PenFed goes solar in Loanpal deal

A PenFed official said he wants to build a program in which PenFed can sell participations of these loans to smaller CUs.

PenFed, the nation’s third-largest credit union, announced Monday a partnership to buy solar loans from Loanpal as part of its strategy to expanding its portfolio of unsecured loans.

PenFed’s VP of lending, Jay Fee said the credit union, based in Tysons, Va., ($24.8 billion in assets, 1.8 million members) hopes to eventually originate its own solar loans, but the current model will allow it to gain experience with the complexities of solar loans, including tax credits that vary by state and vetting contractors.

Nearly 315,000 U.S. households added solar energy systems in 2018, and installations rose by 7% based on generating capacity, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and Solar Energy Industries Association. They expect total photovoltaic capacity, including utilities and other non-residential installations, to rise 14% this year.

While California remains the largest market, their reports show most of the growth is coming from states that have been solar shy, including Texas and Virginia, both home to large numbers of PenFed members.


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