Financing Non-Residential Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

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1 Financing Non-Residential Photovoltaic (PV) Systems LSU Center for Energy Studies Alternative Energy 2009 Jason Coughlin Baton Rouge, LA April 22, 2009

2 NREL Overview Located in Golden, Colorado Began in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) Designated a National Lab in 1991 and changed name to NREL Federally-funded managed by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Battelle and Midwest Research Institute) Areas of expertise Renewable electricity Renewable fuels Integrated energy system engineering and testing Strategic energy analysis Technology Transfer > 1,200 employees 2

3 3 The Basic Elements of PV Finance Cost of a PV System Retail Electricity Savings & Net Metering Available Incentives Financing

4 The Cost of a PV System (per Watt before incentives) 4 $12.00 $10.00 $8.00 $6.00 $10.50 $4.00 $7.60 $2.00 $ Costs have declined but still expensive 50 kw commercial system = $380,000 Source: Tracking the Sun: The installed costs of photovoltaics in the US from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. February

5 5 The Cost of a PV System Source: Tracking the Sun: The installed costs of photovoltaics in the US from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. February

6 6 The Cost of a PV System (cents per kwh) Traditional electricity prices Cost of PV (kwh) Today cents per kwh Lousiana US 2 0 Residential Commercial Industrial Average Future /kwh by /kwh by 2015 grid parity Source: U.S. Department of Energy, EIA. Table 5.6.A. Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State, December 2008 and

7 7 Grid Parity PV cents /kwh Traditional electricity 9.64 cents/kwh

8 8 Elements of a PV Project RECs Renewable Portfolio Standards Tax Credits and Exemptions Cost of Electricity Rebates and Incentives Economics of a PV System Net Metering Solar Resources Financing

9 Renewable Portfolio Standards Renewable Portfolio Standards NY: 24% by 2013 CA 20% by states have an RPS. 5 states have an RE goal. Solar hot water eligible State RPS State Goal TX 5,880 MW by 2015 DSIRE: March

10 10 Renewable Portfolio Standards Solar and other Distributed Generation provisions CO: 4% of RPS from solar (RPS is 20% by 2020) NJ: 2.12% solar electric by 2021 Solar hot water eligible State RPS with solar/dg provision State renewable goal with solar/dg provision TX: 500 MW from non-wind DSIRE: March 2009

11 RECs Renewable Energy Certificates What is a REC? Renewable Energy Generation Renewable Energy Attributes Commodity Electricity 1 REC = 1 MWh of renewable electricity Commonly used for RPS compliance Solar RECs are critical to getting projects financed in certain markets $115/MWh in Colorado ( kw systems) $12,500/year for 75 kw system (estimate) $ /MWh in New Jersey Value often derived from penalty payments (Alternative Compliance Payment) 11

12 12 Rebates and Incentives State and Utility Incentives D.C. FL: $4/Watt U.S. Virgin Islands Both state & utility/other programs available State programs available Utility/other programs available DSIRE: December 2008

13 13 Tax Credits and Exemptions State Tax Credits DC Personal tax credit(s) only Corporate tax credit(s) only Personal + corporate tax credit(s) Louisiana State Tax Credit for PV (generous but limited) / April 2009

14 14 Tax Credits and Exemptions Federal Tax Incentives Federal Tax incentives 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Final cost of system = $20,000 Federal tax credit = $6,000 Accelerated Depreciation (5yr MACRS) Bonus depreciation ITC + MACRS = 50+% of installed cost Stimulus Bill: 30% grant instead of tax credit Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (dsireusa.org)

15 15 Solar Resources Solar Resource #7 #6 #1 #4 #3 #2 #9 (CN) #8 #10 #5 Top ten ranking for installed capacity as of Reference on following slide

16 Leading States for Solar (MW per year) State California New Jersey Colorado Nevada Hawaii n/a New York Oregon Arizona Connecticut North Carolina n/a n/a 4.0 Others Total Solar Energy Industry Association & Prometheus Institute 16

17 17 Sector Review PV and New Construction Commercial Sector PV Installations Public Sector Installations Utility Scale PV

18 18 PV and New Construction Source:

19 19 PV and New Construction PV as an option vs. standard vs. mandated Granite countertops or PV system Hawaii and Solar Hot Water Oregon Solar on Public Buildings (1.5%) PV Ready Pre-wired Roof pitch and orientation Building Integrated PV (BIPV) $0.60/Watt cheaper than an install on an existing home (06-07)* $30,000 savings on a 50 kw system * Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. February

