Vermont collaborative offering financing for PPAs

AllSun trackerGreen Mountain Power, National Life Group and Green Lantern Capital have collaborated to make solar leasing and power purchase agreements easier to access in Vermont.

The collaboration worked with All Earth Renewables, a Vermont company manufacturing high-efficiency dual-axis solar tracking systems, to install four pilot projects.

The financing allowed AllEarth to install solar farms at the Poor Farm in the City of Rutland, Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, Woods Market Garden in Brandon, and the Town of Williston. The pilot projects, totaling 600kW, required no upfront payment from the customers and will allow them to save on their energy bills.

AllEarth Renewables has used the power purchase agreement model in the past and has serviced $15 million worth of financing through its AllEarth Servicing branch, said AllEarth spokesman Andrew Savage.

But the model made up a fraction of the company’s business and hasn’t been a big part in recent years as AllEarth has been expanding beyond Vermont’s borders.

Green Lantern Capital is new on the scene in Vermont and was largely responsible for putting together the financing to allow power purchase agreements that will help to encourage solar adoption in Vermont.

The model makes it easier for more people to go solar. It allows companies like AllEarth to finance the upfront cost of solar installation so the customer can sign what is essentially a long-term loan or a lease that will allow them to pay for the panels incrementally over time, usually for less than they would have paid the utility company for power.

“Because of this financing, customers almost can’t believe it,” Savage said. They get the solar they wanted and didn’t think they could afford with no risk and no money down. They look at us and think it sounds too good to be true.”

But financing like this works, Savage said. And having easier access to it will be good for the solar industry in the state.

Savage said AllEarth is excited about Green Lantern’s work in the state and looks forward to accessing more creative financing.

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