By investing in renewable energy, businesses protect themselves from ever rising utility rates while reducing their operating costs and their carbon footprint. These days, consumers and investors are making more and more decisions based on a company's environmental and social practices and with the current incentives available to install solar, greening your business has never been more affordable.
Xcel Energy currently offers production based credits paid out over 20 years (please visit our Rebates and Incentives page) for solar installations. This combined with the actual dollar savings you see every month on your utility bill, the 30% federal tax credit, and accelerated depreciation makes adding solar to your business a great investment.
Remember too, solar electric systems are very reliable and require little to no maintenance. Click here to learn more about the benefits of solar.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
The PPA model is the most popular commercial financing mechanism. Basically, a PPA allows a customer to have a large solar power installation offset their usage for monthly payments lower than what they are currently paying the electric company. Here are some quick facts about PPAs,
- Separate taxable entity (financier) owns the system and receives utility incentives and tax benefits
- The host (property owner and customer) is usually a non-taxable organization, but not always
- PPAs are usually for projects of at least 100 kW in size, but this can include multiple properties
- The host buys kWhs produced by the system on a monthly basis
- The host can buy the system after 7 years (when all tax benefits are fully realised) for ‘fair market value’
Solar Gardens provide a new approach to using solar to offset your electrical bill. Instead of locating the solar panels on the roof of your business, you can buy into a solar garden and own a set amount of panels. The electricity produced by those panels is then 'virtually net-metered' and shown as a credit on your current Xcel Energy bill. The Solar Garden would be located within the same county and utility as your business and would be situated in an ideal location for solar (no shade and ideal orientation). If you rent the space where you are currently running your business, you can also own a subscription in a Solar Garden; the subscription is tied to your utility account number, not your physical location. For more information regarding Solar Gardens proposed in our region, visit the High Country Conservation Center's website.