Instead of residences paying power company, they pay a middleman- a third party solar company. The solar company comes and installs the panels at the house, carries the cost of the panels and maintenance of them, and recovers any tax benefits or subsidies due them. The customer simply pays the solar company and avoids all the complexity. The solar company in turn pays the power company or recovers the cost of the power they generated for the grid. The operator is responsible for deactivating the power to the grid when requested by the power company for maintenance, and all interactions with the grid. The solar operator can negotiate for larger cost per KWH from the utility, and is motivated to lobby local governments and Utilities commissions for fair pricing of wholesale power to the grid.

This model is also known as that of a "Solar energy services provider" and is used by SunEdison whose customers are commercial operations.

Needed government policyEdit

  • Mandate that local utilities must allow this sort of arrangement, with fair compensation to the utility as well as the independent operator.