A routine project this summer resulted in a major milestone: U.S. Bank has now financed more than 10 gigawatts of solar.
It may not sound like big news if you’re not well-versed in solar, but it’s a huge effort toward addressing the multi-generational challenge of climate change and meeting the needs of tomorrow’s green economy.
In fact, U.S. Bank – through its subsidiary, U.S Bancorp Community Development Corporation – finances about 15% of all solar in the United States annually via tax equity financing. Since 2008, USBCDC has invested more than $10 billion in Renewable Energy Tax Credit projects to achieve the 10-gigawatt milestone.
So what’s a gigawatt of solar, you ask? The better question is what’s 10 gigawatts of solar – download the infographic shown above.
“It may not necessarily mean a lot to the average person, but in the energy industry, 10 gigawatts of solar is a massive amount,” said Darren Van’t Hof, director of USBCDC’s Renewable Energy Investments. “When we announced this at a recent event, we were reminded that it represents nearly one-sixth of all solar deployed in the U.S. over the past 15 years.”
Through these tax equity investments, U.S. Bank helps provide clean energy options to our nation’s homes, towns and businesses. Solar projects are not only good for the environment, they also create jobs for local communities.
That 10+ gigawatts of solar is spread across the country, including more than 740 projects from Massachusetts to California and all points in between. In South Carolina, U.S. Bank participated in the state’s first utility-sponsored community solar program, providing options for those who can’t or don’t wish to install their own rooftop panels. Outside of Rosamond, California, the bank financed more than 477,000 solar panels on more than 1,100 acres. And in Washington D.C., it is investing in a project with a nonprofit that’s installing solar on commercial rooftops and donating the electricity credits to low-income households.
When you look at both direct and indirect impacts – from construction jobs to build the projects to those workers grabbing lunch at local restaurants – the 10 gigawatts of solar U.S. Bank helped finance represents an overall economic impact of $50 billion.
“That’s six times the economic payback on the cost of the tax credits themselves,” Van’t Hof said. “These investments are not only great for the environment, they’re great for the health of our communities.”
Written by Cassie Wagner of U.S. Bank.