Posted on February 17th, 2014 by Mercatus
(San Francisco — February 18, 2014) — Mercatus, Inc., the leading enterprise level investment analysis and decision making platform serving as the core “operating system” for solar energy investors, announces that Integrys Energy Services, Inc., a national provider of competitive energy supply solutions, has adopted Mercatus’s Investment and Analysis platform to accelerate its growth in the commercial and industrial solar market segments. Haresh Patel, CEO of Mercatus, made the announcement.
“As Integrys Energy Services continues to build its solar portfolio, the company has deployed Mercatus to drive greater efficiency and consistency to its investment process, making our development team more effective and efficient to service more developers, projects, and opportunities,” said Joel Jansen, Vice President.
Since its 2009 inception, Mercatus has assessed over 11 gigawatts of solar projects, and currently serves 40% of the distributed generation U.S. solar market. Mercatus counts the industry’s top global developers, institutional investors and independent power producers as customers. Subscribers to the Mercatus platform are currently targeting $1.2 billion in dedicated capital deployment for distributed generation solar investments in 2014.
“Mercatus’ industry leading platform provides a competitive edge in the distributed generation development industry, where speed to investment is paramount,” said Mr. Patel. “Mercatus provides the fastest and most accurate solar investment decision making tools in the industry, and enhances the ability of leaders like Integrys to bring innovative financial solutions to commercial, industrial and utility projects.”
About Integrys Energy Services, Inc.
Established in 1994, Integrys Energy Services, Inc. provides competitive energy supply solutions, structured products, and strategies that allow retail residential, commercial, and industrial customers to manage their energy needs. Its principal energy marketing operations are in the northeastern quadrant of the United States. Through its subsidiary, Integrys Energy Services – Natural Gas LLC, Integrys offers natural gas products to a full range of end-users throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Areas of generation expertise include cogeneration, distributed generation, renewables such as solar and landfill gas, as well as clean fuel generation, with facilities in selected markets throughout the United States. More information about Integrys Energy Services is available online at www.integrysenergy.com. Integrys Energy Services is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:TEG); more information is available at www.integrysgroup.com.
About Mercatus, Inc.
Mercatus is a leading solutions provider for the energy project finance industry, offering a Solar Investment Analysis platform for investors looking to make asset-class portfolio decisions. Mercatus’ new standardized approach to the project aggregation, pooling and syndication of individual projects provides the critical transaction interface the buy and sell sides have been waiting for. Mercatus is based in Silicon Valley and backed by Vision Ridge Capital, Trepp, Inc., Augment Ventures, and Shah Capital. For more information visit http://www.gomercatus.com/ .
Eric Gerard, [email protected]; 212-741-2977
Tom Nolan, [email protected]
National Real Estate Investor – Mercatus CEO Haresh Patel discusses Solar as the next big asset class
Posted on February 11th, 2014 by Mercatus
Is Solar the Next Big Asset Class? Trepp and Mercatus Think So.
Feb. 10, 2014 – National Real Estate Investor
By : Susan Piperato
Mercatus Inc., an enterprise-level investment analysis and decision-making platform serving as a core operating system for solar energy investors, recently had its Series-A round of financing closed by Trepp LLC, a provider of information, analytics and technology to the CMBS, commercial real estate and banking markets. Trepp rounded out other Mercatus Series-A investors, including Vision Ridge Partners, Augment Ventures and Shah Capital.
Over the last 18 months, the costs of renewable energy technology and installation have fallen dramatically, while the costs of financing remain high. Developers are facing a challenge when it comes to attracting capital. Meanwhile, energy investors are lacking in resources, best practices and domain expertise and as a result are not deploying capital.
The Mercatus platform features an information database and analytics engine consisting of over 10GW of commercial, industrial and utility-distributed generation solar assets. This cumulative database tracks 570 unique attributes on each project that has driven the broadest pre-investment dataset available.
NREI spoke with Mercatus CEO Haresh Patel about how his firm’s platform can help elevate solar as an asset class, and the impact of Trepp’s investment. An edited transcript of that interview follows.
NREI: There are several new financing vehicles for solar projects coming to market. Where do you see this going?
Haresh Patel: All of the financing vehicles are fairly new, so in this early phase key measurement points will require more time. The solar securitization by SolarCity has had the most impact. First, it surprised the market, and while it was a relatively small amount on the Richter scale, it has created a tsunami effect. Several banks have indicated that if another deal came along, they could easily sell $1 billion worth of solar secularization portfolios. It is rumored that there are currently four to six future securitization deals in the works.
