Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question? You’ve come to the right page! Here you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Clean Footprint and its solar energy services.

WHO?
Who installs the array?
Who is Clean Footprint?
Who is responsible for roof leaks?
Who is responsible for roof maintenance?
Who maintains the array?
Who owns the array?

WHAT?
What about insurance and safety of the array?
What cuts or plans are provided to our in-house PE?
What happens if Clean Footprint goes out of business?
What happens if I need to reroof my building?
What happens if I sell my property?
What is the duration of a site lease?
What is the minimum ground area required to qualify for a site lease with Clean Footprint?
What is the minimum roof area required to qualify for a site lease with Clean Footprint?
What will be the total weight added onto the roof?

WHERE?
Where does the electricity go?
Where is the best place to install a solar array?

WHEN?
When does construction start?
When is the bonus payment made?
When is the first site lease payment made?

WHY?
Why can’t I use the electricity?
Why is Clean Footprint qualified to develop my site for solar?
Why should I lease my property instead of installing solar for my own use?
Why should I lease my property to Clean Footprint over another company?

HOW?
How did you select my roof?
How does the solar array affect my ability to maintain other equipment on my roof?
How long does construction take?
How long is the development process?

OTHER?
Can I have a zero dollar electric bill and then you sell the rest of the electricity to whomever?
Does Clean Footprint have experience in Massachusetts?
Has Clean Footprint already inspected my roof?
If we pay for site preparations like tree removal or install a new roof can we get a better rate?
Will my roof still be able to support the same snow load?
Will you need to penetrate my roof?
What does installing a solar array do to the value of my business?
What happens when I sell my property?
How does a Clean Footprint solar array work?
How many solar panels will I need for my property?
How much maintenance is required for my solar array?
If my roof is shaded, will that affect my solar array?
What is the warranty on the solar panels?
What rebates and incentives are available?
Will I have power in a blackout?
How are Clean Footprint solar energy services different from other solar offers?
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for Clean Footprint’s solar energy services?
How do I know if my facilities are appropriate for a Clean Footprint installation?
How do I know if my location receives enough sunlight to provide my location with adequate electricity?
How do I know what solar technology is best for my facility?
How much does it cost to implement Clean Footprint solutions?
What are the financial considerations with a Clean Footprint solution?
What if I want to buy just the equipment, not the services?
What types of solar panel configurations does Clean Footprint offer?
Where are Clean Footprint’s solar energy services available?
Who does Clean Footprint partner with?

Who installs the array?
Clean Footprint contracts with local solar Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies to install the array at the host site after Clean Footprint acquires all the necessary applications, permits,and approvals required for construction. EPC selection depends on EPC availability, and the size and type of installation.

Who is Clean Footprint?
Clean Footprint is a solar development and finance company specializing in affordable turnkey solar solutions for commercial, industrial, and institutional organizations. A national leader in host friendly solar PV site leasing programs, we lease ground and roof space to be used as host sites for solar arrays that provide clean, renewable electricity to the surrounding community. Our solar solutions are easy to implement, because we work directly with solar contractors, financial institutions and government agencies throughout the design, permitting, construction and maintenance of every solar array we develop; we manage the entire solar development process.

Who is responsible for roof leaks?
Clean Footprint is responsible for any roof leaks caused by the solar equipment. Whenever possible, we design ballasted systems that do not require any roof penetrations. This helps minimize the risk of roof leaks resulting from the solar array.

Who is responsible for roof maintenance?
Clean Footprint takes responsibility for all roof maintenance directly attributable to the presence of the solar array. The host is responsible for roof maintenance resulting from regular wear and tear, and/or maintenance that is required not as a direct result of the presence of the solar array.

Who maintains the array?
Clean Footprint is responsible for maintaining the solar array during the entire term of the lease. Generally, Clean Footprint will contract with the same EPC firm that constructed the array for regular operations & maintenance (O&M) services.

Who owns the array?
The solar array is wholly owned by a special purpose entity (SPE) incorporated by Clean Footprint and our financial partners including Blackstone and Guggenheim Investments.

What about insurance and safety of the array?
Solar arrays are very safe, especially when installed by experienced, licensed solar installers like those used by Clean Footprint. In addition to using quality solar contractors, Clean Footprint also insures each array protecting you in case of the unexpected.

