(From Renewable Ventures website)
A while back I made a post about a company called Sun Edison and their financing model that leases solar equipment to companies with plenty of roof space soaking in the sunshine. Now, check out this article from Red Herring magazine, which talks about a "solar lease" model offered by Renewable Ventures out of S.F., Cali for organizations that want to use solar power, but shy away from the up-front costs:
"Instead of investing in startups, Renewable Ventures will finance, own, and operate solar projects for businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits that want to go solar but donÂt have the capital to pay for the upfront costs of buying and installing a system.
In exchange, those customers will agree to buy the power for about 20 years for a fixed or adjustable rate lower than the current utility rates for electricity, said CEO Matt Cheney. He compared the financial model to that of car leases and home loans. The customers also have the option to buy the system."
The article goes on to state that the investors that fund such installations get a return on their investment in the "high single digits or low double digits."
The key here is that now big-time investors are going for solar not only for a steady financial return, but also "green marketing." From their website:
"Double bottom line benefits of saving money while using clean energy -- Solar energy facilities are double bottom line investments offering both financial benefits and public relations/marketing/brand benefits valued by their customers."
They're banking on the same thing that YOU would bank on if you put in YOUR OWN small pv system: that utility electric rates will continue to go up, and that buying your "electricity in advance" in the form of solar pv panels, you protect yourself against these increases, and can count on a guaranteed long-term payback on your investment. And you'll feel grrrrreat, grrrreeeen and happy, of course!
Solar's going mainstream, little by little.
Categories: solar, energy, green, sustainable, EconomicsOfSolar