Exclusive: Manulife commits up to $500M to solar backer CleanCapital
Canadian insurance giant Manulife committed up to $500 million to CleanCapital, an NYC-based solar and storage developer that's become a strong backer of early-stage projects.
Why it matters: The commitment is another example of the U.S. solar market attracting traditional institutional investors in addition to standard venture capital firms.
Catch up fast: Companies like CleanCapital generally back smaller, regional solar developers — the kinds of companies once referred to as "two-guys-and-a-truck."
- CleanCapital has traditionally funded the buildup to solar developments, but it's now increasingly bankrolling the full scope of a project.
- "There used to be much more staggered capital, capital injections," CEO Thomas Byrne tells Axios. "We're not doing that anymore...CleanCapital is funding the entirety of the development."
The latest: CleanCapital has built a 400 MW portfolio of solar and storage across the community-scale, commercial and industrial, and distributed sectors.
- Manulife invested $300 million in CleanCapital in 2021.