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Commercial solar projects have skyrocketed over the past year, which is promising for the future of renewable energy. The company that is leading the pack is none other than Apple who has installed over 400 MW of solar at multiple facilities. Amazon is a close second with 330 MW and Target is right behind them with 240 MW. The reason why more companies are transitioning to renewable energy is that it makes financial sense. According to Abigail Ross Hopper, president, and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
“During the Solar+ Decade, corporate solar investments will become even more significant as businesses use solar to fight climate change, create jobs and boost local economies. When global brands go solar, the rest of the world takes note, and this report puts the power of corporate solar investment on full display.”
Since the price of installing a solar system has decreased, more companies have invested in solar for renewable energy. New solar projects are emerging daily as businesses opt solar energy over traditional methods in the future.
In order to complete their commercial solar projects producing 1.35 MW and 1.15 MW in Maryland, Convergent Energy needed a conventional construction loan worth $5.2 million from AVANA Capital to complete its project. Convergent Energy sought the assistance of AVANA Capital because their lending bank opted not to extend their financing agreement. Ultimately, it was determined that Convergent Energy made changes to the project. Convergent Energy has a proven track record in the solar and storage energy space dating back to 2011 and they currently own more than a dozen solar projects.
Walmart has teamed up with commercial solar project financer, SunPower, to add solar panels to 21 sites in Illinois. The project will have a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems which are expected to account for 23 MW of energy. The project will begin construction in the first half of 2019 and contributes to Walmart’s plan of supplying its global operations with 50 percent renewable energy by 2025. SunPower will be financing the project using a power purchase agreement. This agreement allows Walmart to buy power at a competitive rate. In addition, it will eliminate future utility rate increases with zero upfront costs.
According to Lisa Davis, sustainability manager for IKEA U.S, says, “At IKEA, we want to have a positive impact on people and the planet. These investments support our objectives to reduce our emissions and achieve energy independence by 2020.” In order to achieve this goal, Ikea will be installing a solar system at the Norfolk location. This location will feature a 180,000-square-foot solar array comprised of 3,654 panels. This solar system will produce about 1.74 million kWh of electricity annually. Additionally, the solar array will consist of 1.26 MW. This project will inch them closer to 100% of their facilities using renewable energy. Additionally, this commercial solar project will add to their total MW generation number which is currently more than 56 MW.
As more organizations transition to solar, the price of commercial solar projects will steadily decrease. This will allow small to medium-sized businesses to join in on the benefits of renewable energy for their company’s operations. Here at AVANA Capital, we have years of renewable energy financing experience which has allowed underwriters to provide financing for projects in sectors like municipal, commercial, and industrial. We have the ability to support term financing for sale-leaseback, conventional, REAP, and USDA Department of Agriculture (B&I) loans.