Localized Solar Energy Distribution
Do you want to be a solar energy supporter?
Unable to install solar panels on your roof?
Community Solar may be a good alternative for you!
What is Community Solar?
Community Solar presents a new generation of how power can be distributed throughout a local grid. Without the need for a rooftop solar system, this new option brings high-accessibility to solar energy for every Long Island community member.
Community Solar occurs at a solar farm that is connected to the local utility grid. All you need to do is find a solar farm near you and subscribe to a share of panels.
By teaming up with Long Island’s top solar providers, they can help you locate a suitable location, provide resources to aggregate community support, and explain the financial savings.
Community Solar Process Steps
There are a couple of routes you can follow to get in touch with a Community Solar Farm. Contact your local utility center or get in touch with a USGBC LI rep who can get you in direct contact with operators, or contact Empower Solar or the NY State Solar Energy Industries Association here.
Subscriptions to a Community Solar farm vary and accommodate the energy your household currently uses. After the subscription is made, you don't have to do anything, no maintenance, and no extra fees.
The money you save depends on your household energy usage and how much energy your panel share generates each month. You want your household to use about the same, or less, than your panel share for exponential savings.
Community Solar Credits
Community Solar Credits come into play when your household uses less energy than your panels generate. This excess energy is represented as Solar Credits on your bill and again reduces your bill's cost. These credits can overlap onto your next bill if you don't have use for them the previous month.
This process is known as net-metering; essentially, you are a fully sustainable consumer that generates more energy than your household uses.
Advantages of Community Solar
While you can save money, community solar also removes any potential difficulties you may encounter with a rooftop solar system, mainly any maintenance fees that could arise.
If Community Solar is right for you, there is no way you don't come out on top. As the renewable industry grows, the technology will become more accessible and affordable.
Disadvantages of Community Solar
We at the USGBC-LI think the most significant disadvantage of community solar is the clear-cutting of forest to install the acres of panels. Contact your local town or village representatives to see if solar can be replaced on already existing industrial or commercial land before utilizing precious Long Island untouched landscapes.
Community Choice Aggregation
Community Choice Aggregation allows local towns and villages to purchase clean energy from third party green suppliers. This energy can come from renewable resources upstate or here on Long Island. This new rule represents the beginning of widespread community solar options.
By engaging in a solar farm near you or building one yourself, you can set an example for your municipality to take the next step into the future.
The Future of Solar
The future of solar lies in the hands of the communities around its budding facilities, municipals, neighbors, small businesses, and young people who can make widespread renewable energy more visible and affordable. This technology can overtake the oil industry's economic pillar, but it must be slow and steady. That is why communities play such an important role, making it obvious that the world and its people are ready to switch.
Contact one of our representatives to get in touch with possible community solar options in your area.
Daniel Busi, LEED AP BD+C, LFA
Managing Director, USGBC-LI
info [at] usgbc-li [dot] org
Farmingdale State College Smart Energy House
Farmingdale State College Smart Energy House
Ever heard of a Smart House?
Take a step into the modern-future at the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center Smart Energy House at Farmingdale State College. Take a tour and learn about smart technology appliances, rooftop solar and thermal systems, and mobile apps that monitor and control your energy usage.
How was this built?
In collaboration with Stony Brook University, PSEG Long Island, and Farmingdale State College, the smart house was built to showcase technology for visitors looking to understand the tech before purchasing it for their own home.