San Jose, CA-based solar manufacturer
) have teamed up to form a $250 million fund to help homeowners
across the U.S. to go solar.
This pact is essentially aimed at financing residential solar
system installations that SunPower will then lease out to
homeowners. Google has committed to invest $100 million, while
SunPower will invest $150 million in the plan.
This will definitely give a boost to SunPower's residential
leasing program, launched in 2011. Through this program SunPower
has gained significant traction in the U.S. solar rooftop
installation market. This program enables the company to receive
tax benefit under the Investment Tax Credit structure, which aims
at promoting solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
In a win-win deal, the leasing program helps customers to
reduce their carbon footprint while avoiding bulky upfront
payments. SunPower on its part gains significant top-line
SunPower already had more than 20,000 lease customers running
under this program for 20 years. With this new partnership,
SunPower expects to add thousands more to this plan.
Residential solar installation is now a sizzling story. This
market even outpaced the commercial and utility segments last
year and has already started to attract more conventional
electric power companies that produce power mostly from coal and
Meanwhile, this deal proves yet again Google's commitment to
advancing green power. The financial assistance to SunPower marks
the Internet giant's 16th renewable energy investment and the 3rd
in residential rooftop solar. The search giant has invested more
than $1 billion in renewable projects throughout the world.
In the past, Google has invested in solar leasing ventures
with companies like
) and Clean Power Finance. Recently, Google signed a contract
with MidAmerican Energy to buy up to 407 megawatts of wind energy
CANADIAN SOLAR (CSIQ): Free Stock Analysis
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The solar industry rallied in 2013 following a difficult period
since 2011. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
estimates that U.S solar demand increased more than 32% in 2013.
For 2014, the EIA projects that U.S. solar energy consumption
will rise by roughly 35%. The expected increase in demand is
likely to fuel top-line growth at the solar manufacturers.
Also, countries worldwide are increasingly relying on solar power
to generate clean energy. Stringent environmental legislations on
greenhouse gas emissions have also proved to be a boon for the
SunPower, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, is set to report its first
quarter earnings today before the opening bell. The Zacks
Consensus Estimate is pegged at 32 cents a share.
Other stocks worth considering in the solar industry include
Canadian Solar Inc.
), sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).