New Hampshire: Commercial Solar Financing + Government Incentives 0

Looking into commercial solar financing and government incentives in New Hampshire can be a game-changer for businesses wanting to go green. With great tax credits and special financing options, the costs of starting solar projects can be much lower, making it easier to go solar.

In this guide, we’ll explain the main commercial solar financing options and government incentives in New Hampshire. This will help business owners understand how to make smart choices and get the most out of solar energy. Whether you have a small business or manage large properties, knowing about these programs can help you save money on energy and support a cleaner environment.

Main Commercial Solar Financing Options in New Hampshire

Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) 

A Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a financing deal where a third-party developer takes care of installing, owning, and maintaining a solar system on a commercial property. The property owner buys the electricity generated at a fixed, usually lower, rate. This arrangement allows businesses to benefit from solar power without any upfront costs and with minimal financial risk. 

Best for Certain Projects 

Solar PPAs are especially beneficial for large-scale operations like manufacturing plants or big office complexes. In New Hampshire, businesses can avoid initial costs and enjoy lower energy rates, making PPAs an appealing option for those wanting to reduce financial risks linked to solar investments.

Solar Lease 

A solar lease is like renting, where a business pays a set monthly fee to use a solar system installed by a third-party provider. The payment stays constant regardless of how much energy is produced, and the provider handles system maintenance. 

Best for Certain Projects 

Solar leases work well for medium-sized commercial properties, such as retail stores, small manufacturing units, or multi-tenant buildings. These businesses can take advantage of solar energy without needing to buy the system and without dealing with maintenance.

Solar Loan 

A solar loan allows a business to borrow money to buy and install a solar system. The business owns the system and can benefit from tax credits and incentives, with the loan repaid over time, usually with interest. 

Best for Certain Projects 

Solar loans are ideal for businesses that prefer to own their solar system to take advantage of tax benefits, like the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or Production Tax Credit (PTC). They suit commercial entities with good credit, such as corporate offices, hotels, or hospitals, planning to stay in their property long-term.

Energy Service Agreements (ESA) 

An Energy Service Agreement (ESA) involves a service provider installing and maintaining an energy system on a property with no upfront cost to the owner. The property owner pays for the energy consumed at a rate typically lower than the local utility rate. ESAs often include performance guarantees, linking payments to energy savings compared to a set baseline. 

Best for Certain Projects 

ESAs are ideal for energy-intensive businesses like data centers, large supermarkets, or industrial facilities aiming to cut energy costs without upfront investment or maintenance worries. These agreements help stabilize energy expenses, allowing businesses to focus on their main operations.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) 

C-PACE financing lets commercial property owners fund energy efficiency and clean energy improvements through a voluntary property tax assessment. State or local governments provide the funding, which is repaid over a long period, usually matching the system’s lifespan. 

Best for Certain Projects 

C-PACE financing is great for commercial properties undergoing major renovations or upgrades, including sustainability improvements. This is ideal for shopping centers, older office buildings, or hospitality venues aiming to increase energy efficiency and property value through sustainable upgrades.

Commercial Solar Financing Companies in New Hampshire

Granite State Solar 

Granite State Solar offers a variety of solar financing options tailored for commercial projects. They provide solar loans, leases, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). 

SolarCraft 

SolarCraft provides flexible solar financing solutions, including loans, leases, and PPAs, designed to meet the needs of different businesses. 

Sunlight Financial

Specializing in solar loans, Sunlight Financial offers various loan options with competitive interest rates and terms. Their services also include funding for solar battery storage systems.

Green Bridge Energy (US-Wide)

Green Bridge Energy offers a range of financing options tailored for commercial solar projects. Their services include Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and various other customized financial products, designed to meet the diverse needs of businesses.

Sustainable Capital Finance (US-Wide)

Sustainable Capital Finance provides Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and takeout financing for commercial and non-profit solar projects over 100 kW across the United States. They have successfully facilitated solar installations for municipalities, tribal entities, non-profits, religious organizations, and educational institutions.

Greentech Renewables (US-Wide)

Greentech Renewables specializes in managing financial solutions for commercial solar projects nationwide. They handle product procurement, loan origination, and ongoing maintenance, ensuring seamless communication with financing partners to support solar project success.

SunRenu (US-Wide)

SunRenu offers businesses financing solutions for installing solar energy systems, providing both partial and full funding options. Their commercial solar financing includes non-recourse solar loans, fully amortized up to 20 years with no prepayment penalties, available across all 50 states.

