Commercial Solar Contractor

Author: agt

What is PACE Solar Florida

PACE Solar Financing Florida

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Solar Financing Programs are Helping Business and Commercial Property Install Solar Panels in Florida

With utility costs on the rise and the price of solar systems declining, the switch to solar energy can be a cost-effective alternative for many business owners. While going green saves money in the long-run, the high upfront costs of solar can be daunting. To help promote sustainability, the State of Florida approved the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for local governments to implement. PACE makes solar more accessible by giving commercial property owners access to low-interest financing through an approved third-party provider to cover the upfront costs of solar solutions, which are paid back over time through a voluntary tax assessment levied on the property.

How Does PACE Solar Financing Work?

PACE provides financing for a variety of eligible improvements to a commercial property, including energy efficiency, HVAC, hurricane protection improvements and more. The program offers 100% financing at competitive fixed rates over the useful life of the improvements, up to 30 years (rates for commercial projects vary depending on the term), which allows for the cost savings gained from solar to be used to pay back the initial investment. Property owners that voluntarily choose to participate in a PACE program repay their improvement costs over a set time period through property assessments, which are secured by the property itself instead of the owner and paid as an addition to the owners’ property tax bills. Thinking of moving? The assessments can transfer ownership if a property is sold as long as the buyer agrees to take over the PACE obligation and the new first mortgage holder allows the PACE agreement to remain on the property.

There are five active PACE programs in Florida offering commercial financing:

  1. CounterPointeSRE Every county and city in Florida is invited to take part in the Florida PACE Funding Agency (FPFA), a single purpose local government making its PACE program available to any subscribing Florida city or county. The CounterPointeSRE Program is the commercial PACE program offered by the FPFA and operates in more than 20 counties in Florida, including Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
  2. Ygrene Energy Fund – Ygrene is the exclusive administrator of the Clean Energy Green Corridor District of over 85 municipalities, including the cities of Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Miami, Miami Shores, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.
  3. Solar Energy Loan Fund (SELF)Administers St. Lucie County’s commercial PACE program
  4. RenewPACE – A program of the Florida Green Finance Authority (a partnership of local governments from across Florida), RenewPACE works with multiple banks and financial institutions to offer the only Open Market-based PACE finance program in Florida to help commercial property owners finance renewable energy improvements.
  5. Leon County Commercial PACE Program

PACE Solar Financing Benefits

In addition to being a feel-good investment that resonates with employees, tenants, and customers, solar reduces energy costs for commercial property owners, stimulates the economy through local job creation, and increases commercial property values. PACE provides its own set of benefits for commercial businesses, one of which is allowing business owners to keep the rebates and tax incentives that come with solar while receiving financing. Other benefits include:

  • PACE provides an innovative solution for capital improvements, especially for businesses with a limited capital budget
  • Gain control over energy costs with lower utility bills, improving cash flow and capital costs which can be seen as soon as the first year following project completion
  • The assessment may qualify as an operating expense and not an investment and therefore not subject to ROI limitations
  • PACE financing optimizes a building’s capital stack with potential for off-balance sheet treatment and no acceleration clauses
  • Since PACE financing is a tax, it may be reported similar to other line item taxes on the property’s income statement (always check with your tax preparer)
  • Non-ad valorem assessment for tax purposes
  • There are no balloon payments, so the terms match the useful life of the solar solution
  • Fixed interest rates up to 30 years
  • 100% financing of the entire cost of the project, including all soft costs such as permits, inspections, pre-paid service/warranty contracts and design fees
  • Closing costs can be capitalized
  • Maturities between 5-30 years up to the estimated useful life of the improvement
  • Prepayment is not required upon sale or refinancing of the property

More than 60 cities and counties throughout the state of Florida have PACE financing programs in place. This number will continue to grow as more communities experience the many benefits of going green.

Contact us today for more information on how your business can benefit from PACE Financing Florida.

Advanced Green Technologies acquires MSC Electric

Acquisition Brings an In-House Electric Contracting Team To Meet Surging Corporate Demand for Solar Energy

As corporate demand for solar energy rises, a strategic acquisition brings Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), Florida’s largest commercial solar contractor, a veteran in-house electric contracting team to streamline schedules and trim costs.

AGT’s parent company, Advanced Roofing Inc., today announced it has acquired Davie, Florida-based electrical contractor MSC Electric Inc.

