Community Solar for Small Business

 

What is Community Solar?

Also called shared solar, or a solar garden, community solar projects are a way for multiple participants to share in the benefits of a local solar array. It is similar to a community garden or farm share, but for solar rather than produce. The array is hosted off-site, and is open to small businesses and residents in the region with the same utility.

How Does it Work?

A share of panels in a local array is reserved for each member of the farm. This share is sized to match their annual electricity bills. Every month, your share of panels produces dollar value credits which go to offset your energy bill. You purchase these credits at a special discounted rate from the farm.

How Can it Benefit My Small Business?

Commercial solar arrays have traditionally benefited large corporations that can afford the large upfront investment and own the land or the roof they are installing on. Many small businesses don’t own their buildings, and have less capital to make the long-term investment required for large solar array, so the financial benefits from solar have not been as accessible to them.

With community solar, small businesses can cut their carbon footprints, support their local economy, and save about 10% on their electricity costs when they join a community solar project.

Since it is not installed on your property, community solar is also a much more flexible option than traditional rooftop installations. If your business moves to a new location, your community solar share can transfer with you. If your energy needs change, we can adjust how many panels are in your share to match your new usage.

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Who is Eligible to join a Community Solar Farm?

Community solar is open to small businesses and residents of MA and Maine. Availability varies depending on your utility and what town you’re in. We currently have capacity for small businesses served by Western MA Eversource and CMP in Maine.

The community solar farm serving Western MA is located in Blandford. It went live in June of 2020 and has limited space left. Once a project is full, spots are only available if other participants leave the farm. The farm in Blandford is the second project in MA to have solar + battery storage!

Community solar is also compatible with discounts from municipal aggregation programs and third party suppliers; you can keep your supplier discount and still participate in community solar.

Ready to Learn More?

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Want a Visual Explanation? Here’s a Short Video:

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