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Financing Renewable Energy Projects

Use these resources to overcome common financing barriers and take action on financing options for renewable energy projects. Then check out real-world examples from Better Buildings partners who successfully funded renewable energy projects.


Tools and Resources


Financing Navigator
Determine Which Financing Method Works Best for You
Use the DOE’s Financing Navigator to help determine which financing method works best for your project.

Federal Solar Tax Credits
Solar Energy Technologies Office
Fact Sheet
These factsheets can help building owners and homeowners take advantage of available federal solar tax credits.

Toolbox for Renewable Energy Project Development
Policies, Financing, Proposals, and Processes from EPA
The toolbox examines six topic areas – including policies and regulations, economic assessments, financing, and funding opportunities – that have important implications for developing these on-site solar projects on college and university campuses. 

Installing Solar on Leased Buildings
Guidance Document
Learn about how Green Leases can help landlords finance the cost of solar projects by sharing costs with tenants, while simultaneously helping to lower their utility bills.

Connect with Better Buildings Financial Allies
Reach out to one of the Better Buildings Financial Allies—market-leading financing companies that have committed to funding energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.


DOE’s Overview of Power Purchase Agreements
How They Work, Advantages, and Replicable Examples
Fact Sheet
Learn more about what Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are and how they can be used to outsource the upfront cost and management of generation assets, particularly Solar PV and on-site cogeneration.

PPA Contract Templates and Securitization Resources
Samples, O&M Guides, and Mock Filing from NREL
Guidance Document
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has drafted example contracts for a variety of PPA arrangements for use in creating or vetting new PPA programs.

Solar PV RFP & Procurement Guidance
DOE has a draft RFP for use in requesting applications to create either a PPA or a lease for financing a solar installation. Select each financing option to dive deeper and learn more.


These fact sheets outline how each financing mechanism works and its respective pros and cons. Select each financing option to dive deeper and learn more.

  • Green Bonds: A green bond is a fixed income debt instrument in which an issuer (typically a corporation, government, or financial institution) borrows a large sum of money from investors for use in sustainability-focused projects.
  • Internal Funding: Internal funding refers to the use of an organization’s existing financial resources to pay for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other generation projects, rather than seeking external financing.
  • Leases: A lease is a simple financing structure that allows a customer to use energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other generation equipment without purchasing it outright.
  • Loans: Customers can borrow money directly from banks or other lenders to pay for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other generation projects.
  • PACE: Commercial property-assessed clean energy (CPACE) is a financing structure in which building owners borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other projects and make repayments via an assessment on their property tax bill.

Partner Solutions & Case Studies

Better Buildings partners share their proven and replicable renewable energy solutions. Read more about each solution below.

A Power Purchase Agreement in Action
Denver Housing Authority
Showcase Project
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) created a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in an innovative public-private partnership to include renewable energy on its existing portfolio of public housing properties.

Commercial PACE Financing for Microgrid in Mixed-Use Building
Greenworks Lending
Implementation Model
DOE Financial Ally Greenworks Lending used commercial property-assessed clean energy (CPACE) financing to install a microgrid, rooftop solar generation and other EE measures in downtown Hartford, Connecticut; the first example of a microgrid project financed with CPACE.

Developing a Solar Project Using a Power Purchase Agreement
D.C. Department of General Services
Implementation Model
When the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS) sought to create a portfolio of 10.9 megawatts of distributed solar electric assets, they engaged Sol Systems to manage these assets under a PPA.          

Enabling Rooftop Solar Using a Landlord-Retailer PPA
Regency Centers
Implementation Model
Regency Centers expanded the services offered at this site to Trader Joe’s by installing on-site solar and selling the generated electricity at a discounted rate under a PPA.

Funding a City Microgrid through Public and Private Partnerships
Centrica Business Solutions, Connecticut Green Bank
Learn how Centrica Business Solutions, Connecticut Green Bank, and several other organizations partnered to deliver a cogeneration system to the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut at no upfront cost to the city.

California's First Medical Center Microgrid: Financing, Processes, Outcomes, and Resources
Kaiser Permanente
Implementation Model
Kaiser Permanente’s Richmond Medical Center was the first hospital in California to implement a microgrid that connects renewable energy and battery storage to a pre-existing, diesel-fueled backup power system in a hospital — as a result, the center stands to save an additional 2.63 MWh of energy per year, resulting in annual savings of $394,000.

Expanding Solar for Affordable Housing Using an Innovative Financing Model
Using an innovative financing model called “portfolio-level solar,” six multifamily Better Buildings Challenge partners installed 8.4 MW of solar PV in affordable multifamily properties.


Find Solutions to Other Common Renewable Energy Barriers: