Proposed Business Case: Nonprofit Equity Investment

Des Plaines-Lake Landfill

This business case is a hypothetical evaluation of a Cook County landfill developed to help determine how community solar could work for similar sites. The Des Plaines-Lake Landfill is a 130-acre facility in Chicago’s near northwest suburbs, owned and managed by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The landfill was closed in 1986 and, for a short time, had an active landfill gas collection system.

There is existing interconnection equipment and an interconnection agreement with ComEd for 5 MW. Panels can be placed in the southeast corner, close to existing equipment to allow for a 1.4 MW system. The model proposed model is represents a developer-owned system that provides a solid return for the investor and the nonprofit.

Community Solar

Community solar is a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation that provides energy, financial benefits, or both to multiple participants. Participants, also called Subscribers, can buy or lease a share of the community solar installation and receive credits on their electricity bill for the power generated by that share. Subscribers can be households, businesses or anyone with an electric bill.

System Design

The proposed design is based on maximizing the number of panels near an existing interconnection location. The design priority is to build an efficient system by locating panels to the southern-most section, close to existing 3-phase lines and interconnect equipment. A ballasted system is proposed because the landfill cap cannot be penetrated. The proposed design racking uses a fixed-tilt system at 30 degrees to maximize power generation at the site.

Business Model

Host-owned, developer-owned and developer-equity transfer models were developed. The host-owned system provides the best overall value for long term earnings. But, this requires significant capitalization and the assumption of significant risk; i.e. subscriber management, system maintenance and a payback of more than 10 years. For this reason, the recommended model is a developer owned system. This provides a return of $264,700 over 25 years, with no upfront costs and minimal risk.

Host Site Metrics - Lease & Energy Savings

25-Year Costs…………………………….….…………   ($576,738)

25-Year Revenues…………………………….…….    $918,869

25-Year Net Benefits……………………………….   $342,131

Upfront Costs…………………………..…………...    $0

Return On Investment (ROI)…………………..    53.2%

Payback Period……………………………………….    0

SREC Value (1 MW- 2 MW Block)…………..     $45.00/MWh

SREC Adder Value-Subscriber Type…….….    $0

System Owner Metrics - Developer-Owned

25-Year Costs……………………………..…………..    ($3,681,169)

25-Year Revenues…………………………..………    $4,470,205

25-Year Net Benefits…………………………..….    $1,059,036

25-Year Net Present Value (NPV)……………    $260,037

Return On Investment (ROI)…………………..    28.8%

Payback Period……………………………………….    3.7 years

Internal Rate of Return.………………………….    12.5%

SREC Value (1 MW- 2 MW Block)…………..     $45.00/MWh

SREC Adder Value-Subscriber Type…….….    $0

*All SREC and SREC Adder values are assumptions. See Overview for more details.

Documents

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