Capital One has gone in on solar with SolarCity recently, helping to boost third-party financing. One of the largest US banks has put down $100 million in an investment fund with SolarCity to finance thousands of home solar systems.
This will allow thousands of residential users the opportunity to have free solar panels installed, and pay less for electricity, compared to electricity from utilities.
It’s a win-win situation for both companies. Capital One’s investment in SolarCity is its first venture into renewable energy. However, it says that it sees renewables as part of its expanding $3.5 billion energy loan portfolio.
SolarCity provides 25% of new home solar installations and serves 15 states, making it the largest US residential solar provider, so it was a natural partner for Capital One.
“We’re very excited to be working with SolarCity, which has a very strong position in the residential solar energy market,” said Managing Director and head of alternative energy and project finance at Capital One Bank George Revock.
“This investment will help SolarCity pursue their goals and provide affordable sustainable energy to thousands of homeowners as well as advance Capital One’s sustainable energy initiative,” he said.
“Thanks to Capital One, when we ask our customers “what’s in your wallet?,’ thousands more can say ‘all the money I saved on electricity bills by going solar,’’ said SolarCity founder and CEO Lyndn Rive.
The new deal reached by Capital One and SolarCity comes when increasing third-party solar financing is a hot topic. Recently, representatives from industry, banking, and non-governmental organizations discussed how solar lending could improve at the Banking On Solar conference. Topics discussed included: streamlining loan, regulatory processes, and increasing products.
As solar prices continue to fall, banks see very good lending potential with future solar residential projects. SolarCity has been a clear leader, creating funds to finance $4 billion in solar power systems. It might be in Capital One’s interest to expand its lending scope in the future and become a bigger player in this sector.
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