Wednesday, June 03, 2009

SolarCity and U.S. Bank Forge New Partnership to Fund Solar Projects

Nation’s 6th-largest commercial bank and nation’s leading residential solar installer create new tax equity fund to enable more American homeowners and businesses to adopt clean power

SolarCity®, a national leader in solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services, and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) today announced a new partnership to finance solar projects for U.S. homeowners and businesses. USBCDC is a division of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), which is also the parent of U.S. Bank, the sixth largest commercial bank in America. The two companies have created a new tax equity fund to finance SolarCity’s groundbreaking solar lease option (SolarLease™) for homeowners and power purchase agreements (PPA) for businesses. The two companies are not disclosing financial terms of the fund, but do expect it to finance more solar projects in 2009 than any other tax equity fund in the U.S.

“SolarCity’s leasing option is one of the most affordable ways to go solar that we’ve seen, and we’re thrilled to partner with them. This partnership will grow the adoption of solar energy in the U.S., and create more green jobs,” said Darren Van't Hof, vice president of solar, new markets and historic investments for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. “Today’s announcement is only the beginning—we look forward to making additional investments with SolarCity, and believe this partnership will ultimately enable thousands of American homeowners and businesses to adopt cleaner power and save money on energy costs in the process.”

USBCDC’s new fund is one of only two tax equity funds closed in 2009 in the U.S. with the ability to finance residential solar projects—both funds were created with SolarCity to finance solar installations. SolarCity plans to hire 100 new employees in the next six months to increase installation capacity as a result of the new financing. SolarCity’s SolarLease option allows U.S. homeowners to put no money down on a new solar system and save money from day one on energy costs. The company’s unique combination of integrated financing, design, installation, monitoring and guaranteed performance has made it the most popular residential solar provider in the U.S.

“Tax equity financing has been the primary constraint on the growth of the solar industry, so we’re obviously thrilled and very grateful to U.S. Bank,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “This fund will allow us to increase our installation throughput and hire more installers to keep pace with strong demand from American businesses and homeowners for affordable, clean solar power.”

SolarCity operates in California, Arizona and Oregon. Businesses and homeowners interested in SolarCity’s zero-down financing options can contact the company directly at 1-888-SOL-CITY (1-888-765-2489). Homeowners interested in SolarLease can estimate their solar lease payment and potential electricity savings by using SolarCity’s solar calculator, available online at

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