Community Solar for the Southeast Project
The Community Solar for the Southeast project aims to accelerate the installation of community solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at municipal and cooperative electric utilities across the southeast. Community solar projects are ground-mounted PV systems that are generally smaller than other utility-scale solar projects. They are large enough to provide low-cost solar electricity, yet they are small enough to be more flexible about where they can be located, allowing the utility to better take advantage of localized benefits that they can provide.
A community solar program allows utility customers to sign up to receive a portion of the output of the system. Some programs require an upfront purchase of a share of the PV system but many others offer a no-obligation monthly subscription in discrete sized blocks of solar power. In some cases, the utility may find that solar electricity is the lowest cost electricity available, and then decide to provide the cost savings to all of the utilities’ customers.
The project uses a stakeholder engagement process during Phase I to set goals for community solar programs and to develop a Guide to Designing and Implementing Community Solar Projects at Public Power Utilities in the Southeast. Phase II will involve targeted outreach to all cooperative and municipal utilities in the southeast, and personalized technical assistance using the Guide developed in Phase I to help develop and implement community solar programs.
This project is funded as a part the SunShot grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Savannah River National Laboratory, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Roanoke Electric Cooperative, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Electricities
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