Ipsun completes Virginia’s first C-PACE funded solar projects


Ipsun completed the first C-PACE projects in Virginia, at Rocklands BBQ, totaling 44-kW on two adjacent properties located in Arlington County. The project will generate almost 59,000 kWh of electricity per year. While it will cost approximately $142,000 to complete, the project’s energy savings are estimated to be $281,000+ over the effective useful life of the equipment.

“Installing the first-ever C-PACE project in Virginia is exciting, and we hope it shows more commercial businesses that this financing model brings a solar energy project within reach for many,” said Herve Billiet, Ipsun CEO.

During the exploration phase of Rocklands’ solar project, Ipsun VP Joe Marhamati explained the various financing options to Rocklands’ owner, John Snedden. Working with Marhamati and Scott Dicke, Director of Mid-Atlantic Sales & Support Services at C-PACE administrator Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Snedden saw the numbers and decided that using C-PACE financing through Arlington Community Federal Credit Union worked best for his business.

The C-PACE model was attractive to Snedden because it allowed the project to go forward without an initial up-front payment, yet Rocklands retains ownership of the solar energy systems. This will enable Snedden to keep the Solar Renewable Energy Credits to sell in Virginia’s SREC market, and take advantage of the 26% federal tax credit.

Marhamati said, “Our analysis showed the combination of energy cost savings over the life of the solar equipment and the tax benefit would exceed $280,000, which far exceeds the costs of the system, and the solar array will pay for itself in short order. This is our first project to use C- PACE financing and we are very impressed with both the benefits and the ease of use.” Snedden said, “The solar PV systems will lower our utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, 100% financing from Arlington C-PACE helped us avoid using cash on hand. That’s the right thing for our business and community.”

Arlington C-PACE is administered by Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS). SRS streamlines the management of the data-intensive C-PACE technical and financial underwriting process, which makes using the C-PACE model easy for business owners. SRS’s Investor Confidence Project-credentialed quality assurance methodology has facilitated more than $475 million in C-PACE financing nationwide. 

Dicke said, “It was great to work with Joe Marhamati and the Ipsun Solar team. The Rocklands project is an important proof-of-concept for small businesses with sustainability goals and that want the financial flexibility offered by C-PACE financing. C-PACE covers up to 100% of a project’s capital costs, a key distinguishing feature from a traditional loan. We hope that this ‘first’ helps build momentum for new C-PACE programs in cities and counties that have not yet used C-PACE, and greater participation in the ones that are launched and live.”

Arlington C-PACE was spearheaded by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) to advance public policy goals in Arlington’s Community Energy Plan. These include reducing energy costs, increasing renewable energy deployment, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and creating local jobs.

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