SOURCE: National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC)

National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC)

August 05, 2015 12:30 ET

CFC and NRCO Secure Tax Equity to Support More Than $100 Million in Electric Co-op Solar Projects

DULLES, VA--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2015) - The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) and the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) recently executed a letter of intent with an investor making tax equity available to support more than $100 million in electric cooperative solar projects. Qualifying projects would include utility-scale, cooperative-sponsored and cooperative-owned solar projects ranging in size from 1 MW to 50 MW.

The agreement builds on the successful Solar Cooperative Community Projects (sCOOP) program, launched in 2013 in collaboration with Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange, to make solar photovoltaic generation more economical for electric cooperatives and their members. The new agreement provides funding capacity for larger projects that have the ability to benefit from investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation for projects typically not available to not-for-profit cooperatives.

"The economic benefits of the sCOOP program drew a lot of interest from electric cooperatives when it was launched two years ago, calling for an expanded source of tax equity," said CFC Senior Vice President, Business and Industry Development, Greg Starheim. "Now we have it -- a success that came through collaborative efforts of CFC, NRCO and electric cooperative members who expressed interest in using this program for larger-scale solar projects."

Under the agreement, qualifying solar projects must come on-line by fall 2016.

"We are already working with several electric cooperatives interested in benefiting from this program," said NRCO Vice President of Renewables Development Todd Bartling. "Each solar project is unique but we will work with co-ops to ensure the available tax equity is used to its maximum potential."

Through the initiative, NRCO will provide solar program and project management services. CFC may provide debt capital and bridge financing as needed for solar projects.

Twenty-three cooperatives have either completed or are actively developing projects through the sCOOP program, which was originally designed for projects between 100-1,000 kW. Projects serve communities in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Electric cooperatives interested in pursuing community and utility-scale solar power options can contact CFC or NRCO for more information.

About CFC
The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) is a nonprofit finance cooperative created and owned by America's electric cooperative network. With more than $22 billion in assets, CFC is committed to providing unparalleled industry expertise, flexibility and responsiveness to serve the needs of our member-owners. CFC is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit us online at www.nrucfc.coop.

About NRCO
Cooperatives across the country formed the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy resources for its members. NRCO's main purposes are to facilitate the cost-effective, joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners, helping its owners meet the requirements of voluntary and mandatory renewable energy standards. For more information, please visit www.nrco.coop.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Scott Gates
    CFC Corporate Communications
    Email Contact
    800-424-2954

    Todd Bartling
    NRCO VP, Renewables Development
    Email Contact
    317-344-7900