Community-owned Solar Empowerment
Although the economic and ecological benefits of solar power are clear, installing residential solar panels simply may not be an option for you. Maybe you own shaded property, rent, or aren’t sure you’ll stay in your community for the entire 25-year length of a solar array’s lifetime. For you, community solar may be the smart alternative to traditional solar options.
With the community model, your group collectively invests in a solar array, or “garden,” which is then installed on a host site. Group members shrink their carbon footprint while receiving energy and/or payments for power produced. The beauty of a community-owned solar garden is that a broad base of shareholders ensures its viability, and the resulting benefits are enjoyed by an entire group instead of just one household.
The Benefits of Community-owned Power
Community models offer many intrinsic advantages over other residential solar options.
- Community solar overcomes barriers to renewable energy by raising capital, accessing tax incentives, and sharing energy among geographically dispersed owners.
- Community solar is affordable, because while it costs the same or less than individual ownership, it still offers a return on investment. In addition, Community Renewable Energy’s financial expertise minimizes your project’s startup costs, so you save money from day one.
- Community solar disperses benefits to many, varied investors– even to those who aren’t shareholders. Local schools gain from the educational component, and future generations can benefit from community-based environmental advocacy.
- Community solar is inclusive, welcoming owners of shaded property, renters, business owners, educators, students, future community members, and residents who may move within 25 years. A broad base of participants is the secret to the success of a solar garden.
- Community solar is influential within your community and the surrounding area. Your example challenges large energy users to make corresponding investments.
- Community solar is replicable and serves as a model for other communities.
- Community solar is educational, allowing local educators and students to partner with the community group for hands-on learning right in their own backyard.
How Solar Gardens Work
Members of the community group:
- Receive payments
- Offset their energy use
- Shrink their carbon footprint
- Pays members for energy produced
- Pays utility for excess energy consumed
Customized Financing for Customized Technology
We create a unique Green Campaign that drives project costs to zero, so you can reach your economic and ecological goals. Your campaign enhances traditional capital campaign strategies with innovative fundraising, such as crowdfunding.
Your Green Campaign is:
- Streamlined, uniting fundraising and finance
- Customized and developed in collaboration with you
- Transparent, so you can track your project’s progress every step of the way
Contact us to learn more about how your community can establish a solar garden.
To read more, check out:
- The US Department of Energy’s Guide to Community Solar
- Frequently asked questions about community-owned power
- Slideshow: Community-owned structures and models
- Community solar gardens take root