Today brought huge (and hugely encouraging) news to further boost what’s already been a banner year for residential solar:
Google has invested a whopping $280 million in San Mateo-based SolarCity, a company that may sound like a strip mall tanning salon but in reality is “the nation’s leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider." The investment, the largest residential solar fund created in the U.S., will enable SolarCity to continue to offer attractive, innovative financing alternatives to homeowners who are interested in solar but are put off by the daunting up-front installation costs.
The Google-backed fund will extend SolarCity’s solar lease (SolarLease) and power purchase agreement (SolarPPA) options to SolarCity customers (the company operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, D.C. and, most recently, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) “who desire to have solar panels installed on their homes, but do not wish to make the larger upfront investment to purchase the systems.”
Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Green Business Operations elaborates that with “SolarCity's innovative financing model, the company covers installation and maintenance of the system over the life of the lease. You can prepay, or pay nothing upfront after which you make monthly solar lease payments."
As American consumers better understand the consequences of their energy choices, demand for affordable clean power is increasing. 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.