PG&E finances residential solar installations

June 22, 2010

PG&E Corporation has established a $100 million tax-equity fund to finance residential solar installations by SunRun, a start-up company that leases photovoltaic arrays to homeowners.

The fund promises to support solar installations for 3500 homes.  Homeowners in various states, including California, Arizona, and New Jersey, can now sign a power purchase agreement with SunRun that fixes the cost for monthly electricity payments for as many as eighteen years; in exchange, SunRun installs, owns, and maintains the solar systems.

The infusion of tax equity has greatly encouraged the growth of the solar lease market.

Although PG&E’s fund is the largest to date, other companies like US Bancorp have also created tax-equity funds for solar installer companies.

PG&E’s fund represents another step forward for tax equity vehicles in the area of renewable energy. 

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