Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit takeaways

10 Takeaways From The Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit

Live Oak Bank’s renewable energy lending team attended the Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit last week in California. The summit brings together senior-level solar and financial executives to discuss the current solar financing landscape. Melissa O’Buch, senior loan officer, offers her top 10 takeaways from the Infocast event:


1.) Florida Power and Light Company is primarily driving the new seriousness of the Florida market, which is set to be 4GW this year.

2.) The Midwest has had fits and starts, but the states to watch are Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio. Reasons these states are noteworthy include:

  • Illinois has the most action in the legislature
  • Michigan’s gas challenge is worth watching
  • The discussion around the Minnesota Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act is also noteworthy
  • Ohio has the RPS repeal on the table again

3.) Solar + Storage is now providing the reliability needed to compete with gas on a cost-efficient basis.

4.) Battery technology is evolving, but until there is a standardized interface–which will take time–it won’t be a plug-and-play system.

5.) AC coupled systems are the easiest way to add storage to an existing system, but DC coupled systems are superior because they share one inverter.

6.) Storage system issues continue to include capacity, life, number of cycles, response time and safety.

7.) In 2016, 70 percent of the loan was served by IOUs and the balance was served by CCAs. In 2020, those statistics could be flipped.

8.) Community solar appears to be the growing hot market for tax equity.

9.) As far as tax equity partners are concerned, internal rate of return is out. The focus is now on return on investment (ROI).

10.) Current tax equity pricing is $1.10 -$1.18, but that depends on the developer.


Contact our team today if you are interested in learning more about our renewable energy services. Reach Melissa O’Buch at or by phone at (910)-550-2289.