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SolarCity raises biggest ever lease fund from Goldman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rooftop solar installer SolarCity Corp on Thursday said Goldman Sachs Group Inc would finance more than $500 million of its solar power projects.

The funding for U.S. residential solar leases is the largest such deal ever announced, SolarCity said in a statement. The agreement was initiated last year and the funding expanded in April.

SolarCity has raised similar funds from banks such as U.S. Bancorp and from corporations including Google Inc and Honda Motor Co Ltd <7267.T>.

As owners of the panel systems, the banks and companies are able to claim a federal tax credit worth 30 percent of the value of the system.

The funds allow homeowners to pay a monthly fee for their solar energy panels rather than pay for them all at once. The growth of such financing in the solar industry has made generating electric power from the sun an option for households that otherwise could not afford it.

In the statement, Goldman's global head of clean technology and renewables, Stuart Bernstein, said the firm had set a target of $40 billion in financings and investments in renewable energy over the next decade.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Andrew Hay)

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