Solar leasing widens the appeal of sun power _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Juan Lopez hauls a solar panel to the roof of a house at the New Orleans lakefront Wednesday for an installation by solar system leasing company PosiGen LLC..

Baton Rouge-based Stonehenge Growth Capital has invested $5 million in PosiGen, a Jefferson-based company that leases solar power systems to residential customers.

The investment will allow PosiGen to expand its operations in Connecticut and provide clean energy technology to 750 low- to moderate-income residents. PosiGen has more than 10,000 residential customers in Louisiana, Connecticut, New York and Florida.

Stonehenge Growth Capital, a subsidiary of Stonehenge Capital Co., made the $5 million investment through the Invest CT program, a program that requires 25 percent of all capital goes into green technology.

Stonehenge's investment will allow PosiGen to provide an additional 750 rooftop solar panel systems to further reduce Connecticut households’ energy costs. The electricity generated from these panels is used to heat, cool and illuminate homes in an eco-friendly and affordable way.

"We are thrilled to partner with Stonehenge Growth Capital to further expand our footprint across the state of Connecticut while sustainably lowering utility costs for a large and underserved community," PosiGen Chief Executive Officer Thomas Neyhart said.

Connecticut has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050, and the addition of 750 solar panel systems will help the state to continue to meet its goals. Construction of the new solar systems is now under way.

PosiGen's business model allows it to reach low-income households, which traditionally haven't been able to afford solar panels, said Stonehenge Growth Capital Managing Director Charles Haberkorn. This ability makes PosiGen a leader in the clean energy space.

Stonehenge Growth, a subsidiary of Stonehenge Capital Company LLC, has invested more than $1 billion in small businesses since 1993. Stonehenge Capital is one of the largest financiers of state tax credits in the United States. The company has invested in projects generating more than $2.5 billion in various state tax credit incentives. Stonehenge also invests in projects that generate federal historic and renewable energy tax credits.

Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.