Yearly Archives: 2011

The Financing Discussion with Your Banker…What to Expect

As you probably know, banks aren’t really looking to take much risk right now.  There’s money available but it’s not so easy to get for a solar project.  As the old saw goes, you have to prove you don’t need the money before a bank will lend it to you.


For solar projects, lenders are looking for several things – an ongoing, viable business that generates significant free cash flow to service the debt.  No difference there compared to financing a machine for your business.  But with solar, they are also demanding forward SREC sale contracts with strong counterparties.  Personal guarantees from the owner of the business are almost a given.  And many customers are surprised to find that lenders assign virtually no collateral value on the systems that cost so much money.


There are several reasons for the negligible collateral value of solar systems:

  1. A percentage of the cost of a solar system is ‘soft costs,’ meaning the design, engineering, permitting and labor.  Additionally, it is unlikely that a lender would be able to realize any value in the conduit, wire, combiner boxes, etc., that make up the balance of the system.  Should the bank repossess the assets that make up your system, those costs are all gone.  Figure at least 40% of the system cost.
  2. Solar systems are very incentive-oriented.  Once installed, the 30% federal tax credit (or grant) is used up.  That means, at best, the assets are worth no more than 70% of what they were prior to being installed because of the tax credit.
  3. Manufacturers’ warranties are generally limited to the first installation only, so they will not transfer to subsequent users, further diminishing the liquidation value.
  4. Most importantly, there is no established, liquid secondary market for solar equipment.  At some point there will be, but probably not for some time.  There are few solar integrators who would bother with used equipment so there are no buyers for used equipment.

All in all, if a lender gives you 15% in the underwriting process for collateral value of the solar equipment, you’re doing well.


What should you do?  Assemble 3 years of audited financials.  Discuss your plans with your banker – not just the relationship manager but also the underwriting folks.  Get a feel for how they feel about lending for solar.  It’s been our experience that a number of lenders simply don’t understand the moving parts of a solar project and that makes them shy away from them.


Solar projects are complex.  The financing discussion is critical.  Banks make money by lending money, their customers grow their businesses by borrowing money.  There are common goals here.  Have patience, seek assistance from your solar integrator if they can provide it.  The good ones can offer significant assistance.

NJ SREC Market Volatility and the NJ Energy Master Plan

Boy, nobody saw this coming.  We all knew that Lee Solomon (BPU President) is a huge nuclear fan, but we never expected the EMP to be so anti-solar.  Hopefully, with the upcoming public hearings on the plan, the message will come through loud and clear that 2 primary stakeholder groups – potential solar customers and solar integrators – are concerned.  As I write this, lobbying groups are being formed fast and furiously.  For customers, the uncertainty that is the result of this plan will mean more difficulty making solar projects ‘pencil out.’  Lending and financial options will shrink.  For integrators, it’s all about jobs.  Fewer solar projects = fewer employees needed.  This runs counter to the theme espoused by Governor Christie since he was a candidate for Governor.

There is an overriding theme in the draft EMP that the RPS is too aggressive and that the targets for solar should be revised downward.  Additionally, comments contained in the plan suggest concern that every ratepayer is subsidizing the benefits of the relatively few who are taking advantage of solar.  Yet when you look at the numbers provided in the plan itself, you come away scratching your head — less than 8/10 of 1% of your electric bill goes to pay for SRECS.  Doesn’t sound like a significant hit to me.  Especially when you consider how many NJ residents we put to work in good paying jobs.  Statistics show a 4 to 1 effect of this.  For every $100K the solar industry pays in salaries, the NJ economy sees $400K in benefit.  In this economy, that’s something to be celebrated, not shut down.

Other things mentioned:

  • A suggestion to reduce the SACP by possibly 20% in 2017
  • A suggestion to subject all solar projects to a cost benefit test and to promote solar PV installations that provide economic and environmental benefit (not sure what this is or how/who will determine)
  • Recommendation to not allow farmland to be turned into solar farms (we think this to be a good move)
  • A call to allow municipalities to levy property taxes on the improved value of the land after a solar installation.  This is huge.

In the next few weeks, there will be a series of public hearings where you can state your reaction to this draft plan.  Additionally, there are a number of lobbying groups being formed to try to get this plan to be more solar friendly.

SREC market values

It is a fact that the amount of solar installed in the 2012 energy year (6/1/11-5/31/12) is sufficient to meet the needs of electric generators under the state’s renewable portfolio standards.  That means the market is in equilibrium.  As a result, like any free commodity market, price has fallen.  Recent spot prices have fallen from $650 for the 2011 energy year to $460 for the 2012 energy year.  3 year forward contracts, which had been yielding about $525 for 2011-2013 are now about $355 for 2012-2014.  5 year forward contracts had been about $475 for 2011-2015 are now about $295 for 2012-2016.  So, yes, SREC values have fallen.  We all expected this to occur at some point, but most did not expect it to be so soon.

