Tag Archives: virtual net metering

community solar panels and buildings

The pros and cons of community solar

Community solar is an enticing option for those looking to take advantage of a solar energy source without installing a system on their own property or having to own solar panels. This unique type of solar project has a large central solar power plant whose energy can be shared potentially by thousands of people on the electric grid with either subscription or ownership plans. This flexible and consumer-friendly solar project plan is perfect for those who don’t want to install solar panels on their property, and especially those who want to reduce both their carbon emissions and their energy bill. As with any energy choice, there are pros and cons to participating in a community solar program. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the primary benefits of community solar, as well as explaining its downsides and how best to keep them in mind as you compare community solar options.

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virtual power plant

What is a virtual power plant?

At its core, a solar panel installation at your home or business is basically a miniature power plant – even more so once you add a solar battery to be able to store the solar electricity you produce and use it even after the sun has gone down. As more and more homes and businesses install solar panels across the country (we’re at over 3 million solar installations nationwide!), these distributed, miniature power plants present an opportunity: if you aggregate enough of them together, you can turn all of those miniature solar power plants into one, larger “virtual” power plant. Here’s how virtual power plants work and how you can participate in one. 

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