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Hawaiian NPOs and Business Receive Solar Financing Support from Panasonic, Clean Power Finance and Coronal Group

published: 2015-03-26 16:10

Clean Power Finance (CPF) has brought together Panasonic Eco Solutions (Panasonic) and Coronal Group LLC (Coronal) with the State of Hawaii to finance up to US$100 million of solar PV systems. This public-private partnership is part of Hawaii’s Green Energy Market Securitization Program (GEMS). GEMS is a sustainable financing initiative of the Hawaii State Energy Office to make clean energy more affordable for and accessible to businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“The state engaged CPF to structure the product and identify experienced partners to provide significant electric bill savings to underserved non-profits and businesses in Hawaii,” said Sean Coletta, managing director at CPF. “We look forward to bringing clean, affordable energy to a broader demographic in Hawaii with a unique product that has the potential to serve as a model for other states and municipalities.”

GEMS is the first program in the United States to use rate reduction bonds, which are commonly used by utilities, to finance solar energy. The ability to tap a huge pool of municipal bond capital reduces financing costs for clean energy installations by minimizing overhead expenses and maximizing economies of scale.

“The Coronal-Panasonic platform provides long-term stability and peace of mind to GEMS customers. Our combined team is fully committed to the design, construction, long-term ownership and operation of solar PV systems,” said Jamie Evans, head of U.S. Eco Solutions at Panasonic. “Enabling access to solar energy for underserved customers through the GEMS Program is just the beginning. Over time, GEMS customers can access additional solutions through our ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ platform, forming a long-term relationship with one of the most trusted brands in the world.”

Coronal and Panasonic will initially provide tax equity and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to installers in Hawaii who will originate the solar energy projects. CPF will work with the state of Hawaii to manage capital deployment and provide underwriting and origination services to the state and the Coronal-Panasonic team.

“Coronal is deeply committed to supporting the GEMS program, which we see as a major step toward removing barriers that have prevented many Hawaii nonprofits and small businesses from accessing solar energy,” said Jonathan Jaffrey, chairman and CEO of Coronal Group LLC. “We believe that through its success this program will provide others with a road map to engage these underserved markets.”

The state of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism initially engaged CPF to identify program partners for the commercial portion of GEMS because of CPF’s solar deal structuring expertise and ability to connect originators, installers and financing sources for solar energy.

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