Paul Detering of Tioga Energy on The Future of the Commercial Solar PPA
(part 1/3 - remaining below)
Paul Detering, CEO of Tioga Energy, gives a thorough introduction to Purchase Power Agreements (PPA). Through the use of long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) for renewable energy, Tioga Energy is able to accelerate access to clean energy.
In his lecture at this year's Intersolar, Paul gave a great historical overview of PPA, briefly defined what PPA is and gave a projection of PPA's future prospects. A PPA is a great alternative for a customer who wants to benefit from solar power, but does not want to pay for the solar installation or does not want to manage their own solar power. A PPA company would arrange the funding and solar installation on the customer's property, and that PPA company would own and operate the solar, and they would sell the power to the customer under a long term PPA contract of typically 20 years. Under a PPA arrangement, the customer continues to have a relationship with the utility company so that when excess electricity is produced it gets sold to the utility company and the client gets credit, and when the client needs extra electricity past what their solar panels provide they can purchase that from their utility company. According to Paul, Solar PPA's are very popular, and 75% of non-residential US solar installations are currently completed using a PPA structure.
Paul spoke about the volatility of electricity cost, the history of rising prices, and how these trends will likely continue. He predicted that the rate of increase in electrical prices is going to be even greater than it has been over the past and said that this belief has been fueling the move towards solar power.
Paul ended his talk with some positive future drivers for Solar. He mentions:
1. dropping panel costs
2. increasing customer demand
3. move towards stronger, broader customer relations
4. streamlined uniform agreements
5. well-designed, market driven state programs
6. increased capital markets demand and financial innovation
Paul was a panel member on "Future of the Commercial Solar PPA" at "Growth Opportunities in the New PV Market: Projects, Finance and Policy" at the 2009 Intersolar.
Event filmed by buildaroo.com and produced by Greentech Media in partnership with the Prometheus Institute.