pfisterenergy,      Apr 30 2018 5:29AM

What is Community Solar

At the end of July, U.S. Senators introduced the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act of 2017, a bill that aims to promote community solar across the country. This new legislation focuses specifically within low-income communities, while also encouraging federal government participation in community solar nationwide.
The bill was presented days before the inaugural Community Solar Summit, which took place in Denver and will become an annual event. At this gathering of key players in the industry, including developers, financiers, asset owners, and utilities, the major topics of discussion centered around the past, present, and future of community solar in the United States.
Although there is still much work to be done in order to advance the industry, the general consensus at the Summit was that community solar has massive potential to change the composition of energy  in the United States in the coming years.


So, what exactly is community solar?  

In a nutshell, community solar allows people to receive the benefits of solar without having to physically install panels on their property. Typically, a third party will construct and own a solar farm which generates electricity to be used by multiple households or businesses throughout the surrounding area.
Consumers have the opportunity to benefit financially from community solar through Virtual Net Metering, in which they receive credits associated with the renewable energy project. These credits are added to their electric bill, ultimately reducing their electricity costs. Overall, community solar provides clean and affordable power for consumers who do not have the ability to install solar directly on their property.
It is expected that in the next five years, community solar will add 1.8 gigawatts of power to the grid. A policy at the federal level, such as the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act noted above, will help to encourage the expansion of community solar in the United states, creating more opportunities for consumers to partake in such programs.


Read more about the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act here.

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