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Still Helping Nonprofits Finance Solar Power Systems, But With A Simpler Funding Model

Monday, February 27, 2017

When readers last encountered CollectiveSun three years ago, the San Diego-based social enterprise had recently  launched. Its mission: to help small nonprofits finance solar projects. Since that time, the goal hasn’t changed, but the financing model has.

The problem the company addresses is the following: When it comes to paying for solar projects, small nonprofits–churches, schools and the like–face a great many roadblocks. IRS rules exclude them from tapping government tax incentives, for one. Also banks don’t like to provide financing, because the loans are risky.

CollectiveSun’s solution: a financing model that helps nonprofits foot the bill and also cuts their costs. “There are more than 1.5 million  nonprofits and my goal is to help as many of them as possible,” says Todd Bluechel, who joined the company about a year ago.

What Bluechel did was to make the financing model  simpler. Basically, the company cuts the cost of a solar project by 15%. That’s because it uses a 30% tax credit open to commercial and industrial entities, keeps half and returns 50% to the nonprofit customer, which has already accepted a bid from an installer of its choosing.

Source: Forbes (link opens in a new window)

Energy, Impact Assessment
social enterprise, solar
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