US: Lease programs expand with new Sungevity and Citigroup fund

Sungevity recently expanded to the East Coast of the U.S. with its "Rooftop Revolution" marketing campaign and has announced a partnership with Lowe, the world’s second largest home improvement retailer. Since 2010, Sunergy has raised $120 million in finance for residential solar projects.

"Citi’s new tax equity fund will support our rapid growth and momentum, including our recent expansion to the East Coast and our significant partnership with Lowe’s," said Mac Irvin, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sungevity.

Sungevity, which is based in northern California, has reported that 50 percent of its online solar lease requests now come from the Northeastern states, since the company moved into these territories in July. Sungevity has been promoting its expansion into these states by touring in a bio-diesel-powered truck equipped with solar panels. It has been visiting public events like music festivals, county fairs, farmers’ markets and baseball games.

"Citi is committed to promoting energy efficiency and environmental sustainability both at our own firm and in support of our clients," said Marshal Salant, head of Citi’s Alternative Energy Finance Group.

Citi’s SunPower fund

This most recent announcement comes as activity in solar lease sector in the U.S. heats up. Earlier this month, Citi announced that it would contribute US$80 million towards a US$105 million fund with SunPower. The fund was created to extend SunPower’s 20 year lease scheme which is available in eight U.S. states.

In June Google announced $280 million fund to finance SolarCity’s lease scheme. Another major solar lease providers in the U.S., SunRun, recently announced its interstate expansion program.