Solar Energy Program (SEP)

July 10, 2015

Overview

The Solar Energy Program (SEP) provides financial assistance in the forms of grants and loan funds to promote the use of alternative solar energy in Pennsylvania. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

The CFA is temporarily not accepting applications for the Solar Energy program as the guidelines are currently being updated and modified. Once the guidelines have been updated and approved, this program will resume accepting applications.

Uses

Activities to promote the generation and use of solar energy and the manufacture or assembly of solar equipment.

Funding

Loans

Loans for component manufacturers of solar energy generation equipment up to $35,000 for every new job created within three years after approval of the loan. Loans for solar energy generation or distribution projects shall not exceed $5 million or $2.25 per watt, whichever is less.

Grants

Grants for component manufacturers of solar energy generation equipment up to $5,000 for every new job created by the business within three years after approval of the grant. Grants for solar energy generation or distribution projects, solar research and development facilities, and solar thermal projects shall not exceed $1 million or $2.25 per watt, whichever is less. Grants for planning and feasibility studies shall not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the planning project or $175,000, whichever is less.

Guarantees

Grants shall not exceed $30 million and have a term of not more than five years. In the event of a default, the grant will pay up to 75 percent of the deficiency.

Terms

There is a matching investment requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded. There is a $100 non-refundable application fee due at the time of submission made payable to the CFA. There is a 1% commitment fee on all approved loans.

Eligibility

  • Businesses
  • Economic development organizations
  • Political subdivisions, including municipalities, counties and school districts