Full Title: Expanding Solar Deployment Opportunities in the C&I Sector
Author(s): SEIA Finance Initiative and Commercial Real Estate Working Group
Publisher(s): Solar Energy Industries Association
Publication Date: 11/2016
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Despite enormous market opportunity, strong interest in corporate responsibility, and improving economics, solar deployment in the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector has been largely stagnant over the past 5 years.
The complexities of opening the C&I sector to broad solar deployment are based on a range of inter-related issues, including: the manner in which U.S. commercial real estate is often leased, which creates a “split incentive” among real estate owners and building tenants; unrated credit among small commercial entities; a lack of “tax appetite” or ability to monetize tax credits and depreciation benefits that are critical to solar project cost-effectiveness; and constraints of cash to invest in solar and other energy production or saving investments.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financial tool that can overcome many of these barriers. PACE for commercial buildings, or C-PACE, has been approved via enabling legislation in 33 states and the District of Columbia. 40 distinct programs are now being implemented across 19 states.