Sunnova Energy International Inc. closed an aggregate $150 million in financing through an approximately $95 million revolving asset-based loan facility and a private placement of $55 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes. Sunnova will be using this capital to grow its customer count and battery storage sales, as well as fund the purchase of inventory that Sunnova intends to use to allow related solar energy systems to qualify for a 30 percent Federal investment tax credit (ITC) by satisfying the 5 percent safe harbor method outlined in IRS notice 2018-59.
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“Given strong operational momentum in the business, we now expect our 2020 customer growth to exceed expectations from even our third quarter call in October,” said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova. “These new debt facilities will enable us to finance the purchase of equipment, which will allow us to safe harbor the 30 percent ITC and give us access to additional working capital and asset level capital to fund our continuing growth.”
The Equipment Facility will provide just over $95 million of debt availability, all of which will be drawn by year end 2019 to fund equipment purchases, with a maximum facility size of approximately $138 million, subject to lender consent. The Convertible Notes Private Placement provides for the issuance of $55 million in corporate level debt, with an option to increase to $75 million if all parties consent, with a high degree of repayment flexibility for the company.
“We see battery sales and attachment rates increasing faster than previously expected as an ever-growing number of large manufacturers ramp up new energy storage product launches,” Berger says. “We also continue to see dealer and sub-dealer growth as more qualified dealers are drawn to our comprehensive and attractive product suite and our superior customer service. We are proud of the progress we made in 2019, which has created strong momentum for us as we move into 2020.”
Sunnova intends to update guidance for 2020 customer growth no later than in connection with its fourth quarter 2019 earnings call.