What cuts or plans are provided to our in-house PE?
During the final system design process we will provide you with all the specifications for the array’s component parts including the solar modules and inverters. We only use component parts listed and approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

What happens if Clean Footprint goes out of business?
The lease and your lease payments would continue: the Site Lease Agreement and special purpose entity (SPE) incorporated by Clean Footprint for the project would survive Clean Footprint and ownership would be transferred to the remaining stakeholders including Clean Footprint’s financial partners which include major financial institutions and equity funds such as US Bank, The Blackstone Group, and Guggenheim Investments.

What happens if I need to reroof my building?
Ideally, it would be in everyone’s best interest to reroof your building before the solar array is installed; you could even use the bonus payment to offset some of the expense. However, we know this is not always an option, so Clean Footprint allows for a one-time removal and reinstallation of the array for roof replacements over the term of the Site Lease Agreement.

What happens if I sell my property?
The Site Lease Agreement is sold with the property and the purchaser assumes all rights to collect lease payments under the original terms of the lease agreement. The guaranteed revenue stream resulting from the lease agreement increases the value of the property.

What is the duration of a site lease?
The Site Lease Agreement has a duration of twenty (20) years, however, the relationship between Clean Footprint and the host client begins nearly a year prior during the development process, and may be extended beyond the initial twenty year agreement for an additional five (5) year period.

What is the minimum ground area required to qualify for a site lease with Clean Footprint?
Clean Footprint requires a minimum ground area of 3 acres (approximately 130,000 square feet) to qualify for a solar site lease.

What is the minimum roof area required to qualify for a site lease with Clean Footprint?
Clean Footprint requires a minimum rooftop area of 40,000 square feet to qualify for a solar site lease.

What will be the total weight added onto the roof?
The short answer is, it depends, but a general rule of thumb is 4 pounds per square foot. Of course the size of the array (the number of panels) is the main factor governing the overall weight of the array, but other factors include the type, tilt, and mounting density of the panels, the number and type of inverters, as well as the wind load requirements and mounting choice. All these factors will be considered during the final design.

Where does the electricity go?
The electricity is sold to other electricity users in the surrounding community.

Where is the best place to install a solar array?
Generally speaking, the roof is the best place to install a solar array. Financially, it is the least expensive. Logistically, there are no development restrictions on the size of a rooftop solar array as there are with ground mounted solar arrays. And environmentally, rooftop arrays cover the existing footprint of the structure and do not require any further land clearing/leveling. For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of different solar sites, read our article “The Good, the Bad, and the Ideal: Roof, Ground, or Lot Mounted Solar?

When does construction start?
Construction starts following the completion of the “development term” and the approval of any building and other applicable permits. This is typically around ten (10) months after you sign the Site Lease Offer.

When is the bonus payment made?
The bonus payment, equal to five (5) years of lease payments, is made after Clean Footprint gets all the necessary permits and approvals and begins construction.

When is the first site lease payment made?
Site lease payments begin at the same time you receive the bonus payment, when construction begins. Thereafter, site lease payments occur on the first of each quarter for the following twenty (20) years.

Why can’t I use the electricity?
You can under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Under a PPA, the host’s electricity consumption and credit worthiness play a critical role in the size of the array and the ability to finance the project. The size of the array is directly proportional to the savings on your regular power bill. Site Lease Agreements, on the other hand, do not require credit or electricity consumption considerations. Also, they often allow the host to take full advantage of their roof’s maximum solar capacity which results in lease payments that outweigh the savings they would realize under a PPA. This is generally the case if your electricity consumption is less than the total solar capacity of your property. If you are a high electricity consumer with good credit and the desire to go solar, a PPA may be a better option for you. To learn more about Power Purchase Agreements click here or call 321-613-4424 to speak with one of our solar professionals.

Why is Clean Footprint qualified to develop my site for solar?
With more than 100 MWs of installed capacity and over $200 million in committed financing, Clean Footprint and our strategic partners have the experience and capabilities to ensure your project is a success.

