What Is Community Solar?
A solar technologies continue to evolve and advance, it allows for a variety of creative and new ways to apply the technology for homes, businesses, and communities. One of the new concepts that is quickly growing in interest and will become a mainstay in the solar power industry in the coming years is called “Community Solar.”
Community Solar is where a community shares the solar panels used to generate electricity for homes. You may have also heard of Community Solar before as it is also been called solar gardens, solar farms, and shared solar plants. This term can be used to describe both community-sponsored installations, as well as those owned by third-parties.
What Is the Benefit of Community Solar?
The primary benefit of Community Solar is it allows all member of the community to enjoy the benefits of solar power. For whatever reasons, if they are unable to install solar panels on their home or decide they do not want to, people can still participate in the community’s solar farm to help offset their energy costs.In addition, for people, who might not own their own their home, investing into a Community Solar project still allows them to take advantage of solar power.
Another benefit of a shared solar garden is all community members equally split the costs of installation. Installations costs can be less, per person, compared to the costs of an individual solar installation on a single home.
How Are Energy Credits Distributed?
Since Community Solar is a fairly new concept, there are different models on how energy credits should be distributed. One of the more generalized models allows community members to receive credits based upon an equal distribution directly related to the amount of power generated from the community’s solar farm.
How Is Community Solar Different from Other Solar Energy Options?
People sometimes confuse Community Solar as being the same as “Green Power” offered by energy providers. Green Power is not the same thing. Rather, it is where the energy provider purchases electricity from solar power plants or invests the money into building their own solar power plants. People have to pay for this option and it does not always translate into reduced energy bills.
Another form of solar is called “Group Solar Purchasing.” This type of solar power solution is where a solar panel installation company offers discounted group rates for a community for individual solar installations on separate homes. Unlike a community solar farm, where all members of the community benefit, only those households which took advantage of the discounted installations benefit.
The third type of solar energy option is called “Solar Power Investment.” This option allows people to invest in solar power projects with an anticipated return on their investment, much like purchasing stocks or bonds.
As interest grows in Community Solar, so too will the number of communities taking advantage of this new option for generating solar power. To learn more about solar power options for your home, please feel free to contact Solar Brokers Canada at 1-800-332-9395 today!