by Bill Lascher, August 11th, 2011

Homeowners in eight states have a new financing option for costly rooftop solar panels thanks to a new partnership between SunPower and Citi. The two companies – San Jose-based SunPower manufactures solar panels and related systems, and New York-based Citi is a bank – said they will fund $105 million to back 20-year leases for residential solar power systems.

In describing its lease program, SunPower, whose investors recently approved a takeover by French oil giant Total, touts a variety of leasing options for homeowners. Offers include zero-down leases, ongoing system maintenance and insurance, and lease-to-own options for home solar arrays.
Sunpower Flat Roof

Citi put up $80 million for the financing plan, which extends the leases to residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The bank’s move is part of its drive to invest $50 billion in clean technology and alternative energy. Earlier this year the finance giant teamed with SolarCity on a $40 million fund to back solar power lease arrangements this year, and in June we reported that it had gone in with Google on a big California wind-power project.

News of the new financing offer comes amidst a booming U.S. market for photovoltaics previously reported by EarthTechling. It also comes as analysts cite solar as one of the few cleantech sectors where investments aren’t slowing down.

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