SolarCity and Merrill Lynch agree financing terms for over $1 billion project


The announcement will come as good news, after SolarCity failed to secure a Department of Energy loan guarantee before the September 30 deadline. This was despite the fact the company began the loan guarantee application process in October 2010, and Merrill Lynch came on board as lender.

"BofA Merrill never wavered when the loan guarantee wasn’t finalized and worked with us to create a financing structure that works without it," stated Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s chief executive officer, who added, "The fact that SolarStrong can move forward without a federal loan guarantee is a clear indication that long-term incentives such as the investment tax credit are working."

The SolarStrong project, which is scheduled to be executed over five years, aims to install 300 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics in privatized U.S. military housing communities. The hope is to generate solar electricity at a lower cost than utility power for up to 120,000 military housing units.

SolarCity says it plans to partner with privatized military housing developers to install, own and operate the rooftop installations. If executed, the project will be the largest of its kind to date. "Thousands" of jobs are expected to be created.

"This project demonstrates the long term viability of large-scale, distributed solar generation," commented Jonathan Plowe, head of New Energy and Infrastructure Solutions at BofA Merrill. "We are excited to see the project through with SolarCity and extend our expertise and financing capabilities to propel residential solar to the next level."