Cornell University’s Solar Farm Gets Financing from Sol Systems


New York has strong incentives in place to support solar, and that’s starting to show. While the state does not get the most sun, it has been ranked as one of the top 10 states for solar. Cornell is taking advantage of these incentives and is adding a 2 MW solar array to its Ithaca campus.

Proper financing was key to making this large installation actually happen, and to see it through, Sol Systems was chosen. The Snyder Road Solar Farm consists of a 2 MW system on 11 acres of Cornell property in the Town of Lansing. The capital sources for the transaction included sponsor equity from Building Energy Holding USA and a tax equity investment managed by Sol Systems.

High transaction costs associated with relatively smaller project opportunities can pose a significant hurdle for middle-market solar projects. This transaction marks Sol Systems’ ongoing initiative to bring new sources of tax equity to the solar asset class, and streamline financing to grow this sector.

“If not done right, placing tax equity into one-off sub-5 MW deals can be challenging given transaction costs for these smaller deals,” said Yuri Horwitz, CEO of Sol Systems. “This is the second transaction we have financed with Building Energy, and the history of our partnership allowed for efficiency and a streamlined financing process,” he added.

Building Energy was the developer and sponsor of the 6778-panel installation, which totals 2.067 MW. When complete, the array is expected to produce 2388 MWh annually.

“We are proud to work in partnership with Sol Systems to secure the tax equity investment for the Cornell University’s Snyder Road Solar Farm” said Building Energy Managing Director Andrea Braccialarghe. “This project is the second investment into the mid-sized commercial solar market we have managed together in this country in order to help customers, like Cornell, to find environmentally attractive solutions and align with their carbon reduction goals.”

In order to place the New York solar farm in service under a tight deadline, Sol Systems worked to rapidly close the transaction in just over one month from executing the term sheet.

Sol Systems has been active in teaming with developers to finance solar projects around the country, including for small businesses and also nonprofits. The company recently helped finance solar for a church in California.