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Making Community Solar Simple For Businesses, Schools, and Residences

Businesses, schools and residences can access local green energy through community solar without having to install panels on a rooftop and with predictable rates and cost-savings.

What is Community Solar?

A renewable energy company leases land for community solar from a farmer, and constructs a large-scale solar panel array on the field, landfill or other unusable agricultural land. The solar array generates electricity that feeds directly into the grid and creates a community solar program. The local utility procures the electricity and claims renewable energy credits. Then, the customers subscribe to the community solar energy program and receive credits on their electricity bills. Most subscribers receive a 10% reduction in their energy costs.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who has an account with a utility can access Community Solar energy.

Choosing a community solar program

When considering subscribing to a community solar program, the following questions can help determine whether you are signing on with a reputable company that will deliver a community solar program and the associated benefits.

Is there an upfront cost?

No reputable company offering a community solar program will ask for upfront costs. The program is pay-as-you-go and you receive credits on your electricity bill, which amount to 10% savings.

Is the company registered as a Community Solar provider?

The New York State Department of Public Service provides a list of registered Community Solar providers. Check the list first before you sign with a company: Distributed Energy Resources.

Will the company be able to deliver power?

Check that the company has many projects in development that can cover the capacity it offers. The number of projects will also offset any projects that cannot be developed because of environmental or interconnection issues.

Subscribers sign on to a community solar project before it is completed to receive the credits. Before even the first shovel breaks ground, offsite solar projects have to go through a complex process of permitting and environmental evaluations. Learn more about the solar project process here.

What stage is the project?

Look for a project that is near completion and has gone through environmental checks and permitting. A project that is in construction or close to breaking ground will be likely completed. Earlier stage projects are more likely to fall out because of the permitting process.

Who is responsible for developing and financing the project?

Finding out whether one company or several companies are involved in project development and financing can help predict the outcome of a project. A developer that also finances the project is in full control of the project and reduces the likelihood that a developer would need to come back for future concessions.

For businesses, schools, community organizations, and individual residential, community solar is a low-risk and hassle-free way to buy green energy and get a 10% savings on their energy bill.

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