Soltage-Greenwood nails funding

US solar companies Soltage and Greenwood Energy have nailed down a second $70m round of equity funding from investors led by John Hancock Life Insurance to build mid-size PV projects along the East Coast.

The money will allow the companies to construct and operate seven projects totaling 32MW located in Massachusetts and North Carolina, all of which will be sold under long-term agreements with municipalities and utilities.

Soltage, based in New Jersey, and Greenwood Energy, based in New York City, quietly formed a joint venture last year, and in January 2014 announced the first $40m round of financing from a group of investors that includes John Hancock Life Insurance and the Libra Group, one of Greenwood’s backers.

The two rounds of funding are important, as they demonstrate the two companies’ ability to package and finance mid-sized projects before they enter construction – a segment of the US market that has sometimes been a difficult sell to investors.

After building the projects,the joint venture, known as Soltage-Greenwood, will stay on to manage the assets.

The second round of funding demonstrates the “stability and repeatability” of solar investment through Soltage-Greenwood, says Soltage chief executive Jesse Grossman.

Soltage is backed by Tenaska, one of the largest private energy companies in the US.