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Solar Power Purchase Agreement Pros And Cons Are They A Good Deal?

This page is toolkit for local governments, businesses and nonprofits showing how solar PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) work vs a lease. Eco Solar Solutions offers clean energy solar panel systems for both solar PV photovoltaic roof mounts and solar PV photovoltaic ground mounts. Contact us for array costs, price kits, solar panel system installation, solar farms, solar panel layout and angle questions. Ask about our battery charger, battery bank and the benefits of basics energy transformation. Contact us for KWH kilowatt-hours cost per watt calculators, efficiency, estimates over time, energy calculators, energy production, installation and lifespan of our free PPA solar agreements.

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Power purchase agreement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A power purchase agreement (PPA), or electricity power agreement, is a contract between two parties, one which generates electricity (the seller) and one which is looking to purchase electricity (the buyer). The PPA defines all of the commercial terms for the sale of electricity between the two parties, including when the project will begin commercial operation, schedule for delivery of electricity, penalties for under delivery, payment terms, and termination. A PPA is the principal agreement that defines the revenue and credit quality of a generating project and is thus a key instrument of project finance. There are many forms of PPA in use today and they vary according to the needs of buyer, seller, and financing counter parties.

Background

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a legal contract between an electricity generator (provider) and a power purchaser (buyer, typically a utility or large power buyer/trader). Contractual terms may last anywhere between 5 and 20 years, during which time the power purchaser buys energy, and sometimes also capacity and/or ancillary services, from the electricity generator. Such agreements play a key role in the financing of independently owned (i.e. not owned by a utility) electricity generating assets. The seller under the PPA is typically an independent power producer, or “IPP.”

In the case of distributed generation (where the generator is located on a building site and energy is sold to the building occupant), commercial PPAs have evolved as a variant that enables businesses, schools, and governments to purchase electricity directly from the generator rather than from the utility. This approach facilitates the financing of distributed generation assets such as photovoltaic, micro-turbines, reciprocating engines, and fuel cells.

Parties involved

The seller
Under a PPA, the seller is the entity that owns the project. In most cases, the seller is organized as a special purpose entity whose main purpose is to facilitate non-recourse project financing.

The buyer
Under a PPA, the buyer is typically a utility or a company that purchases the electricity to meet its customers’ needs. In the case of distributed generation involving a commercial PPA variant, the buyer may be the occupant of the building—a business, school, or government for example. Electricity traders may also enter into PPA with the Seller.

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Regulation in the United States

In the United States, PPAs are typically subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC determines which facilities applicable for PPAs under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  PPAs facilitate the financing of distributed generation assets such as photovoltaic, microturbines, reciprocating engines, and fuel cells.
PPAs are typically subject to regulation at the state and federal level to varying degrees depending on the nature of the PPA and the extent to which the sale of electricity is regulated where the project is sited. In the U.S., FERC determines which facilities are considered to be exempt wholesale generators (EWG) or qualifying facilities and are applicable for PPAs under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Where appropriate
Power purchase agreements (PPAs) may be appropriate where:
the projected revenue of the project is uncertain and so some guarantees as to quantities purchased and price paid are required to make the project viable; protection from cheaper or subsidized domestic or international competition (e.g., where a neighboring power plant is producing cheaper power) is desired; there is one or a few major customers that will be taking the bulk of the product – for example, a government may be purchasing the power generated by a power plant – the government will want to understand how much it will be paying for its power and that it has the first call on that power, the project company will want certainty of revenue; purchaser wishes to secure security of supply. With solar power projects in non-profit companies in order to reduce costs for installation of the solar energy system

Financing

The PPA is often regarded as the central document in the development of independent electricity generating assets (power plants). Because it defines the revenue terms for the project and credit quality, it is key to obtaining non-recourse project financing.
One of the key benefits of the PPA is that by clearly defining the output of the generating assets (such as a solar electric system) and the credit of its associated revenue streams, a PPA can be used by the PPA provider to raise non-recourse financing from a bank or other financing counterparty.

Contract timeline

Effective date
The PPA is considered contractually binding on the date that it is signed, also known as the effective date. Once the project has been built, the effective date ensures that the purchaser will buy the electricity that will be generated and that the supplier will not sell its output to anyone else except the purchaser.

Commercial operation
Before the seller can sell electricity to the buyer, the project must be fully tested and commissioned to ensure reliability and comply with established commercial practices. The commercial operation date is defined as the date after which all testing and commissioning has been completed and is the initiation date to which the seller can start producing electricity for sale (i.e. when the project has been substantially completed). The commercial operation date also specifies the period of operation, including an end date that is contractually agreed upon.

