Building Industry – May 2009

Saving More than Energy

A recent solar installation by Commercial Roofing and Waterproofing

In addition to the obvious energy saving benefits of green building, which, of course also translate into financial savings, a few innovative companies have gone the extra step, actually helping to finance solar installations.  SunForce Solutions International, Ltd. (SFSI) was established early last year as one of the first Hawaii solar energy finance companies.  “We established ourselves as a Hawaii-based company with a local presence,” says SFSI CEO Craig Hunt, “to assist in the growing concern related to energy demands for businesses, educational institutions, government and nonprofits agencies and military bases.  We assist customers with finance options for the installation of large and medium-sized photovoltaic systems through SFSI’s Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).  Through SFSI financing, the customer is able to purchase and install a state-of-the-art PV system and buy lower-cost solar electric power through a 15 or 20 year PPA.” Customers receive their electric power from an SFSI PV system installed on their premises and pay a lower monthly electric bill directly to SFSI.  The interesting point here is that PPAs are not normally offered with building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems.  However, SFSI is able to offer PPA financing if the BIPV system is installed by Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing, a local company “that posses the skill to install and remove the PV panel without damaging the roof or the solar panel,” says Hunt.  Guy Akasaki, chairman and co-founder of SFSI, also is a principal of Commercial Roofing and Waterproofing.  “With no capital costs to the end-user,” says Akasaki, “we encourage Hawaii businesses to take a serious look at the solar energy and PPA programs that now are available.  Our customers will see immediate savings on their monthly electric bills and will be able to cap their long-term energy for 15 to 20 years.”

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