Google and privately held SolarCity have launched a $280 million fund to finance residential solar projects, the two companies announced Tuesday. The fund is Google’s largest investment to date in the clean energy sector, and will help pay for solar lease and power purchase agreement options for SolarCity customers, the company said in a written statement. Overall, Google has poured more than $680 million into clean tech investments. This fund is Google’s first investment in residential solar.
SolarCity® and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), today announced the creation of a new $280 million fund to finance residential solar projects. The Google-backed fund is the first collaboration between the Internet giant and the nation’s leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider, and represents Google’s largest investment to date in the clean energy sector. The fund is SolarCity’s largest project financing fund and the largest residential solar fund created in the U.S. SolarCity has now created 15 project funds with seven different partners to finance $1.28 billion in solar projects.
“Google is setting an example that other leading American companies can follow,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “The largest 200 corporations in the U.S. have more than $1 trillion in cash on their balance sheets. Investments in solar energy generate returns for corporate investors, offer cost savings for homeowners, create new, local jobs for jobseekers, and protect the environment from polluting power sources. If more companies follow Google’s lead, we can dramatically reduce our nation’s dependence on polluting power.”
The SolarCity/Google fund will extend solar lease (SolarLease®) and power purchase agreement (SolarPPA™) options to customers who desire to have solar panels installed on their homes, but do not wish to make the larger upfront investment to purchase the systems. SolarCity serves Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, and has more than 15,000 solar projects completed or underway. More than 12,000 of those customers have chosen SolarCity’s financing options, while 3,000 have purchased their systems.
“Google has made a series of investments in renewable energy because they make business sense and help deploy a range of solutions that can help move us toward a clean energy future,” said Rick Needham, Director of Green Business Operations at Google. “Now, through this partnership with SolarCity, we’re excited to be making our first investment in distributed residential solar, making it easier and more affordable for consumers across the country, including our own employees, to use renewable energy at their own homes.”
Google has now invested more than $680 million in a wide range of clean energy technologies. This marks Google’s first investment in residential solar.
“As American consumers better understand the consequences of their energy choices, demand for affordable clean power is increasing,” said Benjamin Cook, vice president of project finance at SolarCity. “This collaboration with Google will enable us to provide solar power to thousands of homeowners at or below the cost they currently pay for electricity.”
Additional perspective on the SolarCity partnership is available on the Google Blog, at http://googlegreenblog.blogspot.com/. More information about the residential financing options enabled by the partnership is available at www.solarcity.com/google-fund.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
SolarCity®—a national leader in solar power design, financing, installation, monitoring and energy efficiency services—was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt clean power, protect themselves from rising gas and electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s SolarLease® and Power Purchase Agreement (SolarPPA™) options can make it possible for homeowners and businesses to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity’s 24 operations centers serve Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C.