We just announced our new Mercatus 2.0 platform, which includes new and enhanced features such as portfolio analysis and automated ratings for both the residential and commercial segments. These additions are expected to be major enablers for the onslaught of distributed generation solar securitizations expected to occur in 2014.
NREI: Mercatus has already appraised and rated over 1,400 projects. Could you talk a bit about what sorts of projects? What is your main property market?
Haresh Patel: Since its 2009 inception, Mercatus has assessed over 11 GW of solar projects, and currently serves 40 percent of the distributed generation U.S. solar market with some of the industry’s top global developers, institutional investors and independent power producers as customers. Subscribers to the Mercatus platform are currently targeting $1.2 billion in dedicated capital deployment for distributed generation solar investments in 2014 alone.
Our focus has been commercial and industrial segment and our projects range in the size of 250KW to 30MW. The average project size of the 1,400 projects we currently rate is 3MW, which equates to roughly a $10 million project. From a geography standpoint, 90 percent of our projects are U.S. based and spread widely across the country–the California and Northeast regions are the most active markets. However, while only 10 percent of our projects are international, it is one of the fastest growing markets as U.S. investors are finding attractive internal rate of returns overseas.
Mercatus has also recognized that residential projects represent a strong growth segment and as previously mentioned, our current Mercatus 2.0 release includes features such as portfolio analysis and automated ratings specific to the residential segment.
NREI: You founded Mercatus in 2009 as the critical interface for investors in solar development. That was a fairly bold move as solar development was really still in its early stages. What made you think the time was right? How has the pool of investors grown?
Haresh Patel: Our team came from the semiconductor industry and lived through various market sectors that enjoyed spectacular growth over the last 25 years and that growth came with lots of jagged peaks and valleys. We learned a lot about what happens with early market adoption by observing the growth of PCs in the ’80s, the onslaught of workstations in the early ’90s as well as networking during the late ’90s, and the adoption of Internet and mobile technology over the last decade. Early markets typically have a lot of “cowboys and Indians” and we have seen similar early market behaviors in the solar sector. Solar is expected to undergo massive growth over the next 25 years and at Mercatus, we believe we will bring some of the best business processes and IT solutions to help solar achieve scale.
Today there are about 200 investors, but we remain extremely bullish that solar is the next big asset class. When it hits its stride over the next three to seven years, we are expecting it will attract over 5,000 investors and trillions of dollars in investments. This is exciting for us as we provide a solution that will reduce costs, reduce friction and get money flowing into the solar market. With Mercatus, our clients save millions in diligence and make millions in quicker profits–if investors can enjoy that growth through our platform, we benefit commensurately at Mercatus.
NREI: Could you talk a bit about your relationship with Trepp and what the firm’s investment means for Mercatus?
Haresh Patel: Mercatus recently announced that it has closed its Series-A round of financing with Trepp as an investor. The new relationship with Trepp helps bolster the Mercatus offering with additional data feeds, analytics capabilities and intelligence for optimizing revenue and profit margins in existing markets and enhancing the ability to enter new markets. The combined efforts of Trepp and Mercatus help provide the building blocks required to accelerate securitization and other low-cost capital financing vehicles to help make solar a major asset class.
One of the big reasons some investors are still on the sidelines is the lack of data in understanding their risk. Combining our credit rating and associated data with Trepp’s data and analytics will provide investors with a more complete risk/reward data set to make a more informed decision to invest in solar as an asset class. Trepp recognizes that Mercatus provides the platform and tools to streamline and standardize the solar investment process just as they do with their CMBS, banking and other commercial real estate research.
Posted on December 17th, 2013 by Mercatus
Solar Financier Leverages the Mercatus Solution to Drive Growth inCompetitive Solar Markets
San Jose, Calif., December 17, 2013 – Main Street Power Company, Inc., a Boulder, Colorado-based financier and owner of over 50MW in distributed solar assets across North America, has adopted the Mercatus project evaluation platform to drive growth in the commercial and industrial solar markets. Haresh Patel, CEO of Mercatus, and Amory Host, CEO of Main Street Power, made the joint announcement.
The Mercatus platform is used by solar project developers and financiers to evaluate and select viable commercial and industrial solar projects. Its database is currently tracking over 570 unique data points on over 750 active commercial and industrial projects, and incorporates the best practices of due diligence and underwriting practices of the top 50 global financial organizations worldwide.
According to Host, Main Street Power intends to significantly increase its project acquisition capacity in 2014. ”By utilizing the Mercatus platform we can better capitalize on the opportunities available in new project origination and acquisition,” Host said. “Mercatus offers our team a standardized and scalable process that we expect to leverage into faster review times and higher closing ratios.”
