Increasing the energy efficiency of facilities is a smart way to prepare for installing on-site renewable energy. Efficiency upgrades shrink the energy load of the building by as much as 35%, allowing organizations to maximize the proportion of clean power generated on-site at the least cost. Only after earning the ENERGY STAR for top energy performance may a facility decide it now makes economic sense to pursue on-site renewable energy.
Eligible options for on-site generation traditionally include solar photovoltaic (PV), wind turbines, and biomass combustion. Facilities located near landfills or sewage treatment plants can also explore the option of recovering methane gas for on-site electricity generation.
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Under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model, there are no upfront or capital costs to acquire solar power because the end-user does not own the solar panels. The end-users (also known as “host customers”) buy solar power as a service much like they do grid-based energy from a utility. At the end of the month, host customers pay only for the solar energy produced on site and purchase the remaining energy they need from their utility. A solar energy services firm assumes all performance and economic risks because it owns and maintains the equipment on the host customer’s site.
If you are interested in owning on-site renewable energy sources, there may be opportunities for financial assistance: