US ROUND-UP: Sunrun to provide solar for low-income households, New York installs community PV-storage project


Sunrun has joined forces with fashion company Chanel to install 30MW of solar on affordable properties in California. Image: Sunrun.

Sunrun partners fashion giant Chanel to install 30MW of solar on affordable properties

23 September: Sunrun has partnered with French fashion company Chanel to install around 30MW of solar systems on affordable properties in California.

Chanel will commit US$35 million to the programme, which is expected to provide access to solar for nearly 30,000 low-income residents as well as provide job training in disadvantaged communities across the US state.

For Sunrun, which expanded its low- and moderate-income solar offering in 2018, the collaboration supports its efforts to develop at least 100MW of solar on affordable multi-family housing, where 80% of tenants fall below 60% of the area median income, over the next decade in California.

“Chanel’s investment will help disadvantaged communities gain access to clean, reliable solar energy,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and CEO. “This innovative approach to corporate social responsibility will make an impact today and hopefully become a model for other companies to invest in our planet's future.”

Chanel said the partnership allows it to support its both climate commitments as well as its focus on addressing social inequality and providing for underserved communities.


New York completes first community solar-plus-storage project

21 September: The first community solar-plus-storage project in New York was finalised this week and is expected to reduce energy costs for around 150 households and provide power to 12 Tesla electric vehicle charging stations.

Installed by IPPsolar, the 557kW rooftop solar project comprises nearly 1,500 panels and is paired with 490kW four-hour Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion batteries.  

Shyam Mehta, executive director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project represents the first of many to be deployed in the state in the coming months and years. “As a dispatchable renewable generation resource providing equitable, affordable access to clean energy for New York residents, the pairing of energy storage with community solar represents an important milestone in New York's clean energy transformation.”

Completion of the project follows New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's pledge earlier this year to install 3GW of energy storage in the state by 2030. He has since issued record-breaking solicitations for 4GW of renewable capacity.

“New York remains unwavering in our commitment to developing renewable energy resources that will grow our clean energy economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change,” Cuomo said. “This first-of-its-kind project in New York combines renewable energy and energy storage that together will deliver reliable, affordable and sustainable energy, creating a model for communities around the state.” 


SunPower nets financing for residential solar lease business until 2021

22 September: SunPower has secured financing commitments for both its US residential solar lease programme and its new solar-plus-storage solution, which combines the company’s Equinox solar system with its SunVault storage unit.

Through the deal with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital as well as other capital providers, SunPower predicts the fund will help meet expected consumer demand until mid-2021. The financing provisions will also supplement the company’s solar loan and cash sale alternatives.

“Thanks to our financing partners, who share our clean energy future goals, we are able to ensure funding for our customers who might want the choice of leasing for their SunPower solar solution,” Tom Werner, SunPower CEO, said.

SunPower, which has provided solar lease financing to customers since 2010, was able to capitalise on improving demand for distributed generation in the second quarter of the year, recording shipments of 464MW in the three months to the end of June.

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