Graduation Date

Fall 2017

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Kevin Fingerman

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Arne Jacobson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Steven Hackett

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Ownership structures and financing sources for photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays have a large effect on the economic feasibility of a project. This thesis examines potential ownership structure and financing combinations for a one-megawatt PV solar array in Humboldt County. The options deemed suitable for the context of the project are discussed qualitatively. A subset of the financing options and ownership structures are modeled using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s System Advisory Model to gauge their economic viability.

Access to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other tax advantages are the most crucial variables for a competitive solar array. Not all ownership structures can harness the assistance of the ITC; selecting an ownership structure that can is likely to result in the least expensive energy, even with higher cost financing options. Due to sunsetting tax benefits, beginning a project by the end of 2018 gives it an economic advantage from which later projects are not forecasted to benefit.

Citation Style