SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) and Citi (NYSE: C) announced a new fund for approximately $105 million in residential solar lease projects. SunPower will use the fund to extend its SunPower® Lease to customers in eight states, expanding the financing options available to homeowners interested in high-efficiency SunPower solar power systems, the most efficient solar technology available today. Citi is contributing $80 million to the fund.
"Citi's global financial leadership combined with SunPower's leading technology and quarter century of experience offer customers an unprecedented level of assurance that is vitally important when a homeowner enters into a 20-year lease agreement," said SunPower CFO Dennis Arriola. "We are proud to partner with Citi, and applaud its commitment to promoting the use of solar power."
"SunPower is the leading manufacturer of rooftop solar power systems in the U.S. because our customers know they can rely on high-efficiency SunPower technology to maximize the power generated on their roof — and their monthly savings," said Jim Pape, president of SunPower's residential and commercial business group. "Homeowners have many financing options when they choose a SunPower system, from cash purchase to loans to leases, and SunPower dealers work with customers to ensure they choose the financing option that is right for them. We are very pleased to extend the lease option to more of our U.S. customers."
The SunPower Lease is now available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In addition to low monthly payments with zero down, benefits of the program include a direct-from-manufacturer performance guarantee and 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, which offers a variety of low-interest loans.
"Citi remains at the forefront of developing financial solutions that support the adoption of renewable energy and enable consumers to maximize energy efficiency. We are pleased to partner with SunPower, an undisputed leader in solar energy," said Jason Cavaliere, director in the Alternative Energy Finance Group at Citi.
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 global financial services leader 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 has directed over $30 billion as part of this initiative.
"This important initiative builds upon Citi's robust track record in environmental sustainability and affirms our commitment to renewable energy finance by helping our clients provide economically attractive options for homeowners to save money and generate clean energy," said Marshal Salant, head of Citi's Alternative Energy Finance Group.