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Commercial and residential solar installer Standard Solar has raised $8.5 million in second-round funding, the company said yesterday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based startup currently operates in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., but plans to use this funding to expand throughout the mid-Atlantic region over the next two years.
With the recent extension of the investment tax credit, smaller players in the commercial and residential solar market are reacting quickly. Standard Solar tells us that even on the day that the ITC was passed, they noticed an uptick in calls about solar installations. The “land grab” for residential and commercial customers is back in effect.
This sort of geographic expansion is capital-intensive. Mill Valley, Calif-based commercial solar installer Solar Power Partners recently piled on $160 million in funding to fuel national expansion, especially in the Northeast.
Standard Solar uses a power-purchase agreement model for its commercial customers, just like Solar Power Partners, MMA Renewables, Tioga Energy and Recurrent Energy. Standard, however, says it isn’t yet thinking of trying that model on its residential customers and will stick to a straight-up transaction model for home solar systems. Startups like Solar City, Sun Run and Akeena have been trying to innovate on the business side of residential solar to get rid of the high up-front cost.
This round of funding was led by Truecast Capital. Standard Solar, founded in 2006, had previously raised $3 million and has 42 employees.