In my last post about Connecticut’s clean energy finance efforts, I alluded to an important innovation in their Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) financing program for commercial properties. PACE programs have been in place for several years, and the basic concept is that property owners are able to pay back clean energy financing
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
The San Francisco Energy Cooperative is an innovative approach to community-based energy. The Co-op is based on the idea that lots of people would like to support and help propagate solar energy but don’t necessarily have the resources to do so.
Not everyone owns a home with a roof, and those who
Financing issues remain a problem in solar market growth. 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. To explore solutions, Vote Solar commissioned a report looking at the problem in more depth, and exploring
Last week our Get Some Sun webinar featured the Center for Resource Solutions’ Robin Quarrier covering proposed “Green Guides” updates from the Federal Trade Commission. Robin’s presentation was a real eye-opener for our team and should be required viewing for anyone involved in marketing
For decades California has lead the US solar industry, and is home to half of the installed photovoltaic solar capacity for the whole country. While California is known for its abundant sunshine, its affinity for solar power and its large solar market are based on far more than this. One of the biggest reasons why California
What does solar cost? Pricing on utility contracts is often opaque–and there are some good reasons for this (e.g. to promote competition). An exception to this is in Nevada, where there are legal requirements to reveal contracts. Our friends at Evolution Markets recently sent out an email that culled some publicly available data.
At least, Campbell’s Soup USA (creator of the slogan above) must think so, because they are adding a solar power system to their facility in Napoleon, Ohio.
The solar array will provide about 15 percent of the plant’s energy needs, and allow Campbell’s to save $4 million in energy costs, based on U.S. Department of
This year at the Intersolar conference, we had the pleasure of having lunch with Guy Snow, a seasoned installer from Las Vegas. As an installer, he works directly with homeowners and, therefore, has a good understanding of where the general public stands on solar education. We talked about what he sees as the major knowledge gaps for homeowners and what
How can companies like SunRun, Sungevity, and SolarCity provide a zero down or $1000 down solar lease while charging less per month than a utility company? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s a high level overview of how solar leases (and PPAs) work.
First, let’s briefly review how a homeowner would purchase and install a solar system without the benefit of a solar lease or PPA. A home owner purchases
Want to devise an incentive to get a new industry really humming? Try creating a $100 million dollar fund to finance its projects. That’s what PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) and solar financing specialist SunRun Inc. have decided to do.
Working through its non-utility subsidiary, Pacific Energy Capital II, LLC, PG&E announced a $100 million tax equity agreement that will offer financing for more than 3,500 solar roof installations planned by SunRun nationally. The fund represents the largest residential
Power purchase agreements and solar leases can eliminate up-front costs and are ideal for commercial use.
When considering solar energy for your business, what you really want is the power, so why shell out for the system? That’s the basic scheme of financial agreements known as power purchase agreements and solar leases that cover up-front equipment and installation costs while the customer pays only a monthly amount.
Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t, but the process can be rather complicated and contracts become very complex, according to Matt Lugar, vice president of sales at Stellar Energy in Rohnert Park, Calif. Lugar outlined the primary types of financial structures available for solar and the impacts of the 2008-09 financial crisis on the marketplace during a workshop held at the California Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, Calif.
Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced this week that it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with NV Energy, Inc. for the purchase 30 megawatts (MW) from the McGinness Hills Geothermal project, which is currently under construction.
The PPA is subject to various approvals including the approval of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and is projected to come on line in 2012.
When completed, the McGinness Hills project will increase the total output supplied from Ormat to NV Energy, Inc. to approximately 135 MWs, helping NV Energy to meet its renewable energy requirement. Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard legislation requires 15 percent of all electricity generated in the state to be derived from new renewable energy sources by the end of 2012.
Project finance within renewables – solar in particular – has made great progress over the past few years with the introduction of the solar PPA, and with financiers developing longer term operating data from which to base their financial models. Educated guesses are more educated and less of a guess, and big money has entered the space as the financial model has become more credible.
Enter the 2008 financial crisis. Surely, the world’s worst financial crisis (and tightest credit market) since the Great Depression will impact renewable energy project development, which is an inherently capital-intensive industry. The question is, who will it affect, and how badly? I think it’s too early to know for sure, but without a doubt, investors will likely demand higher returns for both debt and tax equity (a special form of equity designed to maximize use of tax credits) due to a general scarcity of capital. However, I don’t think funding will dry up, as solar projects boast a very different risk-return profile than do other investments given that government subsidies constitute a large slice of the project’s value and project cash flows aren’t particularly risky.