Residential home solar power customers are increasingly choosing to purchase a solar electric system for their property over leasing or signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to take advantage of lower system costs, the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the better payback economics of owning a solar system.
If you read this blog--or are otherwise invested in following solar in this country--you know that the cost of a residential solar installation can be intimidatingly high, even after the excellent incentives in many states have been applied. If you have a good site and live in a good state for solar, a PV system can be one of the smartest investments you can make in your home. But for many, they just can't locate the capital or take on the increased debt burden, even to achieve the energy savings and increased energy security that solar offers.
AltaTerra Research Network brings business acumen and sustainability together in a host of advisory services and quantitative analysis projects. One of their latest products is a report on Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs). The report looks at the performance of PPAs in 2008 and examines their performance in an uncertain market. Perhaps most importantly, though, for the solar industry, the report provides the first hard data on the numbers of PPA-funded solar installations nationwide in 2008.