International firm boosts investment in New Orleans solar company by $150 million –

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PosiGen, a New Orleans company that specializes in marketing solar energy systems to lower-income households, announced Thursday an international firm has boosted its investment by $150 million.

That brings the total investment Brookfield Asset Management has made with PosiGen over the past year to $400 million. Brookfield is an investment firm with more than $925 billion in assets. The company’s holdings include commercial office buildings in New York, Toronto and Houston, a portfolio of hydroelectric, wind and solar assets, and the Port of Los Angeles.

“They put their money in a lot of different places,” said Benjamin Healey, president, capital markets and strategy for PosiGen. “They see PosiGen as a growing company that is serving a lot of folks nobody else is.”

PosiGen was founded in 2011 and has installed nearly 30,000 solar systems in 15 states. The business offers no credit check financing, which makes its services available to all households, even those with poor credit scores. The company said the installations have saved homeowners nearly $66 million in utility costs.

The company’s business model depends on tax credits, which allow it to partner with banks or other financial institutions to fund installation of solar panels, which are then leased to homeowners. The primary offering is a 20-year, no money down, no escalating lease that doesn’t require a minimum credit score or income level to qualify.

Brookfield’s investment will allow PosiGen to install solar systems in 30,000 to 40,000 additional homes, Healey said. 

“In a time of great uncertainty, we are lowering working families’ monthly expenses,” he said, something that investors are seeing as a good bet.

Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first statewide green bank, renewed its commitment to PosiGen. A green bank uses innovative financing along with help from the private sector to speed up the transition to clean energy. The green bank’s assistance is about $25 million, which will be used to underwrite loans for solar installations. 

Connecticut is PosiGen’s second-biggest market, behind Louisiana. The company has about 6,000 customers and 125 employees in the state, Healey said.

PosiGen is on track to install 12,000 to 14,000 solar systems on homes this year, which would represent a 40% to 47% increase over the current number, Healey said. 

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