Admirals Bank Raises Residential PV Loans to $40,000

Admirals Bank, with whom Focused Energy partnered for residential PV system financing earlier in 2012, has announced a higher project cap starting in September. In addition to the $25,000 available through the bank’s existing program, $15,000 more can be borrowed for solar and efficiency projects. While structured as separate loans, the two are serviced with a single payment.

Also, Admirals unveiled a new “no payments for 12 months” option to enhance its existing Solar Step-Down Program, in which the loan can be re-amortized once in the first two years after the homeowner takes advantage of Federal and State tax credits and other incentives, reducing the monthly payment and increasing the cash flow generated by the PV system.

Financing has become prevalent in the deployment of residential PV projects. Often, leases and power purchase agreements are used as vehicles. However, borrowing funds instead provides homeowners with all the benefits of ownership, providing better cash flow over the life of the PV system and avoiding the end-of-lease terms that can significantly undermine any financial benefit: leased systems can be removed, re-leased, or purchased at fair market value, which will likely be a minimum of 20% of initial value even in 20 years. All three of these options entail substantial (and un-quantified) cost to the homeowner.

Furthermore, the solar leasing industry is under scrutiny for possibly inflating the initial value of the leased system to maximize the value of Federal tax credits and depreciation internalized by the leasing company or its investors. A PV system loan, in the form of HELOC, PACE financing, or through a program such as Admirals’, also increases property value and salability of a home.

Focused Energy Offers Finance Solution for Commercial PV Systems

Focused Energy announces that it now offers financing for commercial systems which cost $250,000 or more. The finance offer, a capital lease, can be structured for up to ten years and is unique in that terms can vary depending on the project, targeting the maximization of annual positive cash flow.

Unlike an operating lease, which is the mechanism under which many residential systems are being offered in some states, in a capital lease agreement ownership of the system reverts to the lessee at the end of the finance term with no buy-out.

Focused Energy CEO Paul Benson said, “We’ve been looking carefully at a variety of project financing mechanisms for some time, and are committed to developing a program that is win for our vendors, our installation partners, and the system owner, and remains in keeping with our position of taking a long-term view even in a dynamic market. While residential operating leases are not necessarily beneficial to all parties, this commercial capital lease is. We’re seeing a great response to it already.”

Focused Energy is a Santa Fe-based wholesale-only distributor of renewable energy components for grid-connected installations. The company offers a select group of best-in-class products coupled with best-in-industry service and logistics, serving both residential and commercial installation contractors. Focused Energy was recently awarded “2011 Partner of the Year” by Enphase Energy.

Focused Energy Receives ‘Partner of the Year Award’ from Enphase Energy

Focused Energy was Enphase’s launch partner when the micro-inverter manufacturer entered the solar market in 2008. Enphase has since grown to the #2 inverter supplier by market share in North America, and Focused Energy has also since grown into one of the US’s premier distributors. The award was presented at Enphase’s First Annual Distributor Summit in Sonoma California last weekend, where Enphase’s key distribution partners for North America met with Enphase executives.

Andrew Nichols, VP of Sales at Enphase, said, “With this award, Enphase is recognizing how Focused Energy’s exceptional business planning and operational excellence has contributed to our shared success and growth in the solar industry.” ”We’re very pleased to receive this recognition,” added Paul Benson, CEO at Focused Energy. “Enphase has a great solution, and a very talented and capable team, and we greatly value our partnership.”

About Enphase Energy: Enphase Energy delivers microinverter technology for the solar industry that increases energy production, simplifies design and installation, improves system uptime and reliability, reduces fire safety risk and provides a platform for intelligent energy management. Our semiconductor-based microinverter system converts energy at the individual solar module level and brings a systems-based, high technology approach to solar energy generation.

About Focused Energy: Focused Energy is a wholesale-only distributor of equipment for grid-tie PV (solar-electric) systems. The company offers a limited number of best-in-class products to installers throughout North America, supported with industry-leading logistics accuracy, customer service, and communication.

Focused Energy Announces 1603 Assignment Capability

Focused Energy, a leading wholesale distributor of components for grid-tie PV (solar electric) systems, announced a new program enabling PV project developers and leasing companies to assign the Federal Tax Grant to Focused Energy. This unique mechanism significantly defrays the up-front cost for commercial PV systems as well as those owned by third parties such as leasing companies.

The Federal Tax Grant reimburses the system owner for 30% of system cost. By assigning the tax grant, the system owner avoids expending funds up front for equipment, greatly enhancing the cash flow benefit of the project. The tax grant, which typically takes 90-180 days from project completion to be issued by the US Treasury, can be assigned directly to Focused Energy, securing immediate release of components for installation.

The Federal Tax Grant expires at the end of 2011, although under Safe Haven regulations, installation of some projects can be delayed until 2012.

