Who is Alex Drake?
I currently work as a Project Developer for utility-scale solar projects at Cypress Creek Renewables, developing 10MW-100MW groundmount projects. I previously did similar work at SunEdison, a solar developer who was a leader in behind-the-meter solar projects for Fortune 500 and top-tier public sector customers. There's a segment of small commercial customers that national developers and financiers have never been able to serve cost-effectively, but the projects themselves make good economic sense for the customer. I think the Wunder platform aligns individual investors with those projects in a way that matches complementary risk/reward profiles.
Alex on Wunder Capital.
What about Wunder Capital's offering made you invest?
I see solar as a less risky investment than comparable P2P lending or P2R real estate platforms offering similar ~5-year notes. Those spaces are (a) already crowded with accredited investors and starting to lower their offering quality, (b) becoming more crowded with institutional funds and lowering their target returns, and (c) have default rates very prone to economic downturns. A behind-the-meter solar project with Tier I suppliers and competent developers like the ones Wunder screens have very low customer and technology risk in my mind, and a lot of headroom in the platform to keep finding good deals as module and inverter prices continue to drop. Wunder's platform made it easy to invest across a variety of projects and with small incremental investments over the course of years, instead of $100k upfront for a piece of only one 100kW project.
As an investor, how important is creating impact with your investment (specifically within the environmental sector)?
Important. I don't think most folks realize that once one of these projects goes up, the most likely outcome is that this a power plant that is going to be generating carbon-free, low-cost power indefinitely. The ability to repower existing projects with more efficient panels and to add batteries in year 5, 10, 15, etc means that most projects will last well beyond the 15-20 year PPA term. That's one more community that sees the economic sense every day in saving money through solar, in turn driving more customer adoption. This is not just a temporary dent on an annual basis in climate change impacts, each one of these projects that goes up is enabling a real, lasting impact.
If given two potential investments with similar risk, and similar returns, would you prefer the solar investment, and why?
There are so many fewer moving pieces to a solar project. A typical behind-the-meter solar project has one revenue stream - the PPA - and one OPEX item - a basic operations and maintenance service contract. When you compare that to a multi-tenant commercial real estate investment, you realize the risks on solar are very contained and the risks on real estate can magnify very quickly given the amount of variables involved.
Wunder Capital is helping to accelerate the proliferation of solar by financing the commercial solar revolution. Wunder also offers investors a great way to invest in the future of energy. Learn more about Wunder by visiting WunderCapital.com.