SolarCity Corporation (Nasdaq: SCTY) has announced the closure of the fund in order to finance residential, commercial and military solar projects to the tune of $131 million.
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Driving down the cost of solar power
The new fund will cover the capital cost of solar equipment and installation, helping ordinary homeowners pay less for the power produced by the systems than that provided by local utilities.
“This is the second tax equity fund we’ve closed during the first quarter as we continue our cash generation post–ITC extension and plan to continue our momentum,” said Radford Small, SolarCity’s Executive Vice President, Capital Markets.
According to the GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 report, the solar industry added 7 gigawatts of capacity last year. That it the largest annual total ever and a 16% increase from 2014.
SolarCity pushing ahead with new projects
SolarCity has embarked on a number of projects in conjunction with Tesla, with the latest in Hawaii. The company will use 13MW of Tesla batteries at a site on Kaua’i island.
However the company has been receiving some important downgrades from analysts of late, pushing the company share price down as low as $18. Investment professionals from JPMorgan downgraded the company from Overweight to Neutral.
There are a number of risks associated with the company, and growth has started to taper.
Analyst Paul Coster said that it is hard to get new money into SolarCity because it’s “an early-stage company in an early-stage industry, with a complex, evolving business model that blends together development company and power company economics, poorly expressed in GAAP numbers.”
Coster said that new money typically does not like companies of this kind, and management has been making some complex decisions that are difficult for outsiders to understand. However he did not advise against selling shares in the company.
Keep an eye on the new projects that the tax equity fund will be used to finance. SolarCity is a complicated stock that should be followed closely.