SOLAR MYTHS DEBUNKED
Also known as shared solar, Community Solar is a solar energy sharing program where solar energy is produced by a solar farm (sometimes called a solar garden), and is supported by local residents and businesses that subscribe to or own a portion of the farm. In turn, the community members receive solar credits. The program allows for locals to benefit from solar energy and support clean energy generation without taking the additional steps necessary to install rooftop panels on their property
Community Solar builds and operates offsite solar farms within select states. The solar farms are supported by local residents and businesses that can subscribe to a portion of the farm, relative to the size of their home or business. The solar energy generated by the subscriber’s farm allocation is sent directly to the power grid, and the subscriber receives solar credits, or Net Metering Credits, for the same solar output.
Community Solar offers a convenient and practical way to support locally-produced, clean energy generation. When you go solar, you actively help send renewable energy to the power grid, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Because Community Solar builds and maintains the solar farms, your roof is taken out of the equation. There is no rooftop installation, no home inspection requirement, and no ongoing maintenance. Additionally, there are no upfront costs for Community Solar, and over time, based on your home’s energy usage and the farm’s output, you could save on your home’s electricity costs. Lastly, the construction and maintenance of local solar farms provides new local jobs for your community.
While both programs have a meaningful environmental impact, the most significant difference between rooftop solar and Community Solar is convenience. Rooftop solar requirements include adequate roof space and access to sunlight, and permitting and installation that can become costly. Once a rooftop solar system is installed and activated, a homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of the panels, if they own the panels. Community Solar does not include rooftop installation or the associated requirements. Instead, solar energy is generated by a nearby solar farm that is constructed and operated by our business. There are no associated costs to sign up and no maintenance fees. Rather than solar energy being generated by and for one property, Community Solar farms generate power for the wider community and deliver power directly to the power grid. Both solar options include long-term contracts.
No. Community Solar is not a utility company and does not replace your utility company. When you become a customer, you will continue to receive a bill from your utility company for your standard energy charges. Additionally, you will receive a separate bill from Community Solar for the program subscription fee.
No. The solar power generated by your allocation of a Community Solar farm does not go directly to your home’s energy supply. Instead, it goes directly to the power grid, providing clean energy for your local community. Even though the solar energy does not directly supply your home’s electricity, your home is awarded with solar credits, or Net Metering Credits, for the energy generated by your allocation of the farm.
Renewable power, or renewable energy, is energy produced from naturally regenerating sources. Examples include solar power, wind power, hydro power, and geothermal power. Supporting renewable energy sources helps supply the power grid with clean energy, rather than fossil fuels.
Solar power is energy generated by sunlight. The sun is a renewable energy source. Sunlight is converted to energy by solar cells on solar panels, through the photovoltaic effect. The energy captured by solar panels may deliver energy to an individual home or business in the event rooftop panels are installed, or directly to the power grid via a solar farm.
Solar energy production adds clean, renewable energy to power distributed by the electric grid. Renewable energy currently makes up 17% of energy generation in the United States. Meanwhile, nearly 63% of energy comes from fossil fuels. With Community Solar, you can help be part of a shift to increase the use of renewable energy sources. In just your first year as a Clearway Community Solar customer, you can support the environmental impact of planting 7.9 acres of forest in the U.S., switching 225 regular lightbulbs to LEDs, and offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a car driving over 16,000 miles. That is the same as driving from San Francisco to New York, over 5.5 times! Calculations based on estimated 9030 kWh of solar production in Year One. For more information about this calculation visit the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.