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Published on December 31st, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Nonprofits Get Solar Power Boost From CollectiveSun, Crowdinvesting



Originally published on Cost of Solar.

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There are now several options for homeowners and businesses that want to go solar — purchasing + tax credits/rebates, solar leasing, power purchase agreements (PPAs), PACE financing, and more. However, nonprofits don’t have these same options. Due to the federal tax credit being centered around having tax liability (which nonprofits don’t have), it’s not as economical for them to go solar. Well, a company called Collective Sun is aiming to help get solar on these neglected roofs.

collectivesun
Image Credit: CollectiveSun

CollectiveSun is working exclusively with nonprofit organizations to help them get solar power. The company gets individuals (such as you or me) to invest in the solar projects. We get a great return on investment (5%), while the nonprofits get solar power and tremendously reduced energy costs.

In an article on Solar Power World, Lee Barken, Chief Community Officer at CollectiveSun, summarizes the way this system works: “The solution to this problem is a well-established financial mechanism known as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). A PPA is a third party solar ownership structure that provides solar as a service to an underlying host. Selling electrons as a service allows the third party owner to monetize tax benefits, and then pass the savings through to the host in the form of low cost power.”

“CollectiveSun™ believes that promoting sustainability and financial responsibility enhances the important and compassionate service work performed by nonprofits in our communities,” the company notes on its website.

CollectiveSun’s first project, for TERI, was successfully funded on December 11, 2013. TERI aims to improve the quality of life for children and adults with special needs. In December, CollectiveSun sent me a note about the success, writing: “Utilizing investments (not donations) from supporters, nonprofit TERI, Inc. will now be able to enjoy low cost solar power at the first of several residential facilities for adults with developmental disabilities.”

TERI has already gone back to CollectiveSun to try to raise funds for a second solar panel installation. That’s live right now.

It’s really hard to find such “multi-win” solutions as this. A nonprofit (church, community organization, school, etc.) gets financial help. The whole world benefits from a cut in global warming pollution and other pollution. And you get a good return on your investment. Suweeet!

For more, head on over to the CollectiveSun website right now.

Full disclosure: we don’t get anything from writing up this article, but just think this is a cool solar solution worth sharing.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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