Appendix B: Commercial Solar Financing Options

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As the solar photovoltaic (PV) market in the United States has evolved, so too have the financing mechanisms associated with it. This appendix provides a snapshot of the current commercial solar financing arena and an overview of existing financing mechanisms. While there is significant overlap in solar financing options among the residential, government, and commercial sectors, this report focuses on options and considerations for commercial entities only. Traditional solar financing models are being adapted to encompass increasingly complex relationships between solar energy consumers and solar development. This guide explores the variety of financing options available to commercial entities, ranging from the historical mainstays of the solar financing spectrum - third-party ownership (TPO) models, which include power purchase agreements (PPAs) and leases, in addition to loans and cash purchases - to relatively more recent additions, including property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, performance contracting, and green bonds, among others. This appendix ('Appendix B. Commercial Solar Financing Options') is one chapter in the Environmental Protection Agency's broader Guide to Purchasing Green Power, which provides a detailed overview of green power markets and procurement.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationGuide to Purchasing Green Power: Renewable Electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates, and On-Site Renewable Generation
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-7A40-68912


  • commercial solar
  • green power
  • midscale solar
  • power purchase agreement
  • solar financing


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