S.U.N. Securities Exemption promotes renewable energy business
MONTPELIER – Raising capital in Vermont continues to get easier. Susan L. Donegan, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), announced Wednesday, July 23, 2014, that Vermont solar businesses will be able to expedite the process of project development by taking advantage of the Solar/Utility No-Action Exemption (S.U.N. Exemption).
The Commissioner’s order will allow solar developers to benefit from a simplified process that will reduce the regulatory burdens and costs usually associated with securities registration. Businesses will still need to obtain a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Service Board and the Department will retain fraud authority over contracts and disclosure materials issued by the developers.
The S.U.N. Exemption categorically exempts transactions with businesses, schools and state or local governmental entities from Vermont’s securities registration.
The following project types are also exempt with certain conditions:
• If no upfront payments are required, the payments are evenly spread out over the life of the solar contract and the contract may be terminated with minimal expense or notice;
• If an upfront fee is required, then the Vermonter must receive the required disclosures before entering into the solar contract and the person is able to assign their interest or sell it back to the solar developer;
• If it involves 10 or fewer Vermonters who have a pre-existing relationship, such as neighbors, friends or relatives who decide to develop a solar project for their own use.
Donegan said she believes the self-executing exemption is the first of its kind in the nation.
“No other state provides a registration exemption specifically tailored to solar development,” she said, “which further demonstrates Vermont’s deep commitment to renewable energy. The S.U.N. Exemption will serve as a model for other states.”
The full details of S.U.N. Exemption and its guidelines can be found on the Department’s website at www.dfr.vermont.gov.