Valley Baptist Church Adds Solar Thanks to Sol Systems Financing


Sol Systems has been teaming up with developers to finance a number of solar projects throughout the U.S. Its most recent development is a 944 kW solar project that was financed in partnership with investor client Washington Gas Energy Systems (WGES). The new solar system has just come online, and is located at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California. A-C Electric served as the engineering, procurement, and construction provider.

“The whole project team worked hard on this deal and we are proud to have worked with partners like A-C Electric, who really stepped up and went beyond the call of duty to deliver a quality project,” said Ben Margolis, Sol Systems’ Director of Finance. “We are looking forward to continued collaboration to make future DG projects a reality.”

Solar projects for churches and nonprofits are typically challenging to finance and are regarded as unconventional financial counterparties. Solar financing companies are starting to take note of this, and are creating specialized financial programs that are tailored for these types of customers.

Valley Baptist Church’s strong financial base satisfied the credit requirements of Sol Systems’ mid-market collaboration with WGES, which was launched in 2013 to finance mid-sized distributed generation projects. Sol Systems worked closely with all parties to negotiate legal documents and guide the project to financial close.

“A critical part of our business strategy is to consistently seek opportunities to invest in renewable energy assets,” said Sanjiv Mahan, Chief Operating Officer of Washington Gas Energy Systems. “We are happy to support Valley Baptist Church in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, and provide their parishioners and community with a sustainable, clean energy source.”

Sol Systems currently represents and advises over a dozen investors like WGES, who are looking to place capital in the solar asset class, including independent power producers, family offices, insurance companies, and private equity funds. To date, Sol Systems has facilitated financing for approximately 165 MW of distributed generation solar energy projects through a combination of its tax structured investments, construction and term debt offerings, project purchases, and solar renewable energy credit financing.