SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR ) announced today that it is partnering with Bank of America Corporation's (NYSE: BAC ) Merrill Lynch to finance around $220 million of new residential solar lease projects.
Solar leases are a financial tool that allows customers to install rooftop systems with little to no initial investment. Users immediately start saving on their energy bill, which, in some cases, can more than offset monthly lease payments.
"The SunPower Lease program allows customers to have best-in-class, high efficiency solar on their rooftops with highly competitive term," said SunPower CFO Chuck Boynton in a statement today. "This, coupled with our unprecedented level of energy assurance, results in more value to the homeowner and increased retained value to SunPower. More than 20,000 customers are already experiencing our lease program, and our partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch will continue to grow this popular financing option."
Bank of America has been working with SunPower since 2009, when it first financed some of the solar company's larger projects in California. Head of Renewable Energy Finance at Merrill Lynch Todd Karas noted that this latest partnership is "consistent with our firm's overall 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative to help address climate change, reduce demands on natural resources and advance lower-carbon economic solutions."
While SunPower doesn't state how many new leases it expects to make with these funds, the press release does note that it should assist "thousands of homeowners" in adding solar to their roofs.