Google is investing millions of dollars into its second fund that will go toward installing solar panels on rooftops. On Tuesday at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in San Francisco, Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Green Business Operations, announced that Google will invest $75 million into a solar fund for startup Clean Power Finance. Clean Power Finance will use the money to support solar rooftop projects by third party installers.
Google announced its first investment into residential and distributed solar this Summer, via a $280 million fund for solar installer SolarCity. That investment was also Google’s largest clean power investment to date.
But given Clean Power Finance is a solar software and financing company, the startup will use Google’s dollars to work with a variety of solar installers across the country. Google says it likes this business model because it’s financing can be used by more solar installers in more places across the U.S., and the solar installer industry is very fragmented.
Google said in a blog post on Tuesday that via its solar funds: “We look forward to watching our funding help more than 10,000 homeowners generate clean electricity from the sun.” Google says with this latest $75 million it has now invested more than $850 million into developing clean energy.
Google, via its venture arm, also made an equity investment into Clean Power Finance, which was unveiled earlier this month. That round, which came to $25 million in total, also included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Claremont Creek Ventures. Clean Power Finance also previously raised funds from Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and founder Gary Kremen, who is a long time entrepreneur and investor, and who previously founded of Match.com.
Clean Power Finance grew its business on providing Software-as-a-Service tools for solar installers to start the sales, rebate, and lead-gen processes. More recently it started providing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for rooftop solar for home owners. New financing models like PPAs and leases have been created in recent years to sell solar electricity at a fixed rate over a long-term contract, enabling customers to purchase rooftop solar for little or no money down. Other solar PPA and lease providers include Sungevity, SolarCity and SunRun.