Thursday, December 27, 2007

Solar Power Announcement

Financing deal for Solar Power
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 27, 2007

Solar Power Inc. on Wednesday announced that GE Money, a unit of General Electric Co., will provide financing services at the Roseville firm's "Yes! Solar Solutions" stores, the nation's first retail franchise stores focused on solar power.

The agreement gives customers access to low-interest loans to finance solar-panel installations, which cost about $30,000 for a typical house. Various rebate and subsidy programs usually cover roughly 40 percent of that cost, leaving $18,000 to be financed.

GE Money's GEOSmart Financing program, which focuses on renewable energy systems, typically provides 20- or 25-year loans at 7 percent interest for residential solar panel installations.

Under those terms, a solar-panel system can be "cash positive," with a monthly interest payment lower than the electricity bill the system replaced, said Solar Power Chief Executive Steve Kircher.

The first Yes! Solar Solutions store was launched in October in Roseville. By the end of 2008, the company hopes to have three others in the Sacramento region and a total of as many as 63 statewide.

Wednesday, Solar Power shares closed at $3.60, up 15 cents, or 4.4 percent, in trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

– Jim Downing