Focused Energy CEO Paul Benson said, “This 1603 assignment program enables project owners to advance projects without the need to fully capitalize the project at the outset. This should increase the number of projects in pipeline as well as speed up their completion. We worked hard to identify the point in the finance process at which we could add the greatest value, and developed a program that truly makes it easier to develop PV projects. We’re excited to work with our installer partners in this new capacity.”

Focused Energy is also working on a leasing program for residential systems, and expects to unveil it in Q1 2012.

Focused Energy Moves to “Delivered Pricing” Platform

As of July 25, 2011, Focused Energy, a wholesale distributor of equipment for grid-tie PV installations, is further differentiating its offering by providing delivered pricing for shipments of any size in the contiguous 48 states.

Delivered pricing eliminates the installers’ need for guesswork in establishing true project costs, and reduces the time needed for the project proposal process. Focused Energy CEO Paul Benson said, “Above all, we want to be easy to work with. This change in our approach to freight charges means our dealers can get an ‘all-in’ price for their project on their first call, without waiting for a freight quote or concerning themselves with discrepancies between freight quotes and actual billings. This will save them time and money.”

New pricing will include regular freight from Focused Energy’s warehouse in Reno, NV to a commercial address in the contiguous 48 states. Drop ships from Focused’s manufacturing partners, expedited shipping, residential deliveries, lift gate charges, and shipments outside the “lower 48″ will still be subject to shipping charges.

Focused Energy is a New Mexico-based distributor of best-in-class products for residential to mid-sized commercial PV projects. Since 2008, Focused Energy has grown to be one of the largest distributors in North America, driven by a business philosophy of streamlined, accurate, and highly responsive customer service and operations.

Focused Energy Helps Local Food Bank Go Green

Focused Energy, together with several other New Mexico renewable energy companies, donated a solar electric system to Roadrunner Food Bank, in Albuquerque NM. The system was commissioned at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday.

Roadrunner Food Bank is New Mexico’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to ending hunger in New Mexico. Roadrunner’s President and CEO, Melody Wattenbarger, said, “We can take the savings that we would have spent on energy needs this coming year, and put those right to work for our core mission – to obtain more food for the hungry in our state.” The system will save enough energy to provide over 8,000 additional meals annually without a budget increase. Paul Benson, CEO of Focused Energy, added, “It feels great to make a contribution to a non-profit that makes a tangible difference in our community every day, and we love seeing our donation enhance Roadrunner’s capacity.”

Other solar companies involved in the project were Schott Solar, Affordable Solar, and Unirac, all based in Albuquerque. Donations included both system components and installation labor.

Focused Energy and SolarWorld Enter Distribution Partnership for 2011

Focused Energy is pleased to announce the expansion of its product line to include SolarWorld Sunmodules. We will be carrying the 235W polycrystalline and 245W monocrystalline modules, with the poly module more available earlier in the year. SolarWorld modules are made in the US in a vertically-integrated process and are also ARRA-compliant. The company has been in existence for over 30 years as a US market leader (and has never had a product recall), and is well-known for its offering of an efficient and well-built product supported by a robust guarantee. We’re excited to add another “best-in-class” product as an option for our customers for 2011.

Power-One Opens Manufacturing Plant in Arizona

Power-One, Inc., a leading provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions, announced today that it will open its new manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The Power-One Phoenix facility will produce its industry-leading photovoltaic and wind inverters, including single phase (2-6KW) and three phase string inverters, and NEMA 3R 250KW, 300KW and 400KW central inverters.

Production will commence in October 2010 and the facility is anticipated to support more than 350 new jobs in Arizona and throughout the United States. The new manufacturing plant will reach an annual inverter production capacity of 1.0 GW by mid 2011.

Focused Energy Adds UpSolar PV Modules to Product Offering

Focused Energy has added the UpSolar 225 watt PV module to its product offering. Upsolar was chosen as our value line PV offering based on their commitment to quality manufacturing, third party manufacturing oversight, and receiving the highest ratings from independent testing agencies in Europe. With the addition of UpSolar, Focused Energy now has a solution for the entire spectrum of PV customers.

Global PV Market Exceeded 7 GW in 2009

Almost 7.5 GW of new PV capacity was added worldwide in 2009 according to latest confirmed results from IMS Research. On 9th April, the German Federal Network Agency finally released its December figures for new PV installations confirming IMS Research’s earlier predictions that the German market grew massively in 2009 to reach 3.8 GW, and in fact the global PV market saw double-digit growth. PV Research Director, Ash Sharma commented, “An incredible 1.5 GW of new capacity was installed in Germany in December. This was earlier predicted by IMS Research which measured inverter shipments at 3.5 GW in Q4’09, and also predicted that the global PV market grew by 25% to exceed 7 GW.”