SolarCity on a Roll with Hawaii Expansion and $100 Million Capital One Investment


SolarCity continues its geographic expansion with a permanent operations center in Kona, Hawaii. In other news from the company, Capital One Bank invests $100 million in a fund to finance thousands of residential solar power systems.

Solar provider SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) isn’t stopping at having the biggest market share of any U.S. residential solar installer. The company keeps continuing to expand, both geographically and in the financing realm.

Hawaii expansion

The latest of these is its expansion in Hawaii with the launch of a permanent operations center in Kona. The company is already providing clean energy to its first 100 customers on Hawaii Island, and has also completed a solar power system at the Kona Airport through a partnership with the Department of Transportation.

“This was the next sensible step for SolarCity, as we expand our facilities and resources to provide clean energy to Hawai‘i Island customers,” said Jon Yoshimura, director of policy and electricity markets at SolarCity. “We look forward to establishing a strong relationship with the community and increasing our business within the residential and commercial sectors on Hawai‘i Island.”

The 6,300 square-foot operations center includes a storage facility, warehouse, and business office. The center currently employs 12 people, and SolarCity says it plans to hire 10 to 12 additional employees in 2014.

The operations center on Hawaii Island is SolarCity’s second in the state. SolarCity first launched clean energy services in Hawaii in 2011 through its operations center in Mililani on Oahu. The company is ranked as one of the top installers in the #6 Solar State by number of kilowatts of solar power installed.

Capital One investment of $100 million

The company also continues working on financing solar. Last year SolarCity made news with the first securitization of distributed solar energy. More recently, the company announced a $250 financing facility to fund more than 200 MW of solar power systems — as well as a second solar securitization.

Now, partnering with SolarCity, Capital One Bank is investing $100 million in a fund to finance thousands of residential solar power systems. The deal represents the bank’s first renewable energy investment. In a statement, Capital One said that the investment reflects the bank’s commitment to growing and expanding its energy business into new sectors, including renewable energy.

“We’re very excited to be working with SolarCity, which has a very strong position in the residential solar energy market,” says George Revock, Managing Director and head of alternative energy and project finance at Capital One Bank. “This investment will help SolarCity pursue their goals and provide affordable sustainable energy to thousands of homeowners as well as advance Capital One’s sustainable energy initiative.”

So far, SolarCity has created funds to finance more than $4 billion in solar power systems. The $100 million investment was reflected in the available financing reported in SolarCity’s announcement of financial results on May 7.

“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,’” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s founder and CEO.