The reason for this is that the returns and paybacks on solar projects in the past few years in NJ were (unrealistically) far beyond any other form of investment.  As a result, huge sums of money flowed into the business.  Now, with SREC values where they are, this money is slowing down dramatically.  Large projects that had been slated to be built now will probably not be built because the economics have changed.

We believe that depressed SREC values are a short-term ‘bump in the road.’  We expect that in 2013 the amount of solar online will not be equal to what is required and that shortfall will once again cause SREC values to rise.  Will they hit where they had been?  Probably not.  However, we do expect paybacks on NJ solar projects to once again be about 5 years.

As has been the case with the solar business, stay tuned.

Princeton Racquet Club is going GREEN with Ray Angelini, Inc


June 2011—Colleen Cosgrove (left) and Judy Vogt, owners of the Princeton Racquet Club (PRC), have committed to installing a solar system on the roof of the club’s main building. Pictured with them are Bob Higgins, PRC accountant (left), and Jim Bryan, Ray Angelini, Inc.  Construction will begin immediately.

Gloucester County Hosting Free ‘Green Energy Solutions’ Forum

(Glassboro, NJ) – Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Freeholder Heather Simmons announced today that the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development will host a free ‘Green Energy Forum’ on Wednesday, June 1 from 11 am – 2 pm at Rowan Hall, Rowan University.

“The Green Energy Forum is designed to help business and industry leaders identify ideas, programs, and funding sources that are available to them to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint,” said Freeholder Director Damminger.

Damminger said “There are more than 80 industrial companies in Gloucester County who have taken advantage of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program by upgrading existing equipment to become more energy efficient and reduce their costs.”  Damminger sited Albert Tire Company of West Deptford, Advanced Drainage Systems and Vistar Food Group, both located in Logan Township, who have utilized these grant opportunities through the state to offset the cost of energy upgrades.

Freeholder Heather Simmons said that the forum will feature case study presentations by
Joseph Joyce of Ray Angelini Inc., and Thomas Xenakis of Concord Engineering about actual solar, performance lighting, and energy efficacy heating and cooling projects they have completed.  They will identify the costs, savings and return on investment for these projects.

“Gloucester County and Gloucester County businesses are leading the renewable and green energy field.  We want to provide as much support to our private sector partners as possible,” Freeholder Simmons said.  Simmons said, “Green energy is not only good for the environment it is good for our economy.  There are jobs associated with green energy and it is helping our businesses bottom line.”

Panelist Joe Constance from New Jersey Business Action Center will explain how to use state programs to finance green projects.  Brian DeLuca of TRC Energy Services will discuss New Jersey Clean Energy Programs.  TRC Energy is the vendor administering the programs through the state Energy Engineer and will offer guidance on technical question regarding equipment upgrades. Todd Gordon from South Jersey Industries will also join the panel to give their perspective on New Jersey’s clean energy initiatives and programs.

Lisa Morina, Director of Gloucester County Economic Development will moderate the panel.

Registration and Lunch are complimentary. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by May 27, to or call 856.384.6930.

This event is sponsored by Ray Angelini Inc, Concord Engineering and South Jersey Industries.

Ray Angelini, Inc. To Present at 2011 PV America

SEWELL, NJ (April 1, 2011)—Joseph Joyce, Sales & Marketing Vice President, Ray Angelini, Inc, (RAI), will present, “We’re Not In California Anymore: Optimizing Large Scale PV in the Northeast,” at the 2011 PV America conference and exhibition, Monday, April 4, 3 p.m., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, Room 201C.

The presentation focuses on photovoltaic panel advantages when deployed in large-scale arrays, including how long-term cost savings potential can be compromised if the systems are not properly designed, constructed and well maintained. Attendees will discover the best ways to maximize a solar module’s potential output with an eye toward the specific challenges facing project developers in the Northeast.

Services provided by RAI, a commercial solar design build and maintenance provider, will be featured in stand #424 through April 5.

RAI completed the 2.36-megawatt rooftop solar power system at the Atlantic City Convention Center in December 2008, which covers two-thirds of the main convention center roof or about 290,000 sq. ft. and consists of 13,486 solar panels.  A total savings of nearly $4.4 million in electricity costs is expected over the 20-year power purchase agreement between the convention center and PEPCO.  In addition, the generation of renewable energy will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere by approximately 2,349 tons, which is equivalent to the emissions spewed from 390 passenger vehicles on the road in a year or the consumption of 4,956 barrels of oil per year.

Other projects completed by RAI include a 3 megawatt solar energy power station for Epuron LLC and Exelon Generation LLC in Morristown, PA; a 499.140 kW solar array at Hidden Creek Golf Club, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ, one of the first golf course arrays in the region; and the General Services Administration (GSA) Veteran’s Administration Center, Philadelphia, PA new Energy Star-rated roof and solar array.

Founded in 1974 by Raymond J. Angelini, RAI also provides electrical and general construction services and power systems testing in NJ, MD, DE and PA.
To learn more about Ray Angelini, Inc., visit or call the Sewell, NJ-based headquarters at 856-228-5566.

