SolarCity unveils solar bonds

San Mateo-based SolarCity launched the first registered public offering of solar bonds Wednesday, making it possible for consumers across the country to invest in clean energy for as little as $1,000.

“We wanted this product to be investor friendly to the broadest possible audience,” said Tim Newell, SolarCity’s Vice President of Financial Products, in an interview. “It’s very much like buying a CD.”

The company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this morning to issue up to $200 million in solar bonds initially, and launched a new online investment site to make them available directly to consumers. Any US investor can participate as long as they meet eligibility requirements, including being at least 18 years old.

SolarCity has been working on the product for several months, with the idea of offering consumers a clean energy alternative to savings accounts, CDs, treasury bonds and municipal bonds. Investors will be able to purchase solar bonds for as little as $1,000, with maturities ranging from one year to seven years and interest rates of up to 4 percent.

“You can save money by going solar,” said Newell. “Now you can make money by investing in solar bonds.”

Solar City workers carefully place a solar panel onto the roof of a residential building in San Francisco. 





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