Financing Clean-Energy Projects with IRA Funds

Four people in front of a video screen doing a presentation
smiling woman
Becky Alexander Senior Researcher
smiling woman
Lydia Major Landscape Architecture & Planning Studio Leader
portrait of Rick Carter
Rick Carter Chairman of the Board

We recently hosted a workshop that showcased how clients can leverage federal tax breaks to save dollars on carbon-reducing projects. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress last fall, authorizes tax credits and direct payments for solar, ground source, and dozens of other clean-energy technology investments.

The savings often begin at 6 percent of the purchase price, and cover design costs, according to panel member Jacob Goldman, vice president of Energy Tax Savers. Clients who apply multiple discounts may see discounts as high as 70 percent.

What’s more, even non-tax-paying entities like nonprofit organizations and state and local governments can take advantage of the financing options. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently signed legislation that provides grant funding to cities that want to position themselves to receive the maximum amount of funds available through the IRA.

Communities hoping to access the IRA funds should start by creating a climate action plan, LHB Senior Researcher Becky Alexander said.

Positioning yourself for success

Local officials hoping to take advantage of the funding opportunities can improve their chances by creating a climate-action plan, said Becky Alexander, an architect and senior researcher in LHB’s Climate Solutions Studio. Another panelist, Lydia Major, leader of LHB’s Landscape Architecture and Planning Studio, walked workshop attendees through climate-related research done for the City of Hopkins, MN. The Hopkins Heat Vulnerability Study, she noted, could be used to bolster the city’s pitch for IRA funds.

(For information on how LHB can help your city create a climate action plan, reach out to Maureen Colburn, who leads our Climate Solutions studio.)

A range of benefits

The presentation unpacked several funding opportunities hidden in the legislation. LHB CEO Rick Carter noted that LHB, a longtime leader in sustainable design, is uniquely positioned to assist clients. The firm’s designers represent all the disciplines required to help clients integrate clean energy into buildings and sites: architects, landscape architects, mechanical/electrical engineers, civil engineers, solar and wind specialists, and more.

Man holding microphone at presentation
LHB CEO Rick Carter emphasized the significant savings that clients can see by taking advantage of IRA funds.

But clean-energy investments aren’t just about cost savings, said Monte Hilleman, formerly senior vice president for sustainability at the Saint Paul Port Authority. Clients that signal their commitment to carbon reduction are part of a growing trend, joining companies that go beyond basic profit-making to incorporate ESG (environmental, social, and governance values) into their decision-making. That approach positions them to attract new hires, retain existing staff, and win new business from companies that share their vision for a better planet and fair society.

Ready to watch the presentation?

View “Demystifying New Funding Opportunities for Clean Energy Projects” here.

Learn more

IRA Funding

PACE Financing

Environmental, Social, and Governance Goals

This is complicated. Need help?

Taking advantage of funding opportunities for clean energy, climate action, and resilience projects isn’t simple. But the time you invest can pay out in significant savings or credits.

Got questions? Reach out to LHB CEO Rick Carter.

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