We are living in uncertain times. Whether it’s a hurricane, pandemic or something we have yet to imagine, it pays for businesses to have a resiliency plan – especially concerning the energy that powers our daily lives. No one knows that better than New York’s real estate industry, which is rushing to make the switch to the only 100 percent reliable and renewable source of energy during a crisis: the sun.
Last year, solar powered electricity production expanded 23 percent over the previous year in the U.S., according to Scientific American. The record-breaking surge means that solar now accounts for nearly 40 percent of all new generating capacity. Meanwhile, traditional energy production is being constrained.
This month, the top U.S. grid security monitor, the North American Electric Reliability Corp., echoed the concerns of both federal and private organizations as it warned utility providers nationwide to prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak and vulnerabilities in the grid from global supply chain disruption.
“At this point, many of our members are activating and/or reviewing their business continuity and preparedness plans to ensure that operations and infrastructure are properly supported,” Tobias Sellier told Environment and Energy News. Sellier is the director of media relations for the American Public Power Association, which represents around 1,400 electric utilities.
In other words, our national electrical grid could soon be in jeopardy.
“Not only is solar energy a profitable solution for landlords with under-utilized rooftop space, but in times of uncertainty, it ensures resilient business operations,” said Charles Feit, Senior Vice President of 174 Power Global Northeast and Founder of New York based OnForce Solar. “Our clients also have a resilient revenue stream they can count on.”
And during a time of economic strain, Feit mentioned that OnForce offers savvy building owners no-cost options to make the switch from traditional to solar energy.
For example, Anheuser Busch operates a large Budweiser distributio center along the Bronx River in Hunts Point. Looking to lower operational costs, the client hired OnForce to install a rooftop solar system and reduce the facility’s electricity costs. By adding more than 2,000 solar panels, OnForce transformed the unused space into a 711 kilowatt rooftop solar farm. To make the change, Anheuser Busch selected the firm’s power purchase agreement option to go green with no money down.
That financing option – which includes a 20-year maintenance, insurance, and power generation guarantee — allowed Anheuser Busch to lower its utility costs by between 10 and 30 percent and transform a variable expense into a fixed line item that could be budgeted and managed. And that’s not OnForces’ only no-cash upfront financing choice. The company’s operating lease and capital loan options mean no initial capital outlay with a typical 5, 7, or 10-year loan, plus reduced energy cost, federal tax credits or state rebates, and no lien on your building.
“We ended up hiring OnForce Solar,” a Town of Clarkstown Councilman said. “They were able to tap into about $2 million in subsidies from the state of New York. In addition to that, there were federal and state tax credits that we were able to tap into.”
The Clarkstown project had zero development cost and over its lifetime the system will save the town $4.6 million.
“We are dedicated to making community solar more available to home and business owners,” said Henry Yun, President of 174 Power Global. The company has expanded its presence in the Northeast region to accommodate growing demand for solar. “Therefore we offer a wide variety of financing options, including no cost options, that allow New Yorkers to easily make the switch to solar, even in the most difficult of times.”
OnForce’s solar experts are offering free over the phone consultations. Expect to learn how much additional revenue your real estate can earn, the short and long term benefits of solar energy, and what state and federal incentives you qualify for.