PACE & PPAs – A new financing approach for small commercial solar projects

In case you missed it, Vote Solar presented a webinar today on a new financing model that may help unlock the pent up demand for solar among small commercial property owners.  Check out the recording of the webinar below.

Many would argue that the small commercial market is currently constrained by a lack of financing as a result of high transaction costs, low returns and non-investment grade counterparties. In fact for many small commercial projects, financing is simply not available. The webinar, entitled: Exploring a New Finance Model for Commercial Solar: PACE & Third Party Ownership,” explored an approach that couples the benefits of commercial PACE with the benefits of a PPA.


Exploring a New Finance Approach for Commercial Solar PACE and Third Party Ownership Model 10-24-12 10.54 AM from Vote Solar on Vimeo.

The purpose of the webinar was to introduce the solar community to a new financing approach that seeks to address the financing gap experienced by many small commercial property owners.  Data from California clearly illustrates this financing gap. As panelist Mary Kathryn Lynch explained, 72% of recent (Jan-July 2012) applications for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) were for systems under 100kW. And, while 68% of those residential projects will be financed through 3rd party financing options, only 36% of the commercial projects will be financed through a PPA.

While third-party PPAs have become widely accessible and transformed residential and larger commercial sectors, funding still remains a real bottleneck for the small commercial market niche.

The webinar explored how coupling PACE and PPAs together may remove barriers to accessing financing in the small commercial solar market. Panelists spoke to the combined benefits this approach could offer, including:

If you want to learn more about this financing approach, consider reaching out to the panelists directly:

  • Michael Wallander
    Demeter Power Group


  • Mary Kathryn Lynch
    Independent Consultant


  • William Springer
    Bingham McCutchen



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