Catalyze Acquires Solar Energy Developer PermaCity

By James White Sunday, April 18, 2021

The renewable energy business continues to experience growth as governments look to slow environmental degradation and promote green energy. Fossil fuel alternatives continue to drive change in the energy industry, especially alongside advancements in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Renewable energy development company Catalyze announced the acquisition of solar energy company PermaCity in an effort to consolidate the market.

“By acquiring PermaCity, not only are we adding an experienced professional team from the most successful C&I [commercial and industrial] solar developer and installer in Southern California, we also gain the ability to implement the SolarStrap rooftop installation strategy which enables us to rapidly and efficiently deploy hundreds of rooftop projects for our customers,” said Steve Luker, CEO of Catalyze. “The highly-fragmented C&I solar industry is ripe for consolidation and efficiency gains.”

Under the terms of the acquisition, PermaCity will operate as a business unit under Catalyze. Jonathan Port, founder of the solar company, will continue to lead the PermaCity division and join the Catalyze executive team.

Catalyze will offer access to its proprietary software, expertise, supply chain, and project capital to the new business unit. In 2019, investors in Catalyze backed the renewable energy company with a $4.6 million seed round. The funding for the business was supported by lead investors Innosphere and Prisma Energy International.

A large solar panel on a roof.

Bringing Clean Solar Energy to the Roof

Founded in 2003 by Port, PermaCity designs and installs rooftop solar solutions for both commercial and industrial customers. The name for the solar energy company comes from Port’s 1993 graduate thesis. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the renewable energy business has since developed a number of patents to protect its proprietary solar panel mounting technology, the SolarStrap.

Mounting solutions from the renewable energy company require minimal tools to attach solar panels to flat roofs. Without ballasts or the need to penetrate the roof, the framework is fixed to the building using heat sealing technology. Energy captured by solar panels from the energy business can be used for electricity and water heating while cutting back on emissions.

Now that PermaCity has joined with Catalyze, the renewable energy company can use proprietary software from the energy developer to identify high-potential properties for solar panel installation, in addition to Catalyze’s battery storage solutions.

“We looked at several options for financing projects, but the magnitude of the opportunity created by integrating PermaCity and Catalyze went far beyond that of any other mere capital provider and we can now offer more complete solutions to customers plus pursue previously unavailable opportunities,” said Port. “...the combination of their integrated battery storage solutions and PermaCity’s demonstrated experience with SolarStrap technology creates the ability to dominate the C&I market.”

Charging Into the Solar Industry

The solar energy business is hot right now, as is most of the renewable energy sector. Government initiatives and the electrification of transportation continue to drive demand for renewable energy generation. Market research projects the solar energy market to reach over $223 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 20.5%.

About the Author


Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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