Goldman Finances Huge SolarCity Push to Build Panels


SolarCity , the solar power utility venture backed by billionaire tech investor Elon Musk, has found itself a new financial backer with even more wealth at its disposal: Goldman Sachs .

On Thursday, SolarCity announced that Goldman has agreed to finance more than $500 million worth of new solar power projects for SolarCity, giving the company enough money to move forward with the construction of some 110 megawatts (MW) worth of electric generation capacity.

Having this money in its possession up front will permit SolarCity to install solar panels for homeowners, businesses, and government agencies with no upfront payment required of the customers -- because Goldman has already paid for the equipment and installation. As a result, SolarCity can proceed right to generating solar power, and charging customers below-market rates for this phase of its business plan.

Goldman had already begun providing such upfront financing, and SolarCity says the banker's support has enabled the company to install 26 (MW) worth of panels already. Ultimately, SolarCity aims to secure as much as $40 billion worth of such financing and investments, which -- extrapolating from the numbers the firm published this week -- suggests the company could eventually deliver upwards of 8,800 MW of solar panel-generated power to its customers.

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