Why should I lease my property instead of installing solar for my own use?
There are many ways to go solar, but hosting a solar array under a solar site lease is the only one that pays you! Unlike other methods, the value of a solar site lease is not limited by your electricity consumption, no cash expenditures are required, and the lease payments remain consistent over time; the more solar you can fit on your property the more cash you can earn. For more information, read our article “Why Lease My Roof for Solar?

Why should I lease my property to Clean Footprint over another company?
Clean Footprint’s site lease payments are unmatched in the PV market: Clean Footprint offers hosts an initial bonus payment equal to five (5) years of lease payments paid when construction begins in addition to the first of eighty (80) quarterly lease payments over the following 20 years.

How did you select my roof?
Clean Footprint’s team of analysts identify qualifying roofs and land. These properties are then measured taking into consideration shading and obstruction which results in a preliminary estimation of the potential solar capacity of the property. Based on this capacity, Clean Footprint formulates and sends a nonbinding Site Lease Offer. A signed Site Lease Offer initiates a more in depth analysis and preliminary design work that will be incorporated into a formal Site Lease.

How does the solar array affect my ability to maintain other equipment on my roof?
Solar arrays can be designed around existing rooftop equipment and other obstructions allowing maintenance access via corridors, or paths, between groupings of panels. The solar array will not prevent you from being able to access your rooftop equipment.

How long does construction take?
Construction generally takes about one month from notice to proceed to commercial operation.

How long is the development process?
The solar development process takes on average about ten (10) months from the time you sign the Site Lease Offer until construction can begin. During this time Clean Footprint designs the system, applies for and obtains all necessary permits and approvals to build and interconnect the system to the utility grid.

Can I have a zero dollar electric bill and then you sell the rest of the electricity to whomever?
No. However, the revenue from a site lease can offset your bill, but the utility will charge you as normal since the array will not be connected to your meter. Depending on your electricity consumption, your lease payments may actually exceed your electricity bill, effectively wiping out your bill while leaving some cash in your pocket. In any case, a site lease is a great way to generate cash for any use.

Does Clean Footprint have experience in Massachusetts?
Yes, Clean Footprint has been developing projects in MA since 2014. As a development and finance firm Clean Footprint first identifies sites and obtains all the necessary permits and approvals to build the project. Then we arrange all the financing to pay for the project. And finally, we always contract with local and experienced installers to construct the projects we develop.

Has Clean Footprint already inspected my roof?
When you receive a Site Lease Offer from Clean Footprint, the design team has only performed a preliminary visual inspection by looking at an aerial photograph of the proposed site. During the “development term” following the approval of a formal Site Lease Agreement, we will have the roof and structure inspected and certified as we complete the final system design. If available, providing a copy of the structure’s as-builts could save some time, otherwise we will have a structural engineer complete the analysis.

If we pay for site preparations like tree removal or install a new roof can we get a better rate?
Yes, Clean Footprint allocates funds to cover minor site preparations and factors these expenses into the Site Lease Offer. If you agree to take responsibility for these preparations a portion of the allocated development funds can be reallocated to you and reflected in your rent.

Will my roof still be able to support the same snow load?
During the final design and structural analysis Clean Footprint ensures the roof can support the solar array as well as the snow load.

Will you need to penetrate my roof?
No, it is often possible to use a fully ballasted system that would not require any roof penetrations. Clean Footprint uses ballasted systems whenever possible. This, however, depends on the type and pitch of your roof. For instance, flat roofs rarely require penetration, while roofs with a steeper incline sometimes do.

What does installing a solar array do to the value of my business?
Installing a solar array will increase the value of your business by decreasing your electricity bill. Clean Footprint will provide you with a Free Solar Quote to estimate how much you can save with solar!

What happens when I sell my property?
When you sell your property the solar array goes with it. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) can be transferred to the new property owner or the array can be removed.

How does a Clean Footprint solar array work?
Photovoltaic panels made of semiconductor material (silicon) capture sunlight and convert it to direct electric current (DC). Inverters installed on each row of panels convert the DC current to alternating current (AC) that can be used in your business. The AC is connected to your electrical panel for electricity distribution throughout your building. You can easily see how much electricity the panels are generating by reviewing the monitoring system provided and installed by Clean Footprint.