Benefits of Commercial Solar PPA in New Hampshire

1. No Upfront Costs 

With a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), businesses in New Hampshire can install solar panels without any initial investment. The third-party developer covers the costs of installation and maintenance, allowing companies to benefit from solar energy without the financial burden of purchasing the system outright.

2. Lower Electricity Rates 

Businesses can purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels at a predetermined, often lower rate than traditional utility rates. This helps in reducing operating costs and provides a predictable energy expense, making budgeting easier.

3. Maintenance-Free 

Under a PPA, the third-party provider is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the solar system. This eliminates the hassle and costs associated with system maintenance for the business, ensuring that the system operates efficiently throughout the contract term.

4. Energy Price Stability 

A PPA offers long-term stability in energy prices, protecting businesses from fluctuating utility rates. This stability helps in financial planning and reduces the risk associated with energy price volatility.

5. Environmental Benefits 

Adopting solar energy through a PPA contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of the business. This not only supports environmental sustainability but also enhances the company’s reputation as a green and responsible entity.

6. Enhanced Property Value 

Properties with solar installations often see an increase in value. The savings from reduced energy costs and the appeal of having a sustainable energy source can make commercial properties more attractive to buyers and tenants.

7. Support for Local Economy Utilizing a PPA often involves local installers and maintenance providers, which supports the local economy. This can lead to job creation and economic growth within the community.

These benefits make Solar PPAs a compelling option for New Hampshire businesses looking to adopt renewable energy solutions while managing costs and mitigating financial risks.

How Can You Get Free Solar Panels in New Hampshire?

If you own commercial property in New Hampshire, you might be eligible for a solar system installation without any upfront costs by partnering with us through a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Contact us to determine your eligibility for a free solar system installation.

As a Solar PPA partner, you will:

  • Secure Lower Electricity Rates: Lock in reduced electricity costs for the next 20 years.
  • Immediate Savings: Start saving on utility bills from the very first year.
  • No Maintenance Costs: The financial responsibility for the upkeep and operation of the solar system is on us.

Advantages for EPC Firms

Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firms working on commercial solar projects that need financing can reach out to us for a solar PPA. This agreement includes the primary solar equipment and also covers mobilization funding, allowing EPC firms to use their funds for other essential project areas such as balance of system, payroll, and engineering, instead of purchasing equipment.

Included Solar Equipment

  • Tier 1 Solar Panels: High-efficiency, top-quality solar panels
  • Inverter: Reliable and efficient inverters
  • Battery Energy Storage System: Advanced storage solutions to ensure energy reliability

This setup not only minimizes initial financial outlay but also ensures the business benefits from clean energy with minimal risk and effort.

Does New Hampshire Have Solar Incentives?

Non-Residential Sector Competitive Grants Program

Businesses in New Hampshire can benefit from the Non-Residential Sector Competitive Grants Program by receiving financial support for renewable energy projects.

  • Purpose: Provides financial support for renewable energy projects in non-residential sectors, including commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.
  • Funding: Grants are awarded competitively based on project merit and potential impact.
  • Eligibility: Open to businesses and organizations with eligible renewable energy projects.
  • Application: Requires a detailed proposal, demonstrating the project’s feasibility and benefits.
  • Benefits: Helps reduce energy costs, improve sustainability, and support the adoption of renewable energy technologies.

How to Apply

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure your project meets program requirements.
  2. Prepare Proposal: Develop a comprehensive project proposal.
  3. Submit Application: Complete and submit the application by the specified deadline.
  4. Review Process: Applications are reviewed competitively, and grants are awarded based on merit.

Net Metering

Businesses in New Hampshire can benefit from net metering by:

  1. Reducing electricity costs through credits for excess renewable energy sent back to the grid.
  2. Enhancing energy efficiency and reducing reliance on the utility grid.
  3. Increasing potential savings with the ability to offset future energy usage.
  4. Improving sustainability and reducing carbon footprint by generating renewable energy.

How Businesses Can Apply for Net Metering

  1. Evaluate Eligibility: Ensure your business’s renewable energy system qualifies for net metering.
  2. Install System: Install the renewable energy system in compliance with local regulations.
  3. Submit Application: Complete and submit the net metering application to your utility company.
  4. System Inspection: Arrange for an inspection and approval of the system by the utility.
  5. Begin Net Metering: Once approved, start receiving credits for excess energy generated.