20 20 Solar Communities Sacramento Municipal Utility District SolarSmart new homes

21 21 Commercial Sector PV Source of Picture:

22 22 Commercial Sector Interest in PV (why) Proven Technology Employee Satisfaction Makes business sense Good Marketing and PR benefits Corporate Environmental Goals Emergence of 3 rd Party Finance Models

23 23 Two Primary Methods Purchase and Own Google Microsoft Johnson & Johnson GE Healthcare Third Party models Kohl s GM Whole Foods Wal-Mart Staples JCPenney

24 Third Party Ownership The Power Purchase Commercial PV Agreement (PPA) is becoming the primary method to finance PV in the commercial and institutional markets. MW of PV PPA Traditional Source: Solar Power Services: How PPAs are changing the PV Value Chain. Greentech Media. Feb Jon Guice & John King 24

25 25 Basics of the Third Party PPA IRS Host Fixed price Power for years Purchase PV System output Solar Developer $$$ Tax benefits Investors Tax equity Debt Return on Investment Debt Service

26 Public Sector PV 26

27 Public Sector PV Primary Issues Tax Exempt Financing Inability to benefit from tax incentives Budgets are tight Available City resources Grants, Subsidies and Rebates New Models and potential funding sources Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS) Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) Stimulus Bill Funding Third party PPA model 27

28 28 The Third Party PPA Model in the Public Sector Benefits of the PPA model Allows public agencies to benefit from tax incentives No upfront outlay of capital No O&M responsibilities Path to ownership Examples of Public Sector PPA projects San Diego Water Treatment Facility (1MW) Nellis AFB (15 MW) NREL (750 kw) Denver Int l Airport (2 MW) Many others in the works

29 UTILITY SCALE PV 29

30 Utility Scale PV Tax changes: utilities can now take the 30% ITC potential game changer at least, may act as an upper boundary on IPP costs Ability to rate base investments More control over costs Balance between ownership and contracted power 30

31 31 Utility Trends Ownership Structures Third party financed systems using PPA Direct ownership of PV systems Utility owned but distributed on leased rooftops

32 Utilities and third party ownership Duke Energy North Carolina 16 MW with SunEdison Progress Energy North Carolina 1.2 MW with SunEdison 1 MW with SunPower Nevada Power/Sierra Pacific Power 64 MW with Acciona (CSP) Source: 32

33 15 MW PV System in Colorado (Xcel and SunEdison) 33 Source: SunEdison and NREL

34 Rooftop Leasing Programs Southern California Edison Goal of 250 MW on 150 commercial roofs in 1-2MW systems $875 MM investment proposed First Solar Thin Film technology May be reduced to 160MW with 90MW for third parties Duke Energy Initial $100 MM project for 20 MW on homes, schools, and businesses Reduced to $50 MM for 10 MW Issues* Full rate base recovery? Anti-competitive concerns (squeezes out IPPs) Is it too expensive? *sources:

35 Utilities owning large solar systems Florida Power & Light (FPL) The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center 25 MW One of largest PV plants in the world FPL Property The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center 75 MW Hybrid system Solar thermal + combined cycle natural gas plant Source: FPL The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center 10 MW Sources: FPL News. FL PSC: 35 Source: FPL

36 Community Solar Voluntary Green Power Program Individual System Ownership Property ownership renters condo owners Solar access PV system benefits Virtual net metering PV system benefits Virtual net metering Tax benefits and incentives Individual System Ownership Economies of Scale 36

37 Summary Cost of PV are high but falling State Policies (RPS) drive installed capacity Available Financial incentives Tax Credits High cost of electricity Good net metering laws Good (decent) solar resources Germany (a world leader in PV and 8x US levels) Third party PPA model is well established Utilities expanding their activities New financial models continued to be developed 37

38 The U.S. Department of Energy s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Contact Information Golden, Colorado 38

39 Extra Slides on Residential PV 39

40 40 Residential Solar Leasing CT Clean Energy Fund Rebates Lease payments 2kW =$49/mo 4kW = $97/mo. 6kW = $144/mo. Federal Tax Incentives CT Solar Lease Program 15-year fixed lease payments O&M End of term options No down payment Other Solar Lease companies SolarCity FreEner-g

41 41 Property Tax Assessment Model Address the high upfront cost Home ownership issue Combine tax incentives Property Tax Assessment model

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