GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (3800.HK) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced tax equity financing is complete for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a capacity of 6 MW at the University of San Diego and five high schools in the Antelope Valley Joint Union High School District. The six GCL-Poly sponsored projects were funded by Wells Fargo through a joint program announced in November that will provide over $100 million in funding to solar PV projects by the end of 2011.
The program allows GCL-Poly subsidiary GCL Solar Energy, Inc. to cost-effectively provide a clean and reliable source of electricity to its customers, including schools, municipalities, corporations, and utilities across the U.S. The projects at the University of San Diego and Antelope Valley Joint Union High School District are the first to be completed under the agreement. Both schools will purchase the electricity produced by the systems under long term power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The 1.2 megawatt (MW) system at the University of San Diego will provide approximately 15 percent of the institution’s energy needs. Nearly 5,000 solar panels top the roofs of the university’s academic buildings, residence halls, parking structure and a pavilion. The system, which is the tenth-largest solar facility on a college campus in the United States, was developed under GCL Solar’s partnership with AMSOLAR, a solar developer focused on projects for educational institutions.
The five projects completed last December for the Antelope Valley Joint Union High School District, ranging from 200 kilowatts (kW) to 1.2 MW each, are part of a series of projects at 10 schools in the greater Los Angeles area expected to be completed early in 2011. Once finished by GCL Solar and its strategic development and asset management partner PsomasFMG, these projects will be the largest solar power installation at a single school district in the U.S constructed to date. With more than 41,000 PV panels, the system is projected to save the school district more than $40 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.
To date, Wells Fargo has invested more than $480 million in solar projects and has become a leader in providing capital and support to renewable energy companies. Since making its first project commitment in 2006, Wells Fargo has deployed more than $2.1 billion of tax equity into more than 250 renewable energy projects in the U.S. The projects account for over 4,200 MW of new clean energy capacity across 25 states. Combined, these projects generate approximately 12 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough clean, renewable energy to power about 1 million American households.