Battery Back-up, as the name implies allows you to continue using electricity when the utility cannot provide power due to an outage. A back-up power system with a bank of batteries can be kept charged with solar panels (or by the traditional grid, if it is operating), supplying power for a limited amount of time, depending on how many batteries there are and the essential loads they supply. District Sun does not generally recommend batteries because of their inefficiency, their limited lifecycle of just seven years, yet their relatively high cost, reflected by their 12-year payback. Not surprisingly, the industry is working hard on developing better technology and the moment reliable and affordable batteries are available, you can be certain District Sun will be offering them on new installations as well as retrofitting existing solar systems.
Solar hot water Solar hot water (sometimes called solar thermal) uses solar energy to heat water and supply hot water needs. Many businesses use an enormous amount of solar hot water. Also water is heated in the hot water tank and when it cools it is heated up again each day, week, month and year. Heating hot water at a facility uses significant amounts of energy. District Sun designs and installs commercial hot water systems that supply savings and financial benefits. Solar hot water systems are eligible for tax credits and PACE financing, just like solar electricity. District Sun has researched, vetted and chosen the highest quality commercial equipment, both German- and American- made, to last and function over time. Highly experienced and trained tradespeople in the plumbing and solar thermal trades install and maintain the solar hot water systems District Sun sells.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) purchase agreement is an arrangement in which a system owner funds, maintains and operates a solar system installed at your location. In turn, you purchase electrical output from the system owner for 15 to 20 years. Both you and the system owner benefit from this arrangement: you, by receiving discounted electric power; the system owner, by having an investment for which s/he receives tax credits.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) commercial financing is a program developed to help small and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits with financing solutions to enable them to adopt solar with no upfront costs. It is a financing structure using a state or municipality’s ability to fund improvements in the public interest by attaching special tax assessments to properties. You must be a property owner. Organizations that qualify can receive financing that is repaid through an assessment on their property taxes. Because of this option, the repayment term can be much longer than conventional financing: up to 20 years for PACE financing as compared to five years for other commercial loans. PACE provides financing for projects that cost between $100,000 and $10,000,000. If your project is larger or smaller than that, it may still be considered on a case-by-case basis.