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Corporate Investment Into Solar Energy: Case Study

Photograph of a solar panel mounted on green grass with the sun in the background with text overlay 'Corporate Investment into Solar energy: Case study"

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant, Walmart, is providing tax equity financing for 19 solar farms that Denver's Pivot Energy is building in Colorado, California, Delaware, Illinois, and Maryland. The projects will be constructed through the end of 2025 and are expected to generate a collective 72 megawatts of electricity, 42 megawatts of which will be in Colorado.

15 of the solar projects are designated as community solar farms, which will allow residents in moderate and low-income areas to "subscribe" to the solar farm's power and benefit from lower energy bills. Pivot Energy estimates that the community solar projects will support more than 7,000 households’ access to subscriptions, and could exceed $6 million in annual savings for residents collectively, with more savings for local businesses and the community as a whole.

“Our partnership with Pivot demonstrates our approach to new clean energy investments, aimed at enabling high-impact, high-quality projects that drive positive outcomes,” said Frank Palladino, Walmart’s vice president for renewable energy strategy. “In addition to facilitating a cleaner power grid, this portfolio will help expand access to clean energy and provide direct savings on energy costs for thousands of households in the communities we serve, including low-and moderate-income communities.”

This is a very unique case of a corporate investor using tax equity financing to fund community solar construction. Typically, larger-scale solar projects sell power to electric utilities. Pivot Energy's partnership with Walmart involves the retailer investing in the construction of the solar projects in exchange for an ownership stake, and then receiving available federal tax credits that are based on the value of the solar farms.

Pivot Energy will oversee construction, own and operate the solar farms, and manage recruiting subscribers to the community solar. Walmart, as the financial backer and co-owner of the solar farms, will be able to claim tax credits based on the value of the solar farms. The tax equity finance investment made by Walmart in the projects is a way for the company to reduce its corporate burden while encouraging clean energy development and decarbonization. The tax credits typically can be used five years after construction. Typically, corporate investors claim the tax credits, then sell their interest in the solar projects — often to their project partner.

Businesses can contribute to clean energy production by participating in similar partnerships with renewable energy companies. Corporate property owners can also lease their properties (land, rooftops, parking lots) for renewable energy to produce green energy and generate revenue. LandGate helps corporate property owners evaluate the renewable energy potential of their properties and explore lease offers from a competitive network of energy companies through our marketplace. Advertising properties for lease on LandGate’s marketplace is completely free, and there is no obligation to accept any offers. Contact us to learn more about LandGate's solutions for corporate property owners:


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