““Adding MSC’s proven talent to our team enables us be a single, cost effective source for commercial clients who’ve committed to meet aggressive renewable energy goals,” said Clint Sockman, vice president of both AGT and Advanced Roofing. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2001 by Michael Cervone, a Florida Licensed Unlimited Electrical Contractor, MSC Electric is a longtime subcontractor for AGT on major solar energy projects. Cervone will serve as AGT’s electrical division manager overseeing all electrical functions, from design through installation, for solar rooftop, solar farm and solar carport solutions.

“As more Fortune 500 and other high-profile companies commit to be carbon neutral by 2025 or 2030, their need to produce enough renewable energy is pushing demand for commercial solar energy to record levels in Florida,” said Sockman. “Once corporations adopt policies to reduce their sizeable carbon footprints, the clock is running. They must consider all alternatives based on their real estate portfolios, and we find rooftop solar arrays and solar carports are always under discussion.”

Sockman expects Advanced Roofing’s revenues, which topped $95 million in 2018, to continue growing this year, fueled in part by the rise in solar energy demand. “The vision of corporate America is clear. They need to quickly find ways to produce more renewable energy,” he said. “Fortunately, the economics of solar energy has never been better.”

Availability of federal tax credits for 30 percent of commercial solar energy installations’ costs until year-end 2019 is boosting corporate clients’ sense of urgency, Sockman said. “Our pipeline is seeing significant growth as more companies realize they can access tax credits by spending at least five percent of a project’s estimated costs by year-end,” he added.

Acquiring MSC Electric is the latest vertical integration step for AGT and Advanced Roofing, a diversified corporation whose additional Florida licenses include Roofing Contractor, General Contractor, Solar Contractor, and Air Conditioning Contractor.

2019 Solar Trends

Solar Energy Trends for 2019

2019 is looking bright for solar energy in Florida

Solar has evolved from being good for the bottom line to being the right thing to do as we gain a deeper understanding of climate change and feel its impact on our daily lives. The difference in climate is helping to drive consumers’ buying patterns, as in the case of United Therapeutics. Advanced Green Technologies was chosen to install five solar carports for United Therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic East in Jacksonville, Florida. The new solar carports can provide up to 50% of the total energy needed to power the facility. As a bioengineering company working to save lives, their move toward becoming a zero-energy business is simple: “We have no business saving lives if we are killing the world.” We are proud to be a part of this. (read more…)

Solar Incentives

With tariffs on Chinese solar panels and solar tax incentives winding down from 30% to 10% by 2022, we see a negative financial impact on the industry as a whole, but the demand for renewable energy will continue to be strong in the next few years. One way business owners are taking advantage of solar is through joint projects that combine both a new cool roof and solar system. By combining two projects into one, we can give our customers a discounted rate, making solar a substantial investment in the Sunshine State.

Solar Technology

While technology in solar panels has stabilized, we see real innovation in racking design and how we build and engineer panels, driving cost and efficiency. Adaptation will also drive demand. Recent legislation requiring condominiums to give access to charging stations for electric vehicles is expanding the business beyond commercial carports. With a strong ROI, positive marketing opportunities, and helping fight climate change, solar isn’t just a feel-good story – it makes sense for many businesses.

Advanced Green Technologies Named Florida’s Top Commercial Solar Contractor for 2018

Advanced Green Technologies Named Florida’s Top Commercial
Solar Contractor for 2018

The Solar Power World Top Solar Contractors list includes Fort Lauderdale-based solar company Advanced Green Technologies for the seventh consecutive year

Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) was recently recognized by Solar Power World magazine as the top commercial solar EPC company in Florida, and a ranked 108 out of 450 solar companies in the nation on the magazine’s 2018 Top Solar Contractors list.

With more than 10.7 Megawatts installed in 2017 and  245 Megawatts installed to date, AGT leads the commercial EPC category in the state of Florida with the number one spot for the seventh year in a row. To achieve this ranking, AGT completed many prominent projects last year including two solar carports for United Therapeutics and rooftop solar arrays at Maher Chevrolet and Hydrologic Distribution Company.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. The 2018 list was released on July 24

See 2018 Top Solar Contractor Ranking

We are extremely honored for this year’s recognition as the top commercial solar EPC in the state of Florida,” said AGT President Michael Kornahrens.” I am thankful for my team’s hard work and commitment to making our company one of the best in the industry.”

AGT reminds business owners of the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit set to be reduced at the end of 2019.  Currently, you can subtract 30% of all solar energy system installation costs directly from your federal income tax payments, making for a quick return on investment.  The 30% Solar Investment Tax Credits will be reduced to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021 before dropping permanently to 10% for commercial projects and 0% for residential projects.

