Sunrun said to seek $200 million in debt for rooftop solar

Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. independent residential solar company, is seeking about $200 million in project-finance debt to build more rooftop power systems, according to people familiar with the deal.

ING Groep NV and SunTrust Banks Inc. are helping arrange the non-recourse debt for San Francisco-based Sunrun, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to discuss the deal. The financing would have a term of seven years, one of them said.

The company has project financing available to support installations into the third quarter, Chairman Edward Fenster told analysts during a March 8 conference call. Fenster declined to comment on this deal, as did representatives for ING and SunTrust.

Sunrun has closed at least $445 million in non-recourse debt to date, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This type of financing is tied to specific projects, providing protection for the company’s balance sheet.

Lining up more non-recourse debt will finance further growth. Sunrun expects its residential installations to expand 15 percent this year. That would outpace the growth rate for the total U.S. residential solar market, which is forecast to increase by 3.1 percent in 2017, according to New Energy Finance.

Arranging more financing is critical, said Joseph Osha, a San Francisco-based analyst at JMP Securities LLC, in an interview Thursday. “It’s how they finance the projects that they install.”

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