Community Solar Energy for Businesses
Unlike the more common ‘behind the meter’ solar, where solar panels are installed on your building or land, community solar allows businesses to effectively purchase solar energy from panels that are not on your property and not owned by you. These fields of solar panels work to generate renewable electricity that feeds into the utility grid.
How Community Solar Works
Subscribers or members of a community solar project may sign up to take a portion of the electricity generated from the solar panels. A combination of businesses and residents can buy energy to offset what they are using at their facility or home. The utility will then recognize each subscriber as providing renewable energy to the grid and will issue energy credits on the subscriber’s utility bill.
In order to participate in community solar, your state needs to have a program in place that allows “virtual net metering”. Virtual net metering provides you with credits on your utility bill for the grid-connected solar you receive through a community solar project.
If you are considering community solar, it’s important to make sure that your utility bill is large enough to offset the credits you may receive by participating. The credits can only be applied to your utility bill, not a separate supplier bill. Companies can consider consolidating the supplier charges on their utility bill, but it’s important to note that not all suppliers and utilities will provide consolidated billing. Check with your Usource energy consultant to help better understand any billing implications you may have. State rules may allow credits to be re-allocated among multiple sites in the same electric utility load zones.
In cases where you are looking to claim the value of the environmental attributes of community solar, it is important to understand where the actual environmental value is going. For example, in New York, the official environmental value of community solar goes to the utility. The utility is using the environmental attributes to meet its renewable standards on its system. Because of this, you will not be able to claim the environmental attribute, but rather only receive the energy credit on the bill. If part of your goal is to be able to make the environmental claim, you may want to consider Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
If you are considering solar, whether Onsite Solar, Offsite Solar, or a Community Solar project, Usource can help you evaluate the economics and advise you on the key factors to look for to reap the greatest reward and avoid potential pitfalls. We can also help you source the best solar solution for your facilities.
Community Solar Services
- Energy strategy consulting: We work with you to understand your goals and objectives and help determine if becoming a subscriber of community solar makes sense as a part of your energy strategy.
- Feasibility assessment: We assess the feasibility of community solar in your area and provide recommendations based on your desired results.
- Provide quotes: We will reach out to the marketplace for community solar projects, obtain quotes and present you with viable options.
- Energy budget analysis: Usource will provide an energy budget analysis showing the impact of the energy bill credits from the Community Solar on your organization’s energy budget.
Why Choose Usource?
Usource is part of the NextEra Energy family of companies. NextEra Energy, Inc. is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy. As part of NextEra Energy, Usource is uniquely positioned to analyze, facilitate and execute on your renewable energy project and ensure it is a cohesive fit with your overall energy strategy. With deep industry knowledge and a vast network of providers, our energy advisors will help you find the ideal solar energy solution.