Group Net Metering

Group Net Metering in New Hampshire allows multiple customers to combine their renewable energy generation to offset their collective energy usage. This system is beneficial for those who cannot install renewable energy systems on their own property. Businesses can participate in group net metering, allowing them to share the benefits of renewable energy generation and reduce their energy costs by being part of a group that generates renewable energy.

How to Apply for Group Net Metering

To apply for group net metering in New Hampshire, businesses need to follow these steps:

  1. Form a Group: Identify and organize a group of customers who want to combine their renewable energy generation.
  2. Select a Host: Choose a host site that will install the renewable energy system.
  3. Sign Agreements: Create agreements among group members regarding the distribution of net metering credits.
  4. Register with Utilities: Submit necessary documentation and agreements to the relevant utility for approval.

Renewable Energy Fund

Businesses in New Hampshire can benefit from the Renewable Energy Fund by receiving grants for renewable energy projects, which can help offset installation and operational costs. The fund supports projects that enhance renewable energy usage, reducing energy costs and improving sustainability.

Application Process

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure your project meets the criteria set by the fund.
  2. Submit Proposal: Provide a detailed project proposal to the New Hampshire Department of Energy.
  3. Review and Approval: Wait for the review and approval of your application.
  4. Receive Funding: Upon approval, receive the grant to support your renewable energy project.

Property Tax Exemption for Solar Panel Systems

The state allows cities and towns to offer property tax exemptions for the added value of solar energy systems. This exemption can significantly reduce the financial burden on businesses by excluding the solar installation’s added value from property tax assessments, encouraging the adoption of renewable energy​.

These programs collectively aim to lower the barriers to entry for businesses considering renewable energy projects, making solar energy more accessible and financially viable in New Hampshire.

Free Commercial Solar Financing New Hampshire

Investing in solar energy can be a significant financial commitment for businesses. However, several financing options in New Hampshire can make this transition more accessible and cost-effective. 

Here, we’ll explore Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, and other relevant financing solutions that effectively provide “free” solar financing for commercial properties.

Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

A Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) allows businesses to install solar panels without any upfront costs. In this arrangement, a third-party developer handles the installation, ownership, and maintenance of the solar system. The business then purchases the electricity generated by the system at a predetermined rate, which is often lower than the traditional utility rate. This setup means businesses can benefit from solar energy immediately, without the financial burden of purchasing the system. The key advantages include:

  • No Initial Investment: The third-party covers the installation costs.
  • Lower Energy Costs: Fixed, lower-than-market-rate energy prices.
  • Maintenance-Free: The provider is responsible for the system’s upkeep.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)

C-PACE financing is another viable option for businesses looking to invest in solar energy without significant upfront expenses. C-PACE allows commercial property owners to finance solar and other energy-efficient upgrades through a voluntary property tax assessment. 

The benefits of C-PACE include:

  • Long-Term Financing: Payments are made through property tax assessments over an extended period.
  • No Upfront Costs: 100% of the project costs can be financed.
  • Transferable Financing: The assessment can be transferred to the new owner if the property is sold.

Federal Solar Tax Credits for Commercial Projects in New Hampshire

Businesses in New Hampshire can benefit from two key federal solar tax credits to make solar energy installations more affordable: the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC).

While project owners usually can’t claim both the ITC and PTC for the same property, IRS guidelines suggest it might be feasible to apply different credits to co-located systems, like a solar and storage setup.

Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows businesses to deduct a percentage of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. This incentive helps reduce the overall cost of solar installations, promoting the adoption of renewable energy across commercial properties.

Key Features:

  • Percentage of Deduction: For solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032, businesses can claim a 30% tax credit.
  • Eligibility: Applies to both residential and commercial solar installations, including those on industrial buildings and other commercial properties.
  • Cost Coverage: The credit can be applied to various installation costs such as equipment, labor, and system design.
  • Carryover Provisions: If the credit exceeds the business’s tax liability, the excess amount can be carried forward to future years.

Example of Savings:

Consider a New Hampshire business planning to install a solar energy system costing $500,000:

  • Total Installation Cost: $500,000
  • ITC Savings: $150,000 ($500,000 x 0.30)
  • Net Cost After ITC: $350,000 ($500,000 – $150,000)

Additionally, the business would save on energy costs. Assuming an annual generation of 800,000 kWh and an electricity rate of $0.12 per kWh:

  • Annual Energy Savings: $96,000
  • 10-Year Energy Savings: $960,000

Production Tax Credit (PTC)

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) provides a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy systems, including solar, during the first ten years of operation. The credit amount is adjusted annually for inflation.

