SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) and Citi (NYSE: C) announced a new $105 million fund for residential solar leasing projects.
Citi is contributing $80 million to the fund.
SunPower, which makes solar panels and builds systems, will use the fund to extend its 20-year SunPower Lease program to customers in eight states, expanding the financing options available to homeowners interested in solar power systems.
The SunPower Lease is now available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Leasing programs for residential solar systems are growing in popularity, as they avoid high up-front costs for homeowners while locking in electricity prices that are generally less expensive than grid-supplied power.
In June, Internet giant Google invested $280 million to fund solar lease programs with SolarCity.
SunPower’s program offers an early buy-out option that allows homeowners to capitalize on solar home resale values.
Homeowners can also obtain SunPower systems through cash purchase or SunPower’s loan program.
Citi was named "America’s Greenest Bank" in 2010 by Bank Technology News and "Most Innovative Investment Bank in Climate Change and Sustainability" by the Financial Times’ Banker Magazine in 2009 and 2010 for its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability.
The bank is in the midst of a 10-year, $50 billion initiative to support the commercialization and growth of alternative energy and clean technology in markets around the world. To date, Citi says it has directed over $30 billion as part of this initiative.
Yet another bank has realized the benefits associated with Solar Renewable Energy Certificates… Hopefully homeowners will continue to purchase systems on their own so that they can keep the profits that these banks are taking from them.