This is way cool. Its not immediately clear from the post at Businessweek that Envision operates as a PPA (power purchase agreement) – where the property owner signs a long term purchase agreement for the power that is generated from the solar units – offsetting the capital costs of the company installing them and eventually generating profit. Why a big real estate company, or any real estate company for that matter, wouldn’t do this themselves, however, is beyond me – its not like they pay some one to build the building for nothing and then lease it from the construction company for eternity… The smart play for REITs and commercial building companies is to do this themselves – move a recurring expense to a more maneagable capital expense.
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