SunPower Corp., a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, says Morgan Stanley has agreed to provide the company with up to $190 million in financing for future commercial and public agency solar electric power installations.
The financing will be available for qualifying installations that SunPower delivers to customers under its SunPower Access program through 2008. The program allows companies and public agencies to purchase solar-generated electricity as an alternative to purchasing the solar power systems themselves.
"This financing arrangement represents a significant commitment to the solar power sector by Morgan Stanley," says Aaron Lubowitz, managing director in Morgan Stanley's Global Structured Products Group in New York.
With the SunPower Access program, SunPower designs, constructs and maintains solar electric power systems to the customer's requirements. Rather than paying for the system itself, the customer pays for the solar electricity generated over a long-term power purchase agreement. The agreement typically includes options, subject to certain conditions, for the customer to renew the agreement, return the equipment, transfer the equipment to a new site, or purchase the system outright.
Under the terms of the facility, Morgan Stanley and SunPower jointly own a holding company that will finance project companies established for individual installations. The project companies will purchase solar systems from SunPower and resell the electricity to customers. Morgan Stanley will finance up to $190 million, and SunPower will finance up to $10 million through the facility.
"Securing the best financing for our customers is a key advantage of our SunPower Access program," says Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower." This agreement with Morgan Stanley offers our customers a more efficient and cost-competitive process to realize the financial savings and environmental benefits of solar power."