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Ember Infrastructure invests $30 million in SunShare’s community solar platform

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 30th September

By SB Staff September 30, 2021 View Profile

Denver-based SunShare has secured a $30 million equity commitment from Ember Infrastructure, a private equity platform investing in diversified sustainable infrastructure assets and companies. The investment will accelerate SunShare’s successful business model of combining market innovation with full life-cycle solar development and ownership capabilities and allow it to expand into new states.

As a family-owned company, SunShare has been a leading proponent of community solar since 2011, with more than 13,000 customers subscribed in over 80 community solar projects across Colorado and Minnesota. SunShare is one of the few developers to own and operate its projects.     

“We were the first developer to see community solar’s potential to bring renewable energy to the masses in the drive toward a low-carbon future,” SunShare CEO and founder David Amster-Olszewski said. “This investment will support our momentum; accelerate our ability to provide jobs, local partnerships with farmers, landowners, and utilities; and provide clean energy to more people to meet growing demand.”

Industry veteran and Ember partner, Bob Kelly has joined SunShare’s board of directors in connection with the investment . “We see the community solar asset class and SunShare, in particular, as a strong investment opportunity in the shift to reduce carbon intensity in power generation,” said Kelly. “Ember looks for long-term relationships and recognizes the value of partnering with industry leading companies, like SunShare, an end-to-end project developer, owner, operator, and subscription manager of community solar assets.”

Community solar empowers people beyond those who have access to solar panels on their roof. SunShare customers can subscribe to a portion of the energy produced in SunShare’s community solar gardens, and local electric utilities buy solar power directly from SunShare’s subscribers through credits on their electricity bills. Community solar programs are a fast-growing segment in renewables, as National Renewable Energy Laboratory data shows that 75% of U.S. homes are unsuitable for rooftop solar panel installation and nearly 40% of U.S. households are renters who are not able to choose to install a rooftop solar option.

PLEXUS Solutions acted as financial advisor to SunShare. Holland & Hart LLP served as legal counsel to SunShare.  Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal counsel to Ember.

Tags: Colorado, Community Solar, Denver, Ember Infrastructure, Minnesota, SunShare