Through this new initiative, solar power systems will be installed on qualifying commercial and public sector facilities throughout the U.S., with an emphasis on underserved communities. Helio mU, headquartered in Berkeley, California, provides solar electricity to commercial, residential and not-for-profit customers with little or no initial capital outlay through long term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
The first of its kind in the clean energy sector, the Green Energy Community Investment Fund puts a special focus on commercial, non-profit and public entities in low and moderate income areas. The Fund will follow the same model as the established Helio Green Energy Plan, enabling qualifying entities to buy the power generated from a solar installation rather than the panels themselves, thus providing upfront savings and smoothing the path to solar adoption.
Â“Energy is a major concern in the everyday operation of businesses and organizations across America,Â” said Andrew Ditton, Managing Director of Citi Community Capital. Â“This Fund is an excellent opportunity for us to expand the mission of our community development efforts to bring affordable green energy solutions to facilities primarily in low and moderate income areas. It also supports Citi's 2007 announcement of $50 billion in investment and financing over 10 years to address global climate change. We are pleased to work with the Helio Micro Utility team on this vital environmental and economic initiative.Â”
Helio Micro Utility Chairman, Ian Rogoff, explained Â“we created Helio Micro Utility in order to introduce innovative renewable energy finance and supply chain offerings to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy solutions. With the Green Energy Community Investment Fund, we have partnered with Citi to combine their environmental and community goals, and global financial strength, with our first-of-their-kind financial products for dramatically accelerated solar power adoption among traditionally under-served markets.Â”
Â“We are delighted with CitiÂ’s support, and especially proud to work with them to expand the use of solar energy to help our planet while also serving local communities,Â” said Mo Rousso, President & CEO of Helio mU. Â“With budget cuts, rising energy and gasoline prices and economic pressures, it is more crucial than ever for businesses, schools and non profit organizations of all types to receive assistance now. With this support from Citi Community Capital, we are able to offer much needed help to reduce and stabilize energy costs and reduce dependence on brown energy.Â”
In 2007 Citi Community Capital (CCC), formerly Citibank Community Development, provided up to $5 billion for affordable housing and community revitalization projects in locations around the country. The Green Energy Community Investment Fund is part of CitiÂ’s U.S. initiative to support business and community improvement with programs that also include environmentally positive objectives.
The Green Energy Community Investment Fund was created to support the installation of solar electricity systems on commercial and public sector buildings. Ideal criteria for participation in this new program include:
Â• Solar projects that can be completed prior to the end of 2008 so that the benefits of the Federal Incentive Tax Credit (ITC) program can be applied to the solar power system installation cost.
Â• Customer sites that are owner occupied or have more than 10 years remaining on the building lease.
Â• Sites that have adequate roof space for a solar electricity system capable of generating at least 50 kW, or approximately 9,000 square feet of space.
Â• Sites that have unobstructed sun exposure year round.
Â• Sites that are paying over $2,000 per month in electricity bills.
Â• Sites in California, New Jersey, or other states with existing state-level solar incentive programs.
Tom Millhoff, Vice President of Business Development for Helio mU will lead the qualification process of facilities for the fund.
Â“We will move quickly to evaluate building sites and install solar power systems this year. We encourage interested customers to contact us, particularly for projects that can be completed by the end of this year. In addition to end customers, solar power integration firms who have non-residential projects which might qualify for support from the Green Energy Community Investment Fund should contact us immediately,Â” said Mr. Millhoff.