Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the larger public utilities on the West Coast, is throwing down some serious cash today to jump start solar installations in residential and business customers. It has announced some $60 million in tax equity financing and will be working with leading solar installation company SolarCity to implement this expanded program.
This investment, according to PG&E, will allow SolarCity to install over 1,000 solar systems via the solar installer’s various financing options. PG&E will get, in return, “lease revenues from SolarCity customers, along with the benefits of federal investment tax credits and local rebates for the solar energy projects.” It is said this financial agreement is the first of its kind between a utility and a solar power provider.
SolarCity plans to begin installing these solar systems this year, predominantly in California, with some in Arizona and Colorado. It already has over 1,700 solar customers in PG&E’s service area and more than 5,000 customers in total. Its financing options, SolarCity says, “allow homeowners and businesses to adopt solar power with no upfront investment and to save money from day one on energy costs.”