Financial services giant Citi is teaming up with nation-wide solar installer SolarCity to create a fund they hope will finance up to $40 million in residential solar projects during 2011. The fund will back the installer's SolarLease financing options, which let homeowners get into solar technology without necessarily having to put in the money up front.
Right now, SolarCity has something like 10,000 projects completed or under way in the United States. It has roughly 7,000 SolarLease customers, and it serves 1,500 communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Texas and the District of Columbia.
The collaboration marks Citi's first move into residential solar funding, but the company has quite a stake in renewable energy. It has committed $50 billion over 10 years to the support of alternative power and clean technology options. So far, about half that money has been committed. And it looks like this might be just the start of the SolarCity relationship. Says SolarCity vice president of project finance, Benjamin Cook" "We expect the partnership with Citi to the be the first phase of a relationship that will significantly increase residential solar adoption in the U.S."