Future Solar Systems is a systems integrator that brings volume buying power and experienced installation resources along with project financing to deliver large solar electric systems for our commercial and public customers. We make it easy and affordable for everyone to have an advanced high performance solar PV system.
Future Solar Systems builds on a proven business model. The solar electric system is installed at the host organization’s site. It is financed through a combination of tax credits, rebates and investments by a third party, with no capital cost to the customer.
During the initial recovery period, the long term investor is repaid through a combination of tax credits, rebates and revenue from sales of electricity. This period will range from 8-10 years depending on the specific project.
After the recovery period, the system is converted over to ownership by the host and the free electricity produced is provided to the host along with the Renewable Energy Credits received for power produced, which we recommend that the user sell to cover the low cost of maintenance for the balance of the system’s life. The solar panels are guaranteed by the manufacturer typically for 25 years. The inverter typically is guaranteed for 10 years and is expected to be replaced once during the PV system life.
Schools and other non-profit hosts:
Schools and other non-profit organizations will receive solar generated electricity initially at a reduced and stable rate (lower than prevailing utility rates) during the recovery period, then at virtually no cost after that. This also makes a very favorable statement of “being green” and providing a significant educational opportunity.
The investor receives a favorable return on investment through a combination of rebates, tax credits, depreciation and income from electricity sales during the initial recovery period through a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA).
Future Solar Systems facilitates the process, buying panels and inverters directly from the manufacturers in large volume. The costs for solar electric panels has fallen drastically since the fall of 2008 due to a number of market factors. Future Solar utilizes experienced local installers and innovative methods to minimize installation costs, and be competitive.
Future Solar Systems is targeting the educational and other non-profit markets, which typically do not have access to capital and expertise to install 100-250 KW systems. This market size is too small for the large players in the PPA market, and too large for the small companies to finance or handle the legal costs to establish and finance the PPA.
The Financial Opportunities:
Long term investment, typically ~25% of the project cost. The return is from the tax credits, depreciation and sales of electricity to the non-profit host. The LLC investor receives a much larger percentage of th4e overall benefits and an attractive ROI.
Short term project bridge investment: There is a period of time between when Future Solar Systems buys the hardware, does the installation and then receives the Investment Tax Credit and related Solar electric rebates. This is a short term (typically 180 days or less), and covered by a highly secured loan. The project is defined, permits and credits approved prior to the investment of any funds. The investment is secured by the readily saleable standard solar panels and inverter. It is also secured by a pledge of the already approved credits from ITC and Commonwealth Solar program (MTC). There is a separate LLC entity for each project. The risk is low due to the many combined factors.
Future solar provides all schools with an educational module for teaching solar and wind energy in the classroom. This module includes small model working solar and wind turbines and full curriculum for 2 grade levels, and kits for students to actually make working test systems and measure their performance.
Unique financing for medium commercial projects in the 100-200KW size range.
Future solar offers a way for certain ‘For-profit’ companies to own a solar PV system and receive many of the tax and depreciation benefits, and pay for the system solely from the savings received over the first 5-6 years of ownership, after which the customer will continue to enjoy the benefit of free power and the income from the sale of their Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s).
Filed under: Unique Approach
Future Solar Systems LLC offers a unique approach to providing medium scale solar systems to a host of organizations like schools, hospitals, universities and for profit businesses, at NO capital cost to the recipient organization. Under Future Solar’s program the customer has the option of purchasing the renewable power produced at a competitive rate to what they would have paid their current utility, for a period of 10-15 years, or share the savings achieved with us, over a predefined period. Future Solar will also provide similar roof and ground mount PV systems to a range of other markets, and sell components to other installers at competitive prices. Future solar is also developing proprietary methods to dramatically reduce the labor costs by pre-engineering the PV modules into arrays of up to 12 pre-mounted and pre-wired modules for rapid assembly with minimal onsite labor cost. Future Solar is positioned to competitively address a host of under-served markets by employing their unique business approach, combining optimum buying power and utilizing a network of proven industry contractors and their unique pre-engineered assemblies, with the ability to quickly and efficiently develop customer relationships and project commitments, and arrange the critical project financing.
