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NREL Working Group releases solar standard contracts.

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November 14, 2013 - Assembled by NREL, Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group developed standard contracts that aim to help lower transaction costs and facilitate access to low-cost financing for residential and commercial solar power projects. Contracts cover residential leases and commercial power purchase agreements. Group members recognized customizable contract templates could improve consumer transparency and private-sector investment while lowering cost of solar energy to end-users.

Solar Working Group Releases Standard Contracts

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
1617 Cole Boulevard
Golden, CO, 80401

Press release date: November 5, 2013

NREL-organized group aims to improve access to low-cost capital

A working group representing solar industry stakeholders has developed standard contracts that should help lower transaction costs and make it easier to access low-cost financing for residential and commercial solar power projects.

The Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group, assembled by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a consortium of solar energy developers, law firms, financiers and analysts with expertise in solar energy projects.

The contracts cover residential leases and commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs). The working group members recognized that customizable contract templates could improve consumer transparency, increase private-sector investment, and lower the cost of solar energy to end-users.

"These template contracts should allow national and regional solar developers alike to increase business opportunities and enable the creation of tradable investment vehicles desired by pension funds and other institutional investors critical to scale the industry," NREL Energy Analyst Paul Schwabe said. "This effort is just one of the many ways that the partnerships forged across the SAPC initiative are helping to unleash cost-competitive solar power."

To date, SAPC has developed three standard contract templates:

• Residential Lease – Aggregated (for developers with in-house installation practices)
• Residential Lease – Disaggregated (for developers using installation partners)
• Commercial PPA

NREL initiated the SAPC working group effort in October 2012. Since then, it has grown to include more than 120 member organizations. The working group is also engaged in several activities designed to build investor confidence, including collaborating with rating agencies to evaluate "mock" portfolios of residential and commercial assets, developing best practice guidelines for system installation and operation and maintenance, and developing a system performance dataset. The three-year effort is funded under the Energy Department's Sunshot Initiative.

The standard contracts, as well as other information on SAPC and NREL activities, can be found at Questions about SAPC can be sent to

SAPC participants leading the development of standard contracts include:

Altus Power Management
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Chapman and Cutler LLP
Clean Power Finance
Coronal Management LLC
Distributed Sun, LLC
John Joshi
K&L Gates LLP
McCauley Lyman LLC
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
OneRoof Energy
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Solar Electric Power Association
SunSpec Alliance
Trepp, LLC

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Visit NREL online at

Media may contact:
William Scanlon
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