Is ‘Community Solar’ Coming to Your Neighborhood?

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Dave Gralnik



Posted by: Dave Gralnik

Energy & Sustainability Services


Probably.  And, with good reason.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), community-shared solar is picking up speed and could become a real force in our energy arena.

The Department of Energy launched the idea through its Sunshot Initiative to make solar power financially competitive by the end of the decade.

Community-shared solar projects eliminate the need for solar panels on building roofs.  Instead, the panels are centralized in neighborhood “solar gardens” that range in size from 500 kW to 5 MW.   The energy produced is delivered to local buildings.

Today, there are over 50 solar gardens in the U.S. and the forecast is for accelerating growth. By 2020, over half our photo-voltaic power will come from community solar.

States, like Massachusetts and Minnesota have moved forward with legislation and incentives to boost adoption. Other states are watching closely and moving in the same direction.

Pretty soon solar gardens could be springing up like weeds.

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