3 Reasons Why Your Businesses Should Install Solar in 2018

3 Reasons Why Your Businesses Should Install Solar in 2018

why-your-business-should-install-solar-in-2018-Florida

3 Reasons Why Your Businesses Should Install Solar in 2018

  1. 14% Reduction of the Corporate Tax Rate
  2. 100% Depreciation Bonus
  3. 30% Tax Credit Available

1. 14% Reduction of the Corporate Tax Rate

One of the most significant benefits of installing solar under the new tax plan is the reduction of the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. An important deciding factor for businesses considering going solar is the increase in profits that can result.

While this historically low corporate tax rate brings new investable cash to the business world, it simultaneously produces a net increase in the cost of energy for the same business. Under the previous tax code, a $1,000 monthly power bill would be deducted as an operating expense at a 35% percent yielding a net cost of $650.00. Under the new code, that same $1,000.00 bill is deducted at a 21% rate generating a net power bill of $790.00. Your power bill is going up 21.5% regardless of the current utility rates from the operating tax deduction alone, making renewable energy more valuable than ever.

For increased savings, solar systems purchased outright with cash avoid the taxes that come with loan interest payments, making cash a more attractive option than financing. Add to that an increased rate of return each year as a result of the lower tax rate and solar becomes a viable investment for businesses.

2. 100% Bonus Depreciation

With depreciation now at 100 percent, a business can deduct the entire cost of the solar system in its first year rather than spread it out over a period of time. This allows corporations to take advantage of the tax savings now rather than in the future, resulting in growing returns from going solar as well as an increase in the total value of the project.

3. 30% Tax Credit Available

The federal solar tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal income taxes until 2020. You can also claim the tax credit as soon as the construction of the system begins. The tax credit and depreciation benefit can help reduce the system price by as much as 60 percent. Add that to savings from a reduced utility bill, and business owners are looking at a bright investment.

Seeing is Believing

Some of Florida’s largest businesses like Publix Supermarkets, Ed Morse, Lockheed Martin, and Advanced Roofing have installed solar on their properties, from rooftop installations to solar carports. Solar has short payback period, provide steady financial returns, and help business owner’s hedge against rising energy prices.   According to our data, Advanced Roofing paid on average $1,623.00 in monthly electricity bills before going solar. After the installation of an 84 kW solar carport at our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, our electricity bill is approximately $890.00 ­­– a 55% reduction.

How much money can solar save your business?

Contact us today for your complimentary energy audit and project quote.

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2017 Top Commercial Solar Contractor Florida

Advanced Green Technologies Named Florida’s Top Commercial
Solar Contractor for 2017

Ranked #1 Commercial Solar EPC in Florida for sixth consecutive year; 48 in the nation

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), a leading provider of solar energy system engineering, procurement, and construction solutions earns the Top Commercial Solar EPC ranking in the State of Florida for the sixth consecutive year, and 48th in the nation by Solar Power World for 2017, the solar industry’s leading media resource.

See 2017 Top Solar Contractor Ranking

The top solar contractors’ list was created by Solar Power World to offer the industry an inside look at how solar companies stack up against one another. Starting with only 100 contractors in 2011 the list has grown to 500 in 2017 and is compiled based on the total kilowatts installed for each of the company’s customers.

With more than 13.4 Megawatts installed in 2016, AGT leads the industry as the highest-volume commercial solar EPC in the State of Florida and 48th in the nation. To achieve this ranking, AGT completed many prominent projects last year including a 2.25 Megawatts Solar Carport for Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida and a 2 Megawatts Solar Farm for the city of Lake Worth.

Watch the Lake Worth Solar Farm Video

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as the top commercial solar EPC in the state of Florida six years in a row,” said AGT President Michael Kornahrens.” As we continue to grow and push the limits of what is possible in the state of Florida, I am incredibly thankful for my team’s hard work and dedication to making AGT one of the best solar companies in the state.”

AGT reminds commercial building and business owners the most significant financial incentive for installing solar; the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit will be reduced at the end of 2019.  Currently, you can subtract 30% of all solar energy system installation costs directly from your federal income tax payments, making for a quick return on investment.  The 30% Solar Investment Tax Credits will be reduced to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021 before dropping permanently to 10% for commercial projects and 0% for residential projects. Also, the bill includes language to allow project owners who start construction before the end of 2021 to be allowed a larger credit following the completion of their project, as long as it’s in service before the end of 2023. Now is the time to begin on the path toward energy independence, financial savings, and environmental sustainability.

