A community solar program refers to a project in which electricity made from a big solar farm is shared with a community.
The purpose of establishing such a project is to allow people to share the benefits of solar energy.
These benefits can be extended to businesses and renters as well. This option is great for those who don't have proper rooftops to install solar panels. People can get a subscription to community solar programs and enjoy solar power benefits.
Importance of Community Solar Program in New York
New York is a big place- both the state and New York City. Given the size of Big Apple, there is massive potential for developing community solar programs there. Although the city government has always been open to accepting environment-friendly solutions, but the first community solar project in New York was launched in 2015. The first program was a part of the Shared Renewables Program that addressed making clean and affordable energy accessible to all New Yorkers.
This Community Distributed Generation Program project is administered by New York State Energy Research & Development Association (NYSERDA) through NY-Sun. Under this program, homeowners, low-income residents, renters, schools, and businesses will have access to clean and affordable energy.
The subscribers of the Shared Renewables Project must have at least ten members, and each individual cannot own over 25 kilowatts of renewable energy. In short, no one is allowed to use more than 40% of the project’s output.
However, things have improved over the years and as of 2020, New York has become one of five states in the country that have the most community solar programs, all thanks to NY-Sun initiative and Reforming the Energy Version Plan strategy.
Benefits of Subscribing to Community Solar Company in New York
Access to Local Renewable Solar Energy
When any New Yorker subscribes to a community solar projects, they will have access to local renewable energy. This renewable energy can be used in various locations such as a florist shop, your grandparent's home, offices to support startups, and even apartment buildings. When more people subscribe to community solar projects, this sends a message that the community wants more projects, spurring the development opportunities in your community.
Most community solar subscribers in New York will see a 5-10% discount off their electricity bills annually. Solar renewable energy is an affordable alternative to traditional electricity. Not only do people get to save money by using solar, but there are no other costs for ClearPath Energy's community solar subscription.
Ease of Access
One of the greatest advantages of a community solar project is that you don’t need to install or maintain any solar energy equipment. The community solar provider gives you access to solar energy benefits even no matter your location. You can put your focus on your career, family, hobbies, etc., and let the solar developers worry about everything else.
Community Solar Project vs. Rooftop Solar
Many get confused with these terms and don't know what to decide. It's understandable, given the complex language and it being a new topic and service people are discovering. Here is a little detail that could be enough to understand the difference and help you decide which option works for a startup or business company in New York.
Community solar doesn't require people to install solar panels on their roofs. Instead, community solar developers, like ClearPath Energy, solar farm where thousands of solar panels collectively produce energy and then this energy is converted into electricity.
On the other hand, rooftop solar requires you to install solar panels on your home's rooftop. but you have to own the property and capacity to install them. An advantage of rooftop solar is that you don't have to share the savings with others- it's yours, and yours alone, and you will reap all the benefits. A disadvantage is having to be responsible for all maintenance and problems that arise with the panels.
Additionally, rooftop solar can add value to your property and people could be eligible for several state and federal incentives. A community solar subscription doesn't make you eligible for such incentives, nor it has any impact on your property value.