Key Features:

  • Per kWh Credit: Currently offers a credit of 2.75 cents per kWh of electricity generated.
  • Duration: Applies to the first ten years of the system’s operational life.
  • Inflation Adjustment: The credit amount is adjusted annually to account for inflation.
  • Eligibility: Systems must meet specific labor and wage requirements set by the Treasury Department.

Example of Savings:

Consider a New Hampshire business installing a solar energy system costing $1,000,000, expected to generate 1,500,000 kWh annually:

  • Total Installation Cost: $1,000,000
  • Annual Energy Generation: 1,500,000 kWh
  • PTC Rate: 2.75 cents per kWh
  • Annual PTC Amount: $41,250 (1,500,000 kWh x $0.0275)
  • Total PTC Savings Over 10 Years: $412,500 ($41,250 x 10)

Additionally, with an electricity rate of $0.12 per kWh:

  • Annual Energy Savings: $180,000
  • 10-Year Energy Savings: $1,800,000

Both the ITC and PTC provide substantial financial incentives for businesses in New Hampshire to invest in solar energy. These tax credits help lower the initial and ongoing costs of solar installations, making renewable energy a more viable and attractive option for commercial properties. For more details, businesses should consult with tax professionals or financial advisors to maximize these benefits.

Leveraging MACRS to Lower Taxes for Solar System Installations

The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is a U.S. tax depreciation method that allows businesses to recoup the costs of certain capital investments over a defined period through annual deductions. By utilizing MACRS, businesses that install solar energy systems can significantly reduce their taxable income.

How MACRS Works

Depreciation Schedule 

Solar energy systems qualify for a five-year depreciation period under MACRS. This allows businesses to write off the cost of the solar installation over five years, offering substantial tax benefits in the early years following the installation.

Bonus Depreciation 

In addition to the standard MACRS depreciation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 introduced a 100% bonus depreciation for eligible properties placed in service from September 27, 2017, to December 31, 2022. This provision enables businesses to deduct the full cost of the solar system in the first year it is operational.

Qualifying Expenditures 

The costs eligible for depreciation under MACRS include the total installed cost of the solar energy system. This covers all expenses related to equipment, labor, and installation.

Benefits for Businesses

By leveraging MACRS and the bonus depreciation provision, businesses can:

  • Maximize Early Tax Savings: Recover a large portion of the investment in the first year.
  • Improve Cash Flow: Reduce tax liabilities significantly during the initial years, freeing up capital for other investments or operational needs.
  • Encourage Renewable Energy Adoption: Lower the financial barriers to installing solar energy systems.

Example Scenario

Suppose a New Hampshire business installs a solar energy system costing $500,000. Under MACRS, the business can depreciate this cost over five years. With the 100% bonus depreciation available for installations completed within the specified period, the entire $500,000 could be deducted in the first year, substantially lowering the business’s taxable income for that year.

MACRS provides an effective way for businesses to lower the initial financial impact of installing solar energy systems. By taking advantage of the accelerated depreciation and bonus depreciation provisions, companies can realize significant tax savings, 

C-PACE New Hampshire

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financing mechanism that helps commercial property owners in New Hampshire fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Through C-PACE, property owners can access long-term, fixed-rate financing for up to 100% of project costs, including solar installations, with the repayment linked to a property tax assessment.

How C-PACE Works in New Hampshire

C-PACE financing allows property owners to repay the loan through a voluntary property tax assessment. This means the loan is attached to the property rather than the owner, and if the property is sold, the repayment obligation transfers to the new owner. This makes C-PACE an attractive option for businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency without the worry of large upfront costs.

Key Features:

  • Long-Term Financing: C-PACE offers extended repayment terms, often up to 20 years, aligning the loan payments with the energy savings generated by the project.
  • No Upfront Costs: 100% financing covers all project costs, eliminating the need for initial capital outlay.
  • Transferable: The financing is tied to the property, not the owner, making it easier to sell the property without paying off the loan.
  • Non-Recourse: The loan does not affect the property owner’s credit since it is repaid through the property tax assessment.

How Is C-PACE Repaid?

C-PACE financing is repaid through an additional line item on the property tax bill. Payments are typically spread out over the useful life of the improvements, making them manageable and often offset by the energy savings generated by the project. This repayment method ensures that the financial burden is aligned with the benefits, making energy upgrades more financially feasible for businesses.