Contact AGT today for a complimentary project quote at 800-735-2641 or click here.

Now Providing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

ChargePoint Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

As electric vehicles are in high demand, Advanced Green Technologies has partnered with ChargePoint to provide high-performance electric vehicle charging stations for commercial customers in Florida.

Advanced Green Technologies recently partnered with ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, and can now offer sought-after EV charging solutions to commercial customers throughout the state of Florida. To show our commitment to this leading technology, we’ve installed our very own EV charging station at our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. We invite you to stop by and plug in!

Transportation is changing fast. According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 35% of vehicles sold in the United States will be electric by 2040. Florida is a leader in electrification and ranked among the top 10 states for EVs in operation and EV growth in 2016. It’s time for all of us to get ready for the future of transportation, which will be electric and connected—to drivers, mobile apps, charging spots, businesses and the rest of our everyday lives.

ChargePoint EV Charging Station Benefits:

  • Charge any electric vehicle on the road
  • Attract new customers, employees, tenants, and visitors
  • Increase property value and extend tenant residency
  • Establish your brand image as a green leader
  • Keep stations running with remote monitoring and updates
  • Engage drivers with real-time status updates and a mobile app
  • Financial incentives available

To learn more about the ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station for your commercial property, contact us today for a free demonstration and estimate.

AGT Sponsorship Helps Local Schools Compete in National Underwater Robotics Competition

2017 SeaPerch Competition Sponsorship

Advanced Green Technologies sponsorship helps FAU High School and FAU’s A.D. Henderson University School’s Underwater Robotics Teams compete in national SeaPerch competition at Georgia Tech Insitute of Technology

Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) recently sponsored FAU High School and FAU’s A.D. Henderson University School’s Underwater Robotics Teams to participate in the national SeaPerch competition at Georgia Tech Institute of Technology on May 20. The SeaPerch program provides students with the opportunity to build a remote underwater vehicle (ROV) while learning about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics. Students build basic skills in ship and submarine design while they become familiar with possible paths in naval architecture and ocean engineering.

The Sea Owls Underwater Robotics Team, consisting of a total of 23 middle school students from A.D. Henderson University School and high school students from FAU High School, traveled to compete at this year’s event, which featured 188 teams from all over the nation and the world, including Hawaii and New Zealand.  Support from AGT and several other local sponsors helped cover much of the cost for the students and their parents to travel to the competition, allowing them to avoid incurring significant out of pocket expenses.

2017 SeaPerch Results

The high school team, Team Sea Owls STRIX, won first place for the Open Class engineering presentation and tied for 9th overall with the middle school Team ADH20, who also competed in the Open Class.  Team ADH20 also developed a custom Arduino-based controller to mimic a gamepad that students were more accustomed to using and provided improved fine motor control of their robot.

Team SCUBA-Doo, another one of FAU’s middle school teams, placed second in the Puzzle Challenge with a perfect score in 4 minutes 3 seconds. This team placed 10th overall out of the 72 middle school teams competing at the national championship. Bio-Inspired by Squid, another FAU high school team, found further inspiration from the Harvard Robotics Lab and incorporated the use of their custom soft robotics into their gripper for the Puzzle Challenge.

Congratulations to all of FAU’s teams on their outstanding performance. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next year.

To find out more about the SeaPerch program or to inquire about becoming a sponsor, contact District STEM Coordinator Allan Phipps at 561-297-2857 / 954-817-0110 or via email at aphipps@fau.edu.

What You Need to Know About the Tesla Rooftop Solar Shingles

Tesla Rooftop Solar Shingles

tesla-solar-roofing-shingle-for-businesses

Learn all about the new Tesla solar roof shingles coming out in 2017

2017 is looking to be an exciting year for the solar industry in Florida. Predictions show more growth and lower prices overall. Technology, designs, and applications are evolving, thru higher power density traditional solar modules, more efficient electrical designs, and possibly most notably with the recent announcement of the Tesla solar roofing tile, an integrated solar glass shingle, that is helping to make solar mainstream in the residential market with a focus on aesthetics and energy production.

The new solar roof shingle will be available later this year and come in four designs, giving homeowners the option to “go solar” without having to install large panels on their roofs. However, there is much uncertainty with the product at this time, and we should hear more about pricing when production begins later this year. Performance issues should also be cleared up by then since prototypes are operating two percent less efficient than the existing solar panel technology.

