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Health Center is First to Use New PACE Financing Structure for Solar in California

June 2, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

solarSolar company Conergy and Demeter Power, supported by the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, launched a new commercial solar financing structure – PACE Lease financing. The financing structure opens up solar access to commercial property owners by collecting third-party-owned solar revenues as a property tax assessment.

PACE Lease financing maintains the structure of a power purchase agreement (PPA), in which commercial property owners receive their solar system installation financed by Conergy with no capital investment. Under this structure, property owners pay for solar electricity produced on their roof at a cheaper monthly rate than they were paying for electricity from the grid.

PACE Lease financing leverages the CaliforniaFIRST PACE Program, which is administered by Renew Financial. A commercial property owner benefits by paying less in added property taxes than they were paying for electricity from the grid prior to getting solar. Property owners also avoid the hassle of an additional solar bill and can automatically transfer their energy-producing property and property tax payments to a new owner if they sell the building.

The first beneficiary of this financing structure is the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center at its newest clinic location in San Leandro, California. Conergy funded and Demeter developed a 200 kW solar system for this health center that will offset about 90 percent of the facility’s energy consumed from the grid. The health center will pay for solar energy from this system through a voluntary assessment on its property taxes. Conergy and Demeter arranged the deal for Conergy to cover construction and legal financing costs, with initial support for Demeter’s concept funded by a SunShot award from the US Department of Energy.

Photo of solar panels via Shutterstock

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