Key Advantages of Future Solar’s unique business approach:
- Maximum use of Federal ITC, Depreciation, and state rebates and Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) for quick recovery of System cost
- Large purchasing advantage for all PV panels and related materials, with extended credit terms
- Novel Pre-engineered array designs and off-site assembly provide dramatic reduction in Installation costs, and use of outside resources, providing a dramatic ‘edge’ over competing installers and integrators
- All installation work sub-contracted, minimizing Future Solar staffing
- Use of Marketing Associates to reduce Sales cost to under 2% of project value
- Focused marketing approach with minimal resources and growth capital
- Leveraged use of local banks for interim credit line financing of materials, awaiting rebates and ITC grants
- 3 phased growth model to minimize initial capital requirements
Filed under: Our Business
Future Solar Systems is a private limited liability company created to focus on the design, sales, installation and strategic ownership of commercial, public, and private solar Photovoltaic, (PV), projects in the 100-500KW range. Our initial target market is public and private schools, hospitals, churches and other not for profit (NFP) organizations in the north-east US, with a limited number of commercial installations, and direct PV panel, arrays, and system sales. Future Solar is creating and implementing unique financing methods that will allow customers the benefits and ultimate ownership of solar PV renewable energy systems with NO capital cost. Through the use of simplified power purchase agreements, (PPA’s), and ‘shared savings plans’, Future Solar offers schools, colleges, private companies, and other organizations the ability to purchase renewable energy under competitive, long-term, predictably priced power purchase contracts, while avoiding the significant capital costs of owning and operating a solar system.
Future Solar structures a basic LLC for each project, that will own the system, and sell electricity produced under a PPA or PV ‘shared savings plan’, with a predictable future payment stream. These LLC’s offer Future Solar’s investors the benefit of the Federal ITC and Accelerated Depreciation and long-term stable returns. Furthermore, Future Solar will utilize both federal and state grants/tax credits and REC’s for leveraged ownership in PV system assets, significantly enhancing the return profile for FUTURE SOLAR, their customers, and investors.
Future Solar is developing several novel proprietary ways to dramatically reduce the cost of large solar systems with pre-engineered arrays of 6-12 PV modules for rapid integration on rooftops, carports, and ground mounts, reducing labor costs by over 60%, and optimizing the rapid installation of large, 100-1500KW systems.
Future Solar performs the marketing, selling, site assessment, design, and contract efforts; utilizing established installers to perform the actual system installation. Future Solar purchases all of the major components at low contract prices, through strategic supply relationships. Future Solar is technology agnostic, but outsources the installation and system maintenance to certified installers and Electric contractors. Through strategic partner relationships and the outsourcing of labor intensive work, Future Solar is able to efficiently run the business with a minimal staff, while leveraging their solid buying power, and special contactor and customer agreements.
Background / Opportunity:
The solar electric industry has seen exponential growth over the last ten years, fueled largely by attractive incentive programs in Europe and Japan. During 2005-2008, a shortage of Silicon and bottlenecks in the solar value chain limited production and availability of PV modules while demand throughout Europe and the US continued to increase rapidly; this market dynamic benefitting the sellers of both poly-silicon and other solar modules. However, with the world financial downturn at the end of 2008, a major transition began in the PV industry, due to an oversupply of PV panels and insufficient financing to complete a host of large projects in Spain and Italy. Industry experts expected to see a mild oversupply in 2009 as additional upstream capacity came online; however, the expected oversupply has been exacerbated by the deterioration in global project financing, the significant increase in the availability of Solar grade silicon, the downturn in the semiconductor market and the rapid growth of thin film solar panels. These key market dynamics have quickly transitioned the Solar PV manufacturing industry to a ‘buyers’ market’ from that of a ‘sellers’ market. In fact, the market has not proven elastic enough to absorb the recent fall in module prices (due to huge Asian oversupply), creating a major opportunity for both the project installer and third party investor. This reduced pricing of key components, combined with the new US Tax Credit program and numerous state incentives and rebates, now offer a very unique opportunity for companies like Future Solar to capitalize on these unique market conditions. This market scenario provides our investors an unusually strong and secure opportunity, with high margins and solid ongoing profits, and minimal risk. Further benefits and increased profit will be afforded by Future Solar’s proprietary new pre-engineered arrays, which eliminate over 75% of the expensive roof installation labor costs, reducing typical total job installation costs by over 60%, by using low cost off-site labor in automated pre-assembly facilities.
Corporate Structure – Future Solar Systems LLC is structured to be the beneficial owner of both the Future Solar PPA Systems Division and the Future Solar Integration Division. Our Integration business is responsible for overseeing the sale, installation and maintenance of the solar asset with the customer. In efforts to keep the organization lean and minimize costs, Future Solar’s Integration Div. will outsource most of the labor intensive aspects of installation to proven established electrical contractors and installers. As previously noted, Future Solar Systems LLC will leverage key strategic relationships to procure low cost modules and inverters, using just in time delivery to avoid owning excess modules in a ‘price declining’ market.
Upon completion of the installation, Future Solar sells the asset to an independent LLC ownership company which, as the owner of the asset, will receive any eligible federal/state incentives, rebates, depreciation and tax benefits, current and future income from the sale of electricity as well as renewable energy certificates (REC’s). Future Solar will partner with outside investors either per PPA tranche or bundle several PPA’s tranches together offering investors an attractive yield over 10-15 years on an unleveraged basis. Each LLC (PPA) package / tranche may have more than one member, with Future Solar’s (Holding LLC) being a senior partner member in each investment (for a 25-35% interest) to oversee the investment and manage all disbursements, tax filings, accounting, etc.
Filed under: Management
Management Team – Our core team has a combined total of over 35 years of relevant industry experience:
Jim Dunn – CEO and President - Mr. Dunn has a technical and business background and is an expert in the renewable energy field, particularly in photo-voltaics and energy storage. He has over 35 years of experience with large companies like IBM, and Exxon and is a founder of 5 companies, and most recently, was responsible for technology transfer as the Director of NASA’s NE Region Tech Transfer Center, for 15 years. He has been successful in raising capital for several recent energy start-ups, and has a solid knowledge of the solar and renewable energy marketplace. Jim has a BSEE from WPI, and is active in the Renewable Energy field and a frequent speaker at energy related conferences and events.
Richard Chase – Director of Sales, Marketing and IT – Mr. Chase was the President of Chase Systems, LLC (consulting) and past Manager of Fidelity Investments FESCo Intranet and Document Management Systems. Mr. Chase has over 29 years experience in a variety of high technology ventures in semiconductor and computer manufacturing and quality and reliability with companies such as Fairchild Semiconductor and Digital Equipment, followed by extensive IT experience with Fidelity Investments. He also brings a broad background of renewable energy experience, having served as Commissioner of the Princeton, MA Municipal Light Department, owner of the oldest wind farm in New England. Mr. Chase has a BSEE from RPI and is a member of IEEE, NESEA, ISES, & the American Solar Energy Society.
Mike Strizki – Director of Installations and service – Mike is an internationally known innovator with 15 years of experience in the renewable energy industry, including 4 years as an engineer with Advanced Solar Products and 5 years as Lead Scientist and Senior Lead Engineer at Millennium Cell, a public corp. Mr. Strizki is also the inventor of 3 US and 3 international patents for hydrogen generation. He has supervised installation of over 4 MW of photovoltaic solar systems, and recently completed and occupies the first fully code-compliant solar-hydrogen residence in the US. This home, in Hopewell, New Jersey, features an advanced solar-hydrogen energy system capable of hydrogen production, storage and reconversion through a fuel cell integrated into existing solar and retrofitted geothermal systems. It provides all of the home’s energy needs, and also includes a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle refueling station. Mike holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, and is a member of the Fuel Cell Standards Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), a board member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and a regular participant in the Transportation Research Board annual meetings.
Peter MacDougall – Project Manager – Peter is a Mechanical Engineer with extensive project management and solar design experience – Peter was also employed by Borrego as an installer and was responsible for installing the PV system on the MIT entry in the DOE international solar decathlon project, in Wash, DC.
Legal & Accounting resources: Future Solar has retained the services of the following professional organizations:
Aronson, Alexander, and Finning, a distinguished 150 person accounting firm headquartered in Westborough, MA. which has experience in LLC accounting and working with Power Purchase Agreements and related tax issues.
Morse, Barnes-Brown, Pendleton, PC, a 35 person law firm that specializes in working with emerging high tech companies, including equity financing, and all typical elements of corporate structure and business requirements.
TD Banknorth – An established, profitable Canadian owned bank, with a history of solid growth and experience with growth businesses, (that did not receive any TARP funds).
Filed under: Contact
Future Solar Systems LLC
21 Davis Road
Millbury, MA 01527
Tel: 508 709 9184
Filed under: Projects
Recent Project pictures