Groundbreaking Funding Model Puts Solar Energy Within Reach for Nonprofits

Feb 13, 2009, 12:14 ET from National Development Council

National Development Council Program Funds Solar Installation and Green Renovations for Napa Valley's Gasser Foundation

NAPA, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using a unique financing model, the National Development Council (NDC) is providing groundbreaking support for an innovative solar installation project at the Gasser Foundation's headquarters in Napa Valley, California. The development of the newest tax-credit structure is an initiative that NDC plans to expand to fund solar projects at nonprofit organizations across the country.

NDC unveiled the new financing model Friday at the Gasser Foundation's ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by Bay Area business leaders and policy makers, representatives of U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson and senior executives from Pacific Gas and Electric.

Green energy projects are normally difficult for non-profit organizations to develop because they are ineligible for federal tax incentives. However, NDC joined the Gasser Foundation to help secure alternative sources of funding for the project, which was designed to maximize the economic benefit to the community. Nationally recognized for its work in community housing and other community development projects, NDC devised a unique financing model to secure approximately $1.5 million for the project with the installers, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., and US Bank.

"This is truly a groundbreaking project for the National Development Council as well as for the non-profit community," said Robert Davenport, NDC President. "For too long, forward thinking nonprofits have been ineligible for the same tax incentives as private industry. We hope to apply this model for other nonprofit projects across the country looking to modernize, cut long-term costs, and install a green operating system."

"The Gasser Foundation believes we must demonstrate our tangible commitment to sustainability -- and through this partnership with National Development Council we hope to open doors for the long term benefit of many nonprofit organizations on which our community depends," said Joe Peatman, Gasser Foundation President.

The renovated Gasser building features state of the art solar panels installed by Borrego Solar, on both its rooftop and carports. The installation will supply nearly 100 percent of the building's energy and eliminate 26 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

"We commend NDC on its innovative financing approach, allowing nonprofit organizations like Gasser to fully benefit from solar energy and other sustainable initiatives," said Mike Hall, president of Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. "We look forward to working with NDC on future projects and helping to accelerate the adoption of solar energy."

The National Development Council is one of the oldest national non-profit community and economic development organizations in the U.S. It was founded in 1969 with one purpose: increasing the flow of capital for investment, jobs and community development to under served urban and rural areas across the country.

SOURCE National Development Council