Protection 1, a closely held security company backed by private equity firm GTCR LLC, raised more than $250 million to fund its residential solar operations.
Protection 1’s Brite Energy unit began offering rooftop power systems in San Diego in September, and now has six offices in “multiple U.S. states,” according to a statement today. It’s working with MySolar IX LLC, a joint venture of Morgan Stanley (MS) and Main Street Power Co.
Protection 1 has almost 2 million residential and commercial customers in the U.S., and is seeking to leverage these relationships to expand into solar power. Brite Energy typically leases systems using a model similar to those of SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) and Vivint Solar Inc. The financing will cover development costs. About $200 million came from Morgan Stanley and $50 million from GTCR.
“We love the idea of being able to make a national footprint and meet that solar demand over the next five or 10 years,” Chief Executive Officer Timothy Whall said today.
Less than 1 percent of U.S. homes have solar power.
“There’s such a low penetration rate,” Whall said in a telephone interview. “We found a good time to get in.”