SunPower, Citi to finance solar lease projects

Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56am EDT

(Reuters) - SunPower Corp and Citigroup have formed a new fund of $105 million to enable the solar panel maker extend its lease to customers in eight states, the companies said.

A solar lease is a financing option that provides the use of a solar equipment in exchange for a monthly lease payment.

Citi is contributing $80 million to the fund that will expand the lease option's reach in Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

San Jose, California-based SunPower -- majority owned by French energy company Total -- said earlier this week it was addressing a weakened Italian market by reallocating sales toward less profitable residential and commercial systems, where demand is greater.

(Reporting by Krishna N Das in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)