Sunnova partners with bank to fund $200 million worth of residential solar projects

Sunnova, the Houston-based solar power company, has received $80 million in tax equity funding from a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, the U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. The money will be used to fund more than $200 million worth of residential solar projects, Sunnova announced on Tuesday.

A tax equity deal will allow U.S. Bancorp to claim the 30 percent federal tax credit for companies, or individuals, that install renewable energy systems. While this is Sunnova’s first use of tax equity funds to build its business, and to date has received $1 billion in funding from other entities, according to the company’s statement.

The company offers plans for homeowners to buy or lease solar panels for their rooftops. But Sunnova does not offer a credit for extra energy generated, unlike other  solar companies that will payback residential users for the amount of energy they give to grid, or give them a credit on an energy bill.

The solar industry had a recording-breaking year in 2016, and additions to solar power capacity outpaced additions to any other energy source, according to a 2016 market report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, an industry trade group. Texas has been slow to adopt solar power but the business has started to pick up. In 2016, Texas ranked 6th in nation in terms the amount of solar energy capacity installed that year, and overall it ranks 9th in the nation for its capacity to generation solar power.