Faced with increasing pressure to cut costs and comply with emerging emissions reductions goals, public agencies, businesses, and higher education institutions are leading the charge toward sustainability. By improving energy efficiency and purchasing clean, reliable, and renewable energy, these organizations stand to benefit in many ways. With energy costs accounting for as much as 10 percent of the annual operating budget and expected to continue rising*, going solar can dramatically reduce operating costs and exposure to future rate hikes. Solar projects also drive local clean energy job creation and positions host communities as a forward-thinking and desirable place in which to live and do business.

While challenges still remain, recent developments in energy technology and policy and financing options (e.g., PPA, leases, bonds) are making it easier for tax-exempt entities to fully realize the benefits of solar for their communities.

Solar Benefits & Value Streams

  • Reduce long-term operating costs
  • Position your organization as a leader in sustainability
  • Meet mandatory renewable energy goals
  • Deliver predictable long-term energy costs
  • Drive green business growth
  • Tap into grants for renewable energy and economic development
  • Utilize idle property such as rooftops, brownfields and parking lots

Solar Challenges

  • Availability of cost-effective financing options
  • High transactional costs associated with the adoption of solar (e.g., legal, procurement, property management, administrative)
  • Lack of technical expertise and resources needed to evaluate, procure, and manage solar systems

Solar Use Cases

  • Municipal buildings: Venues such as city offices, town halls, hospitals, libraries, and community centers make excellent sites for showcasing a municipality’s green initiatives, enabling local governments to simultaneously comply with renewable energy mandates and set the bar for sustainability in their community.
  • College and University Campuses: Higher education institutions can be excellent sites for deploying solar energy, as they often have under-utilized real estate and exhibit the right power consumption profiles to benefit from the addition of solar energy and, in many cases, energy storage.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations: With the rollout of a new generation of plug-in hybrids, governments and businesses are installing solar-powered charging stations to help develop the necessary transportation infrastructure.

Santa Clara County Renewable Energy Procurement Project

The county led a collaborative procurement process that leveraged multi-location purchasing to reduce installation costs and PPA prices for sites within the County and eight other independent Silicon Valley agencies. Optony deployed its expertise in solar procurement and project management to ensure that the RFP and PPA were properly designed, implemented and evaluated to yield savings of over 12% to participants. This major effort was the largest project of its kind in the United States and included 70 individual sites with more than 14MW in potential capacity. Optony is also working closely with each participating agency to ensure that they maximize the impact from this project while reducing installed costs and project risks.

Hangzhou, China Green Strategy Development

The Mayor of Hangzhou, China (population 3.9+ million) engaged Optony to host a delegation from one of their largest economic development zones by providing in-depth analysis and recommendations on solar market trends, renewable energy policies, and opportunities to drive positive environmental change in the city of Hangzhou and the surrounding region. Our report and recommendations were also incorporated into a regional plan that was presented to the Governor of Zhejiang province, encouraging further action to increase local adoption of solar energy. Similar efforts are now underway in neighboring cities, with Optony as the preferred partner for green strategy development.


Contact Usto learn more about Optony’s Solar Strategy Consulting, or related solar services