New partnership provides up to $650 million to fund commercial solar projects
Wunder, a category-defining provider of commercial and industrial solar solutions, today announced a partnership with ClearGen, a Blackstone Credit portfolio company, providing Wunder with a large-scale capital solution to fund deployment of commercial solar. "Through this partnership, we’re excited to accelerate the deployment of solar and address one of the largest untapped market opportunities that exists today,” said Dave Riess, CEO of Wunder. The partnership underscores the immense economic opportunity that exists within a market that also holds incredible potential for driving down U.S. carbon emissions.
Motivated by its mission to provide pragmatic renewable energy solutions for commercial and industrial real estate owners and tenants, Wunder focuses on the under-served market majority: rooftop and other on-premise solar installations which are typically below five megawatts in size, and projects for commercial tenants that do not carry an investment grade credit rating. To help clients seamlessly capture solar’s financial and sustainability benefits, Wunder leverages proprietary technology and market expertise to programmatically deliver turn-key solar systems across properties nationwide. Wunder is currently expanding its solar offerings (including no-CapEx solutions designed to make solar an easy decision), servicing more real estate firms and tenants, and bringing solar access to new markets and property types.
The partnership with ClearGen (which includes loan purchase commitments, the acquisition of an existing solar loan portfolio, and preferred asset financing) is complemented by a new corporate equity round led by Keyframe Capital, arming Wunder with all the resources needed to accelerate solar deployment in the commercial and industrial solar market.
“From our earliest conversations it was clear that all of our firms share a common vision for the distributed energy future of the United States, and that we are tightly aligned in how both project development and financial innovations are critical to realizing that future,” said Riess. “When combining our shared resources, operational capabilities, project expertise, and unique technology, we can achieve that shared vision together.”
ClearGen was established in 2020 to deliver smart and flexible financing for renewable energy originators and developers. Rob Howard, CEO at ClearGen, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Wunder, which has been an innovative early mover in providing solutions to the commercial solar market. With this transaction, Wunder will continue to expand its scope with access to highly competitive capital solutions, while maintaining the velocity and low transaction costs that have been Wunder’s trademark.”
The U.S. commercial and industrial sector accounts for approximately 62% of the country’s total energy consumption each year according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While rooftop solar adoption within the sector has grown over the last decade, market penetration still sits at less than 5% today. Accelerated deployment of on-site solar has the potential to represent a meaningful step forward in the effort to curb an estimated 3.5 trillion lbs of CO2 emitted by the U.S. commercial and industrial sector each year.
The transaction was supported by Marathon Capital, an independent investment bank delivering strategic financial advice to the clean energy, sustainable technologies, and infrastructure markets.
Wunder is a leading provider of commercial and industrial solar solutions, delivering value across the solar landscape through both project development and finance activities. For large real estate firms and tenants, Wunder’s programmatic and technology-enabled approach provides a simple, fast, and frictionless renewable energy experience. Our mission is to accelerate our clean and plentiful energy future by tackling the largest opportunity to drive down U.S. carbon emissions. To learn more, visit www.WunderCapital.com, or check out our Careers page to discover opportunities to join the team.
ClearGen is empowering the transition to a more sustainable energy future. In partnership with Blackstone, ClearGen works with partners to deliver efficient and reliable energy infrastructure to consumers. Our consultative approach is focused on reducing development risk by streamlining the structuring and financing process to facilitate successful project development. By combining smart and flexible financing with unmatched industry expertise, ClearGen will lead the way to a new era of energy outcomes. At ClearGen, we bring capital to projects that deliver results and make the world a cleaner place. Visit www.clear-gen.com to learn more.
Keyframe is an NYC-based cross-asset investment firm. The firm’s generalist, cross-asset mandate allows it to invest across a diverse range of business models and capital structures. Keyframe looks to build long term partnerships with companies, and to leverage its flexibility to help solve their most complex asset and corporate financing requirements. For additional information please visit www.keyframecapital.com.