SolarCity, Solar Panels
Capital One's investment in Solar City in 2014 has struck gold. Image from Gigaom

Capital One’s $100 Million SolarCity Investment Strikes Gold

Capital One’s $100 Million Green Investment Strikes Gold

The workforce and general public want to get in on clean energies as fast as they can. Thus, the scramble for big banks to get in on the money to be made is on. In fact, for some, it began a couple years ago.

Capital One’s Strategy

In 2014, Capital One Bank invested $100 million into a partnership with SolarCity. SolarCity is a leading residential installer and leasing company. The bank’s first-ever foray into investing in renewable energy aimed to finance thousands of residential solar power systems. Capital One’s energy banking team invested around $3.5 billion in energy-banking loan commitments on top of the deal with SolarCity. The company said it was a “reflection of a commitment on the bank’s part to invest into new sectors of the energy industry, which includes renewable energy.”

At the time, SolarCity founder and CEO Lyndon Rive said, “Thanks to Capital One, when we ask our customers ‘What’s in your wallet?’ thousands more can say, ‘All the money I saved on electricity bills by going solar.’”

The clean energy provider has since opened new facilities across the country and in Hawaii. According to a recently released quarterly earnings report, it has reduced its 2016 guidance for megawatts installed from 1,000-1,100 to 900-1,000. Still, the company does anticipate two second-half product releases to impact the MW installed next year. One product is a new integrated solar and storage offering. The other is a new solar product focused on the five million new roofs installed each year in the U.S.

The Future of SolarCity

On August 1, it was announced that SolarCity was acquired by Tesla and Elon Musk for $2.6 billion. This is $300 million less than originally forecast. Despite the recent downturn, SolarCity touts itself as America’s number-one solar provider. The company continues to produce solar projects nationwide.

It’s not known what this acquisition means for the company’s relationship with Capital One. This is especially true since Elon Musk was already SolarCity’s highest shareholder. Capital One has remained quiet on SolarCity since the partnership was announced. However, it does list several other green initiatives and achievements on its website.

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