Wells Fargo May Fund Chinese Solar In US

That old Western stagecoach in the logo of Wells Fargo is seeking a sunny future for U.S. solar, it seems, by helping some friends from overseas. The bank has signed a strategic agreement with Baoding Tianwei Group that could lead to the development of solar power products and more solar projects across the United States.

Among the implications of this agreement is potential financial support for Hawaii-based Hoku Corporation, a subsidiary of Tianwei, which is building a polysilicon manufacturing facility in Pocatello, Idaho, expected to create 500 U.S. jobs. Additionally, Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku, is developing solar photovoltaic projects in the U.S. to bring more green power to the grid.

Hoku

image via Hoku

“The U.S. renewable energy market is growing quickly and its long-term value proposition continues to improve,” said Puon Penn, head of Wells Fargo’s National Cleantech Group, in a statement.

Since its first solar project in 2006, Wells Fargo has invested more than $480 million in solar. Since making its first project investment in 2006, the bank said it has deployed more than $2.8 billion in project capital, including approximately $2.1 billion of tax equity, into more than 250 renewable energy projects in the U.S. The projects account for over 4,200 megawatts of new clean energy capacity across 25 states. Combined, these projects generate approximately 12 terawatt hours of electricity per year, which is reportedly enough clean, renewable energy to provide power to about 1 million American homes.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.