How about one billion dollars of private financing to put solar on rooftops? Just 2 years ago, such a thought would be crazy.
Without any federal loan guarantees, Bank of America provided wednesday $350 million of financing to Solar City for its $1 billion rooftop solar program that will install solar on 120,000 houses at military bases.
The owners of homes lease their rooftops to Solar City which owns and operates the systems. Solar City provides the homes electricity at a 10% discount to their current electricity rate.
To date, Solar City has installed systems at Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Arizona and the Navy-Air Force Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
Not surprisingly, the rooftop program's best markets are in places with great solar resources and with residential electricity rates above the national average. The new, low solar prices make this $1 billion solar rooftop initiative possible in many places already.
As solar prices decline at about a rate of 1% per month over the next 5 years, broader areas of the country will see more and more solar installation activity.