FAQ For Government Solar & Nonprofit
Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. See how solar panels produce electricity for homes, businesses, and farms.
Home and business owners may realize a 10% ROI or better. Given their longevity, the systems may pay for themselves well within their lifetime. As energy prices continue to rise, the return on investment should also improve.
Solar is one way to reduce carbon dioxide production by offsetting coal burning for power production. The Midwest is powered largely with coal, so each kWh produced from a solar system may save one pound of coal from being burned. A solar electric system will offset the energy to produce the modules in less than 3 years – that means truly clean energy for the remaining life of the system over the next 25+ years!
Your best starting point is to determine how many kilowatts of power you need is to look at how many kWhs (kilowatt hours) home, business, or organization used in each of the previous 12 months. With this, we can compare expected monthly solar energy production to your electricity usage. Annual electricity usage total is also a good start. You’ll find your monthly kWh records via paper copies of your utility bills, a phone call to your utility provider, or through your online utility account.
A south-facing area that gets sun from approximately 9 am to 3 pm is best. Solar systems also work well even when facing west or east, if that’s your best option. We can mount the systems on the majority of roof types, including a variety of materials used on pitched and flat roofs. Systems can also be ground-mounted.
Solar electric systems are designed last more than 25 years. Many solar electric systems from the 1970s and 1980s are still functioning today. Solar electric systems need very little maintenance and have a long functioning life. The solar electric panels themselves have a 25-year production warranty and will sustain 1-inch hail impact at 50 mph.
Tax-exempt organizations are not eligible to use solar tax benefits such as the 26% Federal Tax Credit or MACRS depreciation.
Tax-exempt entities may indirectly realize the savings of solar tax benefits by partnering with a for-profit third party who can purchase the solar equipment and perform the installation on behalf of your organization. Learn more about third-party financing for tax-exempt organizations by visiting our Government/Nonprofit Financing section.
Aside from a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or Lease through StraightUp Solar and our financing partner, your tax-exempt organization could also form a single-purpose business entity, usually in the form of an LLC. Tax benefits for the solar array, chiefly the 30% Federal Tax Credit and MACRS depreciation, would trickle down to the members of the LLC. Filing for an LLC will require legal expertise and approximately $1,000 in filing fees.
StraightUp Solar is dedicated to fulfilling our CLEARE values. In fact, the first “E” in CLEARE stands for “Educate.” We take this to heart by spreading knowledge about solar to not only customers, but also students, businesses, organizations, and anyone with a keen interest in learning about solar. Please contact us to arrange an educational presentation for your organization or school.