CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) January 15, 2021
Solstice Power Technologies, Inc. (https://solstice.us/), a software and customer management company dedicated to bringing affordable solar power to every household in America, has closed an oversubscribed $3.1 million funding round. The funding was led by Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures with additional investments from American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Schneider Electric Ventures, Next Wave Impact, Active Impact Investments, Powerhouse Ventures, Gratitude Railroad, H/L Ventures, SustainVC, Halcyon Angels, and prominent angel investors. The funding will be used to expand Solstice’s operations to additional states in 2021 following a year of unprecedented household impact and revenue growth for the company in which it quadrupled its revenue run rate. Initially, Solstice will focus on Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, New Jersey, with more states quickly following.
The clean energy industry is poised to experience exponential growth in 2021 as demand for climate solutions surge from governments, corporations, and civil society. Climate change is a top concern for many Americans and its mitigation requires massive clean energy expansion, yet 77 percent of American households cannot install rooftop solar power due to rented housing, the structure of their rooftop, the upfront cost, or access to financing. Solstice connects households and community organizations to “community solar”—shared solar farms that are installed in a centralized location where local residents can enroll in a portion for free, without any home installations, and enjoy guaranteed savings on their monthly utility bill.
“The benefits of renewables have mainly accrued to higher-income homeowners over the last several decades, and there has never been a more urgent time to democratize access to the green economy,” said Steph Speirs, Co-Founder and CEO. “Solstice has worked for years to put solar within reach of excluded households, and we are excited to partner with our investors to accelerate an equitable transition to clean energy.”
“We are pleased to renew our support to Solstice in its mission to both facilitate access to renewable electricity for all and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. The company plays a key role in this ecosystem, as an effective orchestrator between the project developers and local energy consumers, but also with local business or community partners eager to promote clean energy,” said Edouard Bulteau, Principal at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures.
One of the only companies in the solar industry co-founded and led by women of color, Solstice has generated demand for 111MW of clean energy across 25 community renewable projects in multiple states, with the total clean energy capacity from enrolled households, small businesses, and nonprofits representing the environmental equivalent of not burning 31 million pounds of coal. In addition, Solstice’s software manages the end-to-end customer experience for the life of the 20-year renewable energy project on behalf of developers and financiers, from customer enrollment to billing/crediting to ongoing customer engagement.
Building community trust is the motivating force for Solstice’s work. As part of its community partnership program, the company shares its revenues with local partners (such as municipalities, schools, employers, and houses of worship) that spread the word to their members about the benefits of green power. Since 2019, Solstice has donated more than $150,000 to these local community groups and individual Ambassadors in order to build clean energy wealth closer to home.
"We were excited to invest in Solstice because of their accomplished and exceptional leadership team. Community solar is a fast-growing category for great reasons—the cost of solar has plummeted, but rooftop is simply not possible for many people and this allows affordable energy to be delivered to exponentially more people," said Mike Winterfield, Founder and Managing Partner of Active Impact Investments.
In owning the customer experience for community renewable energy projects, Solstice advocates for these projects to include more lower-income populations and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Among the chief barriers for participation in clean energy is the minimum FICO credit score qualification requirement of 680+ imposed by project financiers and/or developers in an effort to mitigate perceived payment default risk. Upon discovering that the traditional FICO standard excluded more than half the country from participating in solar, Solstice partnered with the Department of Energy to create the EnergyScore, an innovative and proprietary qualification standard that is simultaneously more accurate than FICO credit scores in predicting utility bill payments, as well as more inclusive of low-income Americans. The funding proceeds will expand the deployment of the EnergyScore to additional projects across the country, giving clean energy to households that would have otherwise been locked out of the market.
“Solstice is a mission-driven company that shares our desire to close equity gaps in America by making solar energy available to every American. Community solar saves consumers money on their current energy bills today while simultaneously building community resilience. Solstice knows how to deliver the power of the sun to underserved communities and we fully embrace that goal moving forward,” said John McIntyre, Managing Director of the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact Fund.
“Solstice is a shining example of the way we should be doing business in the U.S.” said SustainVC Managing Principal and Solstice board member Sky Lance. “Founded by women of color, Solstice is not only speeding the adoption of solar in the U.S., but they are pushing to get green energy into the hands of those that need it most.”
About Solstice Power Technologies
Solstice is dedicated to bringing affordable solar power to the 77% of Americans who cannot install a rooftop system. Community solar offers a solution, enabling residents to support local clean energy at no upfront cost and save money on their electric bill every year. Solstice offers customer solutions for the community solar industry--enrolling households and local organizations in shared projects, creating financing innovations that expand access to underserved Americans (the EnergyScore), and providing a frictionless subscriber management software platform for projects. To learn more about Solstice and community solar in your area, visit http://www.solstice.us or watch Emerson Collective’s recent short film on Solstice’s work at http://www.bit.ly/solsticefilm.
Solstice Power Technologies