U.S. Bancorp Backs Residential PV

A new provider of residential solar power purchase agreements has announced that it is teaming up with U.S. Bancorp to install 2,400 residential solar installations in New Jersey, Utah, Hawaii and New York. U.S Bancorp is providing $75 million in tax equity to Vivint Solar, a Utah-based subsidiary of Vivint, a home automation company serving close to 500,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada.

The move is not the first renewable energy investment that U.S. Bancorp has made. To date, the bank has committed more than $550 million of renewable energy tax equity to finance more than $1 billion of renewable energy projects in the United States, primarily in the solar and wind markets.


image via Vivint Solar

Vivint Solar will design, install and maintain the systems, selling the energy produced to homeowners under a power purchase agreement. According to Vivint, the agreement will be structured so that customers pay a lower rate than their old monthly utility bill. Customers will benefit by being able to lock in monthly electricity rates for 20 years, with monitoring, maintenance services and a 10-year warranty included.

Vivint Solar’s offerings will be a little bit different than some of the other solar PPA providers out there. For one, all of Vivint’s sales and installation services are located in-house, rather than through a contractor network. According to the company, this allows it to ensure quality control and customer satisfaction. Also, Vivint Solar makes a point of mentioning that its team installs Enphase Energy microinverters and Zep Solar racking solutions. Vivint Solar claims this equipment enables its team to install a PV system in less than a day. It also appears that Vivint is looking to leverage its solar sales to sell more of its home energy management solutions – using a PV system as another element of the home energy system.

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Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

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