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SolarCity, US Bancorp Launch $250M Fund

SolarCity and US Bancorp have launched a tax-equity fund to finance up to $250 million in commercial and residential solar power projects, the sixth and largest created by the two companies since they partnered three years ago.

Customers will enter into power purchase agreements with SolarCity, which along with US Bancorp will fund the panels and installation. The customers will pay only for the electricity produced and used each month, at a discount to their current utility rates. Solar City will manage the permitting, installation, ongoing monitoring and repairs.

The fund is available to commercial businesses and residents in 14 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

SoalrCity has created partnerships with other financial institutions, including an agreement last year with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help finance Project SolarStrong – a five-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar power projects for privatized US military housing communities across the country.

Project SolarStrong aims to install rooftop PV on up to 160,000 military homes, on as many as 124 bases in the 33 states. SolarCity and Bank of America agreed to terms in December on financing as much as $350 million in loans for the project. SolarCity and US Bancorp announced in March 2012 a tax-equity fund to support the first phase of Project SolarStrong to install as much as 300 megawatts of solar panels.

SolarCity also teamed up with Google last year. The search engine giant agreed to finance a $280 million fund aimed at residential solar projects.

The solar company has completed a number of high-profile commercial installations in recent years, such as the 650 kilowatt-project at eBay (see photo), a 187 kw project at EPRI and a 528-kw project at Heritage Paper.

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