March 25, 2023
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REC Solar sells majority share to nation’s largest utility


San Luis Obispo-based REC Solar has sold a majority share of it business to the nation’s largest electric power company.

Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, purchased the controlling stake in the solar company and announced it would invest $225 million in solar project financing as part of the deal.

The two companies are positioning the acquisition as a move to make distributed solar energy projects more available and affordable to small- and medium-sized businesses.

“We plan to extend the benefits of clean, distributed energy solutions to previously underserved small and medium-sized businesses,” said REC Solar CEO Allen Bucknam in a release. “The Duke Energy relationship realizes our strategy to be the one-stop shop for commercial solar by securing a predictable and streamlined customer financing process.”

Duke’s $225 million financing commitment will back commercial solar projects developed by REC that are supported by long-term power purchase agreements. The business model basically scales up the work of residential solar companies to provide renewable power to commercial scale customers in retail, manufacturing, agriculture, technology, government and nonprofits.

“This arrangement will build on Duke Energy’s mission of giving commercial customers solutions that reduce energy costs and achieve their sustainability goals,” Marc Manly, Duke Energy executive vice president and president the firms commercial portfolio, said in a statement. “Through this arrangement, REC Solar will be better equipped to expand its offerings to commercial customers and provide an array of cost-efficient energy solutions.”

REC is leveraging the deal as way to branch out nationally.

By lowering upfront costs and reducing the complexity of going solar, our aim is to accelerate commercial solar growth and provide end-to-end energy solutions to businesses, governments and educational institutions across the United States,” Bucknam said.