- Google, Inc., and SunPower Corporation have announced a new $250 million fund, with $100 million from Google and $150 million from SunPower, to pay for and own rooftop solar systems leased to homeowners at a rate below their normal electricity bill and maintained by the funders.
- SunPower, which already leases some 20,000 systems and is one of the leaders in the third party ownership financing model, builds residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar with the high efficiency, high reliability modules it manufactures.
- Google now has more than $1 billion invested in 16 renewable energy projects representing 2,000 megawatts of installed capacity, enough to power some 500,000 U.S. homes.
The third party ownership finance model, which has driven unprecedented rooftop solar growth, eliminates the high upfront costs and maintenance responsibilities of having a rooftop solar system.
With third party ownership, funders like Google and SunPower get the benefits of ownership, including the investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation, and the homeowner pays a lease fee that is usually about 20% below the home’s utility bill.
This is Google’s third rooftop solar funding but unlike SolarCity, which uses a variety of qualified modules, and Clean Power Finance, which allows its partner-installers to select from each fund's pre-approved equipment, the SunPower investment goes into a completely vertically integrated company that supplies the modules and does the installation and maintenance itself.