Community Solar

This section includes information and resources on community solar programs.

BARC Electric Co-Op: Community Solar Leader in Virginia

BARC, Electric Cooperative, is a customer-owned utility that will soon deploy the first community solar project in the commonwealth.

While serving approximately 30,000 members residents in 5 Virginia counties, the small co-op wants to help customers gain access to solar through community solar program.
BARC received the SolarOPs technical assistance, through SEPA, in the form of advisory services for program costs and procurement.
With SEPA’s assistance, the cooperative successfully received a $500,000 grant, with 50% matching by BARC, for the estimated 300-350 kW community solar program.

Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation’s McKees Solar Park Community Solar Program

The Delaware Municipal Electric Corp. (DEMEC)―a joint action agency serving nine member municipalities―has influenced more than half of Delaware’s 58 MW solar capacity to be located within its member service territories. The newest in the City of Newark, the 23MW McKees Solar Park, is a community solar project deployed by DEMEC with the help of Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) technical assistance.

Solar Roadmap: Your Path to Prosperity

Navigating the rapidly evolving solar energy market can be a challenge and charting the right course for a community requires both local and national knowledge. The Solar Roadmap platform, and its free resources, organize global best practices and make them easily accessible locally for government agencies, regional organizations, businesses and electric utilities. Learn how the Read More »

Solar for Economic Development Toolkit

Most people are familiar with solar energy’s environmental benefits, but solar energy adoption also presents numerous economic and community development opportunities. Solar expands local markets, reduces electricity costs, improves business competitiveness, and increases property values. It leads to short term jobs in construction, installation, and site development as well as long term positions in facility Read More »

Community Shared Solar: Expansions Underway in Solar America Communities

Community shared solar is expanding rapidly as a model ownership structure for solar PV. By offering customers an option to purchase or lease part of a larger solar array instead of having to purchase the entire system, the model greatly expands participatory opportunities to a large new market segment of citizens and customers, with very low or no cost to local government. This report provides an overview of the status of community shared solar projects in Solar America Communities as of September, 2014, as well as some of the differences and similarities between the creation and structure of these programs.

Utility Community Solar: Program Development & Implementation

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA, in collaboration with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), presented a free webinar on Community Solar Program Development and Implementation.

Utility Community Solar Handbook: Understanding and Supporting Utility Program Development

The handbook provides the utility’s perspective on community solar program development and is a resource for government officials, regulators, community organizers, solar energy advocates, non-profits and interested citizens who want to support their local utility in implementing a project.

Integrating Community Solar PV into Green Power Programs

Utility-run community solar programs are a key way to integrate solar PV into utility green power programs while addressing utility ratemaking concerns. In addition, these programs are important for meeting demand for PV from all utility customers, particularly those whose residences are shaded, live in apartment complexes, or are otherwise unable to invest in a rooftop solar installation.

Bringing Down the Cost of Solar Through Community Shared Solar Programs Webinar

Local government representatives will learn how public-private partnerships can be used to implement community shared solar programs. Get an understanding of the different ways that community shared solar programs can be structured, how public and private resources can be combined for community shared solar, the status of community shared solar across the US, and lessons learned from existing community shared solar programs. To access a PDF copy of this webinar, click here.

Community-Shared Solar Success Stories Webinar

Community-shared solar can allow individuals and organizations unable to take advantage of on-site renewable generation to participate in distributed generation and support the development of renewable energy. During this webinar held on Nov. 28, 2012, Erica Schroeder from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) examined how successful community-shared solar programs are run. In addition to providing information about on-the-ground successes, Ms. Schroeder distilled information gathered across programs, and offered advice about characteristics and components of successful programs based on IREC’s research. Finally, Rich Swope from Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), a municipal utility in Colorado, presented on CSU’s successful Community Solar Gardens program, providing some detail on the program’s structure, how it got started, how its implementation has gone and any lessons learned, and plans for the program’s future. To access a recording of the webinar, click here.