Partnership set up to help businesses invest in solar

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Virginia Community Capital and Sigora Solar announced a partnership to offer companies a direct and low-cost path to use solar energy.

Through the Small Business Solar Loans program, Sigora and VCC will provide businesses financing for solar power assets with an initial rate of 2 percent, far below traditional interest rates for installing solar equipment.

Virginia Community Capital is a nonprofit community development financial institution and state-chartered banking entity with offices in Richmond, Christiansburg and Norfolk. Sigora Solar is a Waynesboro-based solar energy provider.

Solar power provides a stable and fixed energy cost for companies compared to traditional fossil fuels. Historically, electric utility costs have increased more than 3 percent per year in Virginia.

As oil prices increase, for example, other fossil fuels tend to follow, which means electricity prices rise. With solar energy, the price is fixed for the life of the unit, allowing businesses to better plan for future energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

In addition, the federal government offers 30 percent federal solar tax credit toward the cost of a system for businesses using solar energy.

Once installed, a solar power system requires little or no maintenance and provides electricity quietly and cleanly for a guaranteed minimum of 25 years, reducing and even eliminating an electric utility bill.

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