Solar Energy

Connecticut Solar Energy

The falling cost of solar energy in Connecticut
The cost of solar energy in Connecticut continues to fall each year. Solar has become affordable for commercial building owners in Connecticut because of the extremely high cost of electricity through CL&P (Eversource) and United Illuminating.

The cost of solar in Connecticut has become increasingly affordable compared to conventional energies, such as fossil fuel and grid powered energy.

Commercial electric customers from United Illuminating (UI) or Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P), now known as Eversource, can invest in solar energy and make their investment cash-flow positive on day one.

If you own commercial real estate in Connecticut, and have questions about solar energy, email us or call Rob Freeman Jr. at (866) 715-7737 to receive a free consultation.

There are a variety of established ways to finance solar projects.

In Connecticut, there are four paths you may take to take advantage of commercial solar energy:

  1. Purchase
  2. Lease
  3. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
  4. Financing (PACE)

Option 1: Solar PV system purchase

Purchasing a solar system allows you to take full control of your renewable energy.

Solar panels are designed to last for up to 30 years, providing one of the most compelling returns on investment. Solar is also a hedge against future energy price increases.

As the owner, you will also take advantage of local financing incentives, investment tax credit, accelerated MACRS depreciation and/or receive REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) income for your renewable energy production.

Solar photovoltaic systems may pay for themselves in less than 5 years (cash basis), depending on the size of the system.

Option 2: Solar Lease

A solar lease is an excellent option for commercial property owners, as well as municipal buildings or religious organizations, that are unable to take advantage of the tax benefits (investment tax credit and MACRS depreciation).

The Connecticut Green Bank offers a 20 year lease option for systems of 50-350 kW. Smaller projects may also be considered on a case by case basis. After five (5) years, customers have the option to purchase the system at Fair Market Value.

Solar leases may include roof mount and ground mount systems. However, ground mount systems are only accepted with indemnification from the municipality for environmental compliance.

Municipalities and schools must be rated A3 (Moody’s) or A- (S&P/Fitch). Commercial property owners must be rated Aa2 (Moody’s) or AA (SP/Fitch).

Lease customers must be approved for the ZREC (Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Certificate) by a solar installer.  or use the C-PACE financing option as described here.

One of the most compelling features of the solar lease is that the systems include 20 year warranties on the panels and inverters. Operations and maintenance of the panels is covered by Assurant’s solar insurance bundle. This offers a one-call path to resolution.

Option 3: Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is available to you as a commercial real estate owner interested in reducing your electric costs, with zero up front cost to your company.

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A PPA is an investment by a third party investor who uses your roof while you receive compensation in the form of a cost reduction in your electric bill. In most cases, a 30% or larger reduction in electric costs may be realized. Indeed, while CL&P recently increased electricity rates significantly, with a PPA such future inflationary rate increases associated with that electricity are substantially reduced.

Your company enjoys these FREE cost reductions for a 15 year period, after which time 1) the solar system may be purchased at market value or 2) may be or removed or 3) the PPA can be extended.

Contact us for a FREE PPA assessment which will provide you with all of the necessary information to determine if this structure is the most viable option for your commercial building.

These programs are not available indefinitely. Don’t delay: Contact us to receive your FREE evaluation today!

Credit: Oregon DOT vis flickr
Credit: Oregon DOT vis flickr

Option 4: PACE Financing

PACE financing allows real estate owners to make energy efficiency investments in their commercial properties with no money down.

Building owners may receive 100% financing for Improvements such as lighting, HVAC systems, renewable-energy systems and/or other energy-efficiency measures. These measures can be 100% financed as long as they produce a positive return on day one.

Access to PACE financing can make investments in solar energy particularly effective, especially when combined with other energy efficiency measures.

Green-Buildings.com can deliver an evaluation of your full Solar PV system outlining ROI, IRR, system cost, all state and/or federal tax incentives, cash flows, system output, and much more.

Contact us or call (866) 715-7737 for your FREE evaluation today!

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