With support from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has launched an online, interactive tool to simulate long-term financial forecasting for photovoltaic (PV) investments. The tool was created with expertise from Sustainable Capital Advisors and is designed for tax-exempt and taxable entity personnel to analyze, compare and define investment strategies that meet their needs and advance PV investments in the public and private sectors. The tool allows the user to input their own basic solar project values to demonstrate and compare financial projections for four types of solar PV investment.
The tool can be used to guide or validate potential projects, compare proposals, or simply help users become more familiar with financing structures and common transaction costs. Before a site assessment, users can estimate cash-flow projections using financial assumptions. After a site assessment, users can fine-tune their simulation using the new information collected. Users will then be able to compare proposals, analyze multiple runs, and learn how specific variables influence project outcomes.
“The process of installing a solar PV system is often complicated, particularly for a non-taxpaying entity with a complex energy footprint. The tool will help organizations procure highest value, lowest cost solar and make good on the unprecedented investment opportunity in local, clean energy,” said Nick Hylla, MREA executive director.
The Solar Finance Simulator can be accessed online at solarprojectbuilder.org. More information about the Solar Finance Simulator will be featured in an upcoming webinar, “New Tools to Accelerate Solar Deployment for Resilience, Communities, Universities, and More,” with the Cook County Department of Environmental Control, The Institute for Sustainable Communities, and the City and County of San Francisco Department of the Environment on Oct. 27, at 12 – 1:30 pm.