Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SunRun Receives Single Largest U.S. Bancorp Renewable Energy Tax Equity Commitment to Date - U.S. Bancorp and SunRun form partnership to purchase $200 million in residential solar systems

On May 4, 2011 SunRun, a leading home solar company announced it received an additional commitment of tax equity from a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) to support the purchase of $200 million in residential solar systems. This commitment is U.S. Bancorp’s largest renewable energy tax equity fund to date. SunRun installs over $1 million in residential solar every day to meet demand for its solar power service. One in eight families who switched to solar in 2010 chose SunRun.

SunRun owns, installs, and maintains home solar panels so families don’t have to pay $30,000 or more for them. Homeowners pay a low monthly rate for clean power and SunRun takes care of everything else. In addition, SunRun customers lock in their monthly electric rates for 20 years. An average SunRun solar power service customer can save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the agreement.
This tax equity commitment, SunRun’s fifth and largest transaction with U.S. Bancorp, is supported by the 1603 Treasury Grant Program. By allowing renewable energy projects to utilize a cash grant of equal value to the Investment Tax Credit, the 1603 program helped stimulate $9 billion of new investment in clean energy in the U.S. in 2009. As the only home solar company to have never run out of project financing, SunRun continues to expand and announced its Oregon launch last week. The company now makes solar affordable for families in eight U.S. states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

About SunRun and U.S. Bancorp.
SunRun offers solar power service, similar to a lease, allowing homeowners to upgrade their home to solar for as little as $0 upfront and simply pay monthly for solar electricity. More than 11,000 homeowners have chosen SunRun across Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. SunRun partners with over 25 leading local solar installers, who together employ more than 3,000 green-collar workers. SunRun has raised financing for more than $600 million in solar systems from PG&E Corporation and U.S. Bancorp and $85 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, Foundation Capital and Sequoia Capital. For more information, please visit www.sunrunhome.com.  Sunrun's "Cost of Solar" page is at http://www.sunrunhome.com/cost-of-solar notes.  Success Stories are presented at http://www.sunrunhome.com/why-sunrun/solar-success-stories  U.S. Bancorp ... finances a variety of renewable energy projects, building on its experience in other tax credit equity investments, including affordable housing, new markets, and historic tax credit investments. U.S. Bancorp has committed more than $400 million of renewable energy tax equity to finance over $800 million of renewable energy projects in the United States primarily in the solar market, and in select opportunities in the wind energy market.

Sunrun www.sunrunhome.com
Press Release dated May 4, 2011

CNET notes under the model SunRun or other entity will own the panels and benefit from the tax credit for renewable energy. The homeowner will commit to purchasing power from the panels at a fixed rate for 20 years, which lowers monthly bills by ten to 15 percent, according to the company (http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20059650-54.html ) 

The SunRun website notes that purchasing a residential photovoltaic system can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $60,000 upfront. Around 60% of this cost comes from the high cost of solar panels. Solar energy can be expensive to finance upfront – and on an ongoing basis.

On January 20, 2011 Sunrun released areport on how local governments can save $1 billion over the next five years and make solar affordable for 50 percent of American homes. The report, “The Impact of Local Permitting on the Cost of Solar Power,” reveals that inconsistent local solar permitting and inspection processes add an average of over $2,500 per home installation. A direct response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) request for granular data on non-equipment solar costs, the report specifies how the DOE can take immediate action to solve local permitting problems and reduce unnecessary costs.

“Every city and town has its own set of regulations and requirements for solar installations. Our research identifies inconsistencies in local permitting as one of the most critical roadblocks to a sustainable, subsidy-free solar industry,” said SunRun CEO and Co-founder Edward Fenster. “To tackle this challenge head-on, the DOE can use existing guidelines it has already funded to standardize local permitting and deliver the equivalent of a new $1 billion solar subsidy over five years.”

In the report, solar installers nationwide say repeatedly that local permitting is the most stubborn cost they face, preventing them from making solar affordable for millions of Americans. By comparison, countries such as Germany have simpler processes that keep solar installation costs 40 percent lower than in the United States. Germany reports about one million new installations in the past two years alone, whereas the total number of homes ever to go solar in the United States has just broken 120,000. SunRun’s report recommends the DOE lead a new Residential Solar Permitting Initiative, starting with high-volume cities that impact more than 50 percent of the solar market. The recommendations include a contest with grant rewards for cities that make the most effective and comprehensive improvements.

“Local permitting red tape keeps solar off of millions of American homes and businesses and seriously jeopardizes our ability to be competitive with entrenched fossil fuels,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “Policymakers need to recognize that these additional costs put an undue burden on new, clean technologies like solar that are trying to create jobs in the U.S.”

"As a Solar America City, we recognized early on that a more efficient permitting process would improve the rate of solar deployment and contribute to market transformation of solar,” said Kristin Sullivan, program director of the Philadelphia Solar City Partnership Program. “We’ve instituted multiple improvements to help the solar industry without compromising safety or requiring additional city staff time, including reduced permitting fees and a streamlined process for projects under 10kW.”

Endorsements for SunRun’s report underscore the industry’s sense of urgency when it comes to standardizing the permitting process. A coalition of 22 leading installers from across the country endorses this paper, as well as industry organizations such as The Sierra Club, SolarTech, and Vote Solar. The report is currently under review with the DOE and available at http://www.sunrunhome.com/cost-of-solar/solar-panels/local-permitting

No comments:

Post a Comment