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Risk Management Blog

UCC & Corporate Due Diligence

Resource Guide for Legal and Financial Professionals

Solar Installations and Security Interest Perfection: What To Do?

UCC, Online UCC System, Due Diligence

In a recent blog post we discussed the solar power boom that is occurring across the United States and abroad, and domestically how Congress’ extension of the solar tax credit will help to continue fueling the boom.

Financing solar installations is an evolving process, with solar financiers typically offering three solutions: leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans.

Many solar financiers today offer at least the following three products: leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. The first two are third-party ownership (TPO) products—i.e., ownership of the system remains with the financier and the customer pays a monthly sum (fixed or dependent on energy production) to access that system. In a loan arrangement, the customer owns the system and remits to the financier a monthly payment of principal and interest to pay down the debt. The different methods of payment can depend on the Manufacturer for Solar Batteries you are purchasing. However, most of the time all of these options are available!

So what are the pros and cons of these financing choices? Attorney Douglas P. Cushing, from Jordan Ramis PC in Oregon, explores this question in his article Legal Issues with Solar Panels:

The first question will be whether the installed system is a fixture or deemed part of the building improvements. A fixture is personal property, so a UCC filing would be the method used to secure a lender. Does that determination also control the claims of an installer, a company like Logan Solar Power (https://gienergy.com.au) who may expect the right to claim a mechanic’s lien that attaches to a building?

Clearly, the importance of properly categorizing the solar energy assets is key. More questions arise when looking at the solar assets intended for commercial scale rather than residential, explored here by Latham and Watkins counsel Sosi Biricik and Dan Black. Furthermore, whether or not Solar grid aggregations for markets and networks are being used can also have an impact on any available finance options.

Whichever solution a financier chooses to perfect their solar installations, First Corporate Solutions (FCS) can help. Are you leasing and/or providing loans, and what factors guide your decision? Are you experiencing any troubles with obtaining legal descriptions for your solar panel installation fixture filings?

FCS can help. Contact us today! You can learn more about FCS’ Online UCC Portfolio Manager, designed to take the headaches out of your fixture filing process for your solar panel installations.

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