Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, and National Grid PLC, one of the largest international investor-owned utilities, announced a multifaceted partnership that underscores the long-term importance of rooftop solar in the energy resource mix. The partnership includes a joint marketing agreement, a collaborative grid services pilot, and a direct investment by National Grid in Sunrun rooftop solar systems.
“We are excited to partner with National Grid, a utility focused on truly creating a clean energy future, and to promote the growth of rooftop solar in the United States,” said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. “This partnership demonstrates Sunrun’s ability to develop new strategic and financial relationships with partners to increase consumer access to rooftop solar while further unlocking value for customers.”
The joint marketing agreement will leverage both companies’ strong brands, with the goal of accelerating the adoption of rooftop solar in a cost-effective, highly scalable way. The program initially targets approximately 100,000 single family homes in National Grid’s downstate New York service area.
National Grid will also leverage its experience in complex energy markets to better understand the transformation occurring in the sector, and will work with Sunrun to explore options of how distributed energy resources might be aggregated and used to help keep the energy grid balanced and optimized. Currently these services are typically provided by centralized generators.
Sunrun and National Grid will also form a partnership to own approximately 200 MW of residential solar assets across all of Sunrun’s markets. National Grid has committed $100 million in equity to this partnership. The investment highlights the attractiveness of the residential solar sector and emphasizes the various sources of capital Sunrun can leverage to support continued growth, including BrightBox, Sunrun’s solar-plus-storage solution. The proceeds from National Grid’s investment add approximately $0.45 to $0.55 per watt in addition to Sunrun’s typical advance rates from tax equity, back leverage, and other upfront payments.
John Flynn, SVP of Strategy and Business Development at National Grid said, “This exciting partnership with Sunrun provides an opportunity for National Grid to increase our capability in the distributed energy space, and enhance our ability to meet the changing energy needs of our customers and communities.”
News item from Sunrun and National Grid