CEN Solar Blog

Investing in Solar: Where to Begin?

Apr 12, 2021 8:55:00 AM / by Sara Richardson

The solar market is heating up as the political climate changes in the USA. Wondering how to take advantage of great returns by investing in solar, but not sure where to start? We've listed a few options for individuals, businesses, and corporations to get started investing in solar.

Investing in Solar Where to Begin


Let's first get familiar with a few solar industry terms (find more in our Clean Energy Terminology quick reference guide). 

Resi is short for residential, and C&I is an acronym for commercial and industrial. Investing into resi solar applications can be done by putting solar panels on your own home or property, or investing into a publicly-owned resi solar company or local solar panel/parts manufacturers by buying shares or stocks. It's a great option for diversifying your investment portfolio and supporting local renewable energy companies. Investing into C&I solar is a bit more complex, simply because there are a few more options available. 

Large companies looking for a way to take advantage of a lower tax burden should look into Solar Tax Equity investments. Joaquin Altenberg, CEO of Clean Energy Nexus, tells us " [Tax equity is, in] it's most basic form, a tax incentive from the federal government to encourage investment in renewable energy". Read more about tax equity here

Investors can invest directly into a solar project by supplying the capital to build and maintain the solar array, and then take advantage of a steady income stream over the life of the asset from selling the electricity it produces. This is most often done by partnering directly with a solar company that has experience building and maintaining a solar array, managing large investments, and acting as a liaison between the property owner and investor. 

Investors may also invest directly into a company working in the C&I solar space by purchasing shares or stocks on a publicly traded company, or by granting a capital loan or line of credit to a privately owned company.

A business may invest in their own solar array so they own the asset outright when it's built. They may choose to sell the electricity it provides to the grid, neighboring businesses or communities via a community solar agreement, or their own tenants. They may also choose to invest in a battery storage solution and not tie into the grid and use their produced electricity themselves to become completely energy independent (read more about battery storage here). 

Businesses without the upfront capital but with interest in supporting the solar energy industry by building a solar array on their rooftop or property can still do so by partnering with an investor directly, or by working with a company that matches investors with businesses. Learn more about business owner's options here

With so many options to invest in solar, we hope you find your best option and are able to help us move towards a greener future!



Tags: Solar, Investing

Sara Richardson

Written by Sara Richardson