Wells Fargo fuels green business with $8B
Wells Fargo undersold itself when it pledged in 2005 to put $1 billion into projects and businesses with a "direct positive impact" on the environment.
The San Francisco-based bank released a report today that says instead it’s lent or invested some $8 billion to those types of companies and projects, including $240 million in investments to solar and wind projects, $300 million in loans to clean technology companies (that focus on technologies to reduce the impacts of global warming) and $750 million to Leadership in Environment and Energy Design-rated buildings and projects.
Of note, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) has been one of just a handful of tax equity lenders that has continued to lend to renewable energy projects throughout the economic downturn.
Wells Fargo lent more than $480 million in tax equity to solar projects over the last five years. And, in a move that may have the solar industry lining up outside the bank, Wells Fargo also has begun packaging both construction financing and tax equity together – making the first such loan in December 2010.
“We’re beginning to do construction financing in solar projects where we’ll also be offering tax equity financing,” says Barry Neal, director of Wells Fargo’s environmental finance division. “I think there’s been demand for that.”
Financing renewable energy projects has been the biggest challenge for renewable energy developers since the credit crisis began. Those that can land tax equity can’t always find construction financing and vice versa.
Read more in the San Francisco Business Times.
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