Community Capital, a division of Citi, and Helio Micro Utility Inc., have created the Green Energy Community Investment Fund to initially finance up to 4 MW of solar electricity production this year. Through this new initiative, solar power systems will be installed on qualifying commercial and public-sector facilities throughout the U.S., with an emphasis on underserved communities.
Helio mU, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., provides solar electricity to commercial, residential and not-for-profit customers with little or no initial capital outlay through long-term power purchase agreements.
According to the firms, the fund will follow the same model as the established Helio Green Energy Plan – enabling qualifying entities to buy the power generated from a solar installation rather than the panels themselves, thus providing upfront savings and smoothing the path to solar adoption.
Ideal criteria for participation in this new program include the following:
- solar projects that can be completed prior to the end of 2008 so that the benefits of the federal incentive tax credit program can be applied to the solar power system installation cost;
- customer sites that are owner-occupied or have more than 10 years remaining on the building lease;
- generating at least 50 kW, or approximately 9,000 square feet of space;
- sites that have unobstructed sun exposure year-round;
- sites that are paying over $2,000 per month in electricity bills; and
- sites in California, New Jersey or other states with existing state-level solar incentive programs.
SOURCES: Community Capital, Helio mU