As the electricity costs in the US continue to increase, many people are considering alternative energy sources to reduce their current utility bills. Lots of homeowners in the country are considering installing solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.
It’s, however, important to note here that installing solar panels is a huge undertaking, and many people can’t afford it. The best way to overcome this problem is to use community solar in low to moderate-income residential developments.
Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are becoming increasingly popular in the US, and their associated costs are also reducing swiftly. New York’s Green New Deal initiative (the state’s goal for 100% carbon-neutral power generation by 2040) and the Clean Energy Standard (the state’s goal to produce 70% of the electricity using renewable energy by 2030) are expected to bring economic development and employment opportunities for the residents in low to moderate-income areas.
New York’s public and private housing authorities can use community solar to seamlessly achieve these sustainability goals and rapidly improve the current economic state of low to moderate-income residential developments.
What’s Community Solar?
Community solar, also known as shared solar or solar garden, provides renters, homeowners, and businesses equal access to solar and allows them to gain the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy generation without installing a solar panel in their home or commercial facility.
Community Solar — Fundamental Principals
Here are the core principles of an effective and fair community solar project.
- All the residents of a community should be allowed to benefit from the operation of community solar.
- Interconnect community shared solar energy systems to serve the utility’s grid.
- Establish a fair and just bill credit mechanism that ensures all the subscribers get an equal economic benefit.
- Ensure long-term continuity of the renewable energy program and assure its quality and maintenance.
- Accurate and comprehensive disclosure of risks and benefits of the program to maintain transparency.
- Strict compliance with customer protection laws and taxes to ensure minimum risk for customers.
Site Assessment for Community Solar
Site selection plays a key role in determining the efficacy of a renewable energy project.
To put minimum stress on infrastructure, try brownfields and grey fields instead of green fields. But, make sure you’re installing the solar panels at locations from where they can receive sunlight throughout the day. Seek help from a LEED-certified company to make sure you’re complying with sustainability standards.
Renewable Solar Power Specialists at Your Service
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Larsen Engineers is a renowned multi-disciplinary firm that provides solar energy consulting services, civil and environmental engineering, structural engineering services, construction phase services, anaerobic digestion services, consulting engineering services, and LEED-certified municipal engineering services to our clients.
Contact us today for more information.