June 15, 2018 Webinar: Minimize Financial Risks and Maximize Clean Energy Benefits for Public Sector Institutions

Many public sector institutions in Michigan would like to implement more clean energy projects, but they lack the capital resources and technical expertise to move forward.

Join us for an hour-long presentation and discussion on two innovative solutions in practice in other states with the potential of becoming more widely adopted in Michigan.

Featured Presenters 

Brian Pine, Relationship Manager, of Commons Energy, a L3C in Vermont, will present on the first-of-its kind “Public Purpose Energy Services Company” (PPESCO) model, which allows building energy efficiency improvement to be paid through performance energy savings.

Vito Greco, Senior Manager, Solar Programs, of Elevate Energy, a nonprofit based in Chicago, will present on the work to bring community solar into local neighborhoods to ensure the benefits of renewable energy are accessible to everyone.

John Kinch, Executive Director for Michigan Energy Options, will be moderating the webinar.


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Who Should Attend This Webinar

If you are wondering how your community or institution might turn your desire for local clean energy into reality, this webinar will provide you tangible, proven approaches to getting there.

  • Owners and operators of public purpose buildings: municipal, school, nonprofit services/programs, medical and residential care facilities, public and nonprofit affordable housing.
  • Privately subsidized affordable multifamily housing owners.
  • Local officials and others interested in introducing community-based solar where you live and work.
  • Services, equipment and financial providers to public sector markets, especially as this relates to clean energy.


More Details: What You Can Expect from This Webinar

The first half will cover the “Public Purpose Energy Services Company” model, which allows facility-wide energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to be paid through future energy savings. The for-profit “ESCO” model has existed for some time. ESCOs seek large projects, typically costing over $1 million, that offer fast return on investment. Public purpose organizations generally have smaller potential projects, can tolerate longer payback periods than ESCOs. But identifying the right projects and financing often can be challenging for resource-constrained public institutions. A PPESCO model can help overcome that barrier.

Through this webinar, you’ll learn which public-purpose institutions are benefiting from this model currently, how it works and how this approach might work in Michigan: for building owners/operators, implementation partners and financiers. Commons Energy offers technical assistance, installation of building energy improvements, energy performance contracting, and financing. It also provides a guarantee that projects will achieve a certain amount of energy savings which may be used to pay back project costs and financing. 

The second half of the webinar will look at “community-based solar:” an approach to clean energy development for local institutions. One such approach could be a public institution entering into a Power Purchase Agreement with a solar developer for onsite solar that does not require that institution to provide the upfront capital costs for construction. Instead, the institution would pay a monthly electricity bill, priced to be competitive with existing utility pricing. Another approach could be “community solar parks” in which local residents, businesses and public institutions can participate in clean energy without having to locate generation on their own property.

Through this webinar, you’ll learn how Elevate has helped create an approach to introducing widespread community-based solar options in greater Chicagoland and is working on a similar project today for the City of Detroit. 

Special thanks to Rick Bunch, Allison Harris of EcoWorks, and Sarna Salzman of SEEDS for their help in making this webinar happen.