AMLI is a leading national real estate investment trust (REIT). It owns and operates luxury apartment communities around the country.

The Situation

AMLI reached out to HOLT Renewables looking to save on energy costs and make a commitment to sustainability.

There were a few challenges they were facing. Their Dallas-area apartment communities used an electric provider that offered sub-optimal incentives for solar. Further, REITs are not taxable entities, complicating their ability to take advantage of federal tax credits.

AMLI contacted Green Mountain Energy, a clean energy retail electric provider (REP) in the deregulated Texas ERCOT market. Green Mountain collaborated with HOLT Renewables, a Green Mountain Energy partner, to identify a solution.

The Solution

Using past experience with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), HOLT Renewables engineered, designed and priced a solar energy system for AMLI. HOLT Renewables was also able to secure an incentive from regional utility Oncor. This required designing and building to the strict standards set by Oncor.

At the same time, Green Mountain negotiated with AMLI to become their electric provider in Dallas. This let AMLI receive cash incentives from Green Mountain's SolarSparc fund as they transitioned to solar.

Finally, there was a considerable federal tax incentive for investment in solar projects. Since an REIT has no federal tax liability itself, AMLI was able to pass the federal tax incentives to its individual shareholders. Using an innovative financing solution from Key Bank, they captured over 35% of the projects value that would have otherwise been lost.

The Success

After discussions with HOLT Renewables, Green Mountain, and Key Bank, AMLI felt confident moving forward. They contracted a 445kW portfolio across four apartment communities in the Dallas area.

The successful installation of these projects in 2017 allowed for a second and third tranche of projects in 2018. Oncor also continued their solar incentive program, making the new projects even more viable. The four projects offset 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year for AMLI. This is equivalent to 687 households turning off their lights for an entire year.

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