Tesla Solar Roof Shingles Long-Term Outlook

In the long run, we feel the success of the Tesla solar roof shingle will come down to its pricing. Based on similar shingles that were previously launched, we expect the cost of the Tesla shingle to be high and complex to install. According to Tesla, the cost of its new system will be lower than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings. Barry Cinnamon at Greentech Media ran the numbers and provided a few estimates based on the information that has been released so far. For a retrofit, this can range from $33,000 – $37,000, with a decrease in price for new production homes (est. $26,500) and new custom homes (est. $36,000). With paybacks for regular solar systems averaging 6.5 years, Tesla’s retrofit payback of 11 years will be less appealing for homeowners. Because there are far more homes than commercial businesses, it’s very unlikely homeowners will replace a proven, traditional roof system with a solar roof anytime soon. For those who want solar energy now, there’s always the option to integrate a more cost-effective traditional solar panel for energy savings. But with paybacks of 8.2 for new construction, Tesla is sure to be an attractive option in this market.

Rooftop Solar Return on Investment

With its high return on investment, large-scale commercial installations remain the most profitable solar energy solution in Florida outside of large-scale utility installations. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Major US corporations are installing solar at an astonishing rate, with commercial prices falling by an average of 16% in 2016. Advanced Roofing Inc. (ARI) is one of the nation’s largest commercial re-roofing companies and specializes in the design, procurement, and construction (EPC) of rooftop solar energy systems. Since 2007, ARI has installed over 200 megawatts of renewable energy for clients such as Lockheed Martin and the University of Miami.

Companies are choosing to go solar not only because of the environment but also for the financial returns. With rapid payback, stable internal rates of return, and a predictable cash flow stream, commercial solar projects can deliver outstanding long-term investment returns for businesses. A commercial solar project can generate incremental revenue, actually creating a new profit center. Electricity prices are highly volatile and difficult to predict. By generating clean electricity onsite, you can eliminate your businesses exposure to price volatility.

Solar Investment Tax Credit Available Until 2019

Furthermore, through the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), companies can also receive a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing solar on their property through 2019. With a 3-7 year project ROI for large scale commercial rooftop and carport installations and double-digit Internal rates of Return (IRR) over 25 years, now is the time to go solar, as we may never see incentives this aggressive again.

Whether it’ll be profitable remains to be seen, but Tesla’s foray into solar has piqued the world’s interest in rooftop solar, as homeowners anxiously await the production of these sleek new solar tiles in 2017.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about the new solar roofing shingle from Tesla? How do you see it being applied? Leave your comments below.

AGT Recognized as the Top Commercial Solar Contractor in Florida for 2016

Top-Commercial-Solar-Contractor-Florida-2016

Advanced Green Technologies Earns the Top Commercial Solar Contractor Ranking in Florida for the Fifth Consecutive Year–44th in the Nation

For the fifth year in a row, Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) earns the Top Commercial Solar Contractor ranking in the State of Florida, and 44th in the nation by Solar Power World magazine, the solar industry’s leading media resource. The Top 500 Solar Contractors List is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the U.S. and Canada. The companies on the list are growing the economy, providing jobs and offering electricity consumers a choice about how they get their power. The list was released on July 26.

Solar energy is a renewable resource with great potential to significantly reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national solar industry association. AGT is a sister company to Advanced Roofing Inc., one of the nation’s largest commercial re-roofing companies, and specializes in the design, procurement, and construction (EPC) of solar energy systems. The company employs 25 workers plus a large crew of contractors who installed nearly 48 megawatts of solar in 2015. Since its founding in 2007, the company has installed 222 megawatts of solar carports, ground mount, and rooftop solar.

AGT works amid a burgeoning business market. The U.S. solar market is expected to grow 119% this year, according to global research firm GTM Research. While a majority of solar electricity is produced at large, utility-scale solar power plants, the greatest number of solar jobs are located with companies like AGT—firms doing the work to bring clean energy to the public.

We’re excited for the continued growth of solar and are proud to be the Sunshine State’s top solar contractor, building sustainable projects that help businesses meet their bottom line while producing clean energy,” said AGT President Michael Kornahrens.

The Solar Power World recognition comes on the heels of another big honor for the company last month. ARI and AGT received First Place for Sustainability for the third year in a row for its work building the massive 2.25-megawatt solar carport at Lockheed Martin’s Clearwater campus at the 2016 Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA) S.T.A.R. awards program.

Read the Lockheed Martin Solar Carport Case Study, click here.

Contact AGT today and discover how solar can help your businesses bottom line.
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