Rather than paying cash, many clients select to finance the system through conventional loans, monthly lease payments and or a power purchase agreement, as these options reduce the upfront capital requirement and often improve the return on their investment. Most Commercial Solar Systems can take advantage of the (30%) Federal Tax Credit, bonus deprecation and State / Local utility incentives. Sullivan Solar Power offers three major options for commercial clients:
- Capital Leases – Zero Down 100% Financing. Minimizes the upfront cost and allows the site host (Lessee) to utilize the Tax Credit as well as the bonus depreciation of the solar system and any additional incentives available. For Tax and accounting purposes the site hose (Lessee) owns the system, thus it is classified as an asset and the lease payments are considered a liability. Interest payments on the lease can be deducted for tax purposes.
- Operating Leases - Zero Down 100% Financing but the terms of the lease leave the tax benefits with the Lessor, while lowering the monthly lease payment to the site host (Lessee). Operating Leases tend to be the most favorable type of lease with payments lower than current cost of energy.
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – The Site Host neither owns and or leases the solar system but purchases the energy generated by the system at a specific rate over an arranged term. The Power Purchase Provider who owns the system receives the tax benefits and is responsible for all the operations and maintenance of the system. The Site Host typically has the option to buy the solar system after 6-7 years. Most large scale commercial and utility scale project are done in the form of a PPA.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program is also available for non-residential properties and or commercial properties. PACE financing allows eligible property owners to borrow up to 100% of the cost of their solar system, and then pay the money back through their property tax assessment, typically over a 20 year term. The project economics look very attractive, and allow projects to cash flow, assuming that the property owner has tax appetite and can utilize the federal tax credit and depreciation. More information about Commercial PACE and a list approved technologies as well as regions can be discussed with a Sullivan Solar Representative.
Territories that currently allow non-residential PACE financing:
- Los Angeles County
- Sonoma County
- Palm Desert
- Western Riverside Council of Governments
- More to come…