The Benefits of PACE Financing for a Commercial Solar Project

Commercial rooftop solar installation
C-PACE provides a unique financing structure for commercial property owners to fund clean energy projects, allowing for repayment through a voluntary property tax assessment rather than traditional loan structures.



Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)

If your business has decided to move forward with a solar installation, the next step is to decide how to finance the investment. One tool to consider is Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). C-PACE is a green financing program designed to fund commercial renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation, and resiliency projects for commercial property owners. C-PACE can cover up to 100% of a solar PV or electric vehicle (EV) charging system’s cost. 

Commercial property owners who use PACE opt to pay back their clean energy project debt via a voluntary property tax assessment. PACE loans overcome many common financing barriers because they can be repaid over a long financing term (20+ years). With no out-of-pocket costs, PACE-financed solar projects are cash flow positive right away, making energy cost savings immediately beneficial to the bottom line.

PROPERTY OWNER Commercial Industrial Multi-Family Housing Non-profit New Construction (2)

Above: Multiple parties participate in a C-PACE financing arrangement.


What types of properties can benefit from C-PACE financing?

C-PACE works for nearly any type of business-related property, including commercial, industrial, agricultural, multi-family residential, and non-profit.

Benefits of using C-PACE 

•    The entirety of the project’s cost is funded, so working capital is preserved
•    Renewable energy improvements increase building value and marketability
•    Borrower can still claim local and federal solar incentives and tax credits for the project
•    Loan remains with the property, not the borrower. Financing obligations transfer to new building owner if the property is sold.

Could C-PACE be a good fit for your organization? 

Here are a few indicators:

•    Your business could benefit from energy efficiency or resiliency projects
•    You need long-term financing (more than 10 years) with lower monthly payments
•    Your organization may relocate in the near term
•    Your business owns or occupies facilities in an area where C-PACE is available (see notes below)


C-PACE is a versatile financing option that helps many types of businesses move forward with solar.


Where is C-PACE available?

Projects are eligible for PACE financing if they are in a state that has passed PACE-enabling legislation, and the site is within a county or municipality with an approved C-PACE program. Currently, PACE-enabling legislation has been passed in 38 states, and PACE programs are available in 30 of these states plus Washington, D.C. To see if your project location is eligible for C-PACE program, visit 


Wisconsin-Based C-PACE Programs

Here in our home state of Wisconsin, 53 counties have PACE programs. Both PACE Wisconsin (state program) and the City of Milwaukee C-PACE Program (independent municipal program) are available to help project owners reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their utility bills with PACE-financed clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

Impact of PACE financing

PACE Nation, the national nonprofit association that advocates for PACE financing, estimates that more than 2,900 projects nationwide have been financed with C-PACE loans to date, for a total of $4.2 billion in green investments. Nationally, the program is credited with creating over 52,000 jobs as well. C-PACE programs throughout the country have proven to be vital economic development tools for communities of all sizes. 

PACE benefits local economies and allows municipalities to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy without putting general funds at risk, providing a program that makes it easy for businesses and local communities to contribute to climate and clean energy goals. 



Administrator of PACE Wisconsin and City of Milwaukee C-PACE Programs

Slipstream is a non-profit organization that facilitates both the PACE Wisconsin and City of Milwaukee C-PACE Programs. For more information about C-PACE projects within Wisconsin, visit  or contact Kim Johnston, Market Development Director for PACE, directly. SunPeak's project development team can also provide additional information and contacts for PACE locally and nationwide.