|By Business Wire||
|September 24, 2013 08:07 AM EDT||
Clean Power Finance® (CPF), the leading provider of financial services and software for the distributed solar industry, today announced the expansion of its platform to include an online marketplace for operations and maintenance (O&M) services on installed residential solar systems. CPF employs the marketplace to service assets on behalf of third-party owners using the CPF Market®. The O&M Marketplace addresses the lack of large-scale O&M services for distributed generation (DG) solar, which Standard & Poor cites as one of three obstacles for securitization of solar assets.
“Lack of ongoing O&M services is a major perceived risk that currently hinders DG solar investment,” said Nat Kreamer, Clean Power Finance’s CEO. “The O&M Marketplace provides investors with a solution that will lead to increased investment, drive down the cost of financing and pave the way for securitization.”
CPF’s financial technology (“fin-tech”) business model reduces the costs associated with financing DG solar by streamlining interactions between investors and solar professionals. The O&M Marketplace allows solar system managers and owners – particularly third-party financiers – to connect and contract with repair, maintenance and inspection professionals. The Marketplace will ensure that the price, quality and speed of O&M servicing remains competitive by allowing those requiring service to choose the most competitive vendor bid and rate job performance. Service providers, which currently include Burnham Energy and Next Phase, will have access to new sources of revenue and can improve utilization of their installation crew resources. CPF currently uses the Marketplace to manage its O&M and quality assurance (QA) services.
"Clean Power Finance's O&M Marketplace has been a valuable tool for strengthening communication between Next Phase and CPF,” said Adam Burstein, CEO of Next Phase Solar, Inc., a leading provider of O&M services for the solar PV industry. “As a result, we have been able to grow our nationwide service partnership quickly and effectively. Working with the O&M Marketplace has enabled us to deliver a higher level of service to our customers."
Owners of DG solar systems require a broad network of qualified service providers to maintain their assets. Clean Power Finance works with 80 percent of the top solar companies in major U.S. markets. Investors using the CPF Market can tap into the power of the CPF network to connect with solar service professionals around the U.S.
The O&M Marketplace was funded in part by a 2012 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, a national collaborative effort to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade. The SunShot Initiative supports a wide variety of efforts to reduce the non-hardware, balance of systems costs associated with solar PV systems. These “soft costs” today account for “well over 50 percent of the installed price of residential PV systems in the United States,” according to a 2013 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). CPF has received grants from the DOE to address permitting, O&M and customer acquisition costs so that solar professionals can operate more efficiently and investors can deploy more capital.
About Clean Power Finance
San Francisco-based Clean Power Finance® (CPF) provides financial services and software to the distributed solar industry. CPF connects solar professionals with institutional solar finance investors through the CPF Marke®, the online business-to-business marketplace for distributed solar financing. CPF also provides the solar industry with CPF Tools®, the leading solar sales SaaS application. Solar professionals use CPF to access a variety of unbranded, third-party owned finance products and easy-to-use solar sales quoting and design tools. Investors and lenders use CPF to invest in distributed solar projects that provide reliable rates of return with managed risk. Founded in 2006, CPF now manages half a billion dollars of project financing on behalf of third-party solar investors. To learn more about Clean Power Finance, please visit http://www.cleanpowerfinance.com.