Wells Fargo Funds Solar Project

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 15, 2012

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) has financed an 11.3 MW solar project near El Paso, New Mexico.

The project belongs to Sun Edison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) and a major solar energy provider. It should produce in excess of 26 million kWh per year once fully operational, and all power from the project will be purchased by El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE: EE) under a 25-year agreement.

The solar farm is part of El Paso’s drive to boost renewable energy to meet customer demand. Through a mix of construction and purchase agreements, El Paso Electric has increased its solar generating capacity to 47 MW.

For Wells Fargo, this isn’t the first foray into the renewables sector. Within the last year, the bank holding company has funded five other Sun Edison solar projects, and it has an Energy Investment division that focuses mainly on renewables.

The company has devoted $2.8 billion in equity and $900 million in debt financing to renewable projects in over 28 states since 2007. It’s also invested $1 billion in renewable projects, thereby funding around 250 commercial-scale solar photovoltaic developments, 6 utility-scale solar PV projects, and even one utility-scale concentrating solar thermal plant.

Sun Edison’s success is a good indicator for the solar industry, and Wells Fargo’s continued commitment makes it clear that financial organizations would do well to pay attention to the renewables sector.

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