Solar Power Purchase Agreements & Other Learnings Brian Millberg Energy Manager, City of Minneapolis Gayle Prest l Sustainability Director, City of

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1 Solar Power Purchase Agreements & Other Learnings Brian Millberg Energy Manager, City of Minneapolis Gayle Prest l Sustainability Director, City of Minneapolis

2 Minneapolis Solar Installations Solar Thermal: Fire Station #1: 3 panels (2011) Fire Station #4: 3 panels (2012) Solar PV: Fire Station #4: 13.2 kw (2012) Fire Station #6: 5 kw (2005) Fire Station #19: 9.83 kw (2011) Jerry Haaf Parking Ramp: 40 kw (2012) Royalston Maintenance Facility: kw (2006, 2012) Currie Maintenance Facility: 40 kw (2006, 2012) Minneapolis Convention Center: 600 kw (2010) 2

3 General Info: All grant funded (RDF grant or ARRA) Key Players: Mayor, Property Services, Sustainability and Xcel Brian previously ran a solar installation company Pricing/financing dramatically changed 3

4 Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) PPA = your site, leased to developer who installs, maintains, and owns the array selling the energy production directly to you. No/low up-front costs to you Developer takes advantage of 30% Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) Predictable electricity cost for length of contract Avoid direct design/rebate/permitting work No maintenance/operation headaches 4

5 Minneapolis Convention Center 601 kw DC completed in December ,613 Siliken 230W panels Unirac ISYS mounting system 6 Solectria 95kW inverters, 480V Maximum AC output 567 kw 750,000 kwh/year output Produces 8% - 10% of daytime electricity consumption at the site System owned and operated by MCC Solar, LLC 5

6 Convention Center Project Financials Installed cost: $3,100,000 ($5.15/Kw) Renewable Development Fund (RDF) grant from Xcel Energy ratepayers: $2,000, Year Fixed price contract: $ /kWh Buy-out provision: Starting in year 7 at 14% of original cost Yearly reduction in price until 8% of original cost in year 20 RECS owned by Xcel Energy due to RDF grant 6

7 PPA Basic Steps: 1. Solar and rooftop assessment (if needed) 2. Develop RFP, Review Proposals 3. Negotiate PPA 4. Install/monitor system 5. Year 7 make decision to own or continue 7

8 Step 1: Rooftop Assessment Ideally, roof replacement along with solar installation. Surprisingly, many modern buildings cannot take the additional weight of a solar array Make sure that assessment includes where you will place materials on roof when they arrive. Don t forget Solar Pathfinder assessment! 8

9 Step 2: RFP Request for Proposals Project Description Local and State Regulatory Requirements Detailed Site Description/Drawings Project Schedule Requirements RFP Scoring System Description Get help from engineering experts! 9

10 Step 2: RFP Review Proposals RFP evaluation criteria: Total kwh/year guaranteed $/kwh pricing Contractor experience level Developer experience level Financing mechanism Project approach Minority/small business/local labor usage 10

11 Step 2: RFP Review Proposals kwh/year Guarantee clause Avoids outrageous claims of electricity production Requires developer to reimburse customer annually for extra electricity charges if production falls below guaranteed kwh level 11

12 Step 2: RFP Developer Assessment #1 criteria financial strength Beware of first time developers Require signed letter of credit with a reputable bank with the Project Proposal Need your financial consultant to conduct financial due diligence #2 criteria construction experience For a large installation, should be partnered with a general contractor with a history of large complex construction projects. More pertinent is complex electrical contractor experience. 12

13 Step 3: Writing the Actual PPA Purchase and sale of solar services Financing, construction, contracts, design, installation, and testing of systems Operation and maintenance of systems Purchase of solar services Price and payment General covenants Insurance requirements; irrevocable letter of credit Force Majeure events Term of agreement; City options Events of default Remedies following default Indemnification Miscellaneous provisions Lease of property space where array will be placed 13

14 Step 3: Writing the PPA Project financing Construction contract System design and installation Utility approvals/interconnection agreement Energy delivery Ownership of rebates/recs Remuneration for loss of solar production PPA could run to 50+ pages, many examples exist 14

15 Step 4: Install/Monitor Utility approvals/interconnection agreement Make sure your utility is on board at the beginning Being in network grid area raises cost of system, but Xcel policies are improving All costs paid by the developer Monitor installation to avoid problems later on 15

16 Upcoming: Community Solar Gardens (Xcel Energy) Docket before Public Utilities Commission (August 7) Up to 1 Megawatt in size No limit on the number of community solar projects that can be developed Subscribers will receive a bill credit for the electricity generated in proportion to the size of their subscription Individual subscriptions must be at least 200 Watts, but may not be sized at more than 120 percent of average annual subscriber energy consumption (in combination with other on-site distributed generation) Subscribers may live in a county adjacent to county where the solar garden is located Keen interest in siting CSG on public land 16

17 Thank You Other Resources: U.S. EPA: Solar Power Purchase Agreements site Overview, challenges, opportunities, resources Webinar (includes presentations, Q&A, and follow-ups) National Renewable Energy Laboratory Power Purchase Agreement Checklist for State and Local Governments (PDF) 17

18 PPA Financial Case (1 MW system) PPA allows a developer to reduce system cost through: 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) 5 year accelerated depreciation with 50% bonus in first year (2013) Construction Cost: $3,000,000 30% FIT Credit: - $900,000 Initial Cost $2,100,000 5 Year MACRS*: Depr. Value Tax Savings First year: $1,050,000 $441,000 Years 2 5: $262,500 $110,250 * Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System 18

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