Bracing for Economic Uncertainty Due to COVID-19? Consider Solar Power Purchase Agreements
It’s a difficult time for companies in all sectors, with COVID-19 causing valued employees to fall ill and forcing many industries to conduct their business digitally. It’s also led to a lot of economic uncertainty for businesses; COVID-19 may well be the cause of instabilities in our national and global economies in the coming months and years.
In this time of great need for some businesses, Minnesota solar energy installers can help companies keep their utility costs down. Whether it’s through the utilization of a new solar panel array, an LED lighting upgrade, or a power purchase agreement (PPA), your company can stop worrying about high utility bills and focus on other urgent business. We sat down with Cedar Creek Energy’s President and CEO, Rob Appelhof, to learn more about how companies can use a power purchase agreement to save money and decrease their consumption of resources in these uncertain times.
Q: First and foremost, Rob, could you please define a solar power purchase agreement and explain how it works?
Sure. A power purchase agreement is essentially a financial agreement between a commercial client and a solar energy company such as Cedar Creek Energy. Our solar company arranges the design, permitting, financing, installation, and maintenance of a solar energy system on the client’s property. We then allow the customer to purchase the renewable power generated by the system at a reduced fixed rate. It’s a win-win for both companies: the solar company has a guaranteed energy client, and that client receives inexpensive and sustainable energy.
Q: How can businesses benefit financially from a power purchase agreement? I know it’s more important than ever for companies to make smart businesses decisions.
Well, as I mentioned, a client who enters into a power purchase agreement with Cedar Creek Energy will receive reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy from the solar panels on their property. The cost of the solar energy is typically lower than the local power company’s rate. So, as you can see, it’s an easy way to save money on your monthly power bills. The client can also lock in a set price for the life of the contract, which is usually 15 to 20 years. It’s a great way to keep costs low for years to come.
Q: What happens if the solar panels need maintenance?
The beauty of a PPA is that it’s completely owned and maintained by the solar energy company. When Cedar Creek installs a solar panel array for a PPA, we regularly maintain and inspect it. If we’re made aware of any issues with the system, our solar panel technicians promptly correct them. You really won’t have to give your PPA solar array a single thought. In fact, you’ll probably spend even less time thinking about where your energy comes from and how much it costs than you do now using grid power.
Q: Will a new PPA client incur any costs during the installation?
No, there are no costs to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement. I know the initial startup cost to own a solar array can dissuade some commercial clients from making the switch, and that’s why a Power Purchase Agreement is such a great option. Cedar Creek Energy absorbs all of the upfront expense of designing and installing a PPA system. I know it almost sounds too good to be true, but a Minnesota company really can pay less for power without any upfront costs and without having to maintain the solar energy system. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Q: Just one last question, Rob: where do we sign up?! Power Purchase Agreements sound like a great tool for businesses facing an uncertain economic future due to COVID-19. How should they get in touch with Cedar Creek Energy if they’re interested in learning more?
Well, it really is a great option, and Cedar Creek Energy is always happy to have another PPA client. It saves members of our community a great deal of money on their utilities while allowing us to demonstrate our strong commitment to providing renewable energy solutions for Minnesota businesses. If a business or nonprofit is interested in learning more about Cedar Creek’s solar power purchase agreements, I would encourage them to reach out on our website or by giving us a call at (763) 432-5261.