Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

Summary: For Google, the $280 million fund is its largest clean energy investment yet. SolarCity leases residential solar power systems to homeowners.

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TOPICS: Google, Banking
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Crossposted on Smart Planet.

Google on Tuesday said that it will create a $280 million fund to help SolarCity, a residential solar project financing company, to ramp up deployments.

SolarCity is a company that has been gaining traction because it  provides money and financing upfront for residential solar installations. Costs are the biggest hurdle to residential solar installations. Technically, homeowners don't own the solar installation, but buy power from SolarCity at a discount.

For Google, the $280 million fund is its largest clean energy investment yet. Google has invested $680 million in clean tech. Google employees will also get SolarCity discounts.

SolarCity's business model could get traction because of the following features:

  • Residents pay nothing or little upfront for the solar installation;
  • Lease payments are made over a term, say 15 years;
  • Lower utility bills are the big draw;
  • SolarCity can sell any excess power to the grid.

In another sign of the maturity of these solar leasing models, these financing deals are being securitized and packaged for investors.

Topics: Google, Banking

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6 comments
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  • RE: Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

    Like the new Google venture. Is there any location in the U.S. with insufficient annual sunlight to make this economically feasible? Where does the line form for installation?
    jgrozik@...
  • RE: Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

    What if it rains for like 2 weeks straight, with little or no sunlight?
    Allan_Persad
  • Solar is too expensive as a source of energy

    Nuclear is still the way to go.
    LBiege
  • RE: Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

    Solar is great if you are in the southeast US or southwest. Anywhere else and you will be making serious cuts in usage or you will be without power. I would imagine you would have a nuclear failover unless you were really trying to disconnect from the grid. You use Solar as long as its there, when it isn't, a switch is triggered and your junk in the freezer will remain frozen thanks to good old nuclear juice.
    moses007
  • RE: Google launches $280 million residential solar fund with SolarCity

    Great!!! thanks for sharing this information to us!
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    JHelzer