First Solar Bonds Financing $4.6 Billion U.S. Panel Boom
Underwriters from Bank of America Corp. (BAC) to Credit Suisse AG and Citigroup Inc. (C) for the first time are close to converting sunlight into cash to pay bond investors.
Similar to asset-backed securities that finance everything from car purchases to college tuition, solar bonds will help fund rooftop power projects that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates will need to raise about $4.6 billion next year. Investors will be paid from monthly payments from people with photovoltaic panels atop their homes and businesses.
Securitization will “open up substantial amounts of liquidity and credit capacity to an industry that doesn’t have it today,” said Bill Heskett, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s managing director of asset-backed securities. He said the first deal may come in 2013 and declined to name potential issuers.