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  • Financing a Commercial Solar System

    Much like the residential solar market, financing solar projects in the business world can take any one of several paths. These are primarily buy outright with cash; finance through a loan; sign a lease;  or enter into a PPA/SSA (Power Purchase Agreement/Solar Services Agreement). Arranging for solar financing is now not much different than purchasing or leasing other business equipment, with many financial institutions available for such projects. Some that focus on solar projects include Admirals Bank (

    https://www.admiralsbank.com/renewable-energy-lending/loan-programs/solar-step-down/

    ); and Energy Sage (

    https://www.energysage.com/solar/financing/solar-loans/

    Solar installers and their suppliers also are frequently the most likely source for financing commercial solar. For example, SunPower (

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CEYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fus.sunpower.com%2Fsites%2Fsunpower%2Ffiles%2Fmedia-library%2Fwhite-papers%2Fwp-financing-options-commercial-solar-projects.pdf&ei=vmRfVd-MCo2uyATLm4PwAg&usg=AFQjCNFT6NDbGPnGiaSwQQFqNGj71znwEg&bvm=bv.93990622,d.aWw/

    There are some new developments in solar finance, especially for non-profits, which should also be reviewed, including crowdfunding. Here is a list of current solar crowdfunding models from a recent (2015) seminar, most only available in certain locations at the moment, but potentially becoming more widespread:

    “Investment, where the funder gets a return, which both Mosaic (

    https://joinmosaic.com/

    ) (not available to Arizona investors now)and Solar City are implementing.

    Community-based investment models like Village Power (

    http://villagepower.com/

    ) and Collective Sun (

    https://www.collectivesun.com/

    )

    • Cooperative ownership, as with Co-op Power and Energy Solidarity Cooperative.
    • Donation models like those of Everybody Solar and New Generation Energy.

    And finally, the revolving fund, RE-volv.”

    Source: http://www.pvsolarreport.com/how-do-you-finance-commercial-solar/  (Accessed May 22, 2015)

    Hopefully Arizona will eventually pass C-PACE legislation to allow businesses to finance solar through an addition to property taxes, but such legislation has been stalled or defeated for the last few years. State legislation is necessary to allow cities or counties to begin a PACE program.