Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) Monday announced a new collaborative effort to fund up to $100 million in SunPower commercial-scale solar systems.
Under the financing program, SunPower will enter into power purchase agreements with qualified customers and Wells Fargo will finance the solar power systems that SunPower will design, build, operate, and maintain.
Customers hosting the systems will buy the electricity from SunPower at prices that are competitive with retail rates, providing them with a long-term hedge against rising power prices and the ability to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no initial capital investment.
"We see increasing opportunities over the next several years to support renewable energy markets," said Barry Neal, director of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Finance. "By teaming up with SunPower, we intend to support growth in the solar energy market by making it easier and more affordable for businesses and public entities to benefit from solar electricity today."
The first projects financed under the program include a 1.1-megawatt (MW) system for University of California, Merced, and a 1-MW system for the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority. Scheduled for completion by year end, both will be ground-mounted systems using the patented SunPower(R) T20 Tracker technology, which follows the sun throughout the day and delivers up to 30% more energy than fixed-tilt ground systems.
SunPower has more than 500 large public and commercial solar power systems installed or under contract, representing more than 400 MW.
Wells Fargo has provided more than $1.75 billion in financing for renewable energy projects since 2006. That includes funding for 27 wind projects, more than 150 commercial-scale solar projects and 1 utility-scale solar thermal project.