Earlier this year Boston-based Admirals Bank created a new arm aimed specifically at financing renewable energy, Admirals Alternatives, and now it’s opened a new office—in California aimed specifically at financing renewable energy. The new arm, the Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center is in San Francisco and will help the bank better serve the Western U.S.’s needs for solar and clean energy.
The bank has been increasing its efforts to offer products specifically designed for renewable energy like solar, which benefits more with a long repayment period with a low interest rate. “Over the past five months Admirals Bank has been heavily focused on financing residential solar and renewable energy systems across the United States,” Admirals said. “Admirals Bank has financed over $10 million for residential solar and renewable energy systems over the past seven months.”
Through the Admirals Alternatives program homeowners can get a loan of up to $40,000 to pay for renewable energy improvements to a home. It also allows the homeowner direct access to government, local and states incentives, which most third-party ownership companies monetize as part of the agreement.
“San Francisco is the heart of the renewable energy industry on the West Coast. It wasn’t difficult to decide where we wanted to build our new location,” said Admirals CEO Nicholas Lazares. The bank said the new location shows the company’s commitment to serving the Western U.S. From there it will serve markets including Arizona, California and New Mexico.
While Admirals is a Boston bank it’s been offering home improvement loans across the country for more than 30 years. Now it’s taking that acumen to residential clean energy. “Our bank has several national business lines, including home improvement and renewable energy lending,” said Lazares. “The West Coast, and California in particular, is a key region for Admirals Alternatives and shows tremendous growth potential. So for some time we have seen the need to establish a presence on the West Coast. It further confirms the bank’s significant investment and commitment to its renewable energy lending business and customers in that region of our country,” he said.
Admirals is offering its services as an alternative the popular third-party ownership options that companies like SolarCity and Sungevity offer. As such it allows the homeowners to more directly own their array.
The bank is at the forefront of independent banks developing specialty products for solar. It’s also among a growing handful of independent banks, like Eastern Bank, that are recognizing the value that solar loans can bring to the banks through long-term repayments.