Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. This model for solar is being rapidly adopted nationwide.
Here are 5 things to love about Community Solar:
- It has favorable economics: because sunshine is free, solar provides reliable energy at a predictable rate for decades. Because community solar projects are optimally sited, professionally maintained, and built at scale, consumers can save even more money.
- Sustainability Leadership: A strong community solar program can work in tandem with rooftop solar, utility-scale clean energy, electric vehicles, and battery storage to reduce harmful carbon pollution from our electric grid. In 2014, solar power helped avoid an estimated 20 million metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road.
- Centralized locations: Community solar systems can be built in centralized locations. This cuts costs while also remaining relatively small in size and close to users. The location of a community solar system can lead to increased investment in the communities most impacted by pollution and poor infrastructure.
- Resiliency: A neighborhood-scale, the clean-energy network can support microgrids that can disconnect from the main grid during blackouts to ensure the lights stay on. As climate change-related extreme weather events or disasters become more frequent due to climate change, community solar paired with microgrids can help protect against disruptions to power.
- Utility Savings: revenue losses associated with residential solar can be reduced through community solar. This allows utilities to meet state and local mandates for distributed generation at a 40% per Kw installation cost than single home-sized systems. In addition, project development costs can be greatly reduced by building utility systems on utility or municipality-owned land.
Community solar has the potential to be hugely impactful for residential and commercial customers. Community Solar is changing the way people think about accessing renewable energy. 43 different states have deployed at least one community solar facility since community solar legislation first passed in the United States.