SolarCity & US Bancorp Form Funding Partnership

A glimmer of hope this week that solar energy project financing may be freeing up, as SolarCity and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) announced a new partnership to finance solar projects for U.S. homeowners and businesses. The two companies have created a new tax equity fund to finance SolarCity’s SolarLease program 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. 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.  

“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.”

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