SolarCity to start online investment platform for the public

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The largest solar installer in the US, SolarCity, is to launch an online platform that will allow individuals and businesses to invest in its solar.

Bond issues are typically only open to pre-approved institutional investors but SolarCity is hoping to change that.

“People want to support clean energy development. Customers are seeing the benefits of getting solar for their homes but they would like to participate in other ways as well,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO, SolarCity.

“With our investment platform, we’re hoping to allow far more individuals and smaller organisations to participate in the transformation to a cleaner, more distributed infrastructure,” he added.

The platform was developed by Common Assets LLC, which SolarCity has acquired. Tim Newell, the president and chief executive officer of Common Assets, and John Witchel, Common Assets’ chief architect have joined SolarCity as part of the deal.

“SolarCity’s financial products will provide an exciting new opportunity for people to make an impact – both for their own financial future and our global future – by investing in the shift to solar energy,” said Newell. “Unlike crowdfunding and community solar approaches that typically aggregate investors to provide loans for individual projects, SolarCity plans to offer debt investments backed by diversified portfolios of solar assets.”

Earlier this year SolarCity launched the first bond secured by a portfolio of solar assets. The US$54 million bond opened up a cheaper stream of finance for the company that is expected to be replicated by other large installers in the US.

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