7 Reasons Your Company Should Go Solar

Switching to solar energy used to be solely for companies and individuals who wanted to decrease their carbon footprint.

Times have changed, and the price of solar panel systems for commerical enterprises is now roughly 1/4th of what it was 10 years ago. Solar energy can now be a vehicle for huge cost savings.

Benefits include:

  1. 30% tax credit (ITC) dollar-for-dollar, as well as bonus depreciation.
  2. Low maintenance solar panel systems that have zero moving parts.
  3. 25-30 year warranty on all components.
  4. ROI averages 4-6 years for commercial buildings.
  5. Cost savings- 25 year IRR approaching / exceeding 20% in many cases.
  6. Sustainability initiatives/ reducing your company’s carbon footprint.
  7. Demonstrates your company’s commitment to cutting-edge technology, and improves marketability to current and potential employees.

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Make Money with Your Unused Roof Space with Commercial Solar!

Minnesota Commercial Solar: 8 More Things You Should Know

Commercial solar power has reached critical mass in Minnesota and elsewhere around the country. Commonly referred to as photovoltaics or PV, solar panel systems allow you to produce electricity that lowers your utility bills as you reduce the amount of electricity you need to draw from the utility grid. Now more economical to adopt than continuing with the status quo, many companies, such as Target, Kohl’s, Ikea, Fedex, and Intel are investing significantly in solar power. Let us help your organization earn money from unused roof space. Here’s a list of 8 things you should know about commercial solar in Minnesota:

1. Free Consultations

IPS Solar provides free solar energy consultations that include basic information for your decision-making team such as:

  • Preliminary designs
  • Cash flow analyses

It’s an easy way to quickly understand whether or not solar is the right choice for your organization.

2. Respect Your Roof

Most commercial solar installations require no roof modifications or penetrations.

  • To ensure your roof integrity, a pad or additional layer of roofing material is typically placed between it and the racking system.
  • A structural engineering review is required on all projects to assess the impacts.
  • Panels that can withstand 90+ mph winds typically add less than 4 lbs per square foot to the roof.
  • IPS Solar has 25 years of Minnesota solar panel systems experience. We understand important factors like snow and wind.

3. Maintenance Free

No moving parts means little to no maintenance for your staff.

  • Monitoring, typically standard, automatically notifies you and IPS Solar if there’s and issue.

4. Design Flexibility

Solar products have reached their maturation stage over the past several years. Regardless of your building’s specific requirements, integration is possible.

IPS Solar has a professional design team that can determine which products are best suited for your organization.

5. Tax Incentives

Every solar project qualifies for tax incentives. To understand what impacts solar can have on your bottom line it is important to include your controller or accountant early in the conversation. If you’re a non-profit organization or you can’t efficiently utilize tax incentives there are financing options that make solar adoption more financially attractive (see below).

6. Project Financing

It’s often difficult to divert money from capital improvement funds to pay for solar. Most projects in Minnesota, however, will qualify for competitive financing options.

  • Solar leasing is great for non-profit organizations and public entities, it’s also a good fit for those companies with little to no tax obligations. In this scenario:
    • The project developer pays for the upfront cost of a system, and;
    • The project developer enters into a rooftop lease and power purchase agreement with you.
  • Non-recourse solar loans are also available, structured to be cashflow positive from day one.

7. Solar Panels are Built to Last

Minnesota is host to several solar panel manufacturers.

Our design team can help you review two to three-panel choices and weigh the pros and cons of each before helping you make a decision.

8. More than a Simple Payback

Financial benefits. Most commercial solar power projects earn an internal rate of return between 10% and 15%.

Environmental benefits. Solar can help meet your organization’s sustainability goals.

Public relations. Adopting solar power can provide a great marketing opportunity; Eichten’s Organic Cheese and Bison operations in Center City, MN received positive press coverage from MPR, WCCO TV, and the Star Tribune.

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Basic Incentives Available to All Solar Projects

Solar-Panel-130% federal tax credit

We are serious! Businesses and homeowners can receive a 30% federal tax credit on the cost of a solar system.

MACRS depreciation

Businesses can depreciate a system’s cost basis on an accelerated schedule over 5 years.

Made in Minnesota

The Minnesota legislature established a solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal incentive program for consumers who install PV and solar thermal systems using solar modules and collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota.

The program is administered by the Department of Commerce with an annual budget of $15 million. Incentives for solar are performance-based, established by a system’s energy production, and paid over 10 years.

This incentive is available on three levels: For-Profit Commercial, Non-Profit/Public, and Residential.

Commercial solar power systems may have a capacity of up to 40 kW and residential systems may have a capacity of up to 10kW.

Solar Rewards

Xcel’s Solar Rewards is a performance-based incentive in which customers are compensated at a solar rate nearly twice the retail value.

Home and business owners can expect an 8-10 year return on investment while adding equity value to the property.

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Commercial Programs



Minnesota Solar on Schools Program

IPS Solar has installed solar panel systems on many schools around the state, at NO UPFRONT COST.

Over the next 30 years, these systems will save millions of taxpayer dollars by lowering operational costs for these school districts.

Contact us to find out how solar power can provide educational opportunities AND save money.

Commercial Solar Leasing

Minnesota businesses and non-profits can now install solar panel systems with no cost up front.

IPS Solar and its investors install, own, and operate the system; your company agrees to buy power from the array at a discount to your current power rate.

This program has an annual deadline of February 21st.

Contact us today to learn how solar can be cashflow-positive from day one.

Faith for Solar

IPS Solar helps congregations adopt solar power. Faith organizations are seeing benefits to stewardship while also lowering their utility bills. We can help your organization analyze program eligibility and understand what options make the most sense.

PACE Financing

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows commercial property owners to borrow money to pay for renewable energy improvements such as solar electric systems.

The amount borrowed is repaid via a special property tax assessment over time, typically 10-20 years.

Solar electric systems produce clean, reliable power that reduces utility bills, stabilize the grid, and promote home-grown renewable energy.

The major components of the system have a 25-year warranty and IPS Solar expects at least 30-40 years of useful life out of the systems. The result is reduced utility costs and increased profits for your business.

In November 2011, The Edina city council voted to adopt the first PACE program in Minnesota. IPS Solar and its partners were successful in bringing PACE financing to Eagan in the summer of 2013.

IPS Solar is working with its partners and other city councils around the state to adopt PACE financing programs. If you are a commercial property owner and would like to bring PACE to your city, contact IPS Solar today.

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