Proposed Business Case: Public School Donor Model

Chicago Public School: Taft High School

Taft High School serves more than 3,200 students and their families. It is both a neighborhood high school and has an International Baccalaureate program, bringing in students from across the city.

This community solar model allows student families and employees to subscribe to shares, but also serves as a mechanism for fundraising. Students will help to raise the funds needed to meet the school’s share of 40% of the system. This unique approach would provide ongoing revenue for the school and reduce energy costs significantly for the district. Because electricity is paid by the district, Taft would split the benefits with the district, saving energy and creating much needed additional school funds. 

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

While there is over 100,000 square feet of roof space across two roofs, the obstructions make panel layout more complex and less efficient. This design calls for several clusters across both roofs. This brings the overall cost to $1.85 per watt, where other rooftop designs are as low as $1.78. By reducing the number of clusters, costs could be reduced. But, this design still has a competitive cost and allows for more benefits to be shared amongst subscribers and the developer.

Business Model

The proposed ownership structure allows a developer to design, build and maintain the system. They would benefit from SRECs, Capacity Incentive, and tax benefits. Residential subscribers lease panels, while the school receives donated purchased panels, with savings increasing over the life of the system. The school is the anchor subscriber, with families and staff fundraising to secure the anchor share and to support customer acquisition for the developer. This model creates savings for the school and subscribers with a healthy return for the developer. 

Solar Developer/System Owner Metrics

25 -Year Costs………………………………………….. ($1,730,831)

25-Year Revenues…………………………………… $1,965,049

25-Year Net Benefits………………………………. $234,218

25-Year Net Present Value…………………..… $75,790

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)………………… 12.6%

SREC Value (250 kW-500 kW Block)……….. $50.00/MWh*

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

SREC Adder Value-100% Low-Income.….... $0

Host Site Metrics - Site Lease & Donor Paid Anchor Subscription

25-Year Costs……………………………….………….. $0

25-Year Revenues…………………………………… $458,643

25-Year Net Benefits………………………….……. $458,643

Payback Period…………………………………….…. Immediate

First year earnings………………………………… $14,852

Average annual earnings (25 years).……… $18,346

SREC Value (250 kW-500 kW Block)……….. $50.00/MWh*

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

SREC Adder Value-100% Low-Income.….... $0 

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

Documents

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