19-1029 v3.X Donating Power as Equity Investment (and Confirming Off-Site Power Arrangement)
There are two pathways for locating PV offsite: I06-E15 Off-site Renewables, or Scale Jumping. Per the 3.1 Energy Petal Handbook, in order to use scale jumping, the team will need to demonstrate that there is one of the following; a constraint (such as shading), an opportunity through a local offsite natural asset, or it is a campus/multi-building project. In addition to meeting at least one of these three conditions, the project must meet all other criteria for scale jumping (listed on page 19 of the LBC 3.1 Energy Petal Handbook).
Alternatively, in order to use I06-E15 Off-site Renewables, the team will need to make the case that the project is one of the following; a tenant improvement project where there is no ownership interest by the project owner or developer in the core building HVAC systems and/or the building envelope or grounds, a high density/high EUI project, or a utility-constrained project. In addition to meeting at least one of these three conditions, the project must meet all other criteria for I06-E15 Off-site Renewables (listed on pages 17-18 of the LBC 3.1 Energy Petal Handbook).
Based on the information provided, the high density/high EUI pathway within I06-E15 Off-site Renewables may be the most applicable option for this project.
Regarding off-site PV, the team's assumptions that the RECs must be retained and that the team may sell the energy to the host through a PPA are correct.
If the project uses scale jumping or I06-E15 Off-site Renewables, the team may count the free and/or subsidized power towards the charitable donation required in Imperative 17 - Equitable Investment, given that the organization to which the power is donated meets the 501(c)3 requirement and the organization approves of this donation methodology in lieu of one or multiple cash donations over a similar period in an equivalent amount.
The team must provide calculations for the equivalent donation amount using local utility rates and energy use data from the non-profit organization. The donation must occur prior to certification. Documentation of the non-profit organization's approval of this donation method (in lieu of cash) must be provided when submitting for certification. If the monetary equivalent of the power donation is less than what is required in I17 Equitable Investment (0.5% of the project cost), the balance must be met by a monetary donation to a non-profit organization.
Additionally, if the PV array is donated to the affordable housing nonprofit after 15 years, the value of the array may be considered part of the equitable investment. The team must make a reasonable estimate of the future value of the array, accounting for 15 years of depreciation. If the array is donated to the nonprofit upon installation, the current value of the array may be considered as part (or all, if value is greater than or equal to the amount required under I17) of the equitable investment.