Preemptive termination date
Typically, termination of a PPA ends on the agreed upon commercial operation period. A PPA may be terminated if abnormal events occur or circumstances result that fail to meet contractual guidelines. The seller has the right to curtail the delivery of energy if such abnormal circumstances arise, including natural disasters and uncontrolled events. The PPA may also allow the buyer to curtail energy in circumstances where the after-tax value of electricity changes.  When energy is curtailed, it is usually because one of the parties involved was at fault, which results in paid damages to the other party. This may be excused in extraordinary circumstances such as natural disasters and the party responsible for repairing the project is liable for such damages. In situations where liability is not defined properly in the contract, the parties may negotiate force majeure to resolve these issues.

Rural Energy for America Program helps farms and small businesses go solar APRIL 9, 2017 Solar installation on a rural businesses that discovered how to afford renewable energy One of the best-kept secrets in funding solar projects is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)—a USDA program that covers up to 25% of a renewable energy project’s cost for certain agriculture and rural small businesses. A millwork business in rural Delaware featured in this article was awarded a REAP grant to offset more than $100,000 in system costs—helping to speed the ROI of their solar investment. For many small businesses and ag operations seeking the benefits of solar, finding out how to afford renewable energy while avoiding bank loans is key to their desire to stay debt-free. From the article: The USDA Rural Energy for American Program covered 25 percent of the cost for a total grant of $105,462, said Kathy Beisner, acting USDA Rural Development state director for Delaware and Maryland. A year after installing the PV (photovoltaic) system, Atlantic Millwork and Cabinetry owner Mark Woodruff reported a 90% savings in energy costs. He said he expects the system to pay for itself in six years from the time of installation. “From six years on, I’ll get almost free electricity, not to mention it helps the environment,” Woodruff said in a video interview. In addition to helping pay for renewable energy in agriculture, REAP provides guaranteed loan financing for energy efficiency projects and offers green retrofit grants. For renewable energy grants, there’s a $2,500 minimum and a $500,000 maximum—and grants may be combined with energy efficiency loan guarantees for up to 75% of the total project cost. REAP applications are available year-round, and grant decisions are made twice yearly at the end of March and October. For more information, ask your local solar provider or visit the USDA REAP website. Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants Program 101 Program Status: Open Federal Register Notice: PDF | Amendment: PDF Program Fact Sheet: PDF Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less | Guaranteed Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications October 31, 2018 or April 1, 2019 Applications for Unrestricted Grants | Guaranteed Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications April 1, 2019 Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants January 31, 2019 Guaranteed Loans Continuous Application Cycle FY 2019 Funding Amounts (Pending any funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act) Guaranteed Loans: TBD Unrestricted Grants: TBD Grants of $20,000 or Less: TBD What does this program do? Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Who may apply? Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and Small businesses in eligible rural areas. NOTE: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment. What is an eligible area? Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses. Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas. How may the funds be used? Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as: Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels) Geothermal for electric generation or direct use Hydropower below 30 megawatts Hydrogen Small and large wind generation Small and large solar generation Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as: High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) Insulation Lighting Cooling or refrigeration units Doors and windows Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment What funding is available? Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs Combined grant and guaranteed loan funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs What are the guaranteed loan terms? $5,000 minimum loan amount $25 million maximum loan amount Up to 85% loan guarantee Rates and terms negotiated with the lender and subject to USDA approval Maximum term of 30 years for real estate Maximum term of 15 years for machinery and equipment Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans What are the grant terms? Renewable Energy System Grants: $2,500 minimum $500,000 maximum Energy Efficiency Grants: $1,500 minimum $250,000 maximum Are there additional requirements? Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only. Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for guaranteed loan, or guaranteed loan and grant combination. Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report. Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment. How do we get started? Applications for this program are accepted year-round at your local office. Who can answer questions? Contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator. What governs this program? Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 4280, Subpart B This program is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill) Why does USDA Rural Development do this? This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers. NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled, "What governs this program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance. Forms & Resources NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying for a loan and/or grant. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Rural Development Energy Coordinator before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process. To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again. Instructions Application Instructions (pdf) Forms Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants (pdf) Request for Environmental Information - Form1940-20 (pdf) Application for Federal Assistance - Form SF-424 (pdf) Budget Information - Construction Programs - Form 424-C (pdf) Assurances: Construction Programs - Form 424-D (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of $80,000 (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of less than $200,000 but more than $80,000 (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of $200,000 or greater (pdf) Application for Loan Guarantee (pdf) Lender's Agreement (pdf) Certificate of Incumbency and Signature (pdf) Unconditional Guarantee (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Closing Report (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Status Report (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Borrower Default Status (pdf) Other Resources USDA Energy Investment Map USDA Energy Matrix Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program To help Maryland business owners invest in clean energy, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides grants for solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and wind turbine systems at incentive levels outlined in the two charts below. For information on the new Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program, please see our Parking Lot PV/EV Program page. Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State's key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the RPS requires that 25% of energy sold in Maryland in 2020 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2% coming from qualified solar resources. As of July 1, 2012, MEA recalculated the clean energy grant incentives based on several factors including available funds, economies of scale, a desire for more equitable distribution of funds, the cost of clean energy technologies, capacity factors, potential annual production, and data analysis from past clean energy awards. In September 2012, MEA adjusted the SWH installed capacity ranges, but kept the same total award cap, to encourage larger installed systems. Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program (CEGP) projects are eligible for either Small or Large Commercial grants, depending on installed capacity as defined in the following tables: Small Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 1-99.99 kW $60/kW Solar Water Heating (SWH) 50-249.99 sq. ft. $20/sq. ft. Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 1-24.99 tons $180/ton Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page. Large Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 100-200 kW $30/kW Solar Water Heating (SWH) 250-1,200 sq. ft. $10/sq. ft. (with total award capped at $5,000/project) Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 25-50 tons $90/ton Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page. Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies and are subject to change in amount and existence based on funding availability. Find open/pending and closed/paid Commercial CEGP grants: Weekly Status Report (Updated weekly) The project requirements are as follows: Installations must be located in Maryland. A project may not receive more than one grant. Applications must be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation. MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust. Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project. ATTENTION: Solar PV Applicants - NABCEP Requirement Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, must be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners ("NABCEP") installation certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant. Clean Energy Production Tax Credit EmPOWER Maryland utility-sponsored programs Conservation Loan Program Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program Residential Clean Energy Grant Program Windswept Grant Program Historic Review Since MEA is required to assess the impact of Clean Energy Grants on historic resources, applicants must "pre-screen" their projects to reduce the odds of applications being rejected on historic preservation grounds. Prominent installations of clean energy systems on historic properties or properties within historic areas will not qualify for this grant program. Visit the Department of Assessments & Taxation website and complete an SDAT Real Property Search to determine the age, ownership, of purpose of the property. Visit Maryland's Environmental Resources and Land Information Network, or MERLIN Online, to see if a property is recorded in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. Print the results. For pre-screening help, please follow the instructions outlined on the following tutorial: Searching for a Property's Historic Status on MERLIN Online and SDAT If you have any additional questions, you can contact MEA's historic preservation specialist via email at DLhistoric_MEA@maryland.gov. Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, have to be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners ("NABCEP") Installation Certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant. Tax Status of Clean Energy Grants issued by the State of Maryland may be taxable. As the Maryland Energy Administration is unable to give tax advice, any tax-related questions should be directed to a qualified tax professional. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)A Maryland-Eligible Renewable Energy Credit (REC) is equal to the environmental attributes associated with 1 megawatt-hour (1,000 kilowatt-hours) of energy generated by a qualified renewable energy system. For example, if a solar array produces 4,000 kWh over the course of a year, the system owner will receive 4 Solar RECs (SRECs). RECs are entirely separate from the energy generated by a renewable energy facility. RECs have monetary value and can be sold or traded to meet a supplier’s annual compliance obligations as part of Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Monetary value from the sale of RECs is typically used to help drive down the cost of deploying renewable energy technologies. More information on how RECs work in the context of Maryland’s RPS can be found on Maryland’s Renewable Energy Sources page, here: http://energy.maryland.gov/Pages/Info/renewable.aspx. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) receives and reviews all applications for qualified renewable energy technologies. Additional information on RECs, including Frequently Asked Questions and a list of qualified technologies can be found here on the MD Public Service Commission’s website: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/ElectricInfo/FAQ_new.cfm All applications for certification as a renewable energy facility can be found here on the PSC’s website: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/electricinfo/home_new.cfm Other Resources Visit the Better Business Bureau website to check out a contractor, find a BBB-accredited contractor, or file a complaint about your experience. Better Business Bureau for consumers Better Business Bureau for businesses The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Operation and metering

Maintenance and operation of a generation project is the responsibility of the seller. This includes regular inspection and repair, if necessary, to ensure prudent practices. Liquidated damages will be applied if the seller fails to meet these circumstances. Typically, the seller is also responsible for installing and maintaining a meter to determine the quantity of output that will be sold. Under this circumstance, the seller must also provide real-time data at the request of the buyer, including atmospheric data relevant to the type of technology installed.

