Tag Archive for: communitysolar

Customers can save money on their electric bills by using community solar rather than installing their own array.

The sun showers us all with energy, but not everyone can put solar panels on their roofs to harness it for themselves. Enter community solar, an increasingly popular way to expand access to solar and help fix its equity issues. For the first time, evidence shows that it’s working.

Community solar allows customers to reap electric bill savings by subscribing to a share of a local solar project, rather than installing their own array. It’s an arrangement that ideally makes the benefits of solar more accessible to people who live in rental or multifamily housing and those who just can’t afford the upfront cost of rooftop systems. Forty-two states have community solar projects in place — but the precise nature of who has benefited remained unclear. Until now.

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Source: Canary Media

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Community solar provider Ampion Renewable Energy is partnering with The Wendy’s Company to help Wendy’s restaurants source renewable energy.

Community solar provider Ampion Renewable Energy is partnering with The Wendy’s Company to help Wendy’s restaurants source renewable energy. Nearly 100 company-operated restaurants and nearly 40 franchise restaurants in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts are now enrolled in Ampion+, a service that helps organizations reduce energy costs and secure renewable energy certificates (RECs) that substantiate the use of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The enrolled restaurants will source between 30 and 100% of their energy from solar without the need to install solar panels onsite. Wendy’s plans to increase the number of restaurants enrolled in community solar through Ampion as additional solar generation capacity comes online and more franchise restaurants enroll in the program.

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Source: Solar Power World

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With supply chain constraints easing and system costs decreasing, the commercial solar segment increased by 19% over the prior year.

The United States reached a milestone in its energy journey last year when, for the first time, solar power accounted for more than half of all new electricity-generating capacity added to the grid. It’s no surprise that the utility-scale segment contributed a majority of the solar capacity with a record 22.5 GW. Nor is it shocking that residential projects maintained their popularity with 6.8 GW of installed capacity — a fifth consecutive annual record.

But the distributed generation (DG) segment also had a remarkable year. With supply chain constraints easing and system costs decreasing, the commercial solar segment increased by 19% over the prior year and installed 1.9 GW of new capacity in 2023, while the community solar segment installed 1.1 GW.

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Source: Solar Power World

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Solar developer Nexamp has raised an impressive $520 million to build community solar projects across the US.

In a major win for affordable clean energy access, solar developer Nexamp has raised an impressive $520 million to build community solar projects across the United States.

This funding is “one of the largest capital raises to date for this growing sector,” according to Canary Media.

Community solar allows renters, small businesses, and other organizations to benefit from solar energy even if they can’t install panels on their own property. Participants pay a monthly fee to subscribe to a local solar farm and then receive credits on their utility bills for the clean power generated. Those credits are typically larger than the subscription fee — meaning savings for subscribers.

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Source: The Cool Down

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Community solar emerged in 2010, providing customers with access to solar energy without the need to install PV panels.

America’s Solar Surge

As the U.S. invests in renewable energy, solar power continues to gain momentum, with installations growing by 22% annually over the past 10 years1 and 51% in 2023 alone.2 According to the Solar Energies Industry Association, this growth has been driven by:

  • Reduction in costs for solar photovoltaics (PV) installations
  • Rising demand for sustainable electricity from both public and private sectors
  • Federal policies like solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and, more recently, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

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Source: CSR Wire

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New York State’s largest onsite solar plus storage project – a solar carport canopy at JFK International Airport – has begun construction.

New York State’s largest onsite solar plus storage project – a solar carport canopy at JFK International Airport – has begun construction.

Once the solar carport comes online, it will help power the AirTrain and reduce electricity costs for residents of low-income neighborhoods in Queens.

The solar carport will be in JFK’s long-term parking lot 9, providing covered parking for 3,000 vehicles. The 12-megawatt (MW) solar canopy will feature enough solar panels to cover the equivalent of 11 football fields and include a 6-MW community solar generation facility.

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Source: electrek

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New grants for Solar for All programs aim to install solar panels and boost community solar access for over 900,000 low- and middle-income residents nationwide.

Widespread access to solar power is vital to transitioning the US away from climate-warming fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. There’s a problem: Rooftop solar panels are expensive, with prices in the tens of thousands of dollars putting them out of reach for many Americans.

Newly expanded government programs, backed by $7 billion in grants announced Monday by the Biden administration for Earth Day, aim to close that affordability gap. Called Solar for All, they’re intended to make clean energy accessible by offering free or low-cost rooftop solar panels or community solar access. Essentially, the programs provide a share in the power provided by a nearby solar facility.

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Source: CNET

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Walmart is investing in 19 solar projects under development across the US, including 15 community solar projects.

Walmart is investing in 19 solar projects under development across the US, including 15 community solar projects.

Walmart’s strategic tax equity investment will drive the construction, operation, and maintenance of solar projects across five states – Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, and California.

As the American Council on Renewable Energy explains, tax equity investors provide funding to take advantage of the tax benefits and receive cash flows from the project, partnering with the project sponsor to become a partial owner of the project company.

In this case, Walmart is partnering with Colorado-based renewable energy provider Pivot Energy, and the retail giant’s tax equity investment will enable the construction of 72 megawatts (MW) of community solar projects. In Colorado, 41 MW of those projects will serve low and moderate-income homes.

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Source: electrek

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Families in NM, IL, and Washington D.C. will now have access to community solar through HHS’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration, through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), launched the pilot of the Clean Energy Connector, a tool that connects families to solar energy through HHS’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The first-of-its-kind software can now be used by local LIHEAP program administrators in Illinois, Washington, D.C., and New Mexico to connect community solar subscriptions to as many as 40,000 households with low incomes. Connecting LIHEAP-eligible households with community solar subscriptions will lower energy bills for families, increase access to clean energy among underserved communities, and increase equitable solar energy deployment, in support of President Biden’s ambitious clean energy and Justice40 goals.

“Renewable energy is by far the cheapest form of power and now, thanks to innovative solutions developed under the Biden-Harris Administration, more households across America can access the health and savings benefits that solar power provides,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s partnership with HHS will increase the deployment of community solar, helping thousands of families lower their energy bills and in turn reduce their energy burden, ensuring Americans across the nation are included as we transition to a clean energy economy.

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Source: Clean Technica

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As CA’s utility regulator completes its community solar program guidelines, hopes are high that a widely supported tariff proposal will finally allow community solar & battery storage to help power the state.

As California’s utility regulator moves to complete its community solar program guidelines, hopes are high that a widely-supported tariff proposal will finally allow community solar and battery storage to help power the state.

“With the exception of community solar, California has often led the nation in state-level legislation and deployment of clean energy infrastructure,” stated Boston-based solar developer Perch Energy in December. This gap is set to be filled in July—the deadline for the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to develop and deliver its community solar program, as mandated by the state’s landmark 2023 Community Renewable Energy Act (AB2316).

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Source: The Energy Mix

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