truSolar Gains Steam at CGI America

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Solar industry leaders participating in the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting commit to truSolar financial risk assessment as an effective means of accelerating solar deployment. The truSolar Working Group launched in 2013 to standardize the screening of non-residential solar assets.

 

In an effort to accelerate the financing of solar projects, more than 20 market-leading companies at CGI America have committed to support the adoption of truSolar, the industry’s first uniform risk assessment methodology governed by an accreditation body. The truSolar initiative was announced as a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action at the 2014 CGI America meeting.

The truSolar Working Group launched in 2013 to standardize the screening of non-residential solar assets. That standardization is expected to lead to significant industry gains from transaction efficiencies and deal cost reductions.

“truSolar is a voluntary, industry-led effort that believes widely adopted, standardized screening and risk scoring practices will be key to helping US solar investments reach $1 trillion by 2030,” said Chase Weir, CEO of Distributed Sun and co-founder of truSolar.

The truSolar Working Group is made up of leaders in solar project asset management, development, engineering, construction, finance, legal, manufacturing, insurance, and ratings.

“This is about making a big impact,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute and a founding member of truSolar. “truSolar offers enormous potential to promote savings, growth and education for commercial solar installations. When capital markets have a reliable approach to accurately predict performance and reliably forecast default rates for solar systems, American businesses will invest in greater numbers in commercial solar — lowering their energy costs and reaping the benefits of cleaner, more resilient power sources.”

The industry gains from deal cost efficiencies that follow with truSolar standardization could be worth more than $500 million a year by 2018, said Weir.  Eliminating friction in the diligence and closing process can unlock billions of dollars of savings and drive a groundswell of new commercial installations in the U.S. and globally.

Companies and organizations that have contributed support to the truSolar effort to-date include, among many others, ABB, ABM, Assurant, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cadmus, Distributed Sun, DuPont PV Solutions, Mosaic, PanelClaw, Private Securities Market, the Rocky Mountain Institute, SMA America, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), U.S. National Labs NREL and Sandia, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

During the Modern Grid working group sessions at CGI America this week, all of the individuals and firms that participated in the discussion on accelerating commercial solar deployments with standards agreed to support the truSolar initiative.

As part of its CGI Commitment to Action, truSolar will enlist the support from at least 20 leading companies during the summer of 2014, and more than 100 organizations over the next 18 – 24 months.

“The goals and principles President Bill Clinton established for CGI America are strikingly similar to the goals and principles that drive truSolar,” said Weir. “This program fosters business and finance innovation within the solar industry, unlocks clean energy deployments at scale, supports sustainable economic growth, and creates a framework for workforce development as we help our industry mature more quickly.”