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VC firm offers $800 million in sunny money

VC firm offers $800 million in sunny money

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Need capital to get your 25-megawatt solar farm going? Call San Francisco investment firm CleanPath. They've launched an $800 million fund for large scale solar electricity projects.

Need capital to get your 25-megawatt photovoltaic farm going?

Just call CleanPath LLC. The new San Francisco investment firm today announced an $800 million fund to back solar projects of between 5-to-100+ megawatts in North America.

“CleanPath will manage two revolving facilities to invest over $800 million into 1,000+ megawatts in large-scale solar PV projects over the next 60 months,” the company said.

“We’ve seen significant progress scaling solar in the last several years, but the lack of capital continues to be one of the primary constraints impeding solar development,” added CleanPath CEO Matt Cheney in the release. “We formed CleanPath to assist developers, builders, businesses, governments and land owners in meeting the capital requirements of their projects, regardless of the scale of the opportunity.  Providing liquidity and mitigating development risks for these segments is the sweet spot for CleanPath.”

Cheney co-founded CleanPath with Karin Berardo, both formerly of MMA Renewable Ventures, an energy investment firm that helped finance about 50 U.S. solar projects. Spanish solar company Fotowatio bought MMA in 2009 from Municipal Mortage &Equity, based in Baltimore, for $19.7 million.

CleanPath’s $800 million looks set to stretch further than it would have in his Fotowatio days. As reported on SmartPlanet, Ernst & Young and IHS iSuppli have issued reports in recent days showing the price of solar panels is declining rapidly.

Photo: decoulumber.com

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure