Community Solar Projects for the Masses, Continued

A new report looks at the attributes of community solar that could benefit low-income subscribers.

By many measures, community solar is on the rise.

In the last year, it’s driven an outsized portion of solar growth. Though analysts are still finalizing numbers, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables forecasted community solar would be the driver of over one-third of annual solar demand in 2018. By 2023, analysts expect community solar to make up 30 percent of non-residential solar deployments.

Minnesota has so far dominated the sector, serving as the site for over half of all 2018 community solar installations in the U.S. But WoodMac also forecasts that by the end of 2020, the state will account for less than 5 percent of the market. Other states, where markets are emerging, will fill-in. Just this week, Democratic Florida State Senator Lori Berman introduced community solar legislation, and bills to create community solar programs advanced in New Mexico and South Carolina.

It’s within that context that consulting firm DEFG released its recent report on making community solar more accessible to low income customers. The working group for the report — comprising 60 participants including utilities such as Michigan’s Consumers Energy, community solar accessibility organization Solstice, and utility and corporation commissions from seven states and Washington, D.C. …

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