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Goldman Sachs picks up 233-megawatt lease from SunPower

April 01, 2019

“Intensely competitive” capital market has investors snapping up lease agreements

In a move analysts say reflects a growing interest from institutional investors in commercial solar assets, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Renewable Power has purchased the rights to over 200 megawatts of solar power to be produced by SunPower. The lease agreement is worth a reported $86.9 million.

Wood Mackenzie consultant Michelle Davis provided context for the sale. “Historically, commercial solar projects were small enough that they didn’t meet minimum transaction sizes to be attractive for institutional investors or other financial players like infrastructure funds and pension funds,” said Davis. “But as competition for financing these projects has tightened, more players are finding ways to aggregate portfolios of commercial solar assets in order to make up larger deal sizes.”

SunPower CEO Tom Werner spoke of an increasingly competitive capital market driving his company’s decision to free up cash and streamline their P&L statements. According to Greentech Media, SunPower is also working on “solidifying a structure that allows the company to sell a lease “almost coincident” with a notice to proceed on a project, which will allow it to show as a cash sale.”

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