Monday, February 06, 2006

SunEdison--a unique solar financing model

(Solar installation on top of a Staples building in Rialto, CA, from SunEdison website)

Hello solarDwellers:

Just cruising the web and found an interesting company called SunEdison. They want to solve the problem of the barrier most larger/commercial solar projects face in getting off the ground: up-front capital costs to build the project.

So, SunEdison went out and partnered with BP Solar and Goldman Sachs financing to offer a solution: SunEdison finances, installs and maintains the solar PV system on the roof of a large business. In return for the "green energy," the business signs a long-term contract to pay SunEdison for the kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed at or BELOW retail electricity rates. The company gets the benefit of locking in current electricity rates and no maintenance, while SunEdison gets the benefit of making money on the solar installation after its paid off (7-10 years).

Just today SunEdison signed a contract to build an 18 mW installation in Nevada, which would be the largest in the world after a 10 mW installation in Germany done by Berkeley's own Powerlight Corp.

Here are some links for the solar curious: SunEdison website; News release about Nevada installation; News release about California plans.

--the solarDweller
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