Sales

Delivery point
The PPA will distinguish where the sale of electricity takes place in relation to the location of the buyer and seller. If the electricity is delivered in a “busbar” sale, the delivery point is located on the high side of the transformer adjacent to the project. In this type of transaction, the buyer is responsible for transmission of the energy from the seller. Otherwise, the PPA will distinguish another delivery point that was contractually agreed on by both parties.

Pricing
Electricity rates are agreed upon as the basis for a PPA. Prices may be flat, escalate over time, or be negotiated in any other way as long as both parties agree to the negotiation. In a regulated environment, an Electricity Regulator will regulate the price. A PPA will often specify how much energy the supplier is expected to produce each year and any excess energy produced will have a negative impact on the sales rate of electricity that the buyer will be purchasing. This system is intended to provide an incentive for the seller to properly estimate the amount of energy that will be produced in a given period of time.

Billing and payments
The PPA will also describe how invoices are prepared and the time period of response to those invoices. This also includes how to handle late payments and how to deal with invoices that became final after periods of inactivity regarding challenging the invoice. The buyer also has the authority to audit those records produced by the supplier in any circumstance. There is a defined timeline when PPA Provider has to send an invoice to the Generator or vice versa and if that timeline is not met then it has its own consequences, which varies from one PPA Provider to another.

Performance terms
The buyer will typically require the seller to guarantee that the project will meet certain performance standards. Performance guarantees let the buyer plan accordingly when developing new facilities or when trying to meet demand schedules, which also encourages the seller to maintain adequate records. In circumstances where the output from the supplier fails to meet the contractual energy demand by the buyer, the seller is responsible for retributing such costs. Other guarantees may be contractually agreed upon, including availability guarantees and power-curve guarantees. These two types of guarantees are more applicable in regions where the energy harnessed by the renewable technology is more volatile.

