SolarCity: The People’s Solar Company
A tale of two cities: Stockton, CA, population 290,000, has a deficit of $26 million and is about to be the biggest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy.
Lancaster, CA, population 150,000, has a budget of $109 million, a solar program that will earn it a revenue stream of $1.5 million annually through 2017 and $800,000 annually for the following twenty years, and a plan to turn itself into the solar capital of the nation.
Since July 2010, when it began Solar Lancaster, a partnership with third-party finance pioneer SolarCity, the city has facilitated approximately 27 megawatts of installations, including its baseball field, its performing arts center, City Hall, Lancaster City Park, and an array of businesses and residences.
Buoyed by Solar Lancaster’s success, the city took up a bigger solar ambition. It set out to solarize its school districts with an innovative financing plan.
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