Conergy and DOE-Funded Demeter Launch PACE Lease in California New Structure Makes Solar Accessible to Almost All Commercial Property Owners
SAN FRANCISCO / MIAMI, May 28, 2015 – Today, Conergy, a leading global solar company, and Demeter Power, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, announce the launch of a new commercial solar financing structure — PACE Lease® (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing — and the first customer to benefit from it. This innovative financing structure opens up solar access to the 90% of commercial property owners in America who have had challenges getting solar financing by collecting third-party-owned solar revenues as a property tax assessment.
In the United States, solar on commercial properties has failed to take hold because the overwhelming majority of commercial property owners have not had access to solar financing. Financiers have not been comfortable taking on credit risk of funding small commercial systems under a long-term lease or PPA agreement. PACE Lease® financing launched by Demeter and backed by Conergy combines conventional solar financing with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to solve this problem.
PACE Lease® financing maintains the convenient structure of a Power Purchase Agreement, in which commercial property owners receive their solar system installation financed by Conergy with no capital investment. Under this structure, property owners pay for solar electricity produced on their roof at a cheaper monthly rate than they were paying for electricity from the grid, significantly lowering or eliminating their electricity bill.
PACE Lease® financing leverages PACE, specifically the CaliforniaFIRST PACE Program, which is administered by Renew Financial. A commercial property owner benefits by paying less in added property taxes than they were paying for electricity from the grid prior to getting solar. Property owners also avoid the hassle of an additional solar bill and can automatically transfer their energy-producing property and property tax payments to a new owner if they sell the building.
The first beneficiary of this innovative structure is the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center with their newest clinic location in the Ashland section of San Leandro, California. Conergy funded and Demeter developed a 200 kW solar system for this health center that will offset approximately 90% of the energy consumed from the grid. The TVHC health center will pay for solar energy from this system through a voluntary assessment on their property taxes. Conergy and Demeter arranged the deal for Conergy to cover construction and legal financing costs, with initial support for Demeter’s concept funded by a SunShot award from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“We are thrilled to work with Renew Financial and the state of California to spearhead the way for 90% of commercial property owners to get solar with PACE Lease® financing,” said Andrew de Pass, CEO of Conergy. “We expect this deal to be the first of many.”
“We believe this project will be the catalyst for commercial solar to take off in California,” said Brad Copithorne, Vice President of Commercial PACE for Renew Financial. “Business owners have been looking for this type of financing that is offered at competitive rates and that allows for easy repayment on their property taxes. We are looking forward to funding similar deals with partners like Conergy and Demeter through the CaliforniaFIRST program.”
“This new financing program costs us nothing up front, lowers our bills, and minimizes our environmental impact,” said David B. Vliet, CEO of TVHC. “We are very pleased to be the first beneficiary of this new financing structure proving that solar is within reach for organizations like ours that must balance fiscal responsibility with a mission of improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve.”
Conergy is one of the world’s largest downstream solar companies, specializing in the design, finance, build and operation of high performance solar systems for homes, businesses and utility-scale power. Founded in 1998, the company pioneered the expansion of solar power internationally, and today combines innovative technology, industry-leading engineering and access to capital. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, Conergy has a global sales network and established subsidiaries in 15 countries. The company is privately held and majority-owned by Miami-based asset management firm Kawa Capital Management, Inc.
About Demeter Power Group
Demeter Power, U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Incubator awardee, provides the first uniform, scalable financing for commercial distributed clean energy. Demeter offers contractors, developers and commercial property owners access to zero down financing for distributed energy technologies integrated with commercial buildings.
About The SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar power. Learn more: http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.
About Renew Financial
Renew Financial is one of the nation’s most innovative clean energy finance companies. Specializing in affordable financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, it has provided clean energy financing and program services across the United States, including its flagship CaliforniaFIRST program for residential and commercial property owners.
About Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center
Founded in 1971 the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center has delivered culturally and linguistically appropriate services to residents of southern Alameda County for over 40 years. Last year, our clinics served nearly 15,000 clients, providing primary health care and mental health services to men, women and children of all ages.