Greenworks Lending, a commercial PACE (C-PACE) capital provider, and CollectiveSun, the nation’s only company dedicated exclusively to helping nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations fund solar projects, announced today a partnership that will break down the financial barriers that nonprofits and charities face when considering solar photovoltaic systems. Together, the firms have created a commercial finance product specifically designed to meet the needs of tax-exempt organizations called “Collective PACE.”
Collective PACE combines CollectiveSun’s Solar Power Agreement (SPA), which monetizes tax credits upfront thereby lowering the cost of solar installations by 12%, and a C-PACE loan which is used to fund the remaining 88%. The SPA is a deposit lease agreement wherein nonprofits enter into a lease with a third party that owns and is responsible for the performance of a solar system. For nonprofit institutions or commercial properties that cannot monetize solar tax credits, third-party ownership has long been the sole option for these entities to access the full economic benefits of solar. Collective PACE delivers a discount to nonprofits through the upfront monetization of tax incentives by the third party, while simultaneously allowing nonprofits to take advantage of the longer-term, lower-cost financing available through C-PACE.
“This offering effectively unlocks the potential of solar for nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations,” explained Jessica Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Greenworks Lending. “We partnered with CollectiveSun to create Collective PACE in direct response to the needs of our clients. Nonprofits often own their properties debt-free, but cannot access the same funding sources as commercial businesses. Through Collective PACE, Greenworks has a unique ability to deploy C-PACE financing to a larger volume of nonprofits and this really helps the projects pencil out with greater returns for them.”
“With Collective PACE, we have created the $0 down, financing solution that nonprofit clients across the country have been asking for: long-term financing for their solar energy projects which also monetizes tax credits up front. We are excited to continue to serve our nonprofit clients with this compelling offer,” stated Lee Barken, chief community officer of CollectiveSun.
Nonprofits represent an untapped potential market for solar. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States and over 300,000 congregations. Many of these entities are interested in solar, but the upfront cash investment is too high.
Collective PACE offers multiple benefits to nonprofits:
- Monetizes tax benefits of solar for nonprofit
- Funding term matches system life
- Cash flow positive each year of ownership
- System performance monitored and guaranteed
- Nonprofit retains ownership of RECs
- Can cover non-solar property improvements
Melanie Santiago-Mosier, program director for VoteSolar.org, an advocacy organization dedicated to the acceleration of solar progress, suggested, “Persistent and rapid technology, policy and finance innovation make it possible to expand solar access and bring clean energy to the mainstream. We’re thrilled that innovative financing tools further unlock solar for those who can benefit the most, including nonprofits, while promoting clean air in communities and spurring local investments.”
Solar installers will benefit from Collective PACE through a standardized PACE SPA document that can be used alongside financing from Greenworks, which is actively funding C-PACE projects in over 12 states. Collective PACE can be used for solar systems of 50 kW or more. Nonprofits and solar PV installers are encouraged to contact either company to learn more about Collective PACE.