SAN FRANCISCO & SAN JOSE, USA: Wells Fargo and SunPower Corp. announced that financing has been completed on the 1-megawatt solar power system commissioned last month at the University of California, Merced.
SunPower financed the system with Wells Fargo through a $100 million sale leaseback financing program announced by the companies in June of this year.
"SunPower offers high performance solar technology and financing expertise that helps customers maximize savings on their electricity expenditures," said Mac Irvin, managing director of SunPower's structured finance group. "Our relationship with Wells Fargo expands our customers' project finance options and streamlines the implementation of clean, renewable solar power for SunPower's large commercial and public customers throughout the US."
Under the financing program used for the UC Merced system, SunPower enters into power purchase agreements with qualified customers, and Wells Fargo finances the solar power systems that SunPower designs, builds, operates, and maintains.
Customers hosting the systems buy the electricity from SunPower at prices that are competitive with retail rates, providing them with a long-term hedge against rising power prices and the ability to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no initial capital investment.
The system at UC Merced is expected to produce two-thirds of the campus' electricity on summer afternoons and 20 percent of its annual electricity needs through the use of net-metering. According to conversion formulas provided by The Climate Registry, the system is expected to avoid more than 45 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years. That is equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing more than 3,600 cars from California's roads.
Under the terms of the power purchase agreement, UC Merced will be entitled to all environmental attributes and associated reporting rights associated with the system.
The system uses SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with the SunPower T20 Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun's movement during the day, capturing up to 30 percent more sunlight than conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.
SunPower has more than 550 large public and commercial solar power systems installed or under contract, representing more than 450 megawatts of solar power generation.