Does it make financial sense for a business to install solar power in Massachusetts?

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The easy answer? Yes. Now, send me a deposit so I can start engineering. Right?

The hard answer? Still yes for many, but also a “no” for some.

We need to figure out if that is actually the case. And that is what I do for a living. I’ll start with an analysis of a commercial solar power installation in Massachusetts (that’s where I work). Arguably, this analysis is heavily biased toward the “Yes” window when we consider Massachusetts. Visiting we see that The Spirit of America is rated #2 in the nation for its level of solar hospitability. Here’s why…

Solar power is financially smart
*All of these numbers are estimates. Your company will have unique financial and structural details that change some of these assumptions. A direct  A 250kW Solar PV System will cover its initial investment in under three years

Some definitions to help you better under things.

System Wattage – this is the peak wattage of the solar module at peak sunlight. On a bright summer day, your solar power system will be pushing at least this number.

Price per Watt Installed – the numbers we use to help you judge the pricing of your system other than the total price. This price per watt helps us better breakdown costs by sub-components, and also helps us compare our system costs to other fuel types and their industry vernacular.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) – power companies have a legal requirement to buy a certain amount of SRECs. An SREC is 1,000kWh delivered of clean solar energy – about the amount of energy that three solar modules will produce in one year. The going rate (and it is a variable market price supported by regulatory requirements) is at least $250/MWh (check out SREC Trade for up to the minute pricing).

Tax CreditBusiness Investment Tax Credit might be the greatest reason for the success of solar power in the United States. If you pay Federal Taxes you’ll have a chance to benefit here – exactly 30% of the system price will be counted against your final tax bill. Essentially, functioning and successful businesses are given great motivation to install solar power for 30% off.

Depreciation – Solar Power is part of a class of items that allows you to depreciate your hardware in five years.

As you can see, a solar power system will both save you on your electricity bill – but it will also give you a revenue stream through selling your clean energy credits, and it will save you significant money with the IRS. All of this while protecting your company against future energy price increases.

So, yeah, now you can send me that engineering deposit. 🙂

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John Weaver
Solar Power Plant Project Developer at Commercial Solar Guy

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar consultant – aka The Commercial Solar Guy. As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects worth more than $10 million, ranging from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain – as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier, climbs mountains, played football, enjoys an IPA or scotch, needs to get away, and really loves this strange connection between politics, energy, finance, environment, etc in the energy world, and likes run on sentences.

Current and occasional stock positions that I have written about are ASYS, TSLA, CAFD and TAN – plus Bitcoin and Etherium.

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