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SolarCity snaps up another partner (and money)

Posting in Energy

SolarCity keeps snapping up partners. Last month, it was Google. This time, it's Capital One Bank.

The solar company, headed by Lyndon Rive, announced it has partnered with Capital One Bank to create a $100 million investment fund to finance thousands of residential solar power systems. The deal is notable for Capital One Bank because it's the financial institution's first renewable energy investment.

To date, SolarCity has created funds to finance more than $4 billion in solar power systems. SolarCity serves 15 states and is currently providing one out of every four new residential solar power systems nationwide.

SolarCity has used a number of tactics from partnering with tech giants like Google to diversifying its financing options in an effort to get more solar panels on rooftops. It even got into the energy storage biz.

SolarCity revolutionized the financing of solar projects when it started to sell millions of dollars worth of bonds backed by leases for solar arrays installed on residential rooftops to institutional investors like pension and hedge funds. Earlier this year, the company opened up solar securitization to regular folks. SolarCity launched an online system that allows individuals and organizations to buy asset-backed securities. SolarCity acquired Common Assets, the privately held technology company that developed the investment platform.

Last year, SolarCity launched an energy storage system that will use management software and Tesla's battery technology to help businesses reduce their electricity bills and keep the lights on during power outages. The move illustrated a shift within the power industry, specifically renewables, to offer a suite of products, including energy storage in a bid to distribute risk and become more competitive.

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— By on May 23, 2014, 4:00 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure