September 21, 2021 – Today, Denver-based SunShare, LLC (“SunShare”), a leading community solar developer, announced that it has secured a $30 million equity commitment from Ember Infrastructure (“Ember”), 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.
SunShare, a family-owned company, has been a leading proponent of community solar since its inception in 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.”
In connection with the investment, industry veteran and Ember partner, Bob Kelly, joins SunShare’s board of directors. “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 expands access to solar power generation beyond those homes and businesses that are able to install solar panels on their rooftops. 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.
SunShare has been a pioneer in the community solar industry since 2011. SunShare earned its place as the first company to build and operate a community solar garden in a competitive market, by breaking through legislative and regulatory barriers to pave the way for all citizens to have equal access to renewable energy. Since then, SunShare has led the way in transforming the energy industry with locally-generated solar power. SunShare has developed approximately 80 fully-subscribed community solar gardens across Colorado and Minnesota. It has built one of the largest active residential subscriber bases in community solar, focusing on the individuals and families that community solar programs were created to serve. SunShare offers subscribers a choice for renewable energy regardless of homeownership, and without rooftop installation. Through innovations, the SunShare team is making solar an easy choice for thousands of citizens, businesses, and organizations to create a cleaner, brighter future. Learn more at mysunshare.com.
Founded in 2018, Ember is a New York-based private equity firm delivering capital solutions to businesses and assets seeking to reduce carbon intensity and enhance resource efficiency. Ember focuses on equity investments across renewable energy, water, waste, industrials and agricultural infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.ember-infra.com.