Bienvenidos and Welcome to Episode 21 of SunCast, and Episode 3 in the Latam Founders Series, which is being brought to you through a special collaboration with Enphase Energy.  Today we have a slight departure from the usual format.  No, it's not in Spanish like last week's episode, but it also doesn't follow the typical question flow I've used in the first 20 episodes. In prep for the interviews in this series, I asked my friend Luis over at Enphase if there was anyone on his team who was able to articulate well the challenges they come across in the field, especially from the perspective of financing for C&I customers.  He pointed me to Jake Hoppe.  And after you hear today's conversation, you'll understand why.  I was originally going to use my call with Jake just to backfill with some soundbites on the episodes (like Episode 17 with Jose Zambrano) as a way to provide a third voice explaining some of the intricacies of financing C&I deals.  But after I heard the interview again, I knew it was plenty good enough to stand on its own merits.  

Today on SunCast, you'll meet Jake Hoppe, who is currently working in Business Development for Spruce Finance, but Jake got his start in the solar industry at Enphase.  

And from what I can tell, he was instrumental in helping get some of their pivotal early deals across the finish line in Latin America.  He's also been very hands-on with areas of the business like working with underwriters (think Moody's) on evaluating the underlying risks of assets Enphase had deployed for large IPPs looking to go public.  I've said it before, but you'll want to take notes on this one.  If you're anything like me, you'll have to go back and listen to it again as Jake dispels wisdom at almost every turn in the conversation.

Jake and I discuss:

  • Some of the difficult problems his team was able to help customers solve in the field.

  • Where you can look to better understand what he calls the Gold Standard in conservative best practices in valuing solar systems

  • The fundamental elements of project underwriting for financing C&I deals

  • The one question that could radically change a company’s ability to scale - or put a  different way, the wrong versus the right way to think about how you value the inputs to your IRR and margin calculations

I am supremely positive you’re going to get a ton of value from today’s episode.

If you like what you hear, please SHARE it!

And be sure to check out all the rest of the episodes in this Latam Founder series - stay tuned!!!

Resources in this episode:

(will upload a link to one of the presale Sheets Jake mentioned, shortly)


About SunCast Author:

Nico Johnson is the creator and host of SunCast, a regular conversation with Solar Industry professionals who are leading in emerging solar markets.  The content of the show is geared towards listeners looking for insights on where the markets are headed, how to position themselves or their companies, and what today's market leaders do to stay ahead of the pack.

Nico is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry, having led development in the US and Latin America for global companies like Trina Solar and Conergy.  He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and is considered one of the market's leading experts on solar PV expansion in the region.

Nico can be reached at