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Bank of America Spends Billions On Solar, Continues To Fund Coal

Bank of America Spends Billions On Solar, Continues To Fund Coal

The Bank of America recently announced that it will help finance up to $2.6 billion in commercial and industrial rooftop solar arrays through a partnership with Merrill Lynch, Prologis and NRG.

This investment represents a significant boost to the renewable energy industry in the United States, as the installations are expected to provide approximately 733 megawatts (MW) of distributed solar energy, which is enough to power approximately 100,000 homes.

The deal deal is part of Bank of America’s 10-year, $20 billion Environmental Business Initiative, launched in 2007, and adds to a growing list of recent commitments including a newly established goal by the company to reduce its global green house gas emissions 15 percent by 2015, and the launch of a $55 million energy efficiency finance program.

What doesn’t add up is why the Bank of America would spend so much supporting renewable energy while also funding mountain top removal coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains.

In 2008, BoA made a public commitment to phasing out its funding of mountaintop removal mining, but theĀ Rainforest Action Network and Sierra Club’s 2011 report card, Policy and Practice, found that the bank helped contribute more than $2.5 billion in loans and bonds to MTR companies as recently as 2010.

The coal industry spends millions dollars lobbying politicians to continue subsidizing its filthy practices, draining valuable research and development dollars that could help the solar, wind, and geothermal industries go mainstream.

So why would BoA be dabbling in opposing markets? Because it’s a sound investment, of course.

BoA Merrill is acting as sole financial and structuring advisor and sole lender on this transaction, which is being executed under the Department of Energy’s Financial Institutions Partnership Program (FIPP). Through FIPP, the DOE will guarantee 80 percent of the $1.4 billion debt financing for this transaction.

Despite the ulterior motives, this distributed solar project will generate employment across 28 states and the equivalent of more than 10,000 full-year jobs, giving a huge boost to the amount of grid-connect solar online in the U.S. today.

Related Reading:

Flashmob Asks Bank of America To Pay Its Taxes (Video)

Bank Of America Announces New Environmental Goals

Bank of America Cheated Employees AND Homeowners

Image Credit: DirtyMoney.org

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17 comments

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5:13AM PDT on May 27, 2013

Can just sustainable fuels be used and invested?

11:56AM PDT on May 26, 2013

Thanks

5:49PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

anyway, thanks.

9:13PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

ugh.

4:46PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

They are a business of course everything that they do for good or ill is motivated by their financial survival.

5:09PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

BoA is hedging their bets. It's really a win-win; good advertising, and an investment in future energy production. Everyone knows fossil fuel is a finite resource. They continue to make short term profit off of the fossil fuel. It's the same as campaign donations; large corporations fund both sides. No matter who the winner is, they're beholden. The loser thinks they're friends. The public is the last part of the equation.

4:20PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Anything for a buck....

4:20PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Anything for a buck....

1:42PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

BofA follows the money, no morals, values or ethics.

1:17PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

No surprise here

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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