Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) Mock Securitization Project

Travis Lowder, Michael Mendelsohn, Mary Rottman, Ronald Borod, Nathan Gabig, Stephen Henne, Conrad Caplin, Quentin Notte

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In late 2012, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) initiated the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group. Backed by a three-year funding facility from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), NREL set out to organize the solar, legal, banking, capital markets, engineering, and other relevant stakeholder communities in order to open lower-cost debt investment for solar asset deployment. SAPC engaged its members to standardize contracts, develop best practices, and comprehend how the rating agencies perceive solar project portfolios as an investment asset class. Rating agencies opine on the future creditworthiness of debt obligations. Issuers often seek investment-grade ratings from the rating agencies in order to satisfy the desires of their investors. Therefore, for the solar industry to access larger pools of capital at a favorable cost, it is critical to increase market participants' understanding of solar risk parameters. The process provided valuable information to address rating agency perceptions of risk that, without such information, could require costly credit enhancement or higher yields to attract institutional investors. Two different securities were developed--one for a hypothetical residential solar portfolio and one for a hypothetical commercial solar portfolio. Five rating agencies (Standard and Poor's, Moody's, KBRA, Fitch, and DBRS) participated and provided extensive feedback, some through conversations that extended several months. The findings represented in this report are a composite summary of that feedback and do not indicate any specific feedback from any single rating agency.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages54
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-64347


  • mock securitization
  • rating agencies
  • residential solar photovoltaic
  • solar finance
  • solar risk
  • solar securitization


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