Google announces investment in rooftop solar panels

Google, Mountain View, Calif., has put $75 million into a fund that solar contractors and designers can use to help finance rooftop solar panel systems for homeowners, according to Contractors will get cheap financing from the fund and pay a commission from each sale.

The fund is administered by Clean Power Finance, San Francisco, which is a startup firm that runs a software platform connecting small solar installers with financing.

The fund allows solar panel installers and designers to offer their customers rooftop solar panels for little or no money down. Instead of paying the power company, homeowners send a monthly payment to Clean Power Finance, which passes the payment to Google. Google owns the solar panels and is able to take various state, local and federal tax credits associated with the panels.

The funding will put solar panels on 2,000 to 3,000 homes.

This is not Google's first investment in solar power; in June, the company invested $280 million in rooftop solar provider SolarCity, San Mateo, Calif., which operates on a similar leasing model.

Date : 9/30/2011