How many solar panels will I need for my property?
Clean Footprint will calculate how many panels you need based on your electricity bill over the past year and the size of your roof.

How much maintenance is required for my solar array?
Clean Footprint provides operations and maintenance services to keep your solar array clean and in perfect working condition. You are not responsible for maintaining your own array.

If my roof is shaded, will that affect my solar array?
Shade reduces the amount of electricity your system can produce. To keep your costs to a minimum, Clean Footprint uses one inverter for each string of panels, so if one panel is shaded, the entire string will go offline. However, when the site analysis is done, Clean Footprint chooses the best site and takes shading into consideration.

What is the warranty on the solar panels?
Clean Footprint’s solar panels have a 25-year factory warranty. Should anything go wrong during the warranty period, Clean Footprint will have the panels repaired or replaced under our operation and maintenance service at no additional cost to you.

What rebates and incentives are available?
The federal and many state governments have incentives for solar projects. Currently, the federal government offers a 30% Investment Tax Credit on your solar array. However, this offer expires at the end of 2016 so there has never been a better time to go solar!

Will I have power in a blackout?
Clean Footprint’s solar arrays are interconnected to the grid and are programmed to shut down during a blackout so that technicians can safely make repairs to the grid. You will still have electricity, provided to you by your utility.

How are Clean Footprint solar energy services different from other solar offers?
Clean Footprint will be your answer from start to finish of the solar process. We oversee your project through development, financing, and construction and then maintain it for you. Once your solar array is installed, we sell you the electricity it produces at a lower cost than what you are currently paying the utility company, thus saving you money.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for Clean Footprint’s solar energy services?
If you are a business looking to cut expenses, be renewable, and add value to your property, you may be a good candidate. Also, if you are experiencing high or volatile electricity costs, are using a lot of peak energy or want to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, you are probably a great candidate for our solar energy services. Clean Footprint can provide a Free Solar Quote to determine if you are a good candidate.

How do I know if my facilities are appropriate for a Clean Footprint installation?
Most solar deployments require either a large, flat rooftop or ground space. For roof-mounted systems, generally you should have a minimum of 50,000 square feet and the roof should be less than seven years old and in good condition. For ground-mounted systems, typically a minimum of 2 acres is needed.

In Massachusetts, we can install solar offsite and still sell that electricity to you at a discount. This is called virtual or remote net metering and works well for businesses that want to go solar but do not have enough space or a suitable roof.

How do I know if my location receives enough sunlight to provide my location with adequate electricity? 
We conduct a comprehensive site examination at no cost to you, including shade analysis, to determine whether solar is a viable solution for your location(s).

How do I know what solar technology is best for my facility?
Clean Footprint evaluates the options of various technologies, configurations and selected sites to provide you with the best savings on your solar project. We will listen to your needs and concerns, identify the best solution for your facilities, and guide you through our decision process, ensuring that your needs are fully met.

How much does it cost to implement Clean Footprint solutions?
Through the use of a PPA, Clean Footprint is able to provide you with solar energy at zero money down. Because there is no out of pocket expense, your solar array will begin saving you money year one and will continue saving you money throughout its lifetime. Clean Footprint also provides Net Metering Credit Purchase Agreements (NMAs). To understand the difference between a PPA and a NMA, click here.

What are the financial considerations with a Clean Footprint solution?
Business customers should consider the average price per kilowatt-hour you’re paying for peak and non-peak usage on your electric bill. In many cases, Clean Footprint is able to offer more competitive energy prices. For help understanding your electric bill, click here.

What if I want to buy just the equipment, not the services?
We offer the option to buy just the solar array, although we recommend against it. Even though you may have the capitol available to buy panels outright, it is much more complicated than signing a PPA. For more information, click here.

What types of solar panel configurations does Clean Footprint offer?
Clean Footprint offers ground-mount systems, parking canopy systems and roof-mounted systems.

Where are Clean Footprint’s solar energy services available?
Clean Footprint provides solar energy services in the United States of America. We specialize in the Northeast, specifically Massachusetts.

Who does Clean Footprint partner with?
We work with partners in manufacturing and installation, as well as Operations and Maintenance (O&M) once your install is complete. Clean Footprint also partners with financial institutions to provide you with solar at no money down!

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