SunRun, a startup that finances solar power for homeowners, says it has secured a tax equity commitment of around $105 million from an affiliate of US Bancorp to buy about 2,000 residential solar facilities. SunRun is one of the first companies to attempt to create a business model where homeowners can buy solar power off their roofs, while a third party owns the panels.
That business model, called a power purchase agreement, is what has helped the commercial solar industry grow. Building owners get a fixed, flat rate to purchase solar electricity, and don’t have to pay for the hardware itself. In September, SunRun’s service had its one-year anniversary, though it’s unclear how successful converting the commercial model to residential homes has actually been.
SunRun has managed to raise venture financing and has made some significant partnerships in the past. Back in June SunRun raised $12 million in financing from venture firm Foundation Capital. And a couple months before that, SunRun said it had partnered up with solar installer Akeena Solar. In a market where project financing is hard to come by, the funding from US Bancorp seems like it’s a recognition that PPAs for residential customers are showing promise.