Trina Solar Limited, a global enterprise in photovoltaic modules, solutions and services, and Argand Energy announced on October 17th the completion of a 453 kW solar PV system on the rooftop of Exhibit Resources in Raleigh. This project, commissioned in July, is one of the few third-party owned commercial rooftop projects completed in North Carolina without the SunSense incentive.
Argand Energy led the development and financing efforts for this project overcoming two significant obstacles. The first was securing an investor to take advantage of the 35% state tax credit offered by North Carolina. N.C. state tax credit investors are scarce and those that can monetize the credit typically prefer to deal with larger projects to keep transaction costs down. Argand was able to tap into its extensive network of financing partners to bring in a high net worth individual willing to come into a deal of this size. The second obstacle involved overcoming the loss of the SunSense incentive when the program was cancelled late in 2012 by Duke Energy.
"The loss of the SunSense incentive changed the project economics," said Rob Lease, VP of Sales at Argand Energy. "But we had a dedicated team and a committed host site and wanted to see the project come to fruition. We worked closely with our development team, our financier, and our partners at Trina Solar to rework the numbers. With some creativity, we were able to make the project pencil for all sides."
As host of the solar energy system, Exhibit Resources benefits from an annual payment from the financier for leasing the roof space. In addition, the company can choose to purchase the system at the end of the 20 year term if they would like. Until then, the electricity generated from the project will be sold to Duke Energy.
"We are proud to be hosting this solar project," said Lana Calloway, CEO of Exhibit Resources. "Our company has always been committed to sustainability and this project furthers our commitment to investing in a cleaner North Carolina and also provides an educational opportunity for our customers. The Argand team was extremely helpful throughout the process."