JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Soltage LLC (Soltage) and Basalt Infrastructure Partners LP (Basalt) today announced the first close of $70 million on a $140 million equity capital partnership to fund over 100 megawatts (MW) of commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility pipeline solar projects across the United States. The partnership expects to close the additional $70 million of equity in the first half of 2017, and the partnership will deploy this capital alongside existing tax equity and debt resources. Marathon Capital served as Soltage's financial advisor on the Basalt capital commitment. The partners also concurrently announced construction has commenced on the first generation assets for this vehicle, three landfill-sited projects totaling 15 MW installed capacity, which the partnership will own and Soltage will operate, selling power to municipal off-takers in Massachusetts under virtual net metering agreements. The assets are expected to begin commercial operation in early 2017. "Corporate and state-level renewable energy targets, falling solar project costs, and stable federal support make distributed solar America's fastest-growing generation source and an increasingly intelligent area for utilities, consumers, and investors to participate," said Jesse Grossman, Soltage co-founder and CEO. "As Soltage celebrates ten years in business, this investment is a significant step into a second decade of success." Soltage is a full-service renewable energy company developing, financing, installing, owning and operating solar power generation assets providing electricity to C&I, educational, utility, and municipal customers. The company owns and operates more than 85 MW of generation capacity across eight states, and has now deployed over $250 million since 2006, with notable investors including corporate and project investments from leading independent power producer Tenaska. "Basalt's investment strategy includes accessing attractive infrastructure markets by partnering with best in class developers," said Rob Gregor, Managing Partner of Basalt Infrastructure Partners LLP. "We were attracted by Soltage's experience in the C&I sector, including its history of developing projects on time and on budget together with outstanding ongoing asset management capabilities. We are particularly excited as the U.S. C&I, educational, utility, and municipal solar markets are growing rapidly and our partnership with Soltage expands upon Basalt's existing involvement with solar energy through McEwan Power in the United Kingdom." Roughly 21 gigawatts (GW) of non-residential solar photovoltaic capacity is currently in development across the U.S. with 22 states individually having 200 MW or more in development, according to GTM Research.