C&I Solar Subscription Example Case Study

Swarnav S Pujari

Founder at TouchLight Innovations

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Let’s take a look at a small commercial site in California. This site pays an average of $0.18 /kWh for electricity and consumes an average of 400,000 /kWh per year. This office building primarily operates during the day and has an HVAC unit and one LVL 2 EV charger located at the site.

Here is the projected energy usage model for this site

System Sizing

For this location there is ample roof space and minimal shading which enabled us to design in a 285 kW solar system for this location.

Equipment Overview:

    • 723 Panels Rated at 395 W
    • Solar Edge Grid Tied 3 Phase Inverters with paired DC Optimizers
    • Virya OS Base Main Panel Monitoring Sensor
    • Racking & Miscellaneous Equipment

After running the site layout through design software we were able to come up with the following annual estimated performance of 438,395 kWh /Year. Which should comfortably offset 100% of this property’s energy needs annually.

Industry Standard Purchase Option:

Quotes received from other providers for the same system size came in as low as $2.05 /Watt for this 285 kW solar system.

This brings the total to $810,980 [$567,686 with 30% ITC] to have this site permitted, installed and activated. Which yields an estimated 8 year payback period for this system

On top of that you pay an on going annual monitoring and O&M fee which comes to $3,000 /Year

Industry Standard PPA Option:

Of the providers asked to quote the site none were willing to provide a PPA for a system below 500 kW in size.

To run an example PPA offering:

    • Priced between $0.12 /kWh and $0.15 /kWh
    • Term length 20 years
    • No breaking contract, liable for full contract value
    • No upfront cost

This brings your total out of pocket expense on a PPA between $1,052,148.00 – $1,315,185.00 over the 20-year period. Your monthly expense for this solar system would be between $4,384 – $5,480.

What is Holding Property Owners Back?

Purchase Option Negatives:

    • Choosing the right technology from the right manufacturer
    • Unable to modify or change system overtime as energy needs change
    • Required to have new roof before install, requires high level of thought

PPA Option Negatives:

    • Guaranteed Long Term Agreement
    • Typically results in a Lien taken out on the property
    • Puts personal or company credit on the line
    • No way to break contract easily, especially if selling the property
    • Purchasing provides far more economic incentive

Overall between a PPA and purchasing – purchasing the hardware is the better option for commercial property owners as financing terms currently are structured like a mortgage which is limiting and not the ideal way for owners to adopt renewables. Nonetheless, making a heavy upfront purchase puts property owner in a position requiring a heavy amount of research and due diligence which can take a lot of time away from other critical business efforts and property upgrades that may have better opportunity costs.

The TouchLight Subscription Solves All

As a property owner you want the following resolved:

    • I want my power coming from a renewable source
    • I want to pay as low of an electricity bill as possible
    • I want to have flexibility when it comes to the purchase I make
    • I want to protect my time and not have to spend countless weeks evaluating proposals to see how to make an investment into a project which may distract me from other business critical tasks

We resolve all the above concerns with the way we at TouchLight have structured our offering

On every TouchLight Subscription:

    • Flexible Cancellation Terms
    • Lowest cost as we extend wholesale level rates
    • Provide Property Energy Automation Software which takes all the guesswork out of what you need to meet your energy goals
    • Provide the ability to upgrade or modify your system over time
    • Cover the full process end to end
    • Offer a full financing and purchase option which comes with all the above features

TouchLight Full Financing Subscription:

    • $4,750 /Month on 10 Year Term
    • Option to freeze subscription and move to month to month at $0.15 /kWh
    • Option to cancel and have all equipment removed
    • Comes packaged with base sensor and software for Virya OS Energy Automation to begin taking all the work out of getting your energy consumption as low as possible
    • Basic O&M covered
    • Design, permitting, installation, activation all covered
    • Upgrades available

TouchLight Purchase Subscription:

    • $545,000 [$381,500 after 30% ITC] Purchase covers equipment, design, permitting, install and activation
    • $500 /Month base subscription covers the following
      • Upgrades of hardware via our equipment trade in program
      • Virya OS Energy Automation software plus the base sensors
      • Basic O&M
      • Monthly and Annual Contracts Available

To summarize how this subscription helps you:

    • You spend less purchasing or taking a financing package from TouchLight
    • You get highly favorable cancellation terms through TouchLight that don’t put you at risk of locking into a contract you can’t break which saves you time
    • You get software that does all the heavy lifting in creating a solution that gets your electricity bill as low as possible by optimizing your energy consumption through TouchLight
    • You get access to upgrades or switching your equipment at any time through TouchLight

Conclusion & Summary

In conclusion if you are looking into renewables or have been deterred by an industry that has designed its offering to maximize tax incentives or building utility scale power plants only then you can see that a subscription from TouchLight can be a viable alternative to help maximize the benefit of implementing an energy generation technology like solar.

This is primarily because you spend less money with TouchLight as you are extended wholesale level rates, given access to full building energy automation software free with your subscription, access to upgrades and modifying your system overtime and highly flexible contracts.

Overall, if you are evaluating options – purchasing will always provide the greatest economic return as it gives you the opportunity to tap into various tax incentives that are available in this industry. California happens to be one of the leaders in providing state level renewable energy incentives and also is a prime location to begin your journey toward getting your energy consumption as low as possible while also working toward increasing your property’s energy resilience.

If you are a property owner and curious how TouchLight can help you, feel free to contact our technical sales team so we can get you a quote and site evaluation done. This way you can see what your property should be getting in terms of a solar or solar + storage system to meet your specific energy goals. It will also allow you to set a benchmark for what to expect.

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