SolarCity and BofA announce $400m solar finance program

Leading U.S. solar leasing company SolarCity has partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA) on a $400 million finance program designed to boost the American residential solar sector.

This announcement follows on the heels of a previous $200 million commercial collaboration between the two companies, and is BofA’s second major investment foray into solar leasing following January’s $220 million collaboration with SunPower.

This latest finance program will channel funds towards a program designed to make it easier for U.S. homeowners to install solar panels on their homes with no upfront costs, and will serve to cement SolarCity’s dominance of this increasingly important solar market.

Currently, SolarCity is responsible for installing one-third of all new residential solar systems in the U.S., operating more than 55 service centers across 15 states.

For BofA, this collaboration is part of the bank’s 10-year, $50 billion environmental business objective to advance the world of low-carbon solutions. BofA’s modus operandi is to debt finance and equipment finance clean energy technologies across the globe, and has poured more than $31.7 billion into this objective since 2007.

SolarCity’s announcement follows just 24-hours after fellow U.S. solar household name First Solar revealed it is to take a strategic step into the American residential solar market via the community route.

First Solar’s stake in Clean Energy Collective (CEC) will enable it to fund and develop community-backed solar farms targeted at rental tenants and U.S. customers unable to invest in their own rooftop solar array.