SolarCity & USBCDC Create New US $90M Fund

SolarCity announced a new fund to finance an additional US $90 million in commercial and residential solar projects in 2010 with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a division of U.S. Bancorp. SolarCity and USBCDC have now collaborated on three separate funds to finance a total of $190 million in solar projects in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010.

SolarCity will use the new fund to finance its solar lease (SolarLease) and power purchase agreement (PPA) offerings as it continues to expand to new states. The new USBCDC fund will allow SolarCity to continue extending its offering to new parts of the U.S. The company expanded to Colorado in December and Texas last week and now serves five states including Arizona, California and Oregon.

“We started this company with the simple belief that if we made solar power as affordable and accessible as other energy sources, we could make it a mainstream source of electricity,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “Partners like U.S. Bank are making it possible for SolarCity to keep pace with demand, and helping us toward our ultimate goal of making an affordable clean power option available nationwide.”

Last June, SolarCity and USBCDC formed a partnership to finance small- and medium-scale solar projects for homeowners and businesses across the U.S. The two companies created a new US $50 million tax-equity based fund to finance projects under SolarCity’s SolarLease program.

The program, which was originally backed by Morgan Stanley, allows homeowners and businesses to purchase power from systems owned and installed by SolarCity through a power purchase agreement (PPA). SolarCity, the system owner, takes advantage of commercial tax credits that it then applies to customer financing.

The USBCDC fund was one of only two tax-equity funds closed in the U.S. during the first half of 2009 that applied to residential solar projects — and both of the funds were created with SolarCity to finance solar installations.

Last fall, SolarCity and USBCDC doubled the size of the fund to $100 million. Since the expansion, SolarCity has announced the availability of its SolarLease program to customers of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the nation’s largest municipal utility.

To hear more about SolarCity’s plans for 2010 and beyond, watch our video interview with Lyndon Rive below.


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