A new collaboration between an investment firm and a solar energy company has culminated in a lease financing agreement that will lead to an estimated $500 million (USD) in solar power projects, and about 110 MW in new clean energy generation capacity for both homeowners and businesses.
The new fund, from SolarCity and Goldman Sachs, will enable homeowners with credit ratings of 680 or higher to lease solar power systems for free, providing them with clean energy at a lower price than current utility rates.
Getting into solar energy with no upfront costs could be a huge boon for businesses and homeowners alike, considering that the purchase costs of residential-sized solar installations can be quite high, as compared to continuing to just paying current utility rates every month.
“The Goldman lease financing will make affordable solar electricity available to more types of homeowners and organizations. We expect to be able to expand our offering to a broader customer base by lowering the credit requirements even further in future financings.” – Jimmy Chuang, SolarCity’s vice president of structured finance
In addition to generating more clean energy, the fund may also help local economies by providing jobs and lowering operating costs for both homes and commercial buildings. According to SolarCity, the lease financing agreement is the largest of its kind in the US, and has already been responsible for 26 MW of new solar capacity. Financing for an additional 158 MW of solar generation is available through the program, and could make it easier to fund solar projects for schools and municipalities, which are not publicly rated.