SolarCity announces Citi partnership, new CFO

The US solar provider, planning to merge with Tesla Motors, is partnering with Citi to invest in US solar projects and has promoted Radford Small to CFO.

SolarCity has agreed to partner with Citi to finance more than $347 million of US solar projects, the firm announced Thursday.

The California-based solar provider also said it has promoted a new chief financial officer, Radford Small, following the departure of president Tanguy Serra. Small was the firm’s former global capital markets executive and joined SolarCity last May from Goldman Sachs, where he was the head of clean technology and renewables.

The partnership with Citi creates two funds. One fund is expected to finance more than $284 million in residential solar projects, and the second fund, for $63 million, will invest in projects for small and medium-sized business in California.

For Citi, the move is part of its goal “to lend, invest and facilitate a total of $100 billion within the next 10 years to activities that reduce the impacts of climate change,” said Marshal Salant, head of alternative energy finance.

The partnership is an investment strategy for SolarCity following a $305 million cash injection earlier this month as the company plans to merge with Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors.

SolarCity accepted a $2.6 billion buyout offer in August that valued the company at $25.37. Acquiring SolarCity, one of the largest solar providers in the US, is part of a plan by Musk to create what he calls a “vertically integrated sustainable energy company”. His goal is to create a business that combines SolarCity’s solar panels with Tesla’s energy storage systems and battery powered cars.