Wells Fargo to Fund $100M in U.S. Solar Projects

Re-posted from Environmental Leader

Wells Fargo will invest more than $100 million by the end of 2011 to fund the development of solar photovoltaic power projects throughout the U.S. by GCL-Poly, a subsidiary GCL Solar Energy. These solar projects will target a variety of organizations from schools and municipalities to corporations and utilities.

Wells Fargo is one of several large commercial lenders, including Morgan Stanley and Citibank, which are starting to shift their involvement away from industry practices that they see as risky to their reputations and bottom lines. These include investments in oil and gas development, nuclear power, coal-fired electricity generation, oil sands development, fuel pipeline construction and forestry.

GCL Solar will build and operate the solar power plants, and its customers will purchase the electricity under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) at rates equal to or lower than traditional utility rates.

Wells Fargo has provided more than $2 billion in tax equity financing for renewable energy projects since 2006. That includes funding for 30 wind projects, more than 190 commercial-scale solar projects and 1 utility-scale solar thermal project.

In 2008, Wells Fargo surpassed $2 billion in lending for LEED-certified buildings. Of the buildings the company financed, 28 percent are LEED-rated, 37 percent have LEED-silver certification, 21 percent have LEED-gold certification, and 9 percent have LEED-platinum certification.