It’s easier than ever to go green without breaking the bank with the help of community solar. So what exactly is it? Here are the basics!
- What Is Community Solar?
There are many reasons that a home or business may not want to install solar on site. They may not have enough space, may have shading on their roof that would impact energy production, or may not want to purchase or lease a PV system. A community solar project allows individuals or organizations to purchase renewable energy being produced at another location. With Community Solar, you can purchase shares of energy produced by others’ panels and receive credit on your monthly electric bill while offsetting your carbon footprint and reducing electricity costs.
Because of various laws and regulations, there is no one model for community solar. In some cases, legislation has been passed to create a third-party market, while in some cases it is managed by local utility programs. Community solar is made possible through something called “virtual net metering” or VNM. This allows homes to get net metering credits associated with a solar development installed at an off-site location. According to the NREL Community solar projects represent more than 3,200 megawatts of total installed capacity.
- What Are The Benefits?
Communities all over the world are taking advantage of its benefits. Not only does it make solar more accessible, but it also has some significant financial advantages. Subscribers pay for their share of the energy generated by the shared solar array, so they receive all the savings that come with utilizing renewable energy.
Another benefit is more jobs. As companies expand their reach into this sector, they will need more employees to provide customer service and maintain equipment. With such a high demand for qualified labor, there are many opportunities for people looking for work. Community solar is not only good for consumers, but it can also help in job creation.
The last significant benefit is that there will be less reliance on fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy as demand rises due to renewable resources being provided by community solar plants.
- The Future of Community Solar
The future of community solar looks bright. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of community solar projects around the world. This means more households and businesses have access to this sustainable form of energy, and more companies are looking for ways to get involved. As the technology behind solar improves, we can expect to see even more community solar projects popping up in the years to come.
The Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office has been advancing community solar through a National Community Solar Partnership – a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand affordable community solar to every household in the U.S. by 2025.
- Final Thoughts
Community solar is here to stay and only expanding. Many states are looking to make it even easier to get by offering subscription services or crowdfunding in addition to low rates. The need for jobs in this sector will only grow to help build and maintain these sites. If you would like more information about us or you’d like to ask us a question email us at Jon@inpeakdemand.com. Make sure to check out our other blogs on the website.