Community solar – the concept of leasing or owning a share of a large solar array rather than having a personal solar installation on your rooftop – continues to gain popularity across the continental United States. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), there will be a 1.8 gigawatt (GW) increase in installed photovoltaics from community solar arrays over the next five years. Minnesota, Colorado and California – the undisputed best states for community solar – will drive the majority of that growth. You might wonder, why are these states so ideal for roofless solar compared to the 47 others in the U.S.? Here’s how these community solar leaders rose to the top.
What You Should Know About Solar Energy: Costs Are Going Down
If you’re considering whether going solar is a worthwhile financial move for your home, there are essentially two factors that you should look at: 1) the costs associated with solar power, and 2) the rates you pay for electricity from your utility. Going solar makes economic sense when solar electricity costs less than grid electricity.
As for solar, it is clear that costs are coming down. Rooftop solar panels are now more affordable and accessible than ever. This is why more and more households are having solar energy systems installed: going solar is a great way to reduce your power bills.
But what about the future cost of grid electricity? If electricity rates are going up, then of course going solar makes sense. As you’re probably aware, however, utility electricity rates fluctuate seasonally and annually. “What if utility electricity rates go down instead of up?” you might be asking yourself. Would it still be worth it for you to go solar? This article seeks to address this question and put to rest any idea that grid electricity rates could be going down. Continue reading →
Going solar saves you money on your monthly electrical bill. The amount of your savings varies by size and location of the system. But how does it work financially and administratively with your utility? Currently, two types of policy are widely used: the Value of Solar Tariff and Net Metering. The decision of which one to use can be controversial. Continue reading →
Spring is here and so is another week of inspiring news out of the soaring solar industry. The growing popularity of solar in lower income households, major funding announcements from SolarCity and Vivint Solar, and the first-ever platform for investing in solar with bitcoin are the top headlines from this week’s Solar Energy News.
With strong government incentives and falling equipment costs, going solar has never made more financial sense on such a broad scale. Testament to this is the tremendous increase of the number of American homes & businesses with solar panels on their roofs in recent years. But at the same time, not everyone has a roof of their own, and even those who do might have one that is shaded or otherwise unsuitable for solar. Community-owned solar projects – sometimes called community solar gardens, or shared solar farms – promise a way for the roofless and ‘roof-impaired’ to go solar. Continue reading →