Morgan Stanley, Main Street and Zions Back OneRoof Solar Systems

OneRoof Energy Inc., a closely held company that finances residential solar energy systems, received $100 million from Morgan Stanley, Main Street Power Co. and Zions Bancorporation (ZION) to expand its operations in four U.S. states.

The investments will enable OneRoof to pay its installers to put additional systems on homes in Arizona, California and Hawaii, where the company already operates, and to expand its services to Colorado, Chief Executive Officer David Field said.

“We’re projected to do about $300 million in leases this year,” Field said by telephone. His company also serves customers in Massachusetts, though the financing won’t support projects there, and OneRoof is preparing to expand to other states on the U.S. east coast, he said. “Like everybody else in this business, you’re continuously raising tax-equity funds in order to support your growth.”

OneRoof’s customers lease systems for little or no up-front cost and may save as much as 25 percent on their electricity bills after using less power from the grid, the San Diego-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Third-party financing for solar is benefiting from declining equipment costs, with the price of solar panels falling 30 percent last year.

Morgan Stanley (MS) and Main Street are providing equity investments and Zions is providing debt, Field said. Morgan Stanley will take advantage of a 30 percent investment tax credit for solar, and Main Street will be the long-term owner of the systems, he said, and wouldn’t disclose additional terms.

The three investors in May completed a similar deal, worth as much as $300 million, for Clean Power Finance Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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