Community Solar: No roof? No money? No problem.
Lower your costs and expand your solar access
with this community energy plan.
The demand for electricity is expected to surge, particularly as we use more for air conditioning, raising costs by $12 billion a year for utility customers. You may be able to climate-proof those energy costs without having to build a costly system of your own (rooftop panels only work on about 30 percent of U.S. homes anyway). You can plant your panels in a community solar farm.
Minnesota’s first solar community in Rockford supplies electricity to about a dozen homes and an office building. Utility customers purchase solar panels located in neighborhood plots, or “gardens.” The Clean Energy Collective, partnering with a local energy company, constructs and maintains the solar garden. After the energy is sold directly to the local utility, consumers receive the same tax credits and electricity discounts as if the panels were on their roofs. Rockford hopes to further offset 67 percent of its power needs with solar over the next 25 years.
Community solar farms are currently permitted in 14 states. In the next five years, the amount of community solar power may rise dramatically as more states encourage development and individuals take advantage of federal incentives.
Join the local discussion on community solar initiatives. Distinguish if better community solar policy and regulations are needed in you town. Do your research! The solar garden business is new and, when deciding to move forward with a community solar company, know where to look to avoid unusual long-term contracts and hidden fees.