Under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), the Alternative and Clean Energy Program supplies loans and grants used for the development of clean energy projects in Pennsylvania. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection.
Highlights of the program are:
• A corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability Company, non-profit, or other commercial entity approved by the commonwealth financing authority. • A non-profit corporation or association whose purpose is the enhancement of economic conditions in their community. • A municipality, county, or school district.
• Solar projects, including facilities to generate, distribute, or store solar energy, as well as manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or other equipment. Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies are eligible. • The development or construction of facilities used for the research and development of technologies related to solar energy.
Matching Funds Requirement
• Eligible applicants must provide evidence of commitment of matching funds on the project. The amount of the matching investment must be at least $1 for $1 of program funds awarded by the CFA.
Funds are distributed in three ways (loans, grants, or guarantees) .
Grant (Matching Funds To Help Facilitate Project)
• The maximum grant amount for a solar energy project shall not exceed one million dollars or $2.25 per watt, whichever is less. The CFA will consider projects over one million dollars if the project significantly impacts their goal to increase solar energy generation in Pennsylvania. • The maximum grant for a solar research and development facility or a solar thermal project shall not exceed one million dollars.
Loan (Borrow Money to be Paid Back at Agreed Interest Rate)
• The maximum loan amount for a solar energy generation or distribution project shall not exceed $5 million or $2.25 per watt, whichever is less. In calculating the $2.25 per watt cost, CFA will not include the cost of any energy storage equipment. The CFA will consider loan requests over $5 million for projects that will significantly impact the Authority’s goal to increase the amount of solar energy generated in the Commonwealth.
• Loans will be repaid over a period not to exceed 10 years for equipment and 15 years for real estate.
• The interest rate for the loan will be fixed at the time of approval of the loan. The current interest rates are posted on www.newpa.com
Guarantee (Acts as a Loan Guarantee to Obtain Financing)
• The guarantee will be in the form of a letter of credit.
• Projects applying for the guarantee must invest a minimum of 10% in equity as part of the project financing.
• The term of the guarantee will not be more than 5 years.
• The amount of the guarantee will not exceed $30 million.