The Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector represents an extraordinary opportunity to deploy solar energy, but has experienced relatively slow growth due to a wide range of complexities in ownership structure, creditworthiness of the end-consumer, and other issues. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and an array of industry experts – convened as the SEIA Finance Initiative and its Commercial Real Estate working group – investigated the opportunity, associated barriers, and potential solutions of this underserved market. The culmination of the effort is a valuable whitepaper: Expanding Solar Deployment Opportunities in the C&I Sector: An Introduction to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).
“PACE is a cost-effective way to cut through market barriers and inefficiencies, allowing more U.S. businesses the opportunity to cost-effectively finance solar systems and take ownership of their energy use and generation,” said Mike Mendelsohn, SEIA’s senior director of project finance and capital markets. “By crafting this white paper, we’re hoping to expand awareness and provide much-needed clarity to project developers, real estate owners, lenders and other stakeholders. With smart financing models in place, there is no limit to the benefits solar energy can provide our nation’s communities.”
In addition to the white paper, SEIA is launching the C&I Committee, which will be open to all SEIA members. Building upon the work of the SEIA Finance Initiative, this committee will focus on opening commercial, industrial and nonprofit solar deployment opportunities through innovative financial solutions such as PACE, document standardization, and investment platforms that allow for aggregation of project cash flows to reduce transaction costs and broadly open the C&I customer base.
News item from SEIA