SolarCity Corp., a Foster City, Calif.-based provider of solar energy system installation and design, has raised $30 million in new VC funding. First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) led the round with a $25 million investment, as part of a larger strategic arrangement. Return backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) and SolarCity Corporation today announced a module supply agreement and investment that will make solar power an affordable option for more U.S. homeowners and businesses. The two companies have entered into a five-year agreement that calls for First Solar to supply 100 megawatts of its advanced thin film solar modules to SolarCity, marking First Solar’s entrance into the U.S. residential segment. Pursuant to the agreement, First Solar will begin delivering modules to SolarCity in the first quarter of 2009. First Solar will also make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity; part of a $30 million round of financing that will fund SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.
SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading residential solar installers, currently serves California, Arizona, and Oregon with plans to expand into additional states. SolarCity’s innovative SolarLease(TM) financing option allows homeowners to switch to solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity from their power company, without the need for a large upfront investment.
With years of high volume production and system performance monitoring, First Solar has demonstrated proven efficiencies leading to high energy yields, low production costs and predictable energy performance. First Solar’s industry-leading modules make it possible for SolarCity to serve residential and small commercial markets where solar was not previously an affordable option.
“The combination of First Solar’s modules with SolarCity’s innovative approach to designing, financing and maintaining complete solar solutions enables homeowners and small business owners to lower their electricity costs while reducing air pollution and the effects of global warming,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s chief executive officer.
“Our relationship with First Solar will enable us to deliver affordable solar power to a wider market of residential and small commercial customers,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer of SolarCity. “We believe that together, SolarCity and First Solar are uniquely capable of making solar power competitive with the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels across the U.S.,–making solar a mainstream source of electricity in the next several years.”
About First Solar
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) manufactures solar modules with an advanced thin film semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive PV solutions that significantly reduce solar electricity costs. By enabling clean, renewable electricity at competitive prices, First Solar provides an economic and environmentally responsible alternative to existing peaking fossil-fuel electric generation. First Solar PV power plants operate with no water, air emissions or waste stream. First Solar set the benchmark for environmentally responsible product life cycle management by introducing the industry’s first comprehensive collection and recycling program for solar modules. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
SolarCity(R)–a national leader in residential and small commercial solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services–was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt solar power, protect themselves from rising electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s first-of-its-kind SolarLease offering makes it possible for homeowners to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity currently serves more than 300 communities in California, Arizona and Oregon. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at www.solarcity.com.