The benefits of installing solar arrays on the rooftops of commercial buildings continue to grow.
Reduced hard costs due to falling prices, along with a more favorable regulatory environment, have magnified potential income from rooftop solar. The most common financial arrangement has been for the property owner to own the solar system, pay for the installation, and use the energy generated by the system to offset utility costs via net metering.
Another option is a solar site lease model. The owner of the property leases roof space to an experienced solar developer that finances and owns the solar array. The owner of the property makes money from rooftop lease payments—typically for 20+ years.
A similar option to solar site leases is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), in which the property owner signs a contract to purchase electricity generated by the array at rates below the utility retail rate. The solar developer pays for the system and uses the roof space at no cost.
Beyond such direct financial benefits, rooftop solar can help properties achieve compliance with ever more stringent environmental regulations. For example, some jurisdictions have passed laws that will penalize buildings that have not taken steps to reduce their carbon emissions.