“Mercatus is the key to scaling up investment in the distributed generation market that Main Street Power and many others are building around the world,” said Patel. “Mercatus was designed to add capacity and increase the speed of deal flow and decision making to growing organizations. We are delighted to provide Main Street Power with these advantages in an increasingly competitive market.”
About Mercatus, Inc.
Mercatus is a leading solutions provider for the energy project finance industry, offering Origination and Syndication Management for investors looking to make asset-class portfolio decisions. Answering the call for deal standardization, Mercatus has introduced m-Star, the energy industry’s first FICO like score with each project’s risk and reward score. Mercatus’ new standardized approach to the appraisal, aggregation and syndication of individual projects provides the critical transaction interface the buy and sell sides have been waiting for. Mercatus is based in Silicon Valley and backed by Vision Ridge Capital, Augment Ventures, and Shah Capital. For more information visit www.gomercatus.com
About Main Street Power Company, Inc.
Main Street Power Company, Inc. delivers renewable power through distributed generation solar projects. Main Street Power owns and operates over 1,000 solar assets at schools, colleges, cities, utilities, and nonprofits through a partnership with MS Solar Solutions Corp., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley. A commitment to solving social and environmental problems through clean energy, local jobs creation, and solar science education for children has earned Main Street Power a three-star GIIRS rating by B-Lab, the global social impact rating organization. Visit the company online at www.mainstreetpower.com
Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on PVTech
Enerparc, a major European solar developer, appears poised to move into the US market after it was announced yesterday that the company has selected a San Francisco-based company to assist with due diligence and transactions.
Last year, Enerparc began working with Mercatus, a software platform that hosts data on 650 US solar projects. The company has since processed 100MW across 40-50 projects, 50MW of those are now at term sheet or in underwriting and will be announced this summer.
Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on Solar Novus Today
Last week marked the fifth Intersolar in San Francisco. And, despite the fact that I spent much of the week in meetings instead of on the show floor, the news that seemed to linger in the air everywhere I went were the epic fails of Gehrlicher and Conergy. For those of us that work closely with European developers, the news was a sharp reminder that even the most experienced players can be brought to theirs knees by a flawed entrance strategy.
So what happened?
Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on Greentechsolar
Enerparc, one of Europe’s largest solar project developers, opened its U.S. office in March 2012 and has since sorted through 40 proposed projects amounting to 100 megawatts of potential capacity, according to CEO Florent Abadie. It probably couldn’t have reviewed half that amount of proposals without the help of the Mercatus platform.
Time and money savings gained from using the Mercatus digital deal room could be the difference between European solar builder Enerparc’s budding entry into the U.S marketplace and the just-announced insolvencies of German rivals Conergy and Gehrlicher, according to Enerparc’s CEO.
Posted on July 9th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on India-West Business/Finance
Santa Clara, California based Mercatus, which provides origination and syndication management to energy investors, has raised series “A” funds of over $2 million led by Vision Ridge Partners, with participation by Augment Ventures and Shah Capital. Since 2009, Mercatus (formerly SCS Renewables) has assessed over 3.2 GW of solar projects. The company serves more than 40% of the U.S. commercial and utility solar markets. “As Wall Street begins to eye the industry as an emerging asset class, a sophisticated solution for end-to-end origination and syndication management is needed to help the industry reach its full potential, both as a mainstream source of distributed generation and a viable asset class,” said Mercatus CEO Haresh Pate. “Our comprehensive solution slashed financing costs of energy projects by up to 50%.”
Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on Greentechsolar
The shift from the centralized utility model is forcing utilities—for the first time in their existence—to figure out how to compete.
For years we’ve likened the energy sector to the computing world, holding up Moore’s law as a guiding example proving that renewables will achieve grid parity.
Today, as panel costs have dropped 90 percent and adoption is at an all-time high, the analogy between the two seems even more fitting. Just like the massive mainframe disruption spawned by personal computing, distributed generation has already begun to challenge the centralized solar model favored by utilities, with no end in sight.
At an industry level, the evidence of a new distributed era is all around us. Fuel cells like Bloom Energy’s are enabling the C&I transformation to self-made energy. Combined natural gas power plants are on the rise, and microgrids are popping up in states across the nation.
Posted on June 14th, 2013 by Mercatus
Published on Venturebeat
Mercatus announced today that it has raised more than $2 million for the introduction of a credit score for projects in the energy industry.
The company hopes to increase energy developers’ understanding of what makes a project worthy of receiving capital in the eyes of investors while also decreasing the time and difficulty of finding fundable projects for institutional investors.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company was founded in 2009 as SCS Renewables and is a software solutions provider for the energy finance industry. Since its inception it has enabled $250 million in investments and transactions. It currently serves more than 40 percent of the U.S. commercial and utility solar markets.