SolarCity made its first bonds available for investment to the public last fall. Now it’s partnered with Incapital to make its solar bonds to investors across the U.S. It’s another way SolarCity and other large solar companies like SunPower, First Solar and SunEdison are making it easier for people to invest in solar and easier for those companies to pursue more solar projects at lower costs.
Through the new partnership with Incaptial, SolarCity said investors are able to purchase its solar bonds through their brokerage and IRA accounts at many major financial institutions for the first time. The bonds start at $1,000 and mature at between one and fifteen years depending on the bonds purchased.
The earnings on bonds come through monthly payments made by SolarCity’s more than 190,000 customers, which include homeowners, schools, businesses and more. The customers are paying a monthly premium for the panels on their roofs, which they get electricity from through a power-purchase agreement or lease agreement with SolarCity. As such the bonds can offer interest rates as high as 5.45 percent—comparable to CDs, treasury bonds and municipal bonds, according to SolarCity.
Individuals can still purchase solar bonds from the solar company, too, via its online investment platform. But the company says that by allowing investors to purchase bonds through the Incaptial it will open the investment opportunities to investors who use investment advisors who serve as intermediaries.
The move also reflects a growing trend in responsible and impact investing (SRI), according to SolarCity, which said such assets have grown 76 percent in just two years and account for more than one out of every six dollars. Such investments show that more people in the U.S. want their investments to do more than just make them money, they want them to be beneficial to others.Tweet