REAP grant Rural Energy for America Program helps farms and small businesses go solar APRIL 9, 2017 Solar installation on a rural businesses that discovered how to afford renewable energy One of the best-kept secrets in funding solar projects is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)—a USDA program that covers up to 25% of a renewable energy project’s cost for certain agriculture and rural small businesses. A millwork business in rural Delaware featured in this article was awarded a REAP grant to offset more than $100,000 in system costs—helping to speed the ROI of their solar investment. For many small businesses and ag operations seeking the benefits of solar, finding out how to afford renewable energy while avoiding bank loans is key to their desire to stay debt-free. From the article: The USDA Rural Energy for American Program covered 25 percent of the cost for a total grant of $105,462, said Kathy Beisner, acting USDA Rural Development state director for Delaware and Maryland. A year after installing the PV (photovoltaic) system, Atlantic Millwork and Cabinetry owner Mark Woodruff reported a 90% savings in energy costs. He said he expects the system to pay for itself in six years from the time of installation. “From six years on, I’ll get almost free electricity, not to mention it helps the environment,” Woodruff said in a video interview. In addition to helping pay for renewable energy in agriculture, REAP provides guaranteed loan financing for energy efficiency projects and offers green retrofit grants. For renewable energy grants, there’s a $2,500 minimum and a $500,000 maximum—and grants may be combined with energy efficiency loan guarantees for up to 75% of the total project cost. REAP applications are available year-round, and grant decisions are made twice yearly at the end of March and October. For more information, ask your local solar provider or visit the USDA REAP website. Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants Program 101 Program Status: Open Federal Register Notice: PDF | Amendment: PDF Program Fact Sheet: PDF Applications for Grants of $20,000 or Less | Guaranteed Loan/Grant of $20,000 or Less Combo Applications October 31, 2018 or April 1, 2019 Applications for Unrestricted Grants | Guaranteed Loan/Unrestricted Grant Combo Applications April 1, 2019 Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants January 31, 2019 Guaranteed Loans Continuous Application Cycle FY 2019 Funding Amounts (Pending any funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act) Guaranteed Loans: TBD Unrestricted Grants: TBD Grants of $20,000 or Less: TBD What does this program do? Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Who may apply? Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and Small businesses in eligible rural areas. NOTE: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment. What is an eligible area? Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses. Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas. How may the funds be used? Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as: Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels) Geothermal for electric generation or direct use Hydropower below 30 megawatts Hydrogen Small and large wind generation Small and large solar generation Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as: High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) Insulation Lighting Cooling or refrigeration units Doors and windows Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment What funding is available? Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs Combined grant and guaranteed loan funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs What are the guaranteed loan terms? $5,000 minimum loan amount $25 million maximum loan amount Up to 85% loan guarantee Rates and terms negotiated with the lender and subject to USDA approval Maximum term of 30 years for real estate Maximum term of 15 years for machinery and equipment Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans What are the grant terms? Renewable Energy System Grants: $2,500 minimum $500,000 maximum Energy Efficiency Grants: $1,500 minimum $250,000 maximum Are there additional requirements? Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only. Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for guaranteed loan, or guaranteed loan and grant combination. Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report. Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment. How do we get started? Applications for this program are accepted year-round at your local office. Who can answer questions? Contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator. What governs this program? Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 4280, Subpart B This program is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill) Why does USDA Rural Development do this? This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers. NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled, "What governs this program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance. Forms & Resources NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying for a loan and/or grant. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Rural Development Energy Coordinator before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process. To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again. Instructions Application Instructions (pdf) Forms Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants (pdf) Request for Environmental Information - Form1940-20 (pdf) Application for Federal Assistance - Form SF-424 (pdf) Budget Information - Construction Programs - Form 424-C (pdf) Assurances: Construction Programs - Form 424-D (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of $80,000 (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of less than $200,000 but more than $80,000 (pdf) Application for Total Project Costs of $200,000 or greater (pdf) Application for Loan Guarantee (pdf) Lender's Agreement (pdf) Certificate of Incumbency and Signature (pdf) Unconditional Guarantee (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Closing Report (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Status Report (pdf) Guaranteed Loan Borrower Default Status (pdf) Other Resources USDA Energy Investment Map USDA Energy Matrix Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program To help Maryland business owners invest in clean energy, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides grants for solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and wind turbine systems at incentive levels outlined in the two charts below. For information on the new Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program, please see our Parking Lot PV/EV Program page. Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State's key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the RPS requires that 25% of energy sold in Maryland in 2020 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2% coming from qualified solar resources. As of July 1, 2012, MEA recalculated the clean energy grant incentives based on several factors including available funds, economies of scale, a desire for more equitable distribution of funds, the cost of clean energy technologies, capacity factors, potential annual production, and data analysis from past clean energy awards. In September 2012, MEA adjusted the SWH installed capacity ranges, but kept the same total award cap, to encourage larger installed systems. Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program (CEGP) projects are eligible for either Small or Large Commercial grants, depending on installed capacity as defined in the following tables: Small Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 1-99.99 kW $60/kW Solar Water Heating (SWH) 50-249.99 sq. ft. $20/sq. ft. Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 1-24.99 tons $180/ton Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page. Large Commercial Clean Energy Grant Incentives Resource Conversion Technology Installed Capacity Range Award/Capacity Unit Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 100-200 kW $30/kW Solar Water Heating (SWH) 250-1,200 sq. ft. $10/sq. ft. (with total award capped at $5,000/project) Geothermal Heating & Cooling (GHC) 25-50 tons $90/ton Wind Please see the Windswept Grant Program page. Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies and are subject to change in amount and existence based on funding availability. Find open/pending and closed/paid Commercial CEGP grants: Weekly Status Report (Updated weekly) The project requirements are as follows: Installations must be located in Maryland. A project may not receive more than one grant. Applications must be submitted to MEA within 12 months of installation. MEA cannot offer grants to a property held in a trust. Multiple projects on contiguous parcels of property will be considered one project. ATTENTION: Solar PV Applicants - NABCEP Requirement Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, must be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners ("NABCEP") installation certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant. Clean Energy Production Tax Credit EmPOWER Maryland utility-sponsored programs Conservation Loan Program Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program Residential Clean Energy Grant Program Windswept Grant Program Historic Review Since MEA is required to assess the impact of Clean Energy Grants on historic resources, applicants must "pre-screen" their projects to reduce the odds of applications being rejected on historic preservation grounds. Prominent installations of clean energy systems on historic properties or properties within historic areas will not qualify for this grant program. Visit the Department of Assessments & Taxation website and complete an SDAT Real Property Search to determine the age, ownership, of purpose of the property. Visit Maryland's Environmental Resources and Land Information Network, or MERLIN Online, to see if a property is recorded in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. Print the results. For pre-screening help, please follow the instructions outlined on the following tutorial: Searching for a Property's Historic Status on MERLIN Online and SDAT If you have any additional questions, you can contact MEA's historic preservation specialist via email at DLhistoric_MEA@maryland.gov. Projects that are installed on or after July 1, 2014, have to be completed by installation contractors who maintain at least one staff member with a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners ("NABCEP") Installation Certification; or, for companies with at least 50 employees, at least one staff member with a NABCEP Installation Certification for every 25 non-administrative employees, except if an installation contractor has been registered to do business in Maryland for less than 12 months prior to the submission of an application for a grant. Tax Status of Clean Energy Grants issued by the State of Maryland may be taxable. As the Maryland Energy Administration is unable to give tax advice, any tax-related questions should be directed to a qualified tax professional. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)A Maryland-Eligible Renewable Energy Credit (REC) is equal to the environmental attributes associated with 1 megawatt-hour (1,000 kilowatt-hours) of energy generated by a qualified renewable energy system. For example, if a solar array produces 4,000 kWh over the course of a year, the system owner will receive 4 Solar RECs (SRECs). RECs are entirely separate from the energy generated by a renewable energy facility. RECs have monetary value and can be sold or traded to meet a supplier’s annual compliance obligations as part of Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Monetary value from the sale of RECs is typically used to help drive down the cost of deploying renewable energy technologies. More information on how RECs work in the context of Maryland’s RPS can be found on Maryland’s Renewable Energy Sources page, here: http://energy.maryland.gov/Pages/Info/renewable.aspx. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) receives and reviews all applications for qualified renewable energy technologies. Additional information on RECs, including Frequently Asked Questions and a list of qualified technologies can be found here on the MD Public Service Commission’s website: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/ElectricInfo/FAQ_new.cfm All applications for certification as a renewable energy facility can be found here on the PSC’s website: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/electricinfo/home_new.cfm Other Resources Visit the Better Business Bureau website to check out a contractor, find a BBB-accredited contractor, or file a complaint about your experience. Better Business Bureau for consumers Better Business Bureau for businesses The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. The U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division provides a wealth of resources about clean energy including Energy Savers: Your Home The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency (DSIRE) offers a comprehensive list of Federal, State, and Local incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Example contracts

