Community Solar

1. What is Community Solar?

Community solar is a way for individuals and businesses to support a new solar project in their area without having solar panels on their roof.

Rooftop solar only works for a small percentage of the population. First, you need to own a home with a roof that gets enough sunlight. Second, the options for a solar installation need to make good economic sense in terms of the cost of power and any government incentives.

Community solar is about involving communities in the development of new solar projects. A subscriber to community solar doesn’t need to install panels. Instead, a subscriber commits to being a customer of the solar project and benefits from the clean power it generates.


To help make this happen, state governments pass legislation to encourage public participation in community solar projects. This guarantees that you will save money on your utility bill over the course of the year by supporting solar power.

The specifics of how community solar works change from state to state. Our Power is focusing on New York State, which has an exciting new community solar program with hundreds of projects waiting to get built.


2. Community solar in New York State. Why now?


First, the prices for solar panels have been rapidly dropping. That means solar power is becoming cost competitive with other ways of generating electricity. New York State has taken notice and has adopted a community solar model to encourage the growth of solar across the state.

Today, thanks to New York State’s 2015 Shared Renewables initiative, hundreds of projects have qualified to participate in NYSERDAs community solar program.

Why should you get involved now? Among the hundreds of community solar projects awaiting approval across New York State, only a few may be in your area. Subscriptions are limited and so are the opportunities to save money with solar power. That’s why it is important to be the first to know.

By joining Our Power’s mailing list, you can be one of the early adopters when a new project in your area becomes available. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support solar in your community and save money on your utility bills.


3. Why subscribe to community solar?

Community solar projects need subscribers like you. To build a community solar project, developers need customers for the power their solar projects will generate. That’s where you come in.

By subscribing to a community solar project in your utility’s area, you are committing to support a new community solar project for a set amount of time. When the project has enough subscribers, it gets built.

Once your community solar project has been constructed and is connected to the grid (this can happen in a few months), you will then pay a monthly bill to that project’s developer for the power it produces.


Thanks to New York State legislation, subscribers to community solar will in turn receive solar credits on their existing utility bill for the power the community solar project generates.

You will receive more solar credits in summer months when the sun is shining and fewer in winter months when projects generate less power.

Over the course of a year, you get more back in solar credits than you pay as a community solar subscriber, typically saving you 10-20% on your power bills.


4. Benefits for community solar subscribers

Now that you know what is involved in becoming a community solar subscriber, let’s go over the benefits:

  • You save money on your utility bills. Although you will now receive a bill from both your community solar project and your utility, the solar credits on your utility bill mean that you will save an average of 10% to 20% over the course of the year. Savings are higher in summer months when the sun is shining and lower in winter months when projects generate less power.
  • You are supporting new solar power in New York State. Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time. To counter it, we need more renewable energy. By subscribing to a community solar project, you are doing your part to support clean power.


5. Why join the Our Power mailing list?


We need your help to build the demand for new community solar. As more people demonstrate interest in community solar, developers will know that they have the customers they need to build the next project.

But even if most of the proposed community solar projects in New York State get built, less than 2% of all New Yorkers will be able to participate. Opportunities to subscribe to a new community solar project in your area will likely be on a first-come, first-served basis.

By joining Our Power’s mailing list, you will be among the first to know about community solar projects in your area. And by showing your support for community solar, you may even influence where future projects get built. As projects move forward, Our Power can help you to subscribe to your community solar project.

Our Power is your connection to community solar. Learn about new community solar projects in your area and receive more information on community solar in New York by joining our mailing list today:

Become an Our Power Insider

Don’t miss out on your chance to go solar and save. Join Our Power’s Insider email list to:

  • Be the first to know about new community solar projects so you can reserve your spot
  • Continue to learn about community solar and how it can benefit you and your family

Joining is free and there’s no obligation to switch your energy to community solar.

Still have questions? See our FAQs (listed below) or send us your questions at