Jan 16 Solar panel installer Sungevity Inc said
it has raised $125 million for expansion plans in key U.S.
markets, as investors bet a steep decline in solar panel prices
will encourage more homeowners to take up the technology.
The sharp price fall, driven by a glut of supply and
declining government subsidies, has hurt solar panel makers like
Suntech Power Holding and SunPower Corp but
makes the cost of installing renewable energy cheaper.
"While overshadowed by news in the solar manufacturing
sector, the downstream market, particularly residential solar,
continues to experience rapid growth," Rob Davenport, managing
partner of Sungevity funder Brightpath Capital Partners said in
The funding includes $40 million in equity financing raised
in 2012, led by Oakland-based Brightpath and home improvement
retailer Lowe's, Sungevity said. Vision Ridge Partners,
Craton Equity Partners and Eastern Sun Capital Partners LLC also
participated in the funding round.
The new financing will be used to support the development of
solar projects across nine states including California, the
biggest U.S. solar market, and New York.
Sungevity faces competition in the solar lease arena from
SolarCity, the largest U.S. solar installer which
listed on the Nasdaq exchange a month ago, and startup SunRun,
as well as stalwart solar players such as SunPower Corp.