A solar (PPA) power purchase agreement is a financial agreement where a solar developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar roof, solar farm or solar parking lot on a customer’s property at little to no cost. The developer sells the solar energy generated to the host customer at a fixed rate that is typically lower than the local utility’s retail rate. This lower electricity price serves to offset the customer’s purchase of electricity from the grid while the solar developer receives the income from these sales of electricity as well as any tax credits and other incentives generated from the system. PPA agreements typically range from 10 to 25 years and the developer remains responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system for the duration of the agreement.
Benefits of PPA's to property owner
Colorado, for example, first entered the market in 2010 and by mid-2011 third-party installations represented over 60% of all residential installations and continued to rise to 75% through the first half of 2012. This upward trend is evident throughout states that have introduced third-party financing models.
Apparently, Walmart is a big fan of PPA's and has entered into a lot of agreements at some stores.