If you want to develop solar projects in your community but don't know where to start, check out this new publication from Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development.
Community Solar provides power and/or financial benefit to, or is owned by, multiple community members.
"A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Development," profiles community solar projects from across the country, provides examples of various project ownership models and has an introduction to tax, finance and securities issues.
This guide is designed as a resource for those who want to develop community solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. It includes the Interstate Renewable Energy Council Model Community Renewables Program Rules, a policy template for states and utilities to encourage community solar.
A 2008 study by the National Renewable Energy Lab found that only 22-27% of residential rooftop area is suitable for solar PV after adjusting for structural, shading, or ownership issues. Developing solar as a community therefore expand access to solar energy for renters, those with shaded roofs, and those who choose not to install a residential system on their home for financial or other reasons.
Read our article, Investing in Solar as a Community.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released its first "Model Program Rules for Community Renewables" to facilitate co-investment in local facilities based on best practices. The guide covers basic issues that face communities: system size, interconnection, eligibility for participation, allocation of benefits flowing from participation, and net metering of system production.
NW Seed's Guide to Community Solar: