Sunday, January 24, 2010

PG&E venture arm invests $60 million in SolarCity, provider of solar power system design, financing, installation, and monitoring

Pacific Venture Capital, LLC, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) and SolarCity Corp., a national leader in solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services, today announced $60 million in tax equity financing for solar installations for U.S. homes and businesses. The investment—funded by PG&E Corporation shareholders—is expected to allow SolarCity to install more than 1,000 solar systems for U.S. homeowners and businesses via the company’s SolarLease and Power Purchase Agreement financing options. SolarCity’s financing options allow homeowners and businesses to adopt solar power with no upfront investment and to save money from day one on energy costs.
Under the agreement, in return for providing the upfront investment needed for the new systems, Pacific Venture Capital will receive lease revenues from SolarCity customers, along with the benefits of federal investment tax credits and local rebates for the solar energy projects. The transaction represents the first such tax equity financing investment by a utility holding company and the first such collaboration between a utility holding company and a solar power provider.
“This investment represents an opportunity to broaden access to renewable energy, consistent with our focus on advancing clean, low-carbon energy solutions and California’s goals to expand rooftop solar,” said Rand Rosenberg, PG&E Corporation Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development. “Equally significant, it enables us to take an initial step toward gaining valuable experience with a technology and a marketplace that may become increasingly important in the future.”
The solar systems funded under the agreement are expected to be installed in 2010, predominantly in California, with some in Arizona and Colorado. SolarCity already has more than 1,700 solar customers in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s service area and more than 5,000 solar customers overall.
“SolarCity strongly believes solar companies and traditional energy industry players must work together if solar power is to become a mainstream source of electricity in America,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “PG&E has always been a leader in renewable energy adoption. This agreement is yet another example of PG&E leadership in clean power generation that hopefully others can follow.”

About SolarCity
SolarCity—a national leader in solar power system design, financing, installation, monitoring and related services—was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt solar power, protect themselves from rising electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s SolarLease™, PurePower™ and Commercial Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) options can make it possible for homeowners and businesses to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity currently serves more than 500 communities in in Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon.

Rand L. Rosenberg
Senior Vice President
Corporate Strategy and Development
Rand L. Rosenberg is Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development for PG&E Corporation. He is responsible for developing the corporation’s long–term strategic plan and evaluating growth opportunities, including asset acquisitions and mergers within the energy sector.

Rosenberg spent more than a decade in the field of investment banking. He was a Managing Director and Head of Global Telecommunications Investment Banking at Salomon Brothers. He also held senior positions at Goldman Sachs & Co., Lehman Brothers and Montgomery Securities, where he was a Partner and Founder of the Media and Telecommunications Group. After serving as an Engagement Manager at Marakon Associates earlier in his career, Rosenberg became Head of Corporate Development at the Pacific Telesis Group. Most recently, Rosenberg served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Infospace.

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