Wells Fargo, John Hancock Financial become major participants in Solar Fund V


Renewable Ventures, the Fotowatio company, has announced the completion of Solar Fund V to finance more than $200 million of new solar energy projects across the United States. The fund’s first project is a 2MW solar PV project located in Ft. Collins, Colorado that will sell energy to Colorado State University and renewable energy credits to one of the state’s utilities, Xcel Energy.

Solar Fund V, the fifth fund organized by Renewable Ventures and the first as Fotowatio’s US-based subsidiary, reinforces the company’s growth strategy in the US. The fund will focus on the development and acquisition of commercial, public sector, and utility-scale solar projects from one to 10MW in size.

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“With this new infusion of capital, we stand ready to work with businesses, utilities and others to immediately finance, develop, or acquire megawatts of large-scale solar projects in the U.S.,” said Renewable Ventures CEO Matt Cheney.

Solar Fund V is structured to include both debt from John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., and equity from Renewable Ventures and Wells Fargo, and will enable the construction and permanent financing of around 35MW in the next year.

It is these reasons that enable the fund to seek a broader range of federal government incentives, improving project economics for prospective customers such as municipalities, universities, electric utilities and companies.

“Wells Fargo’s and John Hancock’s continued commitment to investing in renewable energy will allow us to replicate the success of our previous relationships,” added Cheney. “Solar Fund V has been designed to use capital and incentives available under the stimulus program in a way that can accelerate the development of more solar projects and quickly create jobs in the U.S. renewable energy sector.”

The fund’s first project will generate enough solar power to provide more than 10% of the electricity needs on CSU’s Foothills Campus. The 15-acre solar power plant is expected to be one of the largest solar installations at a US university on completion, which should take place by the end of 2009.


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