There are currently over 1 million residential solar systems in the United States. Some states have more installations than others, but growth is happening all over the country. This includes states not typically considered “sunshine states” such as Massachusetts and New Jersey. The days of prohibitively expensive solar installations are long over. As technology improves, the cost of switching to solar becomes lower by the day. Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts a drop of 60% in solar prices over the next two decades. By 2040, their experts found, solar energy will be cheaper than coal and natural gas in metropolitan regions across the country. With dramatic drops in the cost of panels, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems now generate electricity at below utility costs in many parts of the United States. The cost of solar modules has dropped from $100 per watt down to $1 per watt, and this development has changed everything. By 2020, energy analysts expect that solar-generated electricity will be priced at or below the cost of utility-supplied power in over half of the U.S.
Some entrepreneurial developers see PV installations as a way to meet green criteria for their buildings and to reduce vacancy rates or increase leasing rates. Most importantly, many willing to make this investment have found ways to recover the installation and management costs — and discovered ways to profit from PV. Net-zero energy buildings, or buildings that produce all their own energy, are a popular pursuit in the green buildings market, but there is also a place for buildings that only meet part of their energy needs with PV systems. Vasari Energy offers commercial real estate developers the opportunity to lower operating expenses and boost revenue by reducing or even eliminating utility expenditures.
Commercial solar panel installation proves to tenants that they’re investing in the future of the property, and care about the environment. LEED-certified buildings with solar and efficiency attributes produce higher rents and/or lower vacancy, according to the Department of Energy. Tenants are immune from a fluctuating energy market or sporadic power outages. According to Billy Grayson, Executive Director of Urban Land Institute, an affiliation of 40,000 CRE owners, investors and other stakeholders, solar can provide tenants with a compelling reason to extend the terms of their lease. This, in turn, provides an opportunity for commercial real estate owners to increase the NPV of their buildings.
Solar can generate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars and has a return on investment in just 3-5 years in some regions with high electricity costs. Many states offer clean energy programs and financial incentives. For example, in New Jersey, there are solar renewable energy credits which allow businesses to sell excess energy to electric generators that can translate into significant sums of money for building owners. Other states, including New York, offer strong solar rebate programs. Companies are also eligible for Federal income tax credits (30 percent ITC), and the bonus of year depreciation of the entire system cost. When added up, these incentives could be used to cover a large percentage of the overall cost.
Vasari Energy acquires control of utility-scale solar project sites and undertake all areas of development including environmental studies, transmission feasibility and system impact studies, design, engineering, permitting, and obtaining a power purchase agreement with a qualified buyer of power such as a utility, city government, or high credit quality corporation. Vasari Energy may build and operate the projects or sell fully the permitted projects to a tax equity buyer, utility, independent power producer or another qualified buyer who will carry out the construction, commissioning and operation of the solar energy generating facility.