SolarCity and Goldman Sachs create $500 million solar fund 

click to enlarge Goldman Sachs pledged $500 million to SolarCity's projects.
  • Goldman Sachs pledged $500 million to SolarCity's projects.

San Mateo-based SolarCity Corp. announced Thursday that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. would finance more than $500 million of its solar power projects.

The funding for U.S. residential solar leases is the largest such deal ever announced, SolarCity said in a statement. The agreement was initiated last year and the funding expanded in April.

SolarCity has raised similar funds from banks such as U.S. Bancorp and from corporations including Google Inc. and Honda Motor Co Ltd.

As owners of the panel systems, the banks and companies are able to claim a federal tax credit worth 30 percent of the value of the system.

The financing system allows for homeowners, businesses and nonprofits to have solar systems installed on their buildings and then to pay a monthly fee for their panels rather than pay for them all at once. The growth of such financing in the solar industry has made generating electric power from the sun an option for households that otherwise could not afford it.

In a statement, Stuart Bernstein of Goldman Sachs said the firm had set a target of $40 billion in financing and investments in renewable energy over the next decade.

SolarCity said the funding will allow for more people to install panels on their buildings.

“The Goldman lease financing will make affordable solar electricity available to more types of homeowners and organizations,” said Jimmy Chuang, SolarCity’s vice president of structured finance. “We expect to be able to expand our offering to a broader customer base by lowering the credit requirements even further in future financings.”

— Staff, wire report

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