American cities are going solar

For years, renewable energy has been out of reach for most American cities, but that’s all changing. The economic case for solar is clear – minimal operating expenses and long-term price stability allow cities to hedge against rising utility rates.

Solar is now the cheapest new form of electricity in most states and increasingly competitive with conventional supply, making it an affordable and efficient way to serve populations with clean, sustainable energy. Fixed-price solar is the missing key to a stable and diversified supply mix – a peaking resource with minimal operating expense and long-term viability. The benefits to cities are rich and varied. City buildings can be powered efficiently and cost-effectively, while sourcing renewable energy facilitates economic development through job creation and investment, as well as attracting new businesses with sustainability as a key priority to your city.

Typical project structure

Lightsource bp is uniquely positioned to be a full-service, long-term solar partner. In a typical structure*, we develop, finance, build, own and operate the project and enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the buyer.

We make things simple: no up-front capital required, all aspects of project development, finance and construction performed by us, and lifecycle services provide to maximize power production. Our focus is on meeting our customers’ needs, via a variety of flexible contract structures: traditional PPAs, virtual PPAs, utility sleeve transactions and green tariff architecture intelligence.


  • No up-front capital costs
  • No technological / operational risks
  • Electricity cost savings and long-term price certainty, with no maintenance costs
  • Meet sustainability targets and demonstrate climate leadership
  • Environmental benefits to local community
  • Economic development: jobs and investments