U.S. Midwest utility Integrys creating residential solar fund

Reuters

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Midwest utility company Integrys Energy Group Inc said on Wednesday it was partnering with startup Clean Power Finance Inc to create a fund for residential solar projects.

The Chicago company did not disclose the value of its fund, which gives it a foothold in the fast-growing residential solar market. Integrys' nonregulated division, Integrys Energy Services, has invested between $40 million and $50 million a year in solar projects for businesses since 2008.

Clean Power Finance, which is based in San Francisco, provides software that links solar panel installers to project financiers like Integrys. According to Integrys Energy Services President Dan Verbanac, CPF's platform "provided us an efficient way to enter this market."

The fund will be available to CPF partners in key solar states including California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts.

This is the second time a utility company has created a project finance fund with CPF, according to the company. The first has preferred to remain anonymous, however.

CPF's investors include venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Inc's venture capital arm, Google Ventures, and power companies Duke Energy Corp and Edison International, among others.

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