Ray Angelini, Inc. Fills Two Executive Positions


Michael J. Walsh
Chief Operating Officer
Ray Angelini, Inc.


Joseph Camarota
Chief Engineer
Ray Angelini, Inc.

SEWELL, NJ (March 10, 2011)—Ray Angelini, Inc. (RAI), commercial solar construction, monitoring and maintenance and electrical contracting and testing firm recently announced two additions to its executive team:  Michael J. Walsh, chief operating officer, and Joseph Camarota, chief engineer.

“We are pleased to have Mike and Joe on our team,” said Ray Angelini, President, RAI.  “Each brings a wealth of experience necessary for our continued success.  They are exceptional professionals, and in their short time with us, they have already proven to be assets to their critical roles in the organization.”

As COO, Walsh is responsible for the hands-on, operational aspects of the company and will assist the President/CEO with strategic growth.  He comes to RAI after a 30-year career in the gaming industry, including a stint as COO, Caesar’s Indiana Casino/Hotel.  He most recently held the position of Regional Vice President of Development, Caesar’s Atlantic City Operations where he was responsible for initiatives related to the strategic growth of Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Bally’s and Showboat Casinos/Hotels.

Walsh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.  He resides in Absecon, NJ, with Tina, his wife.

As Chief Engineer, Camarota is responsible for the engineering in RAI’s contracting and design build departments, including the supervision of engineering personnel, oversight of all design work, coordination of site surveys and field installation inspections, and all engineering and engineering-related activities in support of the company’s five divisions.

Camarota comes to RAI with 26 years of experience.  Most recently, he was Executive Vice President/Minority Shareholder, Concord Atlantic Engineers, Inc., West Atlantic City, NJ.  He also held the position of Assistant Director Facilities—Design/Construction for the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, working directly for the Trump Organization, New York, New York.

Camarota earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science Electrical Engineering, Columbia Pacific University and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science, Architectural Design, Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ. He also has been awarded Master of Fire Science Recognition from the International Fire Institute.

Camarota is a member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Fire Department, Fireman’s Hall Museum, where he shares responsibility for planning, growth, and administration of museum operations.  He also is a member of the Institute of Fire Engineers and Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Camarota lives with Linda, his wife, and three children in Sicklerville, Washington Township, New Jersey.

Founded in 1974 by Raymond J. Angelini of Woodbury, NJ, as an electrical contracting company, RAI serves commercial clients in NJ, PA, DE and MD.  In 2004, RAI formed a solar division and has since completed numerous projects, both large and small, throughout the region.

“RAI has installed more solar capacity than any other firm in the State of NJ,” said Sean Angelini, RAI Corporate Executive Vice President and Solar Division Manager. “Most notable being the Atlantic City Convention Center—the largest single-roof power array installation in the country at the time of completion in December 2008.”

Recently, the company completed a new Energy Star-rated roof and solar array for the Government Services Administration (GS) on site at the Veteran’s Administration Center, Philadelphia, PA, and the largest privately installed solar array in Gloucester County, NJ, at the headquarters of glass manufacturer J. E. Berkowitz LP, Pedricktown, NJ.

RAI is the recipient of various safety awards, most recently the Gold Safety Award from Peerless insurance for safety performance in the field of electrical contracting and engineering, given by industry to companies that achieve an 80 percent or better loss-ratio classification in the category of Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To learn more about Ray Angelini, Inc., visit or call the Sewell, NJ-based headquarters at 856-228-5566.

Local Business Sponsors 3rd Annual Fundraising Campaign, Wishes Come True for Four Area Families In Need


Pictured with “Santa” (from left to right) are Ray Angelini, Inc. (RAI) employees Lisa Angelini, Carol Hutty, Jamie Gooch, Byron Barnes, and Lynne Angelini, preparing to make wishes come true for four Gloucester County families. RAI employees donated $2,520—which the company matched dollar-for-dollar—to purchase food, clothing and gifts for the families in need.

SEWELL, NJ (January 11, 2011)—Three Gloucester County families had their wishes come true this holiday season thanks to the employees of Ray Angelini, Inc. in the company’s third annual Christmas Wish fundraising campaign.

“The week before Christmas, our employees gathered together to collect money; shopped for gifts, food, and clothing; wrapped the gifts on their lunch hour; and loaded one of our trucks to deliver everything to three needy families,” said RAI President Ray Angelini.

Now in it’s third year, this effort has raised over $10,000 including a dollar-for-dollar company match and benefited 10 families, including 34 children.  The families are designated by the Deptford NJ School District.

Founded in 1974 by Raymond J. Angelini, RAI is a solar construction, general construction, electrical contracting, and testing firm.  To learn more about Ray Angelini, Inc., visit or call the Sewell, NJ-based headquarters at 856-228-5566.

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  • NJ Electrical Contractor Lic. #34EI00502000
  • NJ Electrical Bus. Permit #34EB00502000
  • DE Licensed Eletrician #T1-0002011
  • Philadelphia Electrical Lic. #3516-14759
  • Maryland License #8337
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