There goes the sun.
PG&E Corp. (PCG), owner of California’s largest utility, has shut a unit that was investing in renewable energy projects, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Earley said yesterday.
Earley said the company will no longer be making tax-equity investments in solar projects as it focuses on improving its utility operations in the wake of a pipeline explosion that killed eight people last year in San Bruno, California.
“I didn’t think it would be appropriate for us to be looking at opportunities outside of our utility,” Earley said at a press event in San Francisco. “Given our circumstances, we need to be focused on our utility,” he said.
PG&E will continue to manage its existing investments in project financing funds for SolarCity Corp. and SunRun Inc., Earley said. “We are not looking for more,” he said.
In such arrangements, PG&E provides capital needed to install the systems and in return receives payments from SunRun and SolarCity customers, as well as any local solar energy rebates and benefits from the 30 percent federal investment tax credit for renewable energy.
Despite the spin, PG&E’s decision has nothing to do with any pipeline explosion and everything to do with the cloudy financial outlook for solar subsidies.