non profit solar grants
Jun 30, 2020

Over the last decade, the rate of solar energy installations across the United States has grown rapidly as the trend of going solar continues to rise.

The growing solar industry has enormous environmental and job creation benefits—the solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016 alone. Additionally, many businesses can benefit from solar tax incentives, such as the investment tax credit or ITC.

While this tax credit is beneficial, certain organizations, such as those in the nonprofit sector, cannot benefit from it. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from property and sales tax and cannot obtain federal tax incentives for using solar.

There is the option to apply for nonprofit solar grants, but applying for grants can be time-consuming and tedious. Due to a nonprofit organization’s unique budget, finding reliable funding is crucial for any sustainability project.

So, how can a nonprofit organization achieve its goal of utilizing solar energy with the right funding?

Keep reading to learn about three financing alternatives to nonprofit solar grants to aid your search for a fitting financing solution.

Alternatives to Nonprofit Solar Grants for Financing: Clean Energy Financing Options

AVANA Capital is passionate about renewable energy. Its lending experts have created various long-term clean energy financing options for organizations of all shapes and sizes.

In the past, AVANA Capital has executed renewable energy finance structures, such as inverted lease structures, sale-leaseback structures, and more. These finance structures have been used for projects involving municipal, commercial, industrial, and community solar projects.

AVANA Capital offers the following types of term financing for renewable energy projects:


  • Term: Around 7-10 years
  • Benefit: This financing option is available to project developers who are unable to monetize on tax credit.
  • Multiple Financial Partners
  • Loan size: AVANA Capital offers custom loan sizes, with a Sale-Leaseback loan size of up to $25M

Conventional Loan

  • Term: 10 to 20 years
  • Benefit: This loan can include other streams of revenue, such as PPAs, SREC, and other revenue.
  • Multiple Financial Partners
  • Loan size: Up to $25M

US Department of Agriculture (REAP)

  • Term: 15 years or useful life
  • Benefit: Up to 85% loan guarantee
  • Guarantee fee: 1%, and .25% annual renewal
  • This loan also has a 25% equity requirement.

USDA Department of Agriculture (B&I)

  • Term: 15 years or useful life
  • Benefit: Up to 85% loan guarantee
  • Guarantee fee: 3%, and .25% annual renewal
  • This loan also has a 25% to 40% equity requirement.

Overall, clean energy financing options with AVANA Capital are beneficial alternatives to solar grants due to each option’s personalized structure, flexibility, and more.

Are you looking for dependable solar financing for your nonprofit organization?

Contact AVANA Capital today to discover a fitting financing solution for your renewable energy needs.

Other Financing Alternatives to Solar Energy Grants

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

Nonprofit organizations might also consider PACE financing for solar project funding.

PACE, or property assessed clean energy financing, was initially created so that property owners could take advantage of renewable energy projects for their home or business.

PACE offers a financing solution that allows nonprofits to overcome initial upfront cost barriers when it comes to nonprofit owned buildings. Additionally, PACE allows nonprofits to access capital that is paid for overtime.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

Another option for nonprofits are Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs. While for-profit businesses primarily use commercial solar PPAs, PPAs also benefit government entities, such as nonprofit organizations.

Because nonprofit organizations cannot take advantage of tax credits, the structure of PPAs can help a customer avoid upfront costs and operation and maintenance.

By allowing the customer to purchase power from a 3rd party, they can benefit from using solar energy without worrying about the costly nature of purchasing, installing, and maintaining the equipment.

It is important to note that due to the structure of solar PPAs, the customer will not own the solar equipment. Regardless, PPAs are still an option to consider when looking for reliable solar project financing.