Solar for Municipalities
As electrical prices continue to rise and municipality budgets tighten, counties and cities are increasingly eager to find ways to save money and reduce general fund expenditures. Solar for municipalities could very well be the right solution for shrinking budgets. Whether it is a city or county municipality, solar development programs available through contractors like Eagle Point Solar can greatly reduce monthly electric costs and quickly add much-needed capital to a municipality’s general fund. A non-taxable entity such as a municipality cannot take advantage of federal or state solar tax credits and incentives. Therefore, these programs serve to provide an alternative option to producing solar energy.
Additionally, solar just works well on municipality rooftops. Municipalities typically will have town halls, libraries, police and fire stations, waste water treatment plants, etc. with unused roof space and/or unused land which can be a great fit for generating energy from solar technology.
Solar energy systems can be designed and engineered to offset 100% of the municipality’s electric use or targeted to offset usage from a specific building. The financial benefit of solar for a municipality comes from harvesting the free renewable energy from the sun, coupled with the financing power of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) requiring little or no investment. The energy savings for a municipality greatly depends on the solar policy of the local utility, the size of the system, and how much energy the system is designed to offset. The two resources combined make solar an attractive solution to maximizing tax payer dollars by reducing electrical costs associated with the municipal entity.
Benefits of Power Purchase Agreement Financing
The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) concept is a simple, yet extremely effective financing tool for any entity not able to take advantage of the renewable energy tax incentives offered by state and federal governments. It also means, in most cases, organizations are able to install solar equipment and begin utilizing clean, renewable energy with little or no up-front investment.
There are generally three parties involved in a PPA: The Energy Consumer, the Investor, and the Installer. The process involves the energy consumer working with the installer to determine the proper design and installation specifications for the system to be installed. Once this is completed, the terms of the PPA can be calculated and an agreement is formed between the energy consumer and the investor. The investor then pays the installer for the design and installation of the solar array and begins to collect the agreed-upon payments for electricity generated (for the agreed term) from the energy consumer. Once the term expires, the energy consumer typically purchases the project from the investor for a nominal amount and owns the project outright for many years to come.
The PPA model provides municipalities with a financing option which has little to no investment, offers flexible term lengths, provides predictable energy costs, and contains flexible buy-out terms.
It is no secret the use of solar, directly and indirectly, helps to curb our dependence on the use of non-renewable fuel sources. This reduction in our use of dirty energy, created as a result of burning fossil fuels, greatly combats global warming trends by reducing our carbon footprint of toxic greenhouse gas emissions released into our atmosphere. Installing solar can help a municipality meet their sustainability goals while saving money at the same time. Solar is a clean, renewable energy source helping to make a positive difference in the world around us… one panel at a time.
Community Education and Development
Municipalities often lead change in their communities at a local level. Municipalities choosing to go solar are reducing their carbon footprint and diverting their electric savings to other areas of importance within the city budget. As municipalities become more and more educated on harnessing the power of the sun, they can work towards updating community solar permitting processes and making solar more accessible for everyone in their service area. Additionally, solar installations for municipalities allow for an opportunity to educate the community and demonstrate the sustainability initiatives for the city.
Secondarily, a growing number of jobs in the community is an indirect result of growing your own energy from the sun; not to mention attracting sustainability-minded businesses and residents to your community. According to the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), the solar industry employs twice as many people as the entire coal industry. The growing solar industry employs electricians, system designers, energy analyst, construction engineers, installation technicians, sales and marketing experts, professional office staff and more. Municipalities can fuel their community with well-paying local jobs which helps boost the economy and foster keeping money local.
Beginning your municipality’s solar journey shouldn’t be a daunting task. Choose to work with a qualified, reputable solar developer with extensive experience in PPA financing and presenting solar energy solutions to elected officials, board members and the public. Eagle Point Solar has over a decade of experience working with small and large municipalities in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, working alongside mayors, city and county supervisors, city clerks, utilities, finance partners and community residents to design, engineer and present a solar energy solution custom created to meet the needs of the municipality and growing community.
View Our Municipal Projects
To view a sampling of our solar projects for municipalities visit the PROJECTS page and click on Municipal. From there, you can also view our interactive Google map to view all of our municipality projects by region.
For more information and to schedule a consultation on how the power of solar will benefit your municipality contact: