Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group is now offering financing for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV systems coupled with its SmartStorage energy storage solution. The program is dedicated to $0 down financing for solar projects integrated with Sharp’s SmartStorage behind-the-meter energy storage system and is available to developers and integrators as well as end users. During its initial phase, program funding of $25 million is expected to support the deployment of more than 12 MW of hybrid systems within the next 12 months.
“Financing is a critical piece to the advancement of the energy storage industry,” said Carl Mansfield general manager and founder of Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group. “By offering this precedent-setting financing mechanism broadly to the industry and making it available to project development allies, we are able to equip developers with readily available financing for hybrid solar-storage systems.”
The distributed energy storage market is still nascent, but energy storage for solar systems is expected to reach $8 billion in 2026, according to Lux Research. Sharp recognizes that financing will play a critical role in the widespread adoption of energy storage and market expansion, similar to how the introduction of zero-down financing enabled the rapid expansion of the solar PV industry. Until now, developers have lacked access to readily available financing specifically for hybrid solar-energy storage systems.
“Sharp’s innovative 10-Year Asset Management Service Agreement and Demand Reduction Performance Guarantee were key elements in establishing system bankability, which enabled us to introduce this financing program of such breadth,” added Mansfield. “Together with our robust pipeline of solar plus storage projects, we expect this financing offer to accelerate the adoption of integrated SmartStorage solar hybrid solutions with the aim of lowering electricity costs for our customers without draining their budget.”
The SmartStorage system is designed to work synergistically with solar as part of an integrated hybrid energy solution. The solar component reduces facility energy usage while the SmartStorage component reliably reduces facility peak demand usage, both resulting in savings on monthly utility bills. Reducing peak demand usage is becoming increasingly important since demand charges are the fastest growing part of many utility bills for C&I customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly bill.
— Solar Builder magazine