Live Oak Bancshares in Wilmington, N.C., has formed a renewable energy lending division.

The $1.2 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that the unit will finance utility-scale solar energy projects across the nation.

Jordan Blanchard, who became the company's general manager of renewable energy lending in January, will lead a team of lenders and renewable energy experts that will finance developers and their tax credit investors within various deal structures.

The team includes Rebecca Rogers, who joined Live Oak as domain expert of renewable energy in April, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously was an assistant general counsel and a commercial loan officer at Self-Help Credit Union in Durham, N.C., where she developed renewable energy lending practices.

Live Oak in 2015 was the nation's second-largest Small Business Administration 7(a) lender in dollar volume, with $1.1 billion in loans. The bank specializes in lending to niche industries such as veterinarians, funeral homes and small-town pharmacies.

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