Hawaii Solar: Public-Private Partnership Brings $100M in Solar Financing to Nonprofits & Businesses

solar HawaiiA recently announced public-private partnership between the state of Hawaii, Panasonic Eco Solutions, and Coronal Group LLC will offer up to $100M in solar photovoltaic (PV) financing to underserved nonprofits and businesses in this island state.

The partnership, which is part of Hawaii’s Green Energy Market Securitization Program (GEMS), was put together by Clean Power Finance (CPF), a financial services and software provider for the solar industry, and aims to “provide significant electric bill savings to underserved non-profits and businesses in Hawaii.”

Nonprofits in Hawaii that have previously found it difficult to finance a solar PV system now have another option for solar financing, thanks to a loan program under Hawaii’s Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program and an innovative public-private partnership.

Under the GEMS financing program, nonprofits can prepay a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a solar PV system, essentially allowing them to lock in their electricity costs for the next 20 years at a significant discount. Because nonprofits are not able to take advantage of either state or federal tax credits that can lower the cost of a solar power system, this program can let nonprofts still reap the benefits of solar through lower electricity rates.

“The state engaged CPF to structure the product and identify experienced partners to provide significant electric bill savings to underserved non-profits and businesses in Hawaii. We look forward to bringing clean, affordable energy to a broader demographic in Hawaii with a unique product that has the potential to serve as a model for other states and municipalities.” – Sean Coletta, managing director at CPF

Through this partnership, Coronal and Panasonic will provide engineering, procurement, and construction services to Hawaiian solar installers, as well as tax equity, while CPF will work with the state to manage capital deployment and provide underwriting services to the project.

“The Coronal-Panasonic platform provides long-term stability and peace of mind to GEMS customers. Our combined team is fully committed to the design, construction, long-term ownership and operation of solar PV systems. Enabling access to solar energy for underserved customers through the GEMS Program is just the beginning. Over time, GEMS customers can access additional solutions through our ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ platform, forming a long-term relationship with one of the most trusted brands in the world.” – Jamie Evans, head of U.S. Eco Solutions at Panasonic

The GEMS program, which uses rate reduction bonds to finance solar projects, is the first of its kind in the US, and maximizes the economies of scale through leveraging a large pool of municipal bond capital to reduce financing costs for clean energy through reduced overhead expenses.

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Image: US Navy

Cost of Solar

March 30, 2015

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