SunPower financed thesystem with Wells Fargo through a $100 million sale leaseback financingprogram announced by the companies in June of this year.
"SunPoweroffers high performance solar technology and financing expertise thathelps customers maximize savings on their electricity expenditures,"said Mac Irvin, managing director of SunPower’s structured financegroup. "Our relationship with Wells Fargo expands our customers’project finance options and streamlines the implementation of clean,renewable solar power for SunPower’s large commercial and publiccustomers throughout the US."
Under the financing program usedfor the UC Merced system, SunPower enters into power purchaseagreements with qualified customers, and Wells Fargo finances the solarpower systems that SunPower designs, builds, operates, and maintains.
Customershosting the systems buy the electricity from SunPower at prices thatare competitive with retail rates, providing them with a long-termhedge against rising power prices and the ability to take advantage ofthe environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no initialcapital investment.
The system at UC Merced is expected toproduce two-thirds of the campus’ electricity on summer afternoons and20 percent of its annual electricity needs through the use ofnet-metering. According to conversion formulas provided by The ClimateRegistry, the system is expected to avoid more than 45 million poundsof carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years. That is equivalentto the emissions displaced from removing more than 3,600 cars fromCalifornia’s roads.
Under the terms of the power purchaseagreement, UC Merced will be entitled to all environmental attributesand associated reporting rights associated with the system.
Thesystem uses SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels onthe market, with the SunPower T20 Tracker system. The Tracker followsthe sun’s movement during the day, capturing up to 30 percent moresunlight than conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantlyreducing land use requirements.