NON-PROFIT SOLAR FINANCING
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Non-Profit Organization Financing Options

Non-Profit Organizations in New York now have many financial options when 'Going Solar'. Your selection of a financing option may affect who receives the incentives.

Cash

Non-Profits purchase a solar PV system with cash. In this option, the non-profit would receive 100% of all available federal, state, utility, or other incentives.

Lease

A solar lease is a financing structure whereby a third party developer or financier develops, purchases, owns, and operates a solar PV system for an end user who pays a set monthly rate for the use of the solar system. Typically the monthly rate for a solar lease is the same every month regardless of how much electricity is produced by the solar PV system, unless there is a lease escalator whereby the end user’s lease payments increase by a marginal percentage each year. The end user does not have to provide any upfront capital for the solar PV system. However, the third party developer or financier takes a portion of
the available federal tax incentives because they require a higher return on investment.  The remaining majority of incentives are then built into the monthly lease price. Solar lease terms typically last between 10 and 25 years. Many solar installers provide their customers with a solar lease option.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

A Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA, is a financing structure whereby a third party developer or financier develops, purchases, owns, and operates a solar PV system for an end user who pays a set price per kilowatt hour (kwh) for the electricity produced by the PV system. The end user typically does not have to provide any upfront capital for the solar PV system. However, the third party developer or financier takes a portion of the available federal tax incentives because they require a higher return on investment. The remaining majority of incentives are then built into the PPA price. PPA terms typically last between 10 and 25 years. Many solar installers provide their customers with a PPA option.

Loans

Currently, the below two options are available for non-profits to purchase a PV system with a loan.

The GJGNY Small Commercial Participation Loan provides financing to nonprofit entities through qualified participating lenders. An Application Package along with a Request for Financing Package is submitted to NYSERDA. If the PV application is approved by NYSERDA then it may qualify for financing from the following list of participating lenders

  • NYSERDA will finance 50% of the Eligible Loan Amount approved by NYSERDA (after all incentives have been taken into account) up to $50,000 at 2%. The participating lender will finance the remaining loan principal at market rate. 
  • Creditworthiness of applicant is dependent upon participating lender screening and approval.
  • Applicant must demonstrate payback period of 15 years or less to qualify. To learn more about the GJGNY Small Commercial Participation Loan please visit the website here.

Project must be located in member municipality who participates in the Energize NY Finance program. List of participating members can be found here.

Energize NY PACE Finance provides convenient P.A.C.E. (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in commercially and nonprofit owned properties in New York State. Eligible projects include solar PV, efficient lighting, chillers, energy storage, biomass, insulation, efficient heating or cooling, smart controls or combined heat and power.

Energize NY PACE Finance:

  • Interest rates are 4 - 6.5% with flexible terms 5-20 years, subject to market conditions.
  • Up to 100% of the cost of a project is finance-able – no down payment is required
  • Energize NY (PACE) Finance allows repayment through a special tax charge in Energize NY participating jurisdictions utilizing money from energy improvement savings.
  • Financing transfers automatically to a new owner upon sale (as well as the improvements), eliminating the need to pay it off.
  • Combines seamlessly with state and local energy incentive programs and federal tax benefits.
  • Financing available for energy improvements in existing commercial property including: office, hospitality, retail, institutional, multifamily, light industrial, non-profits, commercially-owned residential, agricultural.

Energize NY Criteria:

  • Energy improvement Savings-to-Investment ratio must be greater than one (1).
  • Annual energy cost savings from improvements must be greater than annual finance payments.
  • Property’s existing Loan-to-Value ratio no greater than 80%.
  • Financing available up to 10% of the value of the property.
  • No bankruptcy within last 7 years.
  • At least 3 year history of timely property tax payments.
  • Existing mortgage holder consent required.
  • Project must be located in member municipality who participates in the Energize NY Finance program. List of participating members can be found here.

To learn more about Energize NY financing please visit their website here or call (914) 302-7300.