SunPower wins HASI lease funds

SunPower has announced a $44.5m follow-on solar-lease financing deal with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure, bringing its total take this year from the real estate investment trust (REIT) to more than $86m.

The non-recourse debt has been made available to SunPower’s residential solar lease programme, under which it leases rooftop PV systems to homeowners at little or no upfront cost.

The homeowners achieve a savings on their electricity bills, while SunPower establishes a recurring monthly revenue stream, and maintains ownership of the PV system.

Solar leasing is a relatively small – but growing – part of Total-owned SunPower’s overall business, which encompasses module supply and utility-scale EPC work. For homeowners, SunPower offers leases, loans, and outright sales of PV systems.

In the most recent quarter, the company deployed 35MW of capacity within the residential sector – 6MW of which came from leases, and the remainder from cash sales. SunPower claims to have $620m in net contracted payments due from its residential systems business.

In order to keep its solar leases unit fuelled up, SunPower has pinned down a steady stream of financial commitments from investors, including – this year alone – Google, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Hannon Armstrong.

Hannon Armstrong is a Maryland-based REIT that invests in sustainable infrastructure, including renewables.