C-PACE Lenders in New Hampshire

Several lenders provide C-PACE financing to support commercial property owners in New Hampshire. Here are five notable ones:

CounterpointeSRE: Specializes in financing sustainable real estate projects, offering tailored C-PACE solutions.

Greenworks Lending: Focuses on providing C-PACE financing to maximize energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.

Nuveen Green Capital: A national leader in sustainable commercial real estate financing, offering comprehensive C-PACE solutions.

Petros PACE Finance: Provides C-PACE financing with a focus on improving collateral value and offering non-recourse financing options.

C-PACE.COM: Affiliated with AXCS Capital, this lender offers low-cost, long-term, fixed-rate C-PACE financing for a variety of commercial property types.

By leveraging C-PACE, businesses in New Hampshire can enhance their energy efficiency, reduce operating costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability with minimal upfront investment and a manageable repayment plan​

Best Commercial Solar Financing New Hampshire

Selecting the best commercial solar financing option for your project in New Hampshire depends on several factors, including the size and scope of the project, your financial situation, and your long-term goals. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:

1. Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

  • Best For: Businesses looking to avoid upfront costs and prefer paying for the electricity generated by the solar system at a lower rate than their current utility bill.
  • Key Benefits: No initial investment, fixed lower energy costs, and maintenance handled by the third-party developer.
  • Considerations: Suitable for large-scale operations like manufacturing facilities or office complexes where energy consumption is high.

2. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)

  • Best For: Property owners looking for long-term financing tied to the property tax bill, which can be transferred to the new owner if the property is sold.
  • Key Benefits: 100% financing, long repayment terms (up to 30 years), and non-recourse financing.
  • Considerations: Ideal for comprehensive energy efficiency projects and renewable energy installations that increase property value.

3. Solar Lease

  • Best For: Medium-sized commercial properties that prefer a fixed monthly payment for using a solar system installed by a third-party provider.
  • Key Benefits: Stable monthly payments regardless of energy production, no upfront costs, and maintenance covered by the provider.
  • Considerations: Suitable for retail stores, small manufacturing units, or multi-tenant buildings.

4. Solar Loan

  • Best For: Businesses that want to own their solar system and benefit from tax credits and incentives.
  • Key Benefits: Ownership of the system, eligibility for tax incentives like the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and potential for higher long-term savings.
  • Considerations: Requires a good credit profile and is ideal for businesses planning to stay in their property long-term, such as corporate offices, hotels, or hospitals.

5. Renewable Energy Fund Grants

  • Best For: Projects that qualify for state grants designed to support the installation of renewable energy systems.
  • Key Benefits: Grants can cover a portion of project costs, reducing the overall financial burden.
  • Considerations: Best suited for non-profit organizations, municipalities, and businesses engaged in community-oriented projects.

Key Considerations:

  • Project Size and Scope: Larger projects may benefit more from PPAs or C-PACE financing due to the significant upfront costs and longer payback periods.
  • Financial Health: Businesses with strong credit may prefer loans to take full advantage of tax incentives, while those looking to avoid debt might opt for PPAs or leases.
  • Ownership vs. Leasing: Decide whether you prefer to own the solar system (and thus benefit from incentives) or lease it to avoid maintenance responsibilities and initial costs.
  • Long-Term Goals: Consider your long-term occupancy plans. If you plan to sell the property soon, C-PACE might be advantageous due to its transferability.

For personalized advice, consulting with a financial advisor or a solar energy consultant can help you determine the most suitable financing option based on your specific needs and goals.

Conclusion

New Hampshire offers a range of commercial solar financing options and government incentives to make solar energy installations more accessible and affordable for businesses. From tax exemptions and credits to innovative financing solutions like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and C-PACE financing, businesses can significantly reduce upfront costs and enhance the financial feasibility of their solar projects. These incentives also improve the return on investment by offering long-term savings through reduced energy costs and favorable tax treatments.

By leveraging these financial tools and incentives, commercial property owners in New Hampshire can greatly benefit from transitioning to solar energy. These measures not only lead to substantial cost savings and improved sustainability but also align with the state’s goals of promoting renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. Embracing these opportunities allows businesses to contribute to a cleaner environment while achieving significant economic benefits.

Melissa brings over 20 years of communications and marketing experience, consistently delivering impactful contributions that strengthen organizational relationships, optimize operational efficiency, and increase sales. With a deep-rooted interest in environmental solutions, she loves applying her skills to increase the adoption of solar technology globally.
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