A basic sample PPA between the Bonneville Power Administration and a wind power generating entity was developed as a reference for future PPAs.  Solar PPAs are now being successfully utilized in the California Solar Initiative’s Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program.  This aspect of the successful CSI program was just recently opened for applications.
PPAs can be managed in the European market by service providers. The legal agreements between the statewide power sectors(seller) and the trader (buyer/who buys large quantity of power) will be treated as the PPA in power sector.
Data center owners Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have used PPAs to offset the emissions and power usage of cloud computing. Some manufacturers with heavy carbon emission footprints and energy usage such as Anheuser-Busch InBev have also shown interest in PPAs. In 2017, Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to purchase using a PPA from the utility company Iberdrola in Mexico for 220 MW of new wind farm energy.

References

Albert Thumann, Eric A. Woodroof Energy Project Financing: Resources and Strategies for Success – 2009- Page 93 “WHAT IS A POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT (PPA)? A power purchase agreement is a long-term agreement to buy power from a company that produces electricity. A third-party financier will provide the capital to build, operate, and …”
D. R. Carmichael, Paul H. Rosenfield Accountants’ Handbook, Special Industries and Special Topics 2003 Page 38 “The fact that an agreement is labeled a “power purchase agreement” is not conclusive. If a contract “conveys the right to use property, plant and equipment,” the contract should be accounted for as a lease. Other power purchase contracts..”
FERC.” FERC.gov. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
PPPIRC. “PPP in Infrastructure Resource Center“.
Convert Your HOA to Solar Power with These Four Steps – Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO)“. www.echo-ca.org.
Free Online Dictionary: Non-Recourse Finance.” TheFreeDictionary.com. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
Financial Glossary.” People.hbs.edu. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
Free Online Dictionary: Counterparty.” TheFreeDictionary.com. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
AGMRC.” AGMRC.org. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
USDOE & BPA PPA.” BPA.gov. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
MASH Archived 2010-11-13 at the Wayback Machine..” CPUC.CA.gov. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
Big business sees the promise of clean energy“. The Economist. Retrieved 2017-06-25.