PACE & PPAs – A New Financing Approach for Small Commercial Solar Projects

In case you missed it, Vote Solar presented a webinar last week on a new financing model that may help unlock the pent up demand for solar among small commercial property owners. Check out the recording of the webinar below.

Many would argue that the small commercial market is currently constrained by a lack of financing as a result of high transaction costs, low returns and non-investment grade counterparties. In fact for many small commercial projects, financing is simply not available. The webinar, entitled: Exploring a New Finance Model for Commercial Solar: PACE & Third Party Ownership, explored an approach that couples the benefits of commercial PACE with the benefits of a PPA.

The purpose of the webinar was to introduce the solar community to a new financing approach that seeks to address the financing gap experienced by many small commercial property owners. Data from California clearly illustrates this financing gap. As panelist Mary Kathryn Lynch explained, 72% of recent (Jan-July 2012) applications for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) were for systems under 100kW. And, while 68% of those residential projects will be financed through 3rd party financing options, only 36% of the commercial projects will be financed through a PPA.

While third-party PPAs have become widely accessible and transformed residential and larger commercial sectors, funding still remains a real bottleneck for the small commercial market niche.

The webinar explored how coupling PACE and PPAs together may remove barriers to accessing financing in the small commercial solar market. Panelists spoke to the combined benefits this approach could offer, including:

If you want to learn more about this financing approach, consider reaching out to the panelists directly:

Michael Wallander


Demeter Power Group

Mary Kathryn Lynch

Independent Consultant

William Springer


Bingham McCutchen

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

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2 comments on “PACE & PPAs – A New Financing Approach for Small Commercial Solar Projects

Thomas murphy

How do I email this page to someone?

Isn’t there a cheaper way to go solar? I just can’t believe that it would cost so much to preserve the environment in the long-run. Where is this headed? I am glad I know how to make my own solar panels.

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