Google Finances Residential Solar
Clean Power Finance and Google are creating a $75 million fund that will finance about 3000 homeowners to put solar on their roofs.
The funds will be made available to Clean Power’s network of qualified installers who brand and market it to homeowners.
"Clean Power Finance has built an innovative platform that connects solar manufacturers, investors like us, and solar installers who offer our financing directly to homeowners. It’s a powerful combination that will reduce costs and facilitate the expansion of distributed solar in the U.S.," says Rick Needham, Director of Google’s Green Business Operations. "We’re proud to be among the first investors to partner with Clean Power Finance, and enable the company to continue forging strong relationships with the best brands in solar."
Google has now invested over $850 million in renewable energy.
SunLogic, California Solar Systems and American Vision Solar are among the many solar installers currently branding and offering homeowners Clean Power Finance’s financing solution.
Residential solar financing is among the fastest growing categories in the solar industry. It allows homeowners to get solar systems without paying the upfront costs. Instead, they pay monthly payments to lease solar systems, which cost the same or less than their electric utility bills. In the first quarter of 2011, PPAs/leases accounted for more than a third of all residential solar sales in California and Colorado, according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Florida Gets $1.5B Solar Farm
Florida-based utility-scale solar developer National Solar Power announced plans to build the largest solar plant in the Southeast, a 400 megawatt (MW), $1.5 billion solar farm on 4,000 acres across Gadsden County in Northern Florida.
Rather than building one large farm, about 20 solar farms will stretch across rural Florida on about 200 acres each. Each farm will produce about 20 MW at a cost of $70 million.
The company says it will break ground on the first site in early 2012. It is negotiating to buy and lease land, applying for environmental permits and securing financing.
When the full project is complete in about 5 years, it will provide electricity for 32,000 homes, while creating 400 construction jobs and 120 permament solar jobs with an average salary of $40,000. The project will generate $1.5 billion in economic investment in the region, the company says.
The electricity will be sold to utility Progress Energy Florida under a long term agreement. National Solar also has power purchase agreements for an additional 3,000 MW of energy from additional solar farms across Florida that are in early planning stages. The company plans to announce another solar project for Hardee County, Florida, in the near future.
As part of the Gadsden County project, National Solar Power and Tallahassee Community College will build a solar education and training center at the college campus featuring its own 2 MW utility-scale solar farm.