Vivint Solar, the solar energy division of home automation company Vivint Inc., announced Wednesday that it has received a $75 million tax equity commitment from U.S. Bancorp to finance the purchase of residential home solar energy systems in the U.S.
The announcement follows on U.S. Bancorp’s most recent tax equity commitment of $200 million to residential solar energy firm SunRun back in May.
Specializing in the installation and management of home solar energy systems, Vivint Solar aims to make solar power more affordable by allowing customers to finance their solar installation with a power purchase agreement (PPA), which essentially means Vivint still owns the solar panels it installs, but the customer agrees to pay for the power the panels produce. Thus, there are no up-front costs, as the customer is simply swapping out one energy service provider for a cheaper, more efficient solar energy system.
Vivint Solar currently has 200 customers and has completed 100 installations since launch and revenue has been growing at a rate of 30% a year. Recurring monthly revenue has grown to $29 million from $22 million between 2010 and 2011.
Of course, there’s the Solyndra debacle hanging over the heads of the solar industry. Vinod Khosla said recently that while the controversy will be little more than a speed bump in the solar industry, solar firms will likely have difficulty raising funds.
“Solyndra had company-specific issues that were not industry issues,” Vivint Solar President Tanguy Serra told me. “We raised a $75 million fund while Solyndra was in the news. I can’t speak about other people, but there were no issues for us.”
As to where he believes the solar industry is headed, Serra said: “It will be like broadband—increasingly ubiquitous and then mobile.”
Vivint Solar is a division of Vivint Inc., a smart technology company for the home, including home security, convenience, and energy efficiency. Vivint currently serves 500,000 customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.