SunPower accesses $1bn in residential solar and storage loan capital from credit union


From pv magazine USA.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, capital is still pouring into solar.

U.S. solar manufacturer SunPower has announced a $1 billion partnership with Silicon Valley credit union Tech CU that will gives the former access to a capital for its loan program. The partnership provides financing opportunities for potential U.S. residential solar and energy storage customers.

Tech CU claims to have more than $3 billion in assets, making it one of the 20 largest credit unions in California.

SunPower suggested the benefits of the arrangement include:

  • A finance platform which integrates SunPower’s sales and system design tools – so customers can compare cash, lease or loan acquisition options transparently in real-time;
  • A reduction of SunPower’s operating costs through lower financing fees per Watt; and
  • Streamlining of the loan application and contract signature process.

Cash boost

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A $1 billion commitment will provide the capital for “tens of thousands of SunPower solar systems to be funded over the course of the next four years,” according to the company.

The company last month offered “zero money down” promotions to reduce the upfront cost of going solar for U.S. customers.

San Jose-based SunPower recently announced it is temporarily cutting executive pay, reducing working hours for some employees and has idled its factories in the France, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and the U.S. in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Californian cell and panel maker announced it would be spinning off its high-efficiency manufacturing business into a new company: Maxeon Solar Technologies. Maxeon-branded products have historically led the industry with claims to be the world’s highest-efficiency solar modules. Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor, one of the world’s largest silicon wafer makers, is pouring $298 million into Maxeon Solar and SunPower remains on track to complete the split into two independently-focused, pure-play solar companies by the end of next month.

SunPower has more than 8,000 full-time employees, of which around 2,000 are in the U.S.

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