Title: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy for Tax- Exempt and Public Entities (CivicPACE)
Funding Opportunity: Solar Market Pathways
SunShot Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Washington, DC
Amount Awarded: $900,034
Awardee Cost Share: $315,260
The Solar Foundation, in partnership with Urban Ingenuity and Clean Energy Solutions, Inc., is working with state and local governments across the country to make Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing a reality for tax-exempt organizations that have previously been unable to use this financing method –“CPACE+” (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy for Tax-Exempt and Public Entities). This type of financing allows affordable housing units, schools, and nonprofit organizations to receive a loan for solar energy installations and pay back these loans through a special property tax assessment. For more information on this award and the Solar Market Pathways program, visit their website.
The CivicPACE project will assess the potential for expanding Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to tax-exempt entities in jurisdictions with active PACE markets, thus becoming CivicPACE. The team will support the development of CivicPACE markets in several states by providing policy recommendations; engaging stakeholders such as financing, legal, solar and storage developers, and nonprofit champions; and implementing replicable pilot projects. The lessons learned and best practices from the pilot projects will be distributed as case studies intended for program designers and practitioners nationwide.
A key complication to C-PACE’s expansion is that many potential adopters face constrained access due to their status as a tax-exempt organization: nonprofits are often considered ineligible for PACE because they do not pay property taxes. CivicPACE provides a critically needed tool to address underwriting and access challenges for tax-exempt entities, such as faith-based houses of worship, nonprofit affordable housing, community clinics and education institutions.