/ Energy / Innovative Funding Solution Enables Arizona Church to Convert to Solar Energy With No Upfront Costs

Innovative Funding Solution Enables Arizona Church to Convert to Solar Energy With No Upfront Costs

Parul Dubey on June 5, 2024 - in Energy, News, Renewables

Palm Valley’s Sunrock-funded 280kW rooftop solar installation.


New York – Sunrock Distributed Generation (“Sunrock”), a commercial solar and clean energy development and management platform, and Watthub Renewables (“Watthub”), a nationwide commercial solar installer, have announced the completion of a 280kW rooftop solar installation on the Palm Valley Church in Goodyear, Arizona. Financed by a solar service agreement designed to unlock the cost and environmental benefits of clean, renewable solar energy for organizations of all sizes, the installation is expected to generate 495,000 kWh of electricity each year. This will offset the church’s energy use, cut its annual energy bill by around 30%, and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 375 tons per year, all without requiring any upfront investment by the church.

Located in a former multi-tenanted retail building, the Goodyear site is one of two Palm Valley Churches operating in Arizona. In addition to providing religious services, the church runs numerous classes and provides meeting spaces for community groups, resulting in high annual energy use. The decision to transition to solar was part of Palm Valley Church’s mission to improve the sustainability of its operations – and in doing so set a good example to the local community – while also protecting itself from the rising cost of grid-supplied electricity.    

Palm Valley’s leadership turned to Watthub and Sunrock to co-develop and fund the project. Watthub also enlisted its sister company, SunRenu Solar, which has considerable experience in developing mid-sized commercial solar projects, as an installation partner. A highly productive 622-panel solar system was constructed, utilizing cutting-edge DC-optimized inverter technology to maximize energy production from the solar array and provide highly granular, module-level monitoring for ease of operation and maintenance.

John McDonnell, Co-Founder and Principal of Watthub, comments: “Palm Valley Church is one of many local organizations in Arizona that are looking to make their operations more sustainable while also protecting themselves against rising electricity costs – especially following the 17% hike in grid energy costs introduced state-wide last November. Typically, financing companies are only interested in funding very large projects, so until now, there have been very few, if any, opportunities to own a solar system for customers of this size. This is where Sunrock is bringing something new to the market. It’s customer-centric approach to empowering communities with clean, renewable solar power is a game-changer for operations like Palm Valley Church.”

Under the terms of the solar service agreement, Sunrock provided 100% of the financing for the Palm Valley solar installation and will own and operate it for the next 30 years. It will sell all the energy generated onsite to Palm Valley Church at a discounted price compared to the cost of grid-supplied electricity.  Based on the size of the installation and the current grid electricity prices in Arizona, this is expected to reduce Palm Valley’s electricity costs by around 30% per year throughout the project’s lifetime.  However, these savings could be higher if grid energy prices continue to rise.

As part of the agreement, the solar installation will be maintained under contract by SunRenu. This ensures that in the unlikely event of a performance issue or should parts need to be replaced, maintenance work will be carried out by SunRenu on behalf of Palm Valley and Sunrock. This allows Palm Valley Church to continue its good work in the community with no distractions, safe in the knowledge that it is also helping to protect the environment.

About Sunrock Distributed Generation

Sunrock is the premier platform for commercial solar energy solutions, dedicated to enhancing cost savings and operational efficiency for businesses across the spectrum. With its unmatched network of trusted partners and installers, tech-enabled operational efficiency, and proprietary underwriting method, Sunrock designs solar and distributed generation solutions that cater specifically to the needs of organizations that have previously been unable to access the benefits of solar. Sunrock’s approach emphasizes a commitment to enabling businesses to leverage solar and distributed energy solutions to its fullest potential, regardless of project size. Sunrock is backed by Greenbacker Development Opportunities Fund I, LP, an investment vehicle affiliated with Greenbacker Capital Management LLC,  a leading renewable asset manager with approximately $3.8 billion of AUM and 3.3GW in its renewable energy asset portfolio.

About Watthub Renewables

Watthub Renewables is a nationwide commercial solar developer, that has a track record of bringing highly accurate utility analytics, designs, and installation coordination to both customers and industry partners. WattHub is a trusted partner of hundreds of solar companies nationwide that leverage their consulting and development activities to ensure accurate solar savings for customers and quality project execution. As a technology-based company, our team has been able to bring value to commercial customers across the US, and allow partner companies to utilize the wide network of resources built since 2011.

For more information, please visit https://www.sunrockdg.com/.

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