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PosiGen is a US solar leasing company serving low-to-moderate income homeowners. Coupling an “energy efficiency makeover” with rapid solar panel installation, PosiGen helps customers in Louisiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey save on monthly utility bills while generating clean power.

Investment

$8 million of a $30+ million three-year loan facility with market-rate terms; originated in 2017.

Syndicate led by an aligned investor and includes participation by Calvert Impact Capital and The Libra Foundation.

Rationale

The solar leasing industry is laser-focused on high-income customers, which leaves low-to-moderate income Americans out of the clean energy revolution. PosiGen’s business model focuses on these neglected customers.

Returns

Financial Returns: Performance is on track.

Social & Environmental Impact: PosiGen owns more than 11,000 operating solar systems generating over 65 megawatts of low-carbon power of which 73% are on low-income homes. Customers save an average of $528 annually.

Lessons Learned

It is possible to build a profitable business in a market where coal-fired power makes electricity inexpensive, such as in Posigen’s home state of Louisiana.

Solar leasing companies do not need to rely on prime and ultra-prime credit exclusively to build businesses with low rates of default.

McKnight’s experience with Posigen has informed our grantmaking in Minnesota and the Midwest about how to include low-income consumers in the clean energy revolution.

As of November 2017

Photo Credits: PosiGen

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The McKnight Foundation does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or service providers.