, and now the next phase is to innovate on the installation process, service, and cost reduction," says Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and president.

Since 2007, Sunrun has been enabling homeowners to use solar without paying high upfront costs. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner’s roof, while families pay a low, fixed rate for the electricity. 

In related news, Clean Power Finance Inc. has raised the largest fund to date to finance residential solar leases, $300 million from Morgan Stanley, Main Street Power Co. Zions Bancorporation and others.

Clean Power Finance has built an innovative platform that connects solar manufacturers, investors, and solar installers who offer its financing directly to homeowners.

Clean Power Finance will offer its MySolar lease through partner installers and Main Street Power will own the solar asset in specific states starting in Arizona and California. This is Clean Power’s third solar finance facility, bringing its total to about  $500 million. Google invested $75 million.

The other major player in solar leasing is SolarCity, which raised another $81 million a couple of months ago.

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