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Europe's SolarCity raises €150M from DIF Capital

Illustration of golden solar panels.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Alight, a Stockholm-based solar company modeled (somewhat) after SolarCity, raised €150 million in equity financing from DIF Capital, the company exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: Europe's energy crisis is opening the doors to solar developers that don't only rely on selling into governments to keep the lights on.

Details: DIF Capital took a majority stake in the company with its €150 million (~$151 million) equity investment. It also bought out a handful of early investors as part of the deal.

  • CEO Harald Overholm tells Axios control of the company will be between DIF and the company's founders, who will remain at the operating helm of the business and on its board of directors.
  • In addition to funding the company's expansion, the new tranche provides Alight leverage for financing of additional solar projects, which Alight owns and operates as part of its business model.
  • The company currently has 1 GW worth of projects currently under development in Sweden, with an additional 170 MW in projects planned for new markets. Overholm declined to share the company's target markets.

How it works: Overholm says he started Alight after observing SolarCity's success in the U.S., which didn't rely on government subsidies or substantial federal policy.

  • He modeled Alight similarly, but opted to focus on commercial sales over residential. Prior to the DIF investment, Alight would build and operate solar plants in fields or on a customer's rooftop after securing an interested buyer via PPAs.
  • When he started the company in 2013, many solar developers in Europe sold exclusively into governments, via feed-in tariffs, he says.

The bottom line: Businesses around Europe are looking to slash energy costs while shopping for more sustainable energy options amid the continent's broader energy crisis, and Alight now has the funds to capitalize on that opportunity.

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