Onsite Solar Projects
Solar power sales reps have been knocking on doors and cold-calling businesses to spread the good news about the free power waiting on everybody’s rooftops. The sales pitch is so basic and appealing, harvest the sun’s energy, and save money. It all seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, solar power options for commercial clients are not that simple and a bad decision can be costly for many years to come.
The ability for businesses to install and benefit from a rooftop solar array varies greatly from one utility to the next. There are specific constructs within each utility’s tariffs and infrastructure that may cause on-site solar options to be more or less attractive. In addition, retail electricity suppliers often have clauses in their agreements that penalize on-site solar users because the on-site source of power reduces the supplier's ability to deliver the contracted quantity of energy. Retail energy products need to be structured with potential on-site solar needs in mind, while also accounting for the net-metering necessary to allow the client to benefit from any excess power produced by the solar array. Clients must also decide if they will finance or purchase their new solar panels and need to consider ongoing maintenance and service costs as well. Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs) are also a major consideration when evaluating the cost/benefit of a client-owned solar asset.
5 takes the time to understand the opportunities and constraints for each client as they consider potential solar power options and then builds the financial modeling necessary to guide their decisions. This process considers federal and regional incentives, upfront and ongoing costs, current and future energy market conditions, and the client’s sustainability goals. Some clients elect to add on-site solar (rooftop, parking awnings, stand-alone units) while others decide to participate in community solar programs or purchase Renewable Energy Credits,
Virtual Purchase Power Agreements (VPPAs
), or Renewable Retail Contracts
to meet their company’s ESG goals. 5 assists the client during every step of the process and holds solar developers and their sales reps accountable for the critical details of each offer.
Community Solar Projects
A community solar project is one where the benefits of an off-site solar array are shared among multiple parties. Community solar programs are enabled by state legislation and promote renewable energy development by providing financial savings to customers for subscribing to off-site solar projects. Community solar customers benefit from utility bill savings, but do not receive the electricity generated from the array or the renewable attributes (RECs). Community solar is a good option for credit-worthy institutions to save money on utility bills without any upfront cost or on-site development risk.
Contact Us to learn how 5 can assist with your company’s solar power evaluation process.