Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SolarCity Secures $21 Million

SolarCity, California’s fastest growing solar systems implementation company, today announced it has closed its largest round of fundraising to date with $21 million in new investments. Leading the financing was Draper Fisher Jurvetson, with additional contributions from JP Morgan and Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity. The funding will support the company’s growing talent base and extend expansion into new markets.

As a principal investor, Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s Managing Director, John Fisher, will also take a seat on the SolarCity’s board of directors.

“SolarCity has distinguished itself as the premier solar systems company in California through market-leading pricing and performance,” said Mr. Fisher. “Their technical understanding and experienced team make them a valuable addition to our clean energy portfolio.”

“SolarCity’s strength in building a market benefiting business and the environment makes them a worthy participant in our double bottom line investment pool,” said Nancy Pfund, managing partner of JP Morgan’s Bay Area Equity Fund.

Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and Tesla Motors, two of America’s leading clean tech companies, added that “SolarCity is well on its way to becoming the most trusted and efficient company in America for consumers and businesses that want to implement solar power. What most people don’t realize is that the solar panel itself is less than half the cost of implementing solar power. Therefore, balance-of-system companies like SolarCity are critical to making solar power cost competitive. ”

“We are proud to have the support of such experienced and well-regarded investors,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “This substantial round of financing positions us to offer our growing customer base with the highest quality systems at the best possible price. With our strong financial backing and highly skilled team, we can secure our industry leadership for years to come.”

SolarCity will provide a growing list of metropolitan markets with its unique community-based solar programs, which have proven highly effective in building a market for renewable energy and increasing citywide solar adoptions. By encouraging entire neighborhoods to convert to solar, residents receive guaranteed low price. A recently concluded solar program in Mountain View, for example, increased total solar adoption by 3.3 times the amount compared to the number of systems installed in 2006-2007. SolarCity is also donating installations of 1 kW solar demonstration systems at local schools to further build community awareness and understanding of the potential of solar energy.

A number of emerging solar services companies have raised venture capital financing earlier this year (Tiaoga Energy from DFJ, NGEN, RockPort Capital, Nth Power - just announced round extension to 14 m$ few days ago; SolarCentury from Zouk Ventures, Good Energies, Foursome Investments - in UK; SolaireDirect from Schneider Electric Ventures, Techfund, Demeter - in France).

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