Another big bank is pumping money into Sungevity’s home-solar lease program. A couple of months ago it was Citi delivering a $50 million equity fund to help the California company extend its service to the East Coast. Now, the Dutch bank Rabobank is making its entry into home-solar financing with a “solar fund that will support over $50 million of new U.S. residential solar lease projects,” Sungevity said.
Sungevity said “the fund comes at time of significant positive momentum” for the company. It termed 2011 a “banner year” thanks in part to the East Coast expansion and also to its partnership with the big home-improvement retailer Lowe’s. Sungevity does business in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
The company said monthly sales are up “ten-fold” since January, although it did not note if seasonable variation was factored into that figure. But there’s no doubt Sungevity is growing: The company also said its “employee headcount has tripled to approximately 300” at the headquarters in Oakland this year. Sungevity said the Rabobank infusion boosts its fund for home-solar leasing to $175 million.
Based in Utrecht, Netherlands, Rabobank is known for its focus on the agriculture sector – it calls itself “the premier bank to the food and agriculture industry.”