Commercial Solar



In June 2012, Connecticut passed legislation enabling Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (C-PACE).

This legislation targets commercial, industrial and multifamily property owners in the CT area. C-PACE acts as a financial tool to allow property owners to finance clean energy improvements and qualifying energy efficiency on the property through an assessment on the property tax bill, then repaid over a period of up to 20 years. The State’s C-PACE program is “owner-arranged”, in that the property owner takes on the responsibility of contracts directly with a private capital provider to obtain financing. The property lien will then transfer to the next owner in the event of a sale or transfer of ownership. Senior to a mortgage, although non-accelerated, lien payments continue in the event of a default.

  1. Must be located in a C-PACE participating municipality. Property owners in other municipalities should contact CEFIA.
  2. Must work with an approved energy professional (contractor/auditor) to be considered as an eligible project. Improvements should be permanently affixed to the property and either produce clean energy or lower property’s energy consumption.
  3. Must apply for financing on CEFIA’s C-PACE website. Once approved, CEFIA places lien on property and financing becomes available. Over the course of 20 years, property owners repay financing via local property tax bills.
  4. Must obtain written consent of existing mortgage holders.

There is no minimum financing amount. However, due to the costs of transactions, C-PACE financing is best suited for capital improvements more than $150,000.


Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) financially enable customers with solar systems in the 250kW-1MW range to gain benefits of renewable energy and stable energy costs with minimal capital outlay.

If needed, C-TEC Solar will assist customers in obtaining proposals and contracting with a PPA provider. The Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA) is an alternative option to owning and financing the system. This offers the client the opportunity to install without any upfront costs, operation or maintenance. Often considered a “third party” ownership model, this option allows customers to focus on mission and the solar experts manage the energy system. For 20 years, you can rely on predictable, fixed electricity prices through a powerful solar system for the organization.

PPA’s are a well-established contract mechanism. Large corporate operations such as WalMart, Kohl’s, airports, and water districts, use PPA’s for buying solar systems. This becomes a source of pride for the organization.

Key features and benefits of a PPA:
  1. PPA Provider assumes cost for installation and maintenance of solar PV system. Customer charged a fixed* rate for a span of 10-20 years for power generated by the system during that time. The 3rd Party Company owns the solar PV energy system, and all installation and maintenance of the system is provided by C-TEC Solar. The system owner gains benefits of the rebates, tax credits and any renewable energy credits as a result of the installation. PPA’s usually include an annual escalator at or below current forecasted electricity price growth rate.
  2. Low up-front capital required from customer. Customers can rely on long term, stable energy costs over the span of the loan. Historical average of energy rates are >4% annually. The difference between the contract power rate and the increasing market rate, times the system production level over the length of the contract equals the customer’s savings. Often, this equates to $100,000’s over the life of the system. Once the contract has ended, the customer may renew/cancel the agreement or buy the system at a fraction of the original cost.
  3. The Customer gains the marketing benefits of green energy including a reduced carbon footprint, renewable energy and the ability to market to your customers and employees. This may include real-time displays of clean energy produced and CO2 reduced.


The Federal Government offers an Investment Tax Credit that will significantly decrease the cost of installing solar. The credit is equal to 30% of expenditures, with no maximum. Businesses can also depreciate the system utilizing the 5 year Accelerated (MACRS) Schedule.



  • Fantastic payback ( sub 5 years ).
  • Customer receives tax benefits.
  • Another income stream for the business from the energy credits.
  • Reduce or eliminate an operating expense.
  • Control long term utility pricing.
  • Current incentives allow capital assets to be purchased at a significant discount.
  • Can pay cash, or be cash flow positive immediately with a loan.

  • Zero money down, and start saving immediately.
  • Financier monetizes tax credits and collects incentives.
  • Savings on Electricity 15-20%. Lock into long term savings.
  • Foreseeability into electric pricing for the next 20+ years.
  • All maintenance typically provided by third party

  • Allows customer to own system in short period of time with zero money down.
  • Financier monetizes tax credits.
  • Lessee receives state incentives.
  • Value of tax credit is passed through to the lessee via reduced lease payments.
  • Fixed payments for the lease term.
  • Hedge against rising utility rates.
  • Expensed lease payments; most leases are considered "true leases" for tax purposes, with the lease payments treated as an operating expense.
  • Most leases meet FASB13 criteria for the off balance sheet "operating leases" accounting treatment. Companies are able to use off-balance-sheet financing to keep their debt to equity (D/E) and leverage ratios low, especially if the inclusion of a large expenditure would break negative debt covenants. In addition, the asset itself is kept on the lessor's balance sheet, and the lessee reports only the required rental expense for the use of the asset.
  • Preservation of credit lines; an operating lease represents an alternative